The New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Harper is back and I couldn't be happier. Harper replaces offensive lineman Chris Barker, who will likely go back to the practice squad, which signifies a near return for tackles Sebastian Vollmer and/or Marcus Cannon. That's all well and good.
Harper is the once and future king of the hype and I can't wait for him to put up 200 yards in his first game back.
Yes, I know that I covered how Danny Amendola will pick up most of the slack from Julian Edelman's injury, and how the starting trio of Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell, and Amendola will still see the bulk of the targets.
I also highlighted a few options that could give Aaron Dobson a bigger chance to shine in the offense.
(Sidenote: how about using Dobson as more than a distraction, or to clear out the coverage? He can get behind press coverage and he can push off coverage away from his route. Sling the ball deep and let him run under it.)
But none of this matters anymore. Harper is here.
Earlier in the year, we covered how Keshawn Martin was a marginal improvement over Harper across the board, and that's why the Patriots were willing to go with the veteran over the rookie. Our film review showed that Harper offered everything that the Patriots love in a receiver, but he needed to clean up his route running and footwork before he could thrive in the NFL.
Well, Martin's working through an injury and that has opened the door for Harper to possibly fill in for Edelman's spot as the Z receiver in the line-up. Hopefully Harper's been working hard on the practice squad and that he's now ready to hold down a key spot in the offense for the rest of the year.
The Harper hype train was at full speed in the preseason and I'm willing to stoke the engine. Every single time I see him on the field, #HarperHypeIsHere. Every play he makes, #HarperHypeIsHere. This ain't the Demps Siren or Tymsanity of our forefathers. Harper is actually in line for five targets and they're going to all be for touchdowns.