What will Hernandez add to Pats' attack today?

539435.jpg

What will Hernandez add to Pats' attack today?

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - One-eighth of the way into this season, Aaron Hernandez was headed for the Pro Bowl. The Patriots' "flex" tight end had 14 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' wins over Miami and Buffalo. According to ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss, Hernandez played 43 plays in the first game, 66 in the second. His absence in the past two games has, in part, led to an absurdly big workload for Wes Welker (36 targets in Weeks 3 and 4 combined; 43 times in the last nine quarters going back to the Hernandez injury). The presence of Hernandez will command attention of safeties, corners and outside linebackers. Even if he is not 100 percent -- and there's little chance of that -- being out there running routes will take heat off of Welker and, to a lesser extent, Rob Gronkowski. So even if Hernandez isn't able to do what he normally can, he will occupy the Jets secondary. To which one might say this.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Ex-Pats Podcast: Defending Le’Veon Bell; Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live mishap

cp-podcast_19.png

Ex-Pats Podcast: Defending Le’Veon Bell; Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live mishap

Dan Koppen, Jerod Mayo, and Mike Giardi discuss the upcoming AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jerod Mayo draws up a plan for defending running back Le’Veon Bell. Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live controversy is also broached.

2:30 Recapping the win over Houston

6:09 Improving pass protection vs Steelers

8:18 Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live controversy

13:00 Defending Le’Veon Bell

17:35 Importance of tackling vs Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger

20:19 The rivalry with Pittsburgh

SUBSCRIBE Audioboom | iTunes | Google Play