New England Patriots 2023 Training Camp Preview
How the mighty have fallen. The New England Patriots come into 2023 as arguably the worst team in the AFC East. While the roster has some bright spots, overall, the Patriots will lose a lot of games this season. Head coach Bill Belichick should maybe consider punting this season for a good draft position, but it’s hard to trust him to draft good players recently. So what is there to look forward to will New England this season? Who will be able to carve themselves out a roster spot? Let’s take a look.
Three Position Battles To Watch
Quarterback: Mac Jones vs Bailey Zappe
Mac Jones is in serious danger of losing his starting job. Despite being named to the Pro Bowl his rookie season (that doesn’t mean much anymore) Jones has underperformed during his short tenure in the NFL. Zappe isn’t much better but will be in a position to challenge Jones for the starting role. The New England Patriots probably aren’t going anywhere with either QB, but stranger things have happened in the NFL.
Kicker: Nick Folk vs Chad Ryland
A kicker training camp battle? Yes, please! Folk has done a good job for New England over the past five seasons, but he is getting closer to 40 years old. It’s also hard to imagine the Patriots would go out and draft Ryland in the fourth round (!) and not plan on using him in some compacity. Perhaps Folk is able to hold onto his job for part of the season, but Ryland will step in at some point.
Running Back: Ty Montgomery vs Pierre Strong
Rhamondre Stevenson was great for the New England Patriots last season, but he had a high usage rate and wore down as the season came to a close. New England has always relied on multiple backs to get the job done and needs to figure out who RB2 is. Montogmery missed much of last season with an injury and Strong hasn’t quite developed yet. The job is wide open and whoever wins will play a vital role in the Patriots offense.
Ready To Break Out: Tyquan Thornton
Tyquan Thornton is a second-round pick from last season who had solid stats in little action. While Kendrick Borne probably starts as one of the top three receivers on the team, Thornton has the ability to push into that third spot and have significant value.
Rookie Watch: Christian Gonzalez
I took a shot at Belichick’s drafting abilities earlier, but trading down and picking up Gonzalez was an amazing move. Gonzalez is one of the best overall rookies of this draft and can step in and have an impact immediately in this defense.
Fantasy Sleeper: Mike Gesicki
The New England Patriots snatched Mike Gesicki away from Miami in the offseason. Gesicki is more of a receiving tight end rather than the modern tight end that can block and catch (he’s basically just a receiver). He never found a home in Mike Mcdaniel’s offense, but New England runs a lot of duel TE sets. Gesicki will be behind Hunter Henry in the depth chart, but still has deep value given his red zone abilities.
Subscribe to Vendetta’s Twitch
Click here for more NFL content
Subscribe to Vendetta’s YouTube