K Stephen Gostkowski, P Zoltan Mesko, LS Danny Aiken, PR Julian Edelman, KR Danny Woodhead.
was strong in 2011 as he returned from a torn quad to hit 28 of 33
field-goal attempts, including 10 of 13 from 40-plus yards. His strong
leg also helps out on kickoffs, where he ranked tied for fourth in the
AFC and 10th in the NFL.
Mesko made huge jumps in his second season,
finished third in the NFL in net average. He's only getting better and
becoming more of a weapon for a team whose defense can use all the help
it can get from the kicking game.
Aiken was solid as an undrafted
rookie after joining the team during the year. The versatile Edelman
has developed into a solid force on punt returns, finishing 11th in the
NFL with a 10.7-yard average that included a 72-yard touchdown in 2011.
Woodhead was the leader of a kickoff return unit that really struggled
last fall. He finished 25th in the league with a 21.9-yard average and
is the least secure of the specialists. Belichick has given a number of
different players chances on kickoffs this spring and that will
continue into the summer. Vereen, McCourty or others could be options
to replace Woodhead as the primary returner
Training Camp Preview: Special Teams
Patriots Insider Top Stories
Gronk Highlights | Every Week Six CatchNew England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had seven receptions for a career-high 162 yards and one touchdown in the Patriots 35-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6…
Patriots InsiderMonday at 8:43 PM
LOCKED ON PATRIOTS- 10/17/16Chris Simoneau of Patriots Insider discusses yesterdays game and catches you up on Patriots news, including big news regarding their upcoming opponent.
Patriots InsiderMonday at 8:14 PM
LOCKED ON PATRIOTS- 10/16/16-Who Wins Sunday?Chris Simoneau runs through the inactives for both teams, what effect they'll have, and predicts the final score. Check it out!
Patriots InsiderSunday at 9:36 AM
LOCKED ON PATRIOTS- 10/14/16Chris Simoneau discusses the 2016 Cincinnati Bengals and their offensive and defensive issues.