Tag Archives: Reggie Wayne

New England Patriots: The Final Roster Is Never Final

As the final cut down date in the NFL passes everyone tries to analyze who the Patriots cut and who “made the team.”  Before you set the roster in stone remember, there will still be some fairly significant moves before kick-off Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is rare (like never) that the original roster stays intact going into game 1. There’s a good chance that by the time you read this article moves will already have occurred.

Who Is Still At Risk?

Those currently still on the roster have outperformed others to reach this point…but, hopefully they won’t relax too quickly.  Before going out and buying that luxury SUV or sports car, many need to realize life in the NFL can be very short.

Chris Harper hauls one in against the Saints (Photo: Keith Nordstrom/Patriots.com)
Chris Harper hauls one in against the Saints (Photo: Keith Nordstrom/Patriots.com)
  • Chris Harper – WR: Reggie Wayne showed he doesn’t have it anymore and asked to be released before he was unceremoniously cut. Sorry Wayne supporters, but Bill Belichick doesn’t keep you if you can’t help and, if he felt Wayne would have, he’d still be a Patriot. With Brandon LaFell on the PUP list and not available until week 7, Harper is hanging on to that final spot. The 21 year old rookie free agent impressed everyone this pre-season, but it is likely at some point the Patriots will try to slip him through waivers and get him on the practice squad.
  • Dion Lewis/James White/Travaris Cadet – RB: LaGarrette Blount is suspended for the season opener, so the question is who gets the shot Thursday night to show he can fill the big shoes left by Shane Vereen’s departure.  When Blount returns, one or two of this trio will be gone, and right now it’s a crapshoot who should stay…and who should go. The surprise cut of fan favorite Jonas Gray left the door open.

To this point Cadet hasn’t been able to see the field because of injuries, White (a 2014 4th round draft pick) has looked better in his second camp and Lewis has risen to the top when given a chance.   The injury to James Develin really doesn’t impact this trio, but it did allow a longer look-see for the coaching staff. Right now the only power running back on the roster is Belichick favorite Brandon Bolden.

This Year’s Surprise Cut

Indianapolis, IN - 11/16/14 - (4th quarter) New England Patriots running back Jonas Gray (35) adds an emphatic pose after pounding his way into the end zone for a fourth quarter touchdown. The New England Patriots take on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Shalise Manza Young, Topic: 17Patriots-Colts, LOID:7.4.3659348687.
Bye-bye Jonas Gray, we hardly got to know you(Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Bill Belichick is known for his “surprise” cuts and this year’s edition was Jonas Gray. After last year’s dazzling performance against the Indianapolis Colts, Gray literally disappeared and Blount came back to town. Most predicted he was a lock this year, but it looks like he never really escaped Belichick’s doghouse.

Don’t be too shocked if there are more moves to come as the team brings possible additions through the swinging doors at Gillette Stadium. Moves in the secondary still seem likely to occur and the fate of many will be in the hands of the best Head Coach in the NFL. The good news is, no matter what, the Belichick-Tom Brady connection is still intact and ready to punish the doubters.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

New England Patriots: Finally A Game That Means Something

The first two pre-season games mean little to nothing.  They are an opportunity to shake the tree and see what falls out that may be a surprise among the newcomers.  The experienced vets play little and undrafted free agents and draft picks get their opportunity to catch the eye of the coaching staff…and most of all Head Coach Bill Belichick.

Now game three…that’s a different story!

New England vs Carolina: Finally A Game That Means Something

Pre-Season Game 3

Friday night’s Patriots’ game at Bank Of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC is important for many reasons. It will give fans their first chance to see most of the veterans in action and evaluate how things are expected to evolve when the season starts against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, September 10 at Gillette Stadium.

What to watch for Friday night:

  • How much playing time Patriots’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo gets with the first team unit against the Carolina Panthers first
    Luke Kuechly grabs Rob Gronkowski in the famous last play non-call loss (Photo: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com
    Luke Kuechly grabs Rob Gronkowski in the famous last play non-call loss (Photo: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

    team. Although most teams don’t “game plan” for preseason match-ups and keep things pretty vanilla this will be a true test against an always strong Panther defense featuring former Boston College Eagle Luke Kuechly. Last season the Middle Line-Backer was voted to the Pro Bowl and selected to the NFL All-Pro First Team for the second consecutive season.

Although Garoppolo took a huge step forward in last weeks comeback win against the Saints, every Patriot fan in the world is hoping Tom Brady is the starting QB when the opening bell rings. That said, the Patriots have to be ready if his suspension is upheld and Belichick is the best in football having his team prepared for every contingency. Sure Tom Terrific will play in this game and may get the majority of snaps…but this will be the only chance Garoppolo has to play with the offensive unit that will start the season and against an opponent who will also be using most of their “A” units on both defense and offense.

  • By 4 p.m Tuesday (9/1) all clubs must cut their rosters to 75 players on the active list.

That means many of the names you see on the current team roster will be gone shortly after this game. Those on-the-bubble players will be showcasing their talents in hopes they catch the eye of another team.  With limited playing time in this game they have to make every minute they are on the field count.

  • This will be a test of the evolving Patriots’ secondary and defense.
Malcom Butler makes the play in pre-season vs New Orleans (Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com photo)
Malcom Butler makes the play in pre-season vs New Orleans (Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com photo)

When starters have played against starters this pre-season (a small sampling at best) the Patriots secondary has been (I’m being kind here) challenged and, with the exception of Malcom Butler, have not met that challenge very well. Both the Packers (Game #1) & Saints (Game #2) seemed to march up and down the field with ease. On the positive side, as has been the case throughout most of the Belichick years, the team seemed to suck-it-up once the opponent got inside the Pats 20 yard line. The healthy return of Dont’a Hightower and Jerod Mayo will be critical to this years defensive unit along with the addition of Jabaal Sheard and continued development of Jamie Collins. 

  • Gronkowski, Chandler and Wayne could see playing time

For the first time we could have a good look at Scott Chandler as he teams up with Rob GronkowskiAdd in the possible sighting of newcomer Reggie Wayne and it could make for an interesting mix despite the continued absence due to injury of Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell. The playing time for Chris Harper will also be an indication of his likelihood to stick with New England while so many WRs are still hurting.

  • The annual shuffle on the offensive line continues

The return of Ryan Wendell should help quiet down the jitters of rookies Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason, who have both shown promise but also weaknesses that need to be worked on.  With Nate Solder and Sebastion Volmer back and the continued development of second year center Bryan Stork this unit should start to jell shortly.

  • The Shane Vereen question

As training camp started most (myself included) experts (did I just refer to myself as an expert? Surely not!) felt the Patriots would be hard pressed to replace the 3rd down efficiency of Shane Vereen.  Although his replacement has not yet been determined, a few leading candidates have stepped up and made themselves known. Last years 4th round pick, James White, has taken a gigantic leap in his second camp and is the favorite to step into the role. Keep a close eye on 24-year-old Dion Lewis who has bounced around since being a 5th round pick by Pittsburgh in the 2011 draft. He was out of football last year (leg injury) but has displayed some explosiveness, especially last week against the Saints.

Other developments will occur during the game, so enjoy this one all the way to the end.  Next week  the “locks” will sit while the bubble players will get most of the playing time before final cuts are made. The 1st and 4th games are usually the sloppiest and hardest to watch, so it’s nice to finally have a game that means something!

Follow me on twitter @SnowdonBob

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New England Patriots: Reggie Wayne and Other Thoughts


The Reggie Wayne signing means a few things. First, the Pats aren’t satisfied with the depth at the position. With the starting three players (LaFell, Edelman and Amendola) all nursing injuries, Wayne comes in and add some quality depth. Yes, he isn’t the player he used to be, but he’s smart and knows how to run routes, which is essential in the Patriot offense. With the Jordy Nelson injury, it’s safe to say that if he would have left New England without a contract, he would be quickly snatched up by the Packers or another WR needy team. With Aaron Dobson still enigmatic and two WR put on IR on Monday (Brandon Gibson and Brian Tyms), Wayne can step in and help right away. With promising undrafted WR Chris Harper showing some great signs in these two games, everything behind him is a question. Wayne can be a reliable stop gap while they identify the players who make this offense click.

at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 22, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 22, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

With James White and Dion Lewis both showing a lot of promise as the passing back, the Pats could be facing some tough decisions. Who will be the winner here? The money is on White due to spending a 4th round pick on the player, but Lewis is looking like the player that he should have been when he was drafted by Philadelphia a few years back. If they keep him, that means they will keep 6 RB’s (Blount, Gray, Lewis, White, Boldin and Develin as a FB). That’s a lot dedicated to one position, but this is something to keep an eye on. The winner will go to the one who is best at pass protection.

To say the defense was underwhelming against New Orleans is an understatement. Even without Jerod Mayo and Dontá Hightower in there, Brees picked apart the first team defense. With 7th rounder CB Darryl Roberts facing a potential season ending wrist injury, the depth behind Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Terrell Brown is rather disconcerting. Expect another addition here as the coaching staff figures who is going to make the team. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that the Devin McCourty time back at corner was as short lived as it was. He isn’t the answer and it might take a few more weeks until they find that out.

Football: NFL Scouting Combine: (L-R) Florida State QB Jameis Winston (QB15) and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (QB11) on field before drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis, IN 2/21/2015 CREDIT: Todd Rosenberg (Photo by Todd Rosenberg /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: X159260 TK4 )
Football: NFL Scouting Combine: (L-R) Florida State QB Jameis Winston (QB15) and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (QB11) on field before drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis, IN 2/21/2015
CREDIT: Todd Rosenberg (Photo by Todd Rosenberg /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
(Set Number: X159260 TK4 )

The teams that picked one and two in this draft are in a rather interesting predicament. Tampa Bay drafting Jameis Winston and Tennessee drafted Marcus Mariotta means that they set at quarterback (for the time being). Their backups are where it gets interesting. QB Zach Mettenberger has been lights out in these two preseason games for the Titans and QB Mike Glennon has looked very good in his playing time playing after Winston in Tampa. With teams facing some rather horrible QB play (Washington and Buffalo come to mind), you might see these quarterbacks go for a nice price. The Drew Brees/Phillip Rivers situation comes to mind. In Brees’ first 3 years in San Diego, he was underwhelming and was inconsistent, prompting the team to draft Eli Manning and then ship him off to the Giants for Phillip Rivers. Somehow, that turned the light on for Brees and his play took off after that. A similar situation could be going on in Tampa and Tennessee. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

With Kelvin Benjamin, Jordy Nelson and Maurkice Pouncey all going down with season ending injuries, the call for a reformation of the pre-season is already in play. The preseason isn’t to blame for the Nelson and Benjamin injuries since they happened on non-contact plays. The point of pre-season isn’t for the starters, it’s for the bottom half of the roster. It’s usually to figure out a few starting positions and your bench. Without them, it would be hard to field the best team come September. Although the injuries are unfortunate, they are inevitable in any sport, especially football. This is an opportunity to see who can step up in these players’ absences. That’s the real fun of football right there, to figure out who want’s it more and who becomes a star in spite of these circumstances. Silver linings are always there. All Patriots fans know this…

New England Patriots: Reggie Wayne? Thanks, But No Thanks

Every year, just as training camp nears, Patriot fans lose track of reality and decide another wide receiver, preferably one who can stretch the field, is just what the team needs. This year it’s Reggie Wayne. Despite the fact that, at 36, he is a shell of the receiver who was feared throughout the league, the Foxboro faithful have that gleam in their eyes once again. Please, forget it. Close those eyes…stop salivating…slap your face a few times so the hallucination goes away…and, most of all, stop smoking those funny cigarettes.

Don’t get me wrong, in his prime Wayne was one of the best clutch receivers in the NFL. But now he’s just another player trying to get one more paycheck while his body rebels. The Patriots would be crazy to even think about it for a number of reasons.

  • He’s old, slow & susceptible to another injury after years of punishment
  • He would have to learn the Patriots offensive system, which isn’t easy (check the Pats history with older free agent wide receivers not named Randy Moss)
  • The roster spot he would take, if he even made the team, would take time away from the development of younger players who are much faster and in position to actually stretch-the-field

2014 Colts

Reggie Wayne disappeared at crucial times last season. Yes, he ended the regular season with respectable numbers (15 GP/64 Receptions/779 yards but just 2 TDs) for the Indianapolis Colts.  He was, however, a non-entity in the playoffs (3 GP/1 Reception/12 Yards) and was completely shut down by the Bengals and Patriots.

In his prime Reggie Wayne was among the best
In his prime Reggie Wayne was among the best

Yes, he did have 5 receptions for 91 yards against the Patriots during the regular season (11/16/14 – known as the Jonas Gray game) when the Colts lost 42-20 in Indy. If you think back to that game he was thought to be dogging it after getting hit while the game was still close. Pats fans were literally mocking him as the game came to an end.

The Patriots do still have a lot of holes to fill, but Reggie Wayne isn’t the answer to anything. He probably will sign with a team in need of senior leadership, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he decided to retire when the contact starts.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob


With the Patriots injuries piling up it now seems that the signing of Reggie Wayne to the roster has become official. The Pats have signed him to a one year deal, they were kind of over a barrel because with Jordy Nelson being out with an ACL tear, Green bay would have surely signed him today.