The Patriots have been in training camp for a little while now and that’s given quarterback Tom Brady a chance to get work in with the team’s post-Rob Gronkowski tight end group.
How things are going with that group — Benjamin Watson, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Lance Kendricks — was a topic at Brady’s press conference on Wednesday. Brady was asked how significant the loss of Gronkowski feels right now.
“To replace great players, it’s not like you just pick another one off the tight end tree. You can’t just go out back,” Brady said. “You’ve got to find guys that come in and want to put the work in and want to try and contribute. Between the guys we have out here now, which is Ben, and Matt, Stephen, Ryan Izzo, Lance who we just got — those guys are trying to do everything they can do. They’re all new players, so we’ve got to figure out how to get them up to speed to what our expectations are, the level of competition on a daily basis.”
Watson won’t be part of the group for the first four games due to a suspension and fullback James Develin could factor into the Patriots’ thinking about how to position everyone now that Gronkowski has moved on to other endeavors. How all of those pieces fit will be one of many things to watch when New England kicks off their season against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football.