01-04-2008, 07:13 AM
Second Team and Threatening Starter's Job
Join Date: Sep 2004
Re: pats look at bethel johnson during bye week
c'mon. This isn't about the WR position. This is all about kickoff return. BB is looking at the Chicago STs with envy, asking himself "how do I get something like THAT?"
Using your starting CB or starting WR as your kickoff return guy is playing with fire, especially in the playoffs. Willie Andrews is an option, but Faulk is not a guy that's going to break a kickoff for a TD. Bethel has always been a compelling weapon on kickoff return. The fact that BB tried Jackson at kickoff return (vs Miami? or was it the Jets?) is a sign that he's reaching for options.
At WR, at best BJ projects as a #5 guy. I bet Kelly Washington beats him out at WR. We could fill that role with street fodder and give ourselves a chance to find another David Patten or Jabar Gaffney in the weeds, instead of working with a player who's a known quantity.
As for the WR position:
There is no question to me that Stallworth is gone this offseason. His pricetag this year is pretty high, and his option to renew is very high. The fact that Gaffney has clearly taken the #3 spot in the rotation is a pretty clear indication that Stallworth is underachieving.
Jackson's inability to rise up the depth chart is a minor concern, too, but a little easier to rationalize. Didn't he recently get a black jersey for his play on the scout team? That counts in the eyes of this coach.
Kelly Washington has been a star on ST, but hasn't broken into he receiving corp, either. I think he's a keeper, if only for ST. ST counts! How else do you think guys like Izzo, Alexander, Andrews and Woods stick on a roster this deep with talent, year after year?
I expect, we lose Stallworth and drop Troy next season. What happens to Jackson and Washington is for consideration and probably depends as much on ST contributions as potential at WR. I expect they'll be in camp, and we'll see who else is invited to compete. With Moss, Welker and Gaffney, we still have the best receiving corp in the league, regardless who the #4 and 5 guys are.
"We want to build a big, strong, tough, smart, fast, disciplined football team that will consistently compete for a championship."
-- Scott Pioli, from the Patriots scouting manual