Nobody really knows what the New England Patriots offense is going to look like in their upcoming campaign.
Few notable additions were made, although there obviously were plenty of notable departures. But unless there’s a shocking turn of events, Jarrett Stidham will enter the season as the favorite to win the starting quarterback job, where he’ll attempt to keep the Patriots atop the AFC East.
Last season, the Patriots were criticized for their lack of weapons around Tom Brady, specifically in the passing game. But during an appearance Friday on WEEI, ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum, the former general manager of the New York Jets, explained that the Patriots’ running back depth is so impressive that Stidham won’t need to pull off a miracle to keep the Pats competitive.
“I think you can make a case that the New England Patriots running back room arguably is the best position room of any position of any team in the league,” Tannenbaum said, via WEEI.com. “They go five and six deep. I had Brandon Bolden with the Dolphins. We rarely get to talk about (Damien) Harris, who is a really good player out of Alabama. Then you think about (Rex) Burkhead, James White and obviously Sony Michel. It is a great group. One of the things that is a critical factor when you’re defending the Patriots is can you defend the running backs in the passing game?
“I don’t think Stidham has to be great for New England to be productive this year and I don’t think there’s been enough said — look, I understand their weapons may not have been ideal a year ago, but that running back room to me is dynamic and it doesn’t necessarily have to be as runners. Damien Harris can’t even get on the field and I think he has a chance to be a really good player.”
Clearly, Tannenbaum is high on Harris.
What’s also apparent is that the Patriots would like for things to pan out with Stidham and that they seem to think a lot of him and his potential. They passed on drafting a quarterback and have shown minimal interest in the top free-agent signal-callers, including Cam Newton.