Not only are the fans amped up for the regular season, but New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft also sounds ready for a big year ahead. He said a multitude of things to the Boston Herald, including a very optimistic quote about veteran right guard Brian Waters.
“I’ve learned, I don’t sit in judgment of anyone until I find myself walking in their shoes. I don’t know what’s going on in his private life, what the different concerns are,” Kraft said. “Surely, we would have liked to have had him. I’m still not giving up hope that maybe he still wants to come back. But, you know, it’s a rigorous, strenuous . . . he came in last year right before the start of the season and performed beautifully. We’ll see what happens.”
The first two sentences from Kraft are definitely sentences frustrated Patriots fans should keep in mind when thinking of the Waters situation. We just don’t know how things are going. Waters could have handled this better, but it’s tough to contemplating playing for a team that is extremely far way from his family in Dallas. It would be nice for him to decide sooner, but I highly doubt it’s that easy to choose between family and another year of football.
I like that Kraft is optimistic with regards to Waters returning this season, because it makes me more optimistic. In any case, he didn’t restructure a deal with the Pats and things look bleaker than they did two weeks ago. But still, it’s starting to feel like Waters could rejoin the team later on in the year.
Having Waters on the Patriots would be great, as we would be getting one of the best veteran offensive linemen in the league and a guy who can still keep a pocket perfectly clean at the age of 35. Waters is still a good run blocker too, but the Pats do have the versatile Dan Connolly, who is solid as a run blocker and pass blocker despite not being somebody who will blow you away with his ability.
Connolly would be better off shifting inside at center with Ryan Wendell being the next utility backup at guard and center, but the situation with the interior of the offensive line is fine in New England. The only problem is the depth at the tackle position, which is a problem we are witnessing already with Sebastian Vollmer’s status today being up in the air.
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