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News Blitz 6/25: Are the Patriots receivers good enough?

Posted Jun 25, 2014

This edition of the Patriots.com news blitz focuses on the Patriots receiving corps. We also take a look at another comparison between the Patriots and the Spurs.

James Christensen played a game of 'fact or fiction' this morning in an article for the Bleacher Report. He took a look at some of the Patriots's biggest offseason question marks including the offensive line, the linebacking corps, and Tom Brady's weapons. Some people believe that the receiving corps doesn't is not strong enough, but Christensen says that's not true.

"Rookies Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins all had their ups and downs, but came through time and time again when they needed to," wrote Christensen. "If New England can get any contributions in the passing game from rookies James White, Jeremy Gallon or Roy Finch, Brady will have no lack of targets in 2014."

The strength (or lack of) of the receiving corps is certainly one of the biggest questions on the Patriots roster right now. Comcast Sports Net's Tom Curran, Phil Perry and Mike Giardi discussed whether they think the group will be good enough in 2014. They all agreed that the receivers will be much better compared to last season, but they don't expect any eye-popping numbers from the group.

"I think the chemistry is going to be that much better, you have a bunch of guys that you can move around in different roles there too," said Phil Perry. "I think they're going to be fine."

When training camp begins on July 24th, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, Brandon LaFell and Josh Boyce will be vying for a starting spot as the "X" wide receiver. NESN's Doug Kyed conducted a film review and broke down plays from all four receivers. He highlights each of their strengths as well as the areas that need improvement. Ultimately he believes that it will come down to Thompkins or Dobson.

"Dobson has the skills best suited for the starting "X" receiver role, but his time away from the team due to foot surgery will hurt his ability to grab that starting role," wrote Kyed. "Thompkins doesn't have the speed or ability to separate that Dobson possesses, but he showed major improvements during OTAs and minicamp."

As for the rest of the roster, Christopher Price believes that the team is already beginning to take shape. In an article on WEEI.com, Price predicted the team's final 53-man-roster. He thinks Belichick will keep 4 tight ends and only 3 safeties for the beginning of the season.

According to WBUR's Doug Tribou, the Patriots need a Spurs-like exclamation point to cement their legacy. San Antonio's most recent Championship win was the team's fifth since Gregg Popovich took over the team in 1997. It took 7 years after winning their fourth title to get the fifth, but they did it and that's all that matters. Tribou believes the Patriots need a similar "final chapter" to their own story.

"When 12 wins, 4,300-plus yards passing and a playoff run every season start to seem routine, you’re witnessing something — and someone — special," says Tribou. "But for the Patriots to equal the extended-dynasty status that San Antonio has achieved, they’ll need to punctuate their string of recent near-misses with an exclamation point."