Brady has admitted himself that it's impossible for a rookie receiver to come in and contribute because the scheme is so complex. That was years ago and from how I see it, the scheme has only gotten more difficult to grasp. We've seen guys with good enough athleticism, route running and hands to be at least capable receivers completely flame out. However, one can make the very valid argument "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Having the #3 offense of all time points in Belichicks favor. HOWEVER, as we saw in the Ravens game, the first 3 quarters of the Niners game, and so on, this team lives and dies by Brady playing perfectly. If he doesn't execute and throw perfect passes the entire game against a decent defense, we are completely cooked. In the AFCCG the closest thing we had to a matchup advantage was Hernandez who has shown all season once you hit him, he will drop everything. Without Gronk our team can't enforce it's will on anyone and just physically dominate a team like we saw in the dynasty years. Those offenses had Deion Branch as their best playmaker, yet we could just push people around and beat them up. Welker, Woodhead and 2013 Branch are not going to ever be able to do that. I think we've seen the staff be more cognizant of this the last few years with Vollmer, Solder, Gronk all beefing up the run game, but we still don't have an outside receiver who can dominate a corner on physical ability. Welker's role is not that and asking him to be that is too much for someone his size. For years I very forcefully denied the belief we need a big time receiver, and I still do to a degree. However we absolutely, positively need a guy who can "go up and get it" on the outside and get us big plays and easy points. Stolen from another forum, but does anyone find it funny that Belichick's defense is predicated on "don't give up the big play, make them grind out 5 first downs to score and let them make mistakes" and then on offense his philosophy appears to be "make Brady churn out first downs, make it as difficult as possible on Brady, and force Brady to play perfect for us to score". Obviously that's not how he would word it but that is what our offense has become. It's become "Brady needs to play perfect every snap of the entire game against any team that is even close to on par with us or we lose the game". The load needs to be taken off Brady. I saw Flacco close his eyes and throw up prayers at least 3 times in the SB. If that were Brady they would likely have turned into interceptions, but instead Boldin went up and got it and made Flacco look great. Some of the load needs to be taken off Brady on offense. Gronkowski healthy will certainly help, but instead of bringing in loads of smaller guys who can fit the scheme, we should pursue guys who are physically dominant and can play bigger than the scheme. EDIT: As a mild tangent as I'm sure Welker will be brought up: Welker's talent is high enough to override some of the things I've said. He's an elite receiver and saying we're better without him in a vaccuum is folly. However given the salary cap, his age, contract demands, etc. we are better off moving on from him and finding someone who maybe can't keep up with all the scheme complexities but can just physically dominant an opposing CB so it doesn't matter the scheme if he can just get open deep.