The Patriots offense is obviously going to look a lot different this year. There isn’t any doubt at this point that Jarrett Stidham is going to be under center. While it is tough to replace Tom Brady, the Patriots new look offense might surprise some people.
The offense wasn’t great last year with Tom Brady, so you might be wondering why I think there’s plenty of optimism without him. This is a fair question considering not much has changed since then. The RB’s are the same, the WR’s are about the same and the TE’s will be rookies.
The departure of Tom Brady will create a less complex offensive playbook. This will benefit everyone, allowing the rookies to grow with Stidham. Second year WR’s N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers had a head start last year during training camp and preseason games. Harry and Stidham were actually roommates last year, which I believe jump started their chemistry.
Preseason football is misleading, and you can take from it what you will. With everything I saw last year the connection Stidham had with Harry and Meyers was great. New England now has a group of young guns growing and learning together, which creates bonds and brings teams closer.
New England struggled in 2019 without James Develin creating holes for the running backs. The Patriots brought in Dan Vitale, a versatile FB that will help Sony and company.
The team also lost Donte Scarnechia to retirement, but it’s not all bad news for the offensive line. David Andrews and Joe Thuney will be back bringing experience and much needed talent with them. Stidham having Andrews as his center is very important on the field, so they’ve been spending a lot of quality time together during the offseason.
New England traded up twice in the draft to select TE’s Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. Asiasi started out at Michigan with only eight receptions. He then transferred to UCLA, who used his skill sets properly. Asiasi took advantage of the change in systems. In his final year he had 44 receptions, 641 yards and four TDs.
The Patriots will use his size and speed to create mismatches flexed out against LBs. He can run up the seam with a quick burst and lasting speed, turn up and run down the sidelines coming from an in line TE spot, while also being a threat to sneak out over the middle.
Asiasi’s roommate at the scouting combine was Dalton Keene, the two TEs have both expressed how that has helped build their relationship.
While Asiasi is a more traditional TE, Keene is a versatile weapon that was used all over the offensive formation at Virginia Tech. Keene didn’t have the overwhelming numbers to make him a big name coming out of college, but as Patriots fans we’ve seen this before. Josh McDaniels will probably do everything he can just to get the ball in Keene’s hands. The new TE’s may be rookies, but I think they’ll have a big impact on this offense.
New England will also bring back some veterans at the skill positions, none more important than Julian Edelman. Sanu will be back for his second and first full offseason. Marquise Lee is a new addition who brings talent and experience to the wide receiver room.
The 2020 season is a mystery, with many different factors and outcomes. Nobody knows how this team will look. The offense has a good chance at surprising everyone though, and in my opinion will do just that.