The Patriots will be without star wide receiver Julian Edelman for the remainder of this month and most likely the remainder of the regular season. The Patriots believe and hope Edelman will return for the postseason.
The Pats will move forward this regular season without Edelman, Brady’s number one target, so how do they replace him? Simple answer, they don’t, they just have to live without him and find ways for other players to be involved. No one player will replace Edelman, instead it will be by a committee that will “replace” him and make due.
Edelman had great hands, was the chain mover, safety net, YAC guy, and touchdown machine. So, how do you replace all of that? Well, here’s the committee of players to do just that for a little while.
Danny Amendola will be the number one guy now, and he’s good enough to be, so the Pats will be okay in that area. I mean, Amendola is going to catch a ton of passes every game like Edelman did and be Brady’s safety net, they will just do it differently. The difference of Amendola and Edelman is the quickness and swiftness. Edelman is much quicker, elusive, and swift. He can take a short catch and elude a tackle or dance around a tackle and pick up first downs. Amendola isn’t going to do that. Also, Edelman was almost uncoverable. I’m not sure about Amendola in that area yet. We will see more of him in the coming games as the number one WR and how he handles that. I think he will be hard to cover, but we will wait and see. Amendola has great hands, he won’t drop passes, but he’s not going to get a ton of YAC, which is fine, because if he catching passes, he will help move the chains which is huge since Edelman was the number one chain mover.
So, Amendola is the number one guy and the new security blanket with great hands that will move the chains. That’s taking care of, so let’s move on.
Brandon LaFell is the big play guy, and he’s pretty elusive. He will be the one who has to pick up YAC and break big plays, which he is capable of, so there you go, he’s the new elusive guy for Edelman.
Rob Gronkowski is the 2nd favorite target for Brady and the number one red zone target. Edelman had 7 touchdowns, so no worries, we still have the big guy to get Patriots touchdowns. He and Chandler can and hopefully will help in the red zone. Gronk just needs to keep being Gronk.
Keshawn Martin is the guy to keep an eye on. I found it very interesting that when Brady was asked about replacing Edelman, he said a number of guys will need to step up and among the guys he mention, Amendola, LaFell, and Martin. He didn’t mention Dobson, instead mention the new guy Martin. That tells me he probably trust Martin more and would love to have him out there on the field. If and when Martin gets healthy, he could take over Amendola’s number two slot position and provide another headache for teams. He has made plays in the limited time he’s been healthy with the Pats, so he could be the swiftness for the Patriots. He’s got some moves.
Chris Harper and Aaron Dobson will get added plays if Martin isn’t able to go and if they do and they make the most of it, then they are the guys to help ease the loss of Edelman.