On Tuesday, Bill O'Brien did what most coaches don't do until the middle or end of August. He released a depth chart. Seriously, props to him. It definitely makes the summer a little more interesting for the hardcore fans. And for our sake on the blog, we have extra information to discuss!
Of course, this depth chart isn't so much a depth chart as it is a piece of paper with, let's call them, options. On multiple positions, such as wideout and defensive end, O'Brien didn't designate No. 1s. He put two names with an "or" between them. In the press release that accompanied the chart, he said plenty of position battles remained - obviously.
Now on to the depth chart, and let's begin with some surprises because there were a couple, albeit not any that would cause anyone to keel over in shock.
-Wide receiver question - O'Brien did let us know that he planned to use a LOT of wide receivers. Nine are listed on the depth chart. Nine. His Patriots teams were definitely known for using a lot of bodies at this position. And who does he think is the best of this group? Either Allen Robinson "OR" Shawney Kersey are at one spot, and Justin Brown and Devon Smith at the other two. Smith had 402 receiving yards, and O'Brien has complimented his ability to make the big play. Brown had 517 receiving yards last year.
-Two tight ends - O'Brien will bring a New England-esque two tight end set as well. Kyle Carter and Garry Gilliam are his picks. Gilliam and Carter have one career reception between then, so to say the least, the learning curve at this position could be steep.
-Linebacker battle - One of the most important positions on defense, middle linebacker, is up for grabs between Glenn Carson and Khairi Fortt. Carson was the team's fourth-leading tackler last season. It would be somewhat of a shock for Fortt to replace Carson.
The other "OR" position battle for a top spot involves Adrian Amos and Derrick Thomas for the right cornerback position.
-Position changes - Since the end of spring the following players have changed positions: Adrian Amos has gone from safety back to corner. Kyle Baublitz has gone from defensive end to defensive tackle. Anthony Zettel has gone from defensive tackle to defensive end.
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