BOSTON (CBS) – It’s probably fair to say that this year’s New England Patriots is the deepest it’s been in recent memory. They struck gold in the offseason by adding star cornerback Darrelle Revis, and (as of now) have a healthy Rob Gronkowski, Jerod Mayo, and Vince Wilfork back in the fold.
But that’s not all.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock stated yesterday on TV that back-up quarterback Ryan Mallett looks like a “legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL.”
On the surface, the comments bedazzled hosts Andy Gresh and Mike Flynn and made them wonder if the Patriots have enough depth to overcome a catastrophic injury to one of their star players.
They both believe they do.
“If you lose Darrelle Revis on defense, all is not lost because you still have Brandon Browner and you do have the carryovers from last year. And that could include taking Logan Ryan and moving him back to corner if necessary, and putting one of the other guys back there with a Devin McCourty,” said Gresh.
Gresh went as far to say that while losing Gronkowski or Brady would hurt the team’s Super Bowl chances, the Pats could still remain in the playoff picture.
“If Rob Gronkowski is not on the field for a chunk of time this year, as long as they have Brady they can survive. They can’t lose both of them obviously,” said Gresh. “If this were 2008 all over again: first play, first series, boom! Brady goes down and gets hurt and Mallett comes in — there’s going to be drop off there’s no question. But have they not built this team 1-53? I believe if there’s a catastrophic injury they can overcome it and still be competitive.”
Flynn agreed with Gresh saying this Pats team could possibly win a playoff game or two without the two-time Super Bowl MVP.
“Depending when Brady gets hurt — if you get the playoff bye and have a San Diego or that Colts team from last year, or that Denver team [with Tebow] — with this defense and you have Gronkowski, could Ryan Mallett win you that football game? I think that’s reasonable, absolutely.”
Hopefully we won’t have to have this discussion, but it’s at least worth taking a look at and accessing the team’s depth.
Listen below for the full discussion: