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Brandon LaFell creating a niche for himself in New England

Brandon LaFell AP

Brandon LaFell is becoming more and more comfortable with Tom Brady, and the Patriots are envisioning more and more of a role for their new wide receiver.

Via Chris Mason of the Boston Herald, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been impressed with the former second-round pick.

I think he’ll be able to carve out a role for himself here,” Belichick said. “Might be a big one. He’s finding different ways to contribute, whether it’s blocking, receiving or special teams. He’s done whatever we’ve asked of him, and he’s done it well. He’s gotten better at it.”

At the moment, that might include special teams, where LaFell was never really a factor for the Panthers. But he’s a physical receiver who is willing and able to block, which helps make up for hands that are unreliable at times.

But after spending time in Carolina with the improvisational genius of Cam Newton, he’s had to adjust to working with Brady, a completely different kind of quarterback.

“He expects you to be exactly where he wants you to be on every route,” LaFell said of Brady. “Not a yard off. Not a yard too deep. Not a yard too short. He expects you to be exactly where he wants you to be, because he’s going to put the ball placement exactly right.

“I’m feeling way more comfortable. Just being in the huddle with Brady, hearing him call the plays and stuff like that. I’m way more comfortable.”

He’ll have to catch the ball consistently to stay in Brady’s good gracces, but for now, the Patriots sound pleased with an under-the-radar acquisition.

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26 Responses to “Brandon LaFell creating a niche for himself in New England”
  1. u4iadman says: Aug 20, 2014 9:51 AM

    ***

    Enough said.

  2. rodneyharrisonstruckstick says: Aug 20, 2014 9:52 AM

    Pats need him to deliver some sort of consistency as an outside receiver. If they can get that along with a healthy Gronk up field, and Edelman and Amendola in the slots this offense has the potential to be pretty good. No where near Den good but better than last year for sure.

    Pair that with what looks to be so far a Dominant defense, and I like the pats chances to make another trip to the ship!

  3. coldwater32301 says: Aug 20, 2014 10:00 AM

    It will not matter the rest of the AFC East defenses has caught up to the patriots offense… The Era of the Patriots as the dominate juggernaut in the AFC East is over… Indeed…

  4. johnnyjagfan says: Aug 20, 2014 10:01 AM

    NE seems to win with or without good WRs. But to hear BB say that anyone on his team may have possibilities for something “big” you have to believe the kid may be ready to shine. Could be a good late-round fantasy starter.

  5. grammaticallyincorrect1201 says: Aug 20, 2014 10:06 AM

    With Lafell it all comes down to those hands of his. Hopefully with some coaching help from Chad O’Shea he can fix those slippery hands. Other than that, he is the complete package and exactly what the Pats need. Quick, tall, strong, good blocker and a very good route runner.

  6. tedmurph says: Aug 20, 2014 10:07 AM

    Belichick doesn’t praise players in the press lightly. I remember all the Panther posters saying good riddance to LaFell, all he does is drop passes. Watch LaFell have a big year, while Newton has to throw to retreads like Cotcherry and Avant, rookies and street FAs.

  7. weepingjebus says: Aug 20, 2014 10:13 AM

    It’s a trap! Belichick’s scorn for reporters is matched only by his scorn for fantasy football owners.

  8. p8riotdynastylives says: Aug 20, 2014 10:25 AM

    Bart Scott n Ric Flair opined in…” Cant wait ..wooooooooo”…….

  9. Straight Cash Homie says: Aug 20, 2014 10:28 AM

    Interested to see what he can do with a real QB. It’s something he never had in Carolina.

  10. ampats says: Aug 20, 2014 10:29 AM

    The Era of the Patriots dominate the AFCE is over. HAHAHAHAHA

    As Steven Tyler sings, DREAM ON. I believe I have seen this posted multiple times over the past 10 years.

    I sympathize with Jets/Bills/Fins fans since we have OWNED you since the start of the 21st century.

    It is not a question of winning the AFCE but when they will clinch, Halloween ???

  11. willycents says: Aug 20, 2014 10:31 AM

    “He expects you to be exactly where he wants you to be on every route,” LaFell said of Brady.

    Ever notice that the receivers for all the great qb’s: Peyton, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, etc. say about the same thing about their qb’s? Seems to be a quality about all those qb’s to be demanding about routes and that they put the ball right where the rcvr should be.

  12. 6ball says: Aug 20, 2014 10:40 AM

    .
    Lafell’s best position may be as the move TE. He creates mismatches in both the running and passing game.. Blocking skills at the receiver position have always been important to Belichick.
    .

  13. qdog112 says: Aug 20, 2014 10:41 AM

    Imagine having Steve Smith or LaFell lined up with rookie Kelvin Benjamin.

    Suddenly your WR corps is not so pedestrian. Or imagine Benjamin across the middle with Ginn stretching the field.

    Cotchery and Avant are good veteran AARP WRs, but Cam needs more than they offer. Gettleman will be judged by all the players that walked out the door.

    Unfortunately Cam will be too.

  14. saundman2000 says: Aug 20, 2014 11:04 AM

    I’ve heard this before about NE WR’s….. Bellichick talks up his players all the time and people read too much into it. Kenbrell Thompkins and others got similar praise…and then not a lot of action.

    NE game plan is always “it depends..” Gronkowski and Edelman will see a lot of action every game…..everyone else is a crap shoot.

  15. patriotsarespygaters says: Aug 20, 2014 11:05 AM

    THE HOODIE DOESNT PRAISE PLAYERS OFTEN LAFELL MUST BE DOING SOMETHINGS WELL……

    JIMMY GARAPOLO IS THE SECOND BEST QB IN THE AFC EAST #FACT

  16. dalcow4 says: Aug 20, 2014 12:01 PM

    Think about this– The Patriots are so thin that they are pumping up the p.r. machine for a player who played so-so for the Panthers.

    Truly no talent left outside of Brady.

  17. tigerlilac says: Aug 20, 2014 12:54 PM

    Injuries can change things in a heartbeat but the Patriots have scary depth because their players take on multiple roles. This is the first year that the depth has extended to the QB position and a pass rush. They also play smart, turn the ball over on defense while avoiding turnovers (or they sit) on offense, and avoid the dumb penalty. If Gronk stays healthy they will also have a red zone presence that will really challenge defenses.

  18. kissbillsrings says: Aug 20, 2014 1:13 PM

    Patriots offense will be just fine… Brady had nobody but Edelman last year & a bunch of rookies/ new players & three (Amendola, GRONK & Vereen) were hurt a good portion of the year… Now everyone’s healthy & got a lot more experience w/ Brady so they will be very good & the “D” is vastly improved & also healthy… Those things combined will make it hard for teams to compete…
    Pats look really good!!!

  19. surfinbird1 says: Aug 20, 2014 2:17 PM

    LaFell is having a really good camp including an amazing one hand catch on a long bomb. Good luck to the kid.

  20. gayforbrady says: Aug 20, 2014 2:28 PM

    Healthy offense and the best defense in years = super bowl bound.

    It’s so good to be a patriot fan.

  21. realpantherfan says: Aug 20, 2014 2:45 PM

    SMITH WAS SAID TO HAVE LOST A STEP.
    LAFELL WAS SAID TO HAVE BUTTERFINGER HANDS
    GINN WAS SAID TO BE A WASH AND CANT BE A WR
    HIXON WAS SAID TO BE A INJURY PRONE SHORT WR WHO GOT LUCKY.

    THIS WAS WHAT WAS SAID ABOUT THE TOP 4 WR’S BEFORE THEY JOINED CAROLINA LAST YEAR.

    NOW THIS YEAR ITS ALL THEY ARE ARE BUST? AVANT HAS BEEN IN THE LEAGUE AND PLAYED EVERY YEAR FOR THE PAST 10+ YEARS FOR A REASONS. COTCH CAUGHT 10TDS WITH DECENT YPG LAST YEAR. BENJI SHOWN HIS POTENTIAL. LETS WAIT UNTIL MIDSEASON BEFORE WE PASS JUDGEMENT.

  22. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 20, 2014 3:06 PM

    Gettleman better hope his crop of receivers perform well in Carolina this season because I think LaFell and Steve Smith could make the move to get rid of them, look foolish.

  23. gibbstastic says: Aug 20, 2014 3:41 PM

    Well, I certainly hope his hands have improved. Because it’s well known that Tom can’t catch his own passes.

  24. pulloutiwannafart says: Aug 20, 2014 8:06 PM

    Last year Amandola was the best thing since Randy Moss and we all saw how he turned out. Now it’s LaFell. Let’s sit back and watch.

  25. mwcarolina says: Aug 20, 2014 11:47 PM

    it all comes down to how LaFell plays. last year in Carolina he had his moments, but then he had his moments. what i mean by that is he can make nice catches, but then he goes invisible. when Smith was out for some games the offense really stunk and some of that was on LaFell not getting open that often. maybe he can change in NE, but i think he’s a good 3rd WR and that’s it.

  26. belichickdominatedjoemontana says: Aug 22, 2014 8:59 AM

    This is why the Patriots don’t need another TE.

    They are loaded atWR and the offense will be based around the woth at WR. Just like the offense was during the 3 Super Bowl titles

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