Patriots questions: How's your tight end rotation?

Patriots questions: How's your tight end rotation?
May 19, 2014, 2:15 pm
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There are teams facing questions. And then there are teams facing decisions. The Patriots face decisions. They don’t have to puzzle over who will do what for them in 2014. They know their quarterback and head coach. They know who their best defensive and offensive players will be. They have starting-caliber players at every spot. They know – before Memorial Day even arrives – that winning fewer than 10 games and missing the playoffs is a virtual impossibility. So with that in mind, we look at a brief list of decisions that need to be reached. The first one involves a position of need - still - for the Patriots.
 
HOW’S YOUR TIGHT END ROTATION?
 
Gronk got his knee taken out by T.J. Ward on December 13. He’s barely six months removed from the event and – given the reasonable caution Camp Gronk exercised with his myriad ailments in 2013 – you can expect they’ll be consistent with his recovery this year. Gronk Inc., cannot be rushed back. So the Patriots will head into the summer with Michael Hoomanawanui, D.J. Williams and undrafted rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson as their tight end crew. Dustin Keller remains on the team’s radar but the devastating ACL, MCL, PCL, dislocated kneecap injury from last August means he’s someone you can’t go all-in with. It’s an issue. And the fact the Patriots drafted a backup quarterback at 62 who will be watching in 2014 as opposed to a tight end like C.J. Fiedorowicz or Richard Rogers (both on the board at 62 then taken in the third round) is mystifying. Even if those players were complete boobs, there comes a time when you have to draft for immediate need. The Patriots immediately needed a pass-catching tight end. The roll-call of ultimately useless second-rounders the Patriots have taken over the years argues that a philosophical deviation may have been in order. No projects. Play-now guys. Didn’t happen.

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