New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots Gab sits down with Football on Deck writer Richard Gatenby


I interviewed Football on Deck writer and Patriots fan Richard Gatenby about the upcoming season for New England.

Patriots Gab: Thanks for doing this.

Richard Gatenby: No problem, it’s my pleasure.

1. PG: How successful doing think New England’s offense will be this season?

RG: Very successful. When healthy NE has one of the premier offensive lines. Vollmer, Solder and Mankins are all top-five at their respective positions. Brady is Brady and the running game is what it is. If Amendola can stay healthy then he will be incredible.

2. PG: Which rookie WR will be the break out player for the Patriots?

RG: I think it’s obvious to say Aaron Dobson but he’s definitely most likely. An athletic freak who can make highlight plays, he will be raw but Brady will hone him. UDFA Kenbrell Thompkins will surprise a few.

3. PG: How would you rank the Patriots draft class this year?

RG: I think they had a very good draft. Considering the tricky situation they were in to start the draft with the poor number of picks, they did a great job of accumulating. Dobson and Boyce should both start and make plays, Collins can be a stud on defense and Logan Ryan has the potential to do big things. Duron Harmon is the questionable pick, but, in Bill we trust.

4. PG: What are your thoughts on rookie LB Jamie Collins?

RG: Jamie Collins can be a star, he is perfect to playing defense in the modern game. He can rush the passer or drop into coverage, I can’t wait to see him playing alongside Mayo and Hightower.

5. PG: What do you think of New England signing Tim Tebow?

RG: To be honest it means very little to me, I don’t rate him as a quarterback. He has came into a good situation in that there is no circus, simply because he is zero threat to Brady. He is the best #3 QB in the league and will be a good locker room presence.

6. PG: Do you think New England will trade Ryan Mallett next year? If so, Which team do you think needs him the most?

RG: That’s a tough one. I don’t think they will. Brady is getting old and one more big injury could spell the end, if they believe in Mallet they should keep him around for as long as possible. It will all come down to Mallet, does he want to leave for first team opportunities or is he happy to wait and be heir to the throne.

7. PG: Who is New England’s biggest threat in the AFC East?

RG: It has to be the Denver Broncos, the AFC is pretty weak at the moment and a lot of teams are spread across a similar talent level. The Broncos are a very strong team, despite being made weaker by the loss of Von Miller to suspension. I think last years Super Bowl winner, the Baltimore Ravens, will miss the play-offs. Pittsburgh will bounce back from a bad season whilst the Bengals have all the talent in the world, but can Dalton put it all together?

8. PG: Can Amendola replace Welker?

RG: Absolutely. He can be better than Welker. Amendola can do everything Welker did and more, he has the speed to go deep down the field. Despite how good Welker was, he was starting to be detrimental to the team. Brady would be locked onto him, just like defenses, and it caused some horrible situations.

9. PG: What do you think about what is going on with Aaron Hernandez? And how would you scout a player for the draft to avoid a troubled player?

RG: It’s absolutely awful. It doesn’t come down to football in a situation like this, and justice must be done. Whether it affects the Patriots or not simply doesn’t matter. I don’t think it would stop me drafting troubled players, despite it obviously being a problem in many instances. A couple of arrests for drugs and other minor violations doesn’t indicate somebody could turn into a murderer. Teams need to due their homework and draft with due diligence. 

10. PG: The defense has been a weakness for the Patriots for the past few seasons. Do you see any reason to believe this defense can be better? Especially against the pass?

RG: I can’t wait to see the defense this year. Talib in the fold for a full season, McCourty with more experience at safety, Adrian Wilson into the mix with his leadership and understanding of the game will be awesome to watch unfold. Hopefully Dennard can play 16 games because he showed flashes of brilliance of last season, and if we’re lucky we could get some production from Dowling. The front will have a big say in how well we do in pass defense. I think Chandler Jones is a stud, and he can be one of the best pass rushers in the league in 2013. New England has one of the best linebacker groups in the league with Mayo, Hightower, Spikes and Collins.

11. PG: You watch films of college players and break down their strengths on your website Football on Deck.. Which player next year would you LOVE to see New England grab?

RG: We had suck for Luck so shall we suck for Clowney? He would be worth it. In all seriousness, I’m a big fan of Coly Lyerla, the TE from Oregon. He is big, fast, and dangerous in the passing game. If Balled, Fells, Hoomanawanoui or Sudfield can’t replace Hernandez then this is the man. At six-foot-five he has room to add weight to his frame to improve his blocking. On the defensive side I like Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix from Alabama. A ball-playing deep safety who roams around the back-end getting his hands on a lot of balls.

You can check out Richard Gatenby website here

You can also follow him on twitter:

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