There are some moves in the NFL that are met with universal applause.
The Colts taking quarterback Andrew Luck first overall in the 2012 draft (duh). The Jets acquiring wide receiver Brandon Marshall and a 7th round pick for a mere 5th round pick (what a steal). The Broncos extending defensive tackle Derek Wolfe for roughly $9 million per season before the free agency period (huge money-saver).
And then there was the Patriots acquiring tight end Martellus Bennett and a 6th round pick from the Bears in exchange for a 4th round selection.
People around the league are terrified and excited to see how the Patriots will use Bennett and superstar All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski at the same time. And that includes Bills head coach Rex Ryan.
"I have no idea [how to defend both tight ends]," Ryan said, via ESPN. "I just think it's unusual to have two guys that are like 6-[foot]-7 and can run, catch, block. So, yeah, it's going to be a major challenge. There's no doubt about that. It's scary when you look at them. Those are two huge guys. How we're going to defend them, I don't know."
Bennett and Gronkowski are both a little taller than 6'6 and weigh between 260-270 lbs. They both run sub-4.7 40 yard dashes and offer roughly 34-inch vertical jumps. They ranked #1 and #2 in forced missed tackles in 2014. They're nearly identical in physical specifications and a tight end duo of this caliber hasn't existed in recent memory.
"I can't really think of [a comparison]," Ryan continued. "I remember Kansas City had [Tony] Gonzalez and they had that kid [Jason Dunn] from Eastern Kentucky at one point, but that's hardly these two. Gonzalez is as good as anybody, but, ah, I don't know. It's going to be interesting."
Ryan called former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez "a big wideout" when explaining how the 2016 Patriots two tight end offense would be different from the 2011 edition.
The 2011 Gronkowski-Hernandez duo are the still the only tight end tandem in NFL history to put up 900+ receiving yards apiece in the same season; Bennett gained 916 receiving yards in 2014 and a healthy Gronkowski is a 1,000-yard lock. There hasn't been another pairing of 900+ receiving yard tight ends in at least the past twenty years.
Hopefully Bill Belichick and company can force Ryan into a few sleepless nights over the next season.
As for the rest of Ryan's breakfast conference, he had a few other Patriots tidbits of note.
On trading edge defender Chandler Jones to the Cardinals:
"Well, that was nice, but when you look at what New England did, I can see there's a big-picture view there. Chandler Jones will be coming up in free agency, so they had the foresight of seeing what's down the road. He's going to be a hard guy to pay with what he's going to probably command.
"But they also added an outstanding player with the guard [Jonathan Cooper] that they got from North Carolina, first-round pick. And then draft picks as well. I get it.
"Initially, was I happy to see [Jones] leave? Absolutely, I was happy to see him leave."
On Patriots signing Bills restricted free agent wide receiver Chris Hogan:
"Aw, man. Another guy we didn't want to lose. That kid's tougher than heck. I really like the guy. Big, physical, another great contributor on special teams and he's a good receiver. [Belichick] knew what he was getting. They paid a lot of money for him, but those guys make a difference.
"He'll be a guy that contributes as a receiver. I don't know if he'll be a starter for them. I don't know. He'll be a contributor there, but he'll be a major contributor as a special-teams player.
"There's some upside there, unfortunately. He's a great kid, though. I'm happy for him. Still going to try to kick his butt, but I'm happy for him."