On the opening day of free agency, the New England Patriots added depth to their receiving corps in adding former Dolphins and Rams wide receiver Brandon Gibson. I asked Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider a few questions on Gibson to get a better feel for who the Patriots acquired:
1. Although Patriots fans have seen some of Brandon Gibson over the last two seasons, could you describe his skillset for those who are not familiar with his game?
Gibson came to Miami after playing as an outside receiver for the St. Louis Rams, only to have Miami turn him into a slot receiver. He worked well in that role, playing underneath Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. He is more than a possession type of receiver, but the Dolphins did not ask him to do that most of the time. Unfortunately, he missed the majority of his first season with the Dolphins after suffering a knee inury against the Patriots in 2013. He is a quarterback friendly player, who will usually make the catch and will run the right route. Dependable (when not injured) is probably the best word to use to describe Gibson.
2. Gibson lost out on playing time in 2014 to Rishard Matthews and Jarvis Landry. Did that have more to do with Gibson’s level of play or the young duo's emergence?
I think it was a combination of things. I do think Matthews emerged as an option in the offense, and the Dolphins wanted to continue that development. He did miss a game due to injury, but then, once he was healthy, it just seemed like the coaches wanted to go a different direction. I don't think it was ever an indictment of Gibson, more than the team like Matthews and Jarvis Landry, which pushed Gibson down the depth chart.
3. What do you see as Gibson’s upside with the Patriots?
Wes Welker. Okay, maybe not actually Wes Welker, but any time a receiver goes from the Dolphins to the Patriots, that's autmatically going to be the concern. I think Tom Brady will love having Gibson on the team, and Gibson will enjoy having Brady throwing him the ball. I think he continues that possession type of receiver role with New England, and he is going to probably rack up a lot of receptions that way. Being dependable is a great thing, and in New Englands's offense, it should fit perfectly.