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Tag:Julian Edelman
Posted on: September 5, 2011 10:06 am
 

Report: Randy Moss willing to return to Patriots

Posted by Will Brinson

Randy Moss is, presumably, hanging out somewhere playing shuffleboard watching racecars make left turns. Because that's what retired people do, obviously. However, for all that excitement, Moss would reportedly be willing and/or interested in returning to the NFL ... if it were with the Patriots.

That's according to Chip Fontanazza of the West Virginia MetroNews, who not only interviewed Moss about stuff that doesn't relate to football but managed to pick up anonymous source that said "Moss does regret leaving the New England Patriots and that would most likely be the only team he would play for in the NFL if he would return."

The timing of the information is not just coincidental, but it's logical as well -- ever since Moss announced his retirement from the NFL, he's made it clear how much he respects and adores the New England organization.

It seems pretty unlikely that the Pats will make another run at/with Moss, though. They've certainly known that Moss would return to New England to wrap up his career, and therefore already could have signed him.

Instead, they went out and traded for Chad Ochocinco in order to beef up an already stout -- Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Brandon Tate, Julian Edleman, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski -- group of pass-catchers.

But Ocho's struggled and the Pats recently dumped 2009 third-rounder Tate, so it would be a little foolish to rule anything out, especially as it relates to either Moss or Bill Belichick.

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Posted on: June 2, 2011 8:27 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 10:19 am
 

Pats may not think much of Brandon Tate yet

With R. Moss gone, look for B. Tate to get more attention from opponents (Getty).Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was a surprise when the Patriots took wide receiver Brandon Tate in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft, but Bill Belichick is nothing if not unorthodox. Tate suffered a major knee injury during his senior season at North Carolina, and  reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the 2009 Combine. But he offered size, speed and was an explosive returner. The plan was for him to redshirt his rookie season and contribute in 2010.

Plus, Belichick had made a nice living ignoring conventional wisdom and drafting players he felt best fit New England's scheme. Offensive lineman Logan Mankins (first round, 2005) and Sebastian Vollmer (second round, 2009) are recent examples.

In 10 starts last season, Tate had 24 receptions for 432 yards, including three touchdowns. The totals aren't particularly impressive, but the 18-yards-per-catch average gets your attention. Still, for NFL Films' Greg Cosell, it was clear from watching game tape that the Patriots' staff has concerns about Tate as an NFL wideout.

"Very often, the way players are used tells you how a coaching staff feels about them," Cosell told CSN New England's Tom Curran. "The way the Patriots use Brandon Tate tells that they don't think much of him at this point. He runs about three routes and the only time the ball comes to him is when a play is specifically called for him."

Cosell acknowledges that Tate is "big, he runs well, he's got good lateral quickness," but also points out that, "…in taking the spot of Moss, he was stepping in for someone who was as good a vertical receiver as we've ever seen. Tate has vertical skills but not Randy Moss vertical skills and that's why coverage was different for Tate after Moss left."

This is about what you'd expect from a second-year player getting his first crack at substantial playing time. It's not unusual for coaches to manage their expectations in such circumstances, and Cosell notes that the work stoppage is really hurting Tate's development.

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss adds that the coaching staff's lack of faith in Tate can be traced back to Tate's inconsistency last season. "One stat that stands out is that he was targeted 46 times and totaled 24 receptions for a 54.3 target percentage, one of the lowest among the team's pass-catchers."

But as always seems to happen, Tom Brady, superhero, will fix everything. Reiss reports that Brady is in New England to lead players-only workouts starting Wednesday. Reiss: "While the value of player-led workouts during the lockout is debatable, many believe chemistry between a quarterback and receiver can grow during the offseason. … Not surprisingly, teammates have responded, according to sources, breaking from their personal workout regimens to join Brady."

The Pats drafted two wide receivers in 2009 -- Tate and seventh-rounder Julian Edelman, a college quarterback from Kent State who moved to wide receiver in the pros and immediately drew comparisons to Wes Welker.

Ultimately, Cosell thinks Edelman has the skills to replace Welker, but warns that Welker is "a very specific kind of player" who "is a function of the entire offense and what's around him."

That was easy to forget when New England was regularly hanging 30-plus points on NFL defenses. Then again, any offense with Brady as its centerpiece is automatically high-powered. Moss was proof of that. He was invisible in Oakland before Brady helped revitalize his career, and his production fell off a cliff after the Pats shipped him to Minnesota last season.

While Tate will benefit from offseason workouts, even informal ones, Patriots will be in good shape at receiver when the labor dispute is settled. Deion Branch joins Welker as a savvy veteran who intimately understands the offense. And tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, rookies a year ago, accounted for 26 percent of all New England receptions in 2010. It's not like 2006, when Brady's top targets were Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell. The Pats' offense is plenty potent, as evidenced by their 14-2 record in 2010.

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Posted on: October 6, 2010 11:08 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 1:37 pm
 

Patriots are suddenly reloading at a rapid rate

Posted by Will Brinson

The knee-jerk reaction to the deal that sent Randy Moss from the Patriots to the Vikings is "TOM BRADY IS DONE!" (Well, from a fantasy football perspective anyway -- there's also the "The Patriots are giving up!" reaction as well.)

Both are silly, of course.

The deal just, hypothetically, means less deep balls in their offense -- but even that might not be correct with the lightning-fast Brandon Tate on the roster. And outside of that, they still have plenty of weapons in Wes Welker (he's good, duh), Julian Edelman (he's Wes Welker 2.0), Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.

More importantly though, they now have two draft picks in the each of the first FOUR rounds of the 2011 NFL draft.

Think for a moment about how silly that is -- assuming they don't package these picks for more selections (which is not a safe assumption), they'll be grabbing eight players before most people get four and some people get three.

They have the Oakland Raiders' first-rounder (which is looking like a lottery ticket at the moment), the Carolina Panthers second-rounder (appearing to be in the high end of that round as well), the Minnesota Vikings third-rounder, and the Denver Broncos' fourth-rounder (you may recall they sent Laurence Maroney's corpse for that).

So, yes, eight selections in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft, a freshly signed Tom Brady, a slew of weapons on the offensive end and a young, but talented defense that needs some time to gel.

Are they the Super Bowl favorites this year? Of course not. Did losing Randy Moss probably hurt their short-term chances? Yes.

Can they turn those picks into high quality contributors and/or more picks in the future? That's the most important question, but it's safe to say that, yeah, they probably can do that. And because of that, the 2010 Patriots, once considered a near-dead dynasty, are suddenly straight reloaded.
Posted on: September 12, 2010 11:36 am
Edited on: September 12, 2010 12:18 pm
 

Today's key inactive players (AFC)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Channing Crowder, LB, Dolphins:
This, of course, is not a surprise, but Miami will miss him on the inside of its 3-4 defense. Look for Tim Dobbins to get his playing time, but he's also gotten plenty of work in the preseason with Crowder's absence.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders:
Darren McFadden will start, and that actually might not be the worst thing in the world for QB Jason Campbell. You have to like McFadden's veteran leadership, and he might actually provide some relief for Campbell.

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots:
He was questionable coming into today's game, and with no one sure how Wes Welker will perform for a full game, losing your No. 3 WR is a tough blow against a Bengals secondary that will be tough. But look for rookie TE Aaron Hernandez to benefit.

Brian Leonard, RB, Bengals:
Unless you watch Cincinnati every week, you won't understand how big a blow this is for the Bengals. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better RB in the league at converting on third downs.

Brady Quinn, QB, Broncos: He's the emergency No. 3 QB, and though this move is relatively insignificant, it just confirms that Tim Tebow is officially the backup to Kyle Orton.

Matt Leinart, QB, Texans:
You surprised?

Ikaika Alama-Francis , LB, Dolphins: This is a bit of a surprise, because he had been battling with rookie Koa Misi for the starting spot. There had been some concerns about Misi's ability to hold the corner on running plays.

Brian Brohm, QB, Bills:
After a preseason QB battle with Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brohm is officially the No. 3 behind starter Edwards and backup Fitzpatrick.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos: Thomas is battling a foot injury, but this is disappointing for the first of Denver's first-round picks. Thomas practiced all week, but apparently, he's not ready to play.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: September 12, 2010 11:36 am
Edited on: September 12, 2010 12:18 pm
 

Today's key inactive players (AFC)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Channing Crowder, LB, Dolphins:
This, of course, is not a surprise, but Miami will miss him on the inside of its 3-4 defense. Look for Tim Dobbins to get his playing time, but he's also gotten plenty of work in the preseason with Crowder's absence.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders:
Darren McFadden will start, and that actually might not be the worst thing in the world for QB Jason Campbell. You have to like McFadden's veteran leadership, and he might actually provide some relief for Campbell.

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots:
He was questionable coming into today's game, and with no one sure how Wes Welker will perform for a full game, losing your No. 3 WR is a tough blow against a Bengals secondary that will be tough. But look for rookie TE Aaron Hernandez to benefit.

Brian Leonard, RB, Bengals:
Unless you watch Cincinnati every week, you won't understand how big a blow this is for the Bengals. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better RB in the league at converting on third downs.

Brady Quinn, QB, Broncos: He's the emergency No. 3 QB, and though this move is relatively insignificant, it just confirms that Tim Tebow is officially the backup to Kyle Orton.

Matt Leinart, QB, Texans:
You surprised?

Ikaika Alama-Francis , LB, Dolphins: This is a bit of a surprise, because he had been battling with rookie Koa Misi for the starting spot. There had been some concerns about Misi's ability to hold the corner on running plays.

Brian Brohm, QB, Bills:
After a preseason QB battle with Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brohm is officially the No. 3 behind starter Edwards and backup Fitzpatrick.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos: Thomas is battling a foot injury, but this is disappointing for the first of Denver's first-round picks. Thomas practiced all week, but apparently, he's not ready to play.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


 
 
 
 
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