FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots followers wondering how the stacked competition at wide receiver will unfold aren't alone. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is right there with you.
"It's going to be an exciting thing for us to watch and see how it all develops, because we have some guys that can do some different things," McDaniels said Friday at Gillette Stadium.
Receivers on the roster include Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Deion Branch, Donte' Stallworth, Chad Ochocinco, Julian Edelman, Anthony Gonzalez, Matthew Slater, Britt Davis, and rookies Jeremy Ebert (7th round) and Matt Roark (undrafted).
"Not only do we have a lot of people that have been successful and provided some results individually, but a lot of them have some real background and knowledge of our system too, which is a little bit of a unique situation," McDaniels said.
"I think that makes for great competition. I know every year, we talk about having great competition at every spot, and the receiver position is certainly going to be filled with that. We have a ton of guys here, working hard, and making sure they're ready for OTAs [organized team activities] in the spring. We're going to give them all an opportunity. I don't think you want to assume too many things. Let them go back out there and demonstrate what they know, what they can do, what they can provide our team, and let the competition play out."
Of the group, Lloyd has a most recent connection to McDaniels from their time together in Denver and St. Louis.
"He’s a guy I’m familiar with from the last few years. He gives us an outside receiver to compete with a lot of the guys that we have here," McDaniels said. "Brandon is certainly a guy who is familiar with our system, first of all. He understands what we ask of the receiver position. He’s brought a skill set on the outside, on the perimeter, that has definitely been helpful to the offenses that I’ve had a part in the last few years. How he fits in, and what we end up doing with him along with the other receiving corps, we’ll find out as we go through the spring and the summer. I’m excited to have an opportunity to coach him again.”