Round Table: Lingering Questions

What is your biggest question mark for the Patriots heading into the 2013 season?

Raj: The Patriots do not look like a super bowl-contending team. With the departure of Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead, the injury to Rob Gronkowski, and the fiasco involving Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots have a lot of gaps in the offense. I don't see this offense as the potent offense the Patriots had in 2011 and 2007. The addition of Danny Amendola is critical, however is it enough? I feel that the Patriots offense, particularly their receiving core, will be a big question mark this season. The Pats have veteran receivers in Amendola and Julian Edelman but I truly feel this is the perfect opportunity for guys like Kenbrell Thompkins, Zach Sudfeld, and Aaron Dobson to step up and make a difference. If those 5 names contribute their all to the Patriots, then by the time Gronk comes back, this offense will be lethal. As Patriots fans, we're only used to seeing the Pats' offense as one of the AFC's most dangerous.
Derek: I hate to feed into this, because I think it's a storyline that's been contrived by Patriot-haters or the negative group of our fanbase, but the biggest question for the Patriots is whether or not Danny Amendola can stay healthy and match Wes Welker's production.  Assuming that Brady stays Brady, Gronk stays Gronk, and Ridley stays Ridley, we're basically looking for the combo of Thompkins/Boyce/Dobson, Edelman, Vereen, and Sudfeld to match the production of Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez, Danny Woodhead, and Deion Branch.  None of those four former Pats are slouches, but it's not like we're asking this young group of guys to go out and set the world on fire.  No, the person with the biggest shoes to fill is Amendola, who needs to be on the field for the majority of the team's games, produce triple-digit catches, and come through in the clutch on 3rd down.  Can he do it?  I absolutely believe so.  However, seeing will truly be believing.  If Amendola can't replace Welker, then this team will likely take a step back this season.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.