With arguably the best quarterback in football, the New England Patriots added much needed depth at the wide receiver position as well at tight end. The Pats were 13-3 in the regular season and had one of the best offenses in the league. However, as most of us know, they were ultimately defeated by the Giants in the super bowl. Wide Receiver, Wes Welker had a career year by breaking the record for most yards for a WR in a Pats uniform with 1,569. Tight Ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were also big cogs in the offense. Gronkowski set the record for the most touchdowns in a single season (18) and also the most yards for a tight end in a season with 1,327.
In the off-season, the Pats parted ways with experiment Chad Ochocinco, who couldn’t grasp the Pats system. With the loss of Ochocinco, the Pats retooled the entire receiver corps. They signed pro bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd was reunited to Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels. The two of them have known each other a long time, McDaniels coached Lloyd’s past two teams (Broncos, Rams). They also were reunited with 2007 wide-outs Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth. Gaffney who had a career best year in yards and touchdowns for the Washington Redskins and has always been one of Tom Brady’s best favorite targets. Stallworth on the otherhand hasn’t had a great season since leaving the Pats in 07. The last move they made was re-signing Deion Branch. Though many say his best days are behind him and he has lost his speed, he has been one of the best targets the Patriots have ever seen in their system. The three new additions will definitely help Brady spread the offense and hurt their opponents secondary as he knows how to.
With Gronkowski and Hernandez being the top tight ends, the Pats made a surprise signing to add much needed depth to the position. They essentially stole Jake Ballard from the Giants. The young TE has a lot of potential and upside and could be the third TE that they were looking for. The Giants put him on waivers just to lose him to New England.
The “super bowl caliber” offense as some experts have called it, has many pieces to make it to the super bowl again. This season will be interesting to see if the Pats do just that.
Pierce Arrow Sports Editor