Patriots Talk Podcast

Depth concerns already deepening for Patriots offense

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry share their concerns about the team's offensive line depth on a new Patriots Talk Podcast.

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Monday's New England Patriots practice -- the first padded practice of the summer -- shined a light on the team's glaring weakness.

As our Tom E. Curran broke down in his training camp observations, injuries along the offensive line showed the team's lack of depth at the position. With Michael Onwenu on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, Trent Brown working on conditioning on the rehab field, Cole Strange going down with an apparent leg injury, and Chasen Hines sidelined due to an injury of his own, New England was left with a patchwork o-line in front of third-year quarterback Mac Jones.

"The offensive line picture was, in front of Mac Jones going from right tackle to left, (Conor) McDermott, Bill Murray, (David) Andrews, Atonio Mafi, and Riley Reiff," Phil Perry said on the Patriots Talk Podcast. "That's not what you're hoping to roll out there Week 1 of the regular season. I'm not saying they will, but an injury or two to that group when you already have a massive question mark at right tackle is cause for concern."

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Curran and Perry discussed their concerns about New England's lack of depth in the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

"Here's why this sucks: Mac needs more protection than the top-tier quarterbacks around the league," Curran said. "I would say even, whether it's Jimmy Garoppolo or Daniel Jones -- forget (Patrick) Mahomes, forget (Joe) Burrow, forget a lot of those guys who can throw off platform, have stronger arms, and move and throw. Mac needs protection. He needs time to be able to evaluate. He needs to have time for his receivers to uncover. With a patchwork offensive line, he is hurt more than most. Got a great brain, he'll be able to diagnose things and get the ball out quickly, but then comes the Catch-22. He gets the ball out quickly, but he doesn't have a damn receiver out there who uncovers quickly.

"Plus, you have a first-year offensive line coach (in Adrian Klemm). So all of those reasons are why, despite the fact the Patriots are trying to cleanse their palette and move forward nicely into 2023 with a new attitude, their personnel is going to squeeze them in different places."

The offensive line isn't the only area of concern. Running backs Rhamondre Stevenson (individual conditioning) and Ty Montgomery (injury) didn't participate in full-contact team activities, leaving Kevin Harris as the primary ball-carrier out of the backfield. The entire offense is a question mark if you ask Curran.

"The offense looks like it's doing what it's supposed to, even if the tempo in between downs and the speed of the practice is not high-tempo yet. It doesn't look like an embarrassment," Curran said. "But it's July 31st and you're already concerned not just about offensive line depth, but running back depth, wide receiver depth, tight end depth, and quarterback depth. That's everything. That's all five!"

Also in this episode:

  • Cole Strange suffers apparent leg injury.
  • Making the case to go get Ezekiel Elliott.
  • Other training camp observations.
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