With all the turmoil surrounding the New England Patriots during the 2013 offseason, many have started to believe that the team may not be as successful as Patriot fans have come to expect over the past decade.
Tom Brady has suffered a loss in terms of weapons to target on offense this season. The team lost wide receiver Wes Welker, a player who had developed not only a good understanding, but also a close personal friendship with Tom Brady. Welker left for free agency and eventually signed with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, as they look to develop and dangerous offense.
Tom Brady then lost star receiver Rob Gronkowski. The tight end suffered a forearm injury towards the end of last season and it is not yet known when he will be able to return to action. The team released other tight end, Aaron Hernandez, after being arrested in connection to a homicide investigation.
This has left an unprecedented amount of uncertainty over which players will be able to step up to the plate and provide Tom Brady with a receiver that he can rely on when the team needs yards.
At wide receiver, the Patriots will be looking towards their three rookies to provide the spark that will allow the offense to be as dangerous as it has in the past. Second round draft pick, Aaron Dobson, will be looking to establish himself early as a reliable player for Brady and the coaching staff. At 6”3 and weighing 205 pounds, Dobson certainly has a big presence. This should allow Dobson to be effective on the outside, something that has been missing for the Patriots since the days of Randy Moss.
Aaron Dobson has impressed many who have been watching training camp, coming up with some big plays and looks to be building a good relationship with Brady. The Patriots are hoping Dobson will fit well into their offense, using his strength and height to bully cornerbacks and come up with the ball.
Josh McDaniels will be looking to Dobson and Danny Amendola to work with each other in pulling defenders around the field, subsequently creating space for each other.
Kenbrell Thompkins has also been impressing during Patriots training camp. Many fans will have heard very little of Thompkins, the former Cincinnati Bearcat went undrafted and was picked up by New England in an attempt to add depth to their roster. Thompkins now looks to be making an impression, something that could stand him in good stead as the season approaches.
As far as the rookies are concerned, Josh Boyce, a fourth round draft pick out of Texas Christian, has been seeing fewer snaps than Thompkins and Dobson but has still shown plenty of ability. Boyce looks to be an excellent route runner with quick and elusive footwork.
With Dobson, Thompkins and Boyce, the Patriots have a good variety of young talent to tap in to and utilize. The Patriots have a habit of pulling out performances when needed - this season will be no different.
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