A few leftovers from Thursday's weekly chat:
1. Jorge (Lisbon, Portugal): Who do you see taking up the workload of Green-Ellis? Could Hernandez fill in occasionally as a "strong", perfunctory back, or is that too much of a waste of his other talents?
Jorge, I think we'll see more from 2011 high draft choices Shane Vereen (second round) and Stevan Ridley (third round) in terms of picking up Green-Ellis' workload. With Hernandez, I think it's less likely he sees more carries. I think someone like fullback Tony Fiammetta could serve as a bigger back at times, a la Heath Evans in 2005.
2. Joe Brady (Wayne NJ): Stop making such a big deal about signing two fullbacks; no way this team will be turning into more of a run-based team in the least. Larsen was brought in as a depth guy to fill 3 roster spots with one guy, and Fiammetta was brought in as well so the both of them can help out in short-yardage to push the pile now that BJGE is gone. BJGE didn't need a bug fullback to pave the way because he was a beast in short yardage, but our young running backs will need some help.
Joe, I don't think I ever suggested this offense will suddenly become ground and pound. The point was that we could see a different look in the running game, with more two-back sets and the idea of developing more of a power mentality at times (link here).
3. Matt (Elon NC): What do you think of Anthony Gonzalez? I really like him and think he could make the team even if no one gets injured, though he's a longer shot. I was always impressed by his play as a Colt even as Wayne, Garcon, and Harrison were catching long passes.
Matt, I think it's worth a shot with Gonzalez. The big thing with him is if he can stay healthy. If he can -- and that's a big "if" after everything he'd been through the last three seasons -- he could find a niche on this club. There is very little financial investment made in Gonzalez, so my thought is, "Why not?" The signing is consistent with what we've seen from the Patriots this offseason -- signing a lot of mid-to lower-level players to improve depth and create competition.
4. Chris (Connecticut): Have you ever seen the offensive line look this unstable? I think we are all just used to Matt Light, Dan Koppen, and Logan Mankins playing at a consistent high level.
Chris, I do think they have some moving parts and some around the NFL question if Robert Gallery will help, but I do think they'll be OK up there. At last night's SportsCenter Patriots draft special, attended by Patriots season-ticket holders, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter shared his opinion that the Patriots view the offensive line as the strongest area of the team and that Dan Koppen still has a good chance of returning. Those thoughts interested me.
5. Jake (Denver): I have a lot of respect for BB's strategy, because they are clearly studying the needs of the teams around them when they move down. With that in mind, do you think the Packers, Ravens and 49ers (picks 28-30) have any similar needs to the Pats?
Jake, thanks for asking this as it led me to do some more homework in an area -- Green Bay (DE in the 3-4 who can reduce inside in nickel, pass rusher, center); Baltimore (guard, safety, SLB in 3-4, WR/returner); San Francisco (guard, WR to develop for future, DL, CB). When digesting that information, the Packers' DE/pass rush, the Ravens' safety, and the 49ers' DL (more for depth) are the things that stand out.