INSIDERS: TE Depth Increases Competition
By Scout.com Staff
While not all of the Patriots' offensive weapons have been on display this summer, quarterback Tom Brady doesn't figure to have any shortage of options when he lines up under center. One of the deepest and most competitive positions on the roster this summer is tight end where New England has four capable bodies vying for a roster spot and playing time.
Recent first round picks Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson are locks to make the final roster, and because the Patriots are a two-tight end heavy offense, both Christian Fauria and Jed Weaver could be on as well. If the Patriots only keep three tight ends, either Weaver or Fauria will be out.
"Those are numbers things and you can't worry about that stuff," Weaver said. "That's upper management and Bill (Belichick's) decision. If you worry about that, it will affect your play and I've really been concentrating on having a good time and trying to enjoy myself."
Both Weaver and Fauria have had made a case to stay with decent training camps. While both lack the athleticism and speed that Graham and Watson provide, both feel they are well-rounded tight ends that can contribute to the club.
"I think my strengths are being a tough, physical player and being able to find open spots in zones and get open against man coverage," Weaver said. "You try to show that when you're on the field. You may not get a pass thrown to you, but they see on film if you were open and won your route."
"My actions should speak for themselves," Fauria rationed. You get more out of showing someone what you can do then telling them. There are a lot of tight ends so your opportunities are rare. You have to make the most of them when they come. I just go out and do my job and try not to screw up. I want to be happy about my performance.
"I'd like to think there is room for all of us," Fauria continued. "I have a lot of respect for Jed. He's hard working, always gives his all, he's prepared and he doesn't complain. I'd want him if I was looking for a guy."
Watson's injury history might prompt New England to keep an extra guy at the position as well. He missed all of last season with a knee injury and the first preseason game this year with an undisclosed ailment.
"I think we have a lot of talent at the position," Weaver said. "The guys we have can do different things and obviously will create problems for defenses. We're all good friends and everybody is pulling for each other. You can't worry about things you don't control. When you get a rep, you do what you can and hope you get more."
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