With all signs pointing to Tom Brady inking an extension with the Patriots sometime soon, it appears that a key long-term goal is completed. Now, it's time to start talking about short-term goals — or in this case, touchdowns.
Brady and the Pats offense is once again a force to be reckoned with. Wes Welker is set to return to the slot alongside future Hall of Fame wideout Randy Moss, who, although feeling "not wanted," is entering a contract year.
But joining Welker and Moss on the attack will be Julian Edelman, who won the hearts of New England and has struck fear in the eyes of opposing secondaries with an impressive rookie season. Edelman displayed potential on both special teams and offense, as he averaged nearly 22 yards per kick return and tallied 359 yards on 37 receptions. When serving as the primary fill-in for Welker in the slot during Weeks 2, 3 and 17 (at Houston, where Welker left early with his season-ending knee injury), Edelman proved that he could handle the load by grabbing a grand total 21 receptions for 221 yards.
Joining the receiving mix will be a pair of rookie tight ends in Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, a second-rounder from Arizona who has turned heads thanks to his soft hands and brute strength. Gronk stole the show in Week 3 of the preseason by hauling in a pair of touchdown passes against the Rams. The 6-foot-6, 264-pounder dragged in linebacker James Laurinaitis for five yards before diving into the end zone. It appears as though the rookie could be the best all-around tight end since Ben Coates donned the Flying Elvis.