BOSTON (CBS) – WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche came on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Friday morning reacting to the Patriots preseason finale.
Fans in the region are still coming to grips with the fact that six-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro Logan Mankins will not be protecting 37-year-old quarterback Tom Brady.
In just his second year in the NFL, Josh Kline appears to be the man to fill Mankins’ shoes. And for what it’s worth, Roche felt like he did just fine Thursday night.
“I think [Kline] did fine. He played the entire game on offense every snap, which was a bit of a surprise. Maybe it was more just to get him continued reps and get him comfortable to take the spot of Logan Mankins. Nothing stood out to me where I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ I thought they all protected Jimmy Garoppolo just fine.”
But just because you looked fine in a preseason game, the fourth one at that, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed anything. Roche wouldn’t rule out Bill Belichick adding another line piece this weekend.
“The waiver wire, or deadline date for cuts is Saturday at 6 o’clock. They may go out and claim a guard if they feel like they need to shore up the line. They may go find a veteran guard out there that was cut by another team. Matt Chatham pointed out to me last night that that’s how the Patriots picked up Joe Andruzzi. So that’s something to keep an eye on.”
Tom Brady was sacked 40 times last year — the second highest total of his career (41 in 2001) — so line coach Dave DeGuglielmo has his work cut out for him in his first season with the team, and that means turning Josh Kline into some sort of facsimile of Logan Mankins.
“Right now it’s Josh Kline, a kid that filled in for Mankins last year when he got hurt and started a game against Baltimore when they clinched the AFC East and a playoff berth,” said Roche. “Josh Kline did fine. I thought he did a decent job. Sometimes it’s tough to decipher how good a guard plays, but I didn’t see any glaring mistakes last night.”
Listen below for Roche’s analysis of Jimmy Garoppolo, whether the Patriots will keep two or three quarterbacks, the Logan Mankins fallout in the locker room and new weapon Tim Wright: