New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

A Much Different Patriots Team Ready To Embark On 2013

Patriots

By Aaron Laskowitz

The New England Patriots have been one of the most successful franchises in the past few decades. Up until this year they have showed no sign of slowing down.

It’s definitely known that this years Patriots squad is not as strong as last years. So what do the Patriots need to do in order to remain as strong and have a shot at making it back to the Super Bowl?

One of the only pieces that remains in place is, the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Tom Brady. Brady, coming off of an incredible season, hurling 4,827 yards for 34 touchdowns will still be the commander of this team.

But, those numbers are bound to drop this year. TB12 is entering the season without 6 of his 7 top receivers from the 2012 season. Possibly the only target left for Brady, Rob Gronkowski, is coming off multiple surgeries on his arm and back over the offseason.

With doubt in the air on when he will return and how strong he will come back, Tom is left with not much to work with. Then there is Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested on charges of first-degree murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. It doesn’t stop there as the Pats lost what should have been their franchise player, Wes Welker. Welker left New England only to go to their rival the Denver Broncos.

Brady has a tough job of putting together this young offense and he will have to utilize the offseason acquisition of Danny Amendola. Amendola, a former Rams WR, will hopefully replace Welker who left a big hole to fill in.

Amendola who is two inches taller and two years younger has a similar wide out style as Welker. Amendola having only played four seasons in the NFL has not yet had a season as good as Welker, statistically. Brady needs to help Amendola grow and a strong connection between the two must be initiated early on.

Brady is known for taking okay receivers into making them great. Deion Branch, Donte Stallworth, and Julian Edelman among many others. With Brady’s pure talent he has the ability to grow receivers and he needs to do that this year in order for the Patriots to have a chance at a Super Bowl appearance this year.

All the pressure can’t fall on Brady’s shoulder that’s why it’s up to New England’s fullbacks also. With a defense that is not known for winning games the Patriots must rack up points and win the offensive battles.

In their first preseason outing veteran and former Buccaneers running back, LeGarrette Blount was the star of the night running for 101 yards and taking it to the end zone twice, with one time being a 51-yard-score. On that play, Blount was designed to go to the left but before reaching the line Blount noticed there was no hole for him to enter.

He quickly turned around, went back to the middle, and took a block from QB Ryan Mallett, making his way up field and cutting through a few defensive backs on his way. Blount who stands at six feet tall weighs in at a tank sized 250 pounds. With that weight and a little bit of a proven ability, Blount may become the Patriots red zone running back or a third down back.

Even without Blount in the mix the Patriots have a solid one-two combo. Stevan Ridley who took it to the house 12 times last year and ran for 1, 263 will return for his third season in the NFL looking to show that he’s here to stay. New England will not make it far in the playoffs if Ridley does not have something like a repeat season.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has to mesh these pieces together, as well as incorporate the number two fullback, Shane Vereen. Vereen has showed his ability to run the ball he now just needs to show promise. The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian says that Vereen has spent amount of time in training camp lining up as a wide receiver.

Vereen showed his ability as a receiver in last year’s playoffs when he caught five passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns. If Shane Vereen could step up on the receiving end of the ball, New England’s chances of making it further will certainly increase.

In the past couple decades the Patriots have been the Los Angeles Lakers of football. They stack of solidly every season, winning the conference, and having a good shot at taking the Lombardi trophy home.

This year is much different. Brady doesn’t have the same depth of weapons and the team is very young on the offensive side of the ball. It should be interesting to watch the Patriots play and see how things work out.


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