The New England Patriots continued the roster movement Wednesday by putting together their initial training set. Despite the chaotic movement across the league, New England still had one place open on the 16-player development team.
The initial members are not set in stone, as teams across the league continue to improve their rosters ahead of the first week. New England should be one of those, as players like Tyquan Thornton could be transferred to the injured reserve.
But for now, here are some quick-impact ideas for the team.
keep it at home
Of the 15 players New England announced for their coaching team, the 15 were all with the team throughout training camp. The Patriots showed some solid depth throughout pre-season, and they commented on a lot of that potential. New Englanders will likely look outside the facility to fill in their last remaining spot. An unidentified attacking navigator wearing the number 68 was seen training on Wednesday but no official action was taken.
One of the players who escaped from Foxboro headquarters was tight, Devin Asiasi, the tight end of the third year was set to join the Patriots coaching staff but was claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals over waivers.
With the rule change, teams can raise a coaching team player to the active list three times instead of twice, many members can be counted immediately.
Most notable is Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s wide receiver. The Patriots’ 53-man roster has four healthy wide receivers and two tight ends. Humphrey can provide insurance at both locations in the first week against Miami.
New Englanders can also look to their coaching staff for assistance along the offensive line. While Novice pick Chasen Hines in the sixth round made the roster the best in-house backup, upgrading a veteran like James Ferentz might be in the cards early in the season. Running back JJ Taylor can also see the time early if Ty Montgomery (ankle) misses at any point.
Return of the juniors
New England’s 53-man roster includes 10 emerging players. They added four more on their coaching staff with the return of Kevin Harris, court finisher Galen Wiedermere, offensive line Cody Rossi, and defensive line Labrian Ray.
While Harris and Wiedermayer look more like developmental pieces, Rousey and Ray had a solid summer and made strides toward the 53-man squad. The two UDFAs have been the promise all along the same and could likely contribute to a pinch if needed in 2022.
And while he may not be a rookie, sophomore quarterback Cameron McGron – who missed the entirety of last season due to an AFC Champions League rupture – is an attractive player to cancel concessions. The athletic quarterback can provide depth into a situation while still adapting to the mental side of the NFL game.
Besides retaining several rookie players, New England held onto three of the four veterans (players with 4 seasons in the league) who were released on Tuesday. These three are Ferencs, Harvey Lange and Terrence Mitchell. Justin Bethel was the only veteran who never made his way back to New England.
While Ferentz will provide depth along the interior of the offensive line, Mitchell will bring in a valuable veteran presence for a junior corner room with an average age of 25. Lange is a strong midfielder if needed and has proven the teams’ special ability.
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