Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Patriots getting creative with extra blockers

About the Author

Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

Dolphins snag former Ravens LB Ellerbe

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:59 p.m.

Broncos sign former Chargers OG Vasquez

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

Dolphins land WR Wallace

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:13 p.m.

Bills release QB Fitzpatrick

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 4:48 p.m.

Eagles release CB Asomugha

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 3:58 p.m.

Related Stories

Bills bring back McKelvin

Posted March 09, 2013 @ 1:45 p.m.

New England Patriots: 2013 team needs

Posted March 08, 2013 @ 5:58 p.m.

With Brady deal, Pats again a step ahead

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 11:38 a.m.

Patriots sign Brady to extension through 2017

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 10:42 a.m.

Report: Patriots OT Vollmer has knee scope

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 10:09 a.m.

Patriots sign former CFL DL Vega

Posted Feb. 19, 2013 @ 11:07 a.m.

Redskins sign DT Brace

Posted Feb. 14, 2013 @ 10:54 a.m.

Former QB Paulus has high praise for Bills' Marrone

Posted Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

Insider: Time is catching up to Brady

Posted Jan. 27, 2013 @ 11:46 a.m.
Posted Oct. 06, 2011 @ 7:39 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots are getting creative with their personnel when it comes to a blocking tight end. They cut two rookies in camp, Will Yeatman and Lee Smith, and also released Dan Gronkowski after two games. For now, Bill Belichick is sticking with what's on his roster and using versatile players who have some experience playing offense.

OT Nate Solder, the team's first-round pick and a converted tight end, took 18 snaps as a third tight end in the team's Week Two game against the Chargers. He has been starting at right tackle with Sebastian Vollmer out.

OT Thomas Welch played a surprise role after being called up from the practice squad, as he was in on 24 snaps in the win over the Raiders as a sixth blocker. Belichick said that Welch went to college as a tight end and even played quarterback in high school.

LB Dane Fletcher has played in 10 snaps on offense through four games as the team's blocking back near the goal line, and he was even targeted in the season opener.

The Patriots don't have a fullback, and they didn't have one last year, although TE Alge Crumpler essentially played that role, as well as Sammy Morris. The team tried out former Dolphins FB Lousaka Polite last week and have veteran TE Garrett Mills on the practice squad. Regardless of who is playing the position, we know the team will make an effort to get an extra blocker on the field, and it certailnly helped the run game get going against Oakland.

(All snap numbers courtesy of ESPN Boston)


Follow Kevin Fishbain on Twitter

Comments ()