The NFL regular season kicks off on Wednesday night and the Patriots get things started on Sunday afternoon against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium.
Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly spoke with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich about cuts the team made last week, Brian Waters and Jeff Demps.
The Pats made cuts just as every team does around the league at this point in the year, but some of the names might have surprised people.
Hart thought the the team would keep all their veteran receivers and was surprised when the team let Jabar Gaffney and Donte’ Stallworth. He was even more surprised when they followed that up with Deion Branch.
“I think the only was you can read this is they’re going to look a little different offensively. I mean they go into the offseason they bring in all these tight ends, they bring in all the fullbacks, even though they didn’t keep them I’m still not sold they won’t have a fullback. I think you’re going to see some different formations, less receivers on the field more tight end sets, more fullback sets and I don’t know if that’s Josh McDaniels, I don’t know if that’s Bill Belichick saying we were to spread heavy?”
What are the chances that one of these cut guys makes his way back to the roster at some point during the season?
“I think they’re pretty good. They have no depth right now, regardless of what you want to do philosophically or formation wise they just don’t have a lot of depth at receiver.”
Veteran guard Brian Waters never showed up for the preseason and there is no word that he’ll be coming back at all. Not a lot is know as to what’s going on with the player, but Bill Belichick gave away Waters’ number 54 to rookie linebacker Dont’a Hightower. What’s going on here?
“To me there’s something weird here. I don’t know if it’s financial and he’s looking, ‘I’m a Pro Bowl guard and I’m only making $1.4 million. There are guys who can’t hold my jock that are making three times that, veterans who signed for that this offsesaon.’ So I have to think he was hoping the Patriots would say, ‘Oh we’re desperate here’s an extra million five to get into camp,’ and if the Patriots don’t do that you stay home.”
Plus, how much of a factor will the replacement officials play in the outcomes of these week one games?