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Ask PFW: Post mini-camp
Dear guys, I really appreciate all the work you've been doing week in and week out. I'm a long time reader from Hungary and I'd like to ask you about Bryan Stork. Do you know anything about him? How does he perform in the OTA/minicamp? I expected him to take over the starting job, but I didn't hear anything about him lately. Thank you!
Hey, what a coincidence. I was just in Hungary earlier this month and met a few Hungarian Patriots fans! Wonderful place. Budapest is an underrated city… Anyhow, yes, Bryan Stork. I know a little about him, having written his post-draft bio for PFW. He seems like he has more than enough talent to win a job here, even if it’s only as a backup, but we still haven’t seen him in full pads yet. So, like most rookies, at this stage, the jury is still out. He is an intriguing prospect, however, and warrants serious consideration once camp opens at the end of next month.
With James Develin essentially becoming the #2 TE, do you feel the absence of a signing from either Dustin Keller or Jermichael Finley is a tell from BB's confidence in Develin at the position? And if we move him to the TE designation, wouldn't that free up space for an extra WR or RB?
I’m intrigued by Develin’s apparent move to more tight-end-specific duties, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to be utilized as a fullback, too. And although there haven’t been any veteran signings at tight end, as you indicated, I still wouldn’t rule out either of those players being brought in at some point during the preseason. If Develin were to stay permanently at fullback, it might give the team some wiggle room at running back, in terms of the roster. However, it would have no bearing on the wide receiver position.
Brady, like most other NFL players, will be taking advantage of these next few weeks to get some rest and relaxation in before the grind of training camp and the 2014 season commence in late July. All the while, he’ll be doing what he needs to do to stay in shape, which could include working out with some of his teammates. However, that must take place off-site, meaning somewhere other than Gillette Stadium. Where exactly he’ll be is anyone’s guess, but a safe bet is somewhere in Southern California, where he has been known to train in the past.
You make a strong case, Christian. While I don’t expect to see Gregory back in Foxborough anytime soon, perhaps if injuries pile up at the position during the season and Gregory remains unsigned elsewhere, he could be an option. But right now, I don’t think he’s in the team’s immediate plans. If he were, he’d still be on the roster.
Two players I've heard nearly nothing about from OTA reports are [Michael] Buchanan and [Jake] Bequette. I know it's because these are bubble players and DEs that may not show up in non-contact drills. But we all know about Buchanan having his draft stock plummet because he was so underweight his senior year. Does he look bigger and more explosive? And what's the deal with Bequette? We all know he's been a huge bust so far but he must know that as well. Has he seemed to have done anything to change his body or style of practice and play to potentially make the team this year or is he another 3rd round bust?
Well, you said it, Dave. It’s really difficult to assess any player’s worth during non-contact practices, especially defensive players. I haven’t seen much change in either Buchanan or Bequette, sadly. But, that doesn’t mean they haven’t made progress. Buchanan is certainly in a better position than Bequette at this point, though. The former is entering his second season, when most players make their biggest gains, while Bequette… well, the handwriting may be on the wall for him, sad to say. This camp may be his last, best chance to show he can play and contribute at this level.