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WBZ-TV’s Patriots reporter Levan Reid stopped by The D.A. Show Wednesday night to talk all things Patriots.
After a few minutes of Roger Clemens and steroid talk, Levan and DA move on to the Pats’ newest special teams threat, Jeff Demps. The former Florida Gator and Olympian practiced with his new team for the first time Wednesday in Tampa. He could make a difference on kickoff returns, something the Patriots have lacked for the past few seasons.
“He’s a better sprinter than he is a football player,” Reid said of Demps. “I know he was a running back at Florida, so he can play the game. But he decided not to touch a football after his January 1st Bowl Game to become a sprinter for the Olympics… He’s not a slow guy. They haven’t had speed like this since Bethel Johnson, and haven’t had a consistent kick returner since Ellis Hobbs.”
“I don’t know the last time the Patriots went out and got a specialist like that,” said Levan. “If they feel like they need to make movement in the running game, and Bill Belichick said there were times last year he felt like there were openings and they just didn’t hit them fast enough. Now when you fill out the roster, he takes a position away from somebody else.”
Right now, Levan is leaning towards that being receiver Donte’ Stallworth’s spot.
“Every week I feel different about Donte’ Stallworth, and every week I feel different about Deion Branch. Branch did something on Monday night where everything he caught was a first down,” said Reid. “He ran the routes right, ran across in the middle of traffic, was able to stop and go and came back to the ball. Guys still don’t do that! So I said ‘alright, Deion trends up.’ And then you have Stallworth arguing with the ref from Central Catholic. You can’t do that.”
Keeping with receiver talk, Levan is feeling a little different about newcomer Brandon Lloyd than he did when he first signed on.
“He had one great year. We hear Brandon Lloyd, everyone is writing good things, and then I looked it up and Brandon Lloyd has only had one season where he had 1,400 yards and was the best receiver on the land. Then he kind of fell off,” said Reid. “Now he’s turning 31, and it doesn’t look like he’s getting any better. You’re hoping he gets better in this system because he has a better arm throwing to him, and a better group players surrounding him, but all of a sudden I’m not as pumped as I was about Brandon Lloyd.”