I strayed over to the Gaffney thread and found out that 13 pages later, he was STILL released,. But the conversation over there got me thinking about HOW I was thinking about the WR situation and came up with a couple of thoughts I'd like some feedback on. 1. Our base offense is some combination of the 2 TE's, 2WR's and a single RB. I'm thinking more than 70% of our offense is going to come out of some combination of this base 2. I think people have lost sight of the fact that Lloyd has replaced Branch, not Ocho as the Z receiver. Ocho was the #3 WR in an offense where the #3 WR lost relevance as the season wore on. 3. Lloyd is NOT a deep threat in the traditional sense. In other words blowing by a CB and creating separation through speed or acceleration. That's never going to happen. Lloyd's ability to be a deep threat depends on him being able to be better than the DB going after the ball. We have to understand that every deep ball LLoyd is going to catch will come with a DB standing right next to him Its his ability to gain body position, NOT his speed, that makes him a special receiver, 4. The back shoulder throw is one that Brady had gone pretty much his entire career without throwing on a regular basis. Now its important that it become an integral part of his arsenal. We've seen it tried a few times so far, and clearly its a work in progress. If Lloyd is going to be as successful a contributor as we all hope, Brady is going to have to get good at this pass. Success at it, will open up so much more. 5. Gaffney's release was a surprise to me. I'm guessing its the injury. There are a couple of receiver starved teams right in our own division who would have already pounced on him if he were healthy. It could be that the Pats already have an understanding that when he's healthy he'll be back. It could be that he's down for a couple of weeks and nothing will happen with anyone until he's not. Just a hunch, but I don't think Gaffney is gone forever. 6. The depth Chart now got easier. Branch now backs up Lloyd. Edelman backs up Welker and it will be interesting to see who will be the choice when/if the Pats go to 3 WRs. 7. But its not a big deal who because don't think we will be in what we'd normally call a 3 wide set as often as one might think because of the Hernandez factor. Its not so much about having 3 WRs out there its having 5 immediate targets. Well between Gronk, Herandenz ,Lloyd, Welker and a RB, (ie Woody, Demps, Vareen) we have that pretty much covered WITHOUT going to a 3rd WR. Who the 3rd WR is could be a moot point in this offense. 8. One of the reasons I was down on Branch was that he didn't play ST's and tkhe perception he only played the outside (Z) WR. I think that in his swan song with the Pats. McDaniel is going to use Branch more all over the field in certain spots. More of a jack of all trades per se. This will increase his value even though his snaps decrease. Whether he survives his forays in the middle of field is another story. But right now Branch's primary role will be to back up Lloyd and play in sub packages. 9. We started the off season rife with receivers. We spent the bulk of TC trying to figure out how we were going to squeeze 7 guys on our 53's. Now as the reality of the season descends on us, its becoming more likely that FIVE is the final number...and that number might include Slater. Because that's probably the number, especially if we have 4 TE's in our future. 10. Given our dependence on the TE position, I think its wise to keep 4, one back up each for Gronk (Fells) and Hernandez (Shiancoe). However if we do that, then I can't justify carrying a FB, when one of the TE's can do the blocking the few times we want to go to the "I". 11. Think back to back in early April when we had Gonsales, Gaffney. and Stallowrth, plus assorted camp bodies, and reconcile it to now when the position seems almost thin. What's the expression "We've come a long ways, baby". Or as Spock would say at this point "Fascinating"