BOSTON (CBS) — There is little doubt about it: The 2017 Patriots offense is going to be one powerful force.
It helps to have a guy like Tom Brady throwing the passes, but Bill Belichick surrounded his soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback with a ridiculous amount of talented weapons over the offseason. Brady has a loaded stable of running backs with Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead joining Dion Lewis and James White, and Dwayne Allen was brought in to provide some depth alongside tight end Rob Gronkowski.
But where the QB will really be spoiled is with his crop of receivers, who with the addition of Brandin Cooks are one of the deepest collection of pass-catchers in the NFL. Cooks, Julian Edelman (who just inked a new two-year extension), Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Danny Amendola are all locks to make the roster, with Andrew Hawkins, Austin Carr and Devin Lucien all fighting for a spot.
ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss joined Steve Burton on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final on Sunday night to discuss New England’s depth at receiver, and said the addition of Cooks will give Brady a different kind of weapon in his arsenal.
“One thing that stood out to me is how he runs his routes,” Reiss said of Cooks, who had 215 receptions in his three seasons with the New Orleans Saints. “He reminds me a little bit of Deion Branch; I watched him come across the field, separate from a corner back and then catch the ball and run away. He has the smooth route running and the top-end speed to run away from a defensive back.
“If you think of the Patriots’ receiving corps over the years of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, there aren’t too many really fast guys, burners who can separate down the field. Cooks has a chance to be a fun guy to watch and everyone is going to fall in love with him watching him out on the practice field.”
Reiss also touched on Bill Belichick’s need for perfection, even in practice. During last week’s minicamp at Gillette Stadium, Belichick was so displeased with his team that he made them all runs laps — including the coaches:
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