Quite possibly the biggest question mark for the New England Patriots heading into this season is their lack of depth at wide receiver.
With Julian Edelman out the first four games of the season due to a suspension, the Pats will be rolling with Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Chad Hansen to begin the year. Granted, Rob Gronkowski also is a threat as a receiver, but this group may require more wizardry on Tom Brady’s part than ever before.
Presumably, the Patriots may look to add another wideout before they kick off against the Houston Texans on Sunday, but whether or not they do doesn’t really matter to one Patriots Hall of Famer.
During an appearance on WEEI’ s “Dale & Keefe” on Tuesday, Willie McGinest explained why Josh McDaniels and the Patriots offense will sort things out.
“We always talk about that, right? I think Josh McDaniels and that offense, they find ways and guys will step up. I know (Julian) Edelman will not be there, but I have a lot of confidence in the running backs that they are going to utilize, whether it is running the ball or in the passing game,” McGinest said. “The tight ends with Gronk and then (Chris) Hogan. I think Phillip Dorsett is going to have a role. They have some younger players and players who haven’t played a lot who are going to have an opportunity. We always say where do these receivers come from in New England, and they come out of no where. They are able to come into the system and play at a certain level.
“They will have an opportunity and Josh is going to have to come up with game plans and schemes,” McGinest added. “You want to get the ball out of Brady’s hands, which has been effective and make plays. I am not really worried about it. I think they are thin at receiver, no question about it, but I think that is an opportunity for someone to step up and earn a role on this offense.”
Indeed, while there is understandable concern, it also gives the Patriots the opportunity to get creative with play-calling and tap into the skills of players who either are new to the team or haven’t heavily been utilized.
Still, after trading Brandin Cooks and letting Danny Amendola walk this offseason, some frustration over New England’s current receiving depth isn’t without merit.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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