In the spirit of accountability, this is the time of year we like to revisit our training camp predictions to see how they unfolded. It’s when we can look back and chuckle at projecting something like 61 catches for a receiver who might not make it through a season with the team.
So … here goes:
Danny Amendola will play 16 games and top 110 receptions. Even if Amendola played 16 full games (he played just 12), his per-game production extrapolates to 72 catches. I missed the mark greatly on this one, as the Week 1 groin injury limited Amendola all season. He didn't meet expectations in Year 1 in New England, but it's important to remember how much pain he played through. Year 2 -- provided he's healthier -- should be better. -- Field Yates
Kenbrell Thompkins will earn a roster spot at receiver. Does this finally get me out of the doghouse for the Greg Salas-for-61 catches projection? The interesting part about this one is that Thompkins seized the opportunity to shine as a little-known rookie free agent when the more highly touted Aaron Dobson (2nd round, Marshall) had a rocky spring. We've seen players like that flash early and then taper off quickly (e.g. tight end Zach Sudfeld) but Thompkins sustained. In the words of Troy Brown, "Bingo! You've got bingo!" -- Mike Reiss
Marcus Benard will be a top reserve at defensive end. Wait, these predictions were supposed to exclusively limited to the Patriots? I thought they just pertained to players who were at some point on the roster, as Bernard did evolve into a rotational defensive end ... for the Cardinals. All kidding aside, this is another one where I took the bait on preseason flash. A good reminder that judgements are best made once the pads come on and some games that "count" are played. -- Field Yates
Devin McCourty will return to the Pro Bowl, this time as a safety. C'mon, man! McCourty was robbed. This picture should have been on his Twitter account, but at least the Associated Press All-Pro team got it right, tabbing McCourty for second-team honors. A solid season for McCourty in his first full season at the position. -- Mike Reiss