Perillo: Sophomore WRs hold key to success

Perillo: Sophomore WRs hold key to success
July 26, 2014, 7:45 am
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“It’s one of the biggest questions I have on the offensive side of the ball… we just don’t know how much progress those sophomores are going to make." - Paul Perillo

The Patriots made an offseason splash on the defensive side of the ball with two big acquisitions - Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. There no such big ticker moves on the offensive side. 

New England begins camp with pretty much the same cast of inexperienced and injury-prone receivers.

Paul Perillo and Lou Merloni were on Arbella Early Edition to discuss the progress of the Patriots' second year receivers.

“It’s one of the biggest questions I have on the offensive side of the ball… we just don’t know how much progress those sophomores are going to make," says Perillo.

One of those young receivers is making an early splash in training camp.  

"Kenbrell Thompkins… has looked great," says Perillo. "I think he’s looked even better than last year."

The Patriots did add one interesting target to the receiving corp in the offseason - Brandon LaFell. 

"He has the size to be a red zone target," says Perillo. "The problem with him [is] he had a tendency [while with the Carolina Panthers] to drop some balls, a little bit inconsistent, but definitely has the big frame to be a target down [in the red zone]."

One other player to watch this year is Danny Amendola. No, Amendola isn't a sophomore in the league, but this is his second year with the Patriots and it's an important one as Merloni suspects the Patriots may get rid of Amendola after the season if he doesn't perform. Amendola played in 12 games last year, recording 54 catches for 633 yards. 

“I think that he came pretty much as advertised last year," says Perillo. "I don’t think he had a great year, but if you look at his career, that’s about what he’s been."

Amendola made an immediate impact in last year's season opener, hauling in 10 passes for 104 yards after injuring his groin.  

"I thought he showed a lot of toughness," says Perillo. "That’s not the issue with this guy. The issue is can the guy stay on the field? We know he’s tough, but can he be durable enough to contribute for 16 games? I think he has the potential to do so."