The door seems to be open for the Patriots to mix and match their skilled offensive players into any game plan that suits Tom Brady. Brandon Tate, who is 6 feet 1 inch and 195 pounds, has the speed to break away from defenders, but it remains to be seen whether that is the best way to utilize the 23-year-old. Tate has 11 receptions for 135 yards, which ranks third on the Patriots behind Wes Welker (26 catches, 217 yards) and Aaron Hernandez (18 catches, 240 yards).
This week, Brady said he was not looking for one player to replace Moss.
“I don’t ever feel like I’m out there hamstrung by the guys that are out on the field, and I haven’t felt that for a long time,’’ Brady said. “I think the thing that’s great is that they can do some different things. Wes can do quite a few things as a route runner, so can Deion [Branch], so can Brandon, so can Aaron, so can [Rob] Gronkowski, so can Julian [Edelman].’’
If the Patriots are looking for Tate to be more involved in that rotation, he is prepared to handle the duties. Tate is in his second season, but this is his first with a healthy set of knees. The Patriots scooped him up in the third round of the 2009 draft out of the University of North Carolina.
This situation looks like it will need to straighten itself out - from a fantasy prospective anyway. The only sure-thing seems to be Welker, but the loss of Moss you'd think would allow teams to focus on him a little more. Looks like Tate, Edelman, Welker and Branch could all see catches, as well as Hernandez at TE.