Acting as almost a sixth offensive linemen but still technically playing in the “Gronk role”, Daniel Fells was an unsung hero for the New England Patriots in the 49-19 drubbing of the New York Jets on Thanksgiving. He was a huge reason for the Patriots success in running the ball towards the strong side of the field, and he helped pave the way for another solid rushing day for Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Ridley averaged 4.6 yards per attempt and was just three yards away from notching 100.
His efforts did not go unnoticed by the coaching staff, with offensive coordinator dropping the most effusive praise on Fells.
“Daniel Fells really did a nice job of carrying out his role in the game plan,” McDaniels said. “We asked a lot of different things of Daniel last night, asked him to do some different things in the running game, asked him to pass protect at times, and he made a good catch there for a good chunk there in the third quarter I believe.”
I still don’t understand why Fells was a healthy scratch last game against the Indianapolis Colts, because he is one of the best blocking TEs in the league and is an underrated pass-catcher. He brings more to the table than Visanthe Shiancoe as well, so it wasn’t surprising to see Fells out there more than Shiancoe yesterday. In fact, it was definitely a good thing and credit needs to be given to the coaching staff for that decision.
Bill Belichick also sent some praise Fells’s way, “Daniel did a good job for us. I thought that he showed up on a number of plays in the running game and in the passing game. I thought he did a good job.”
He more than “showed up”. Fells was terrific and is a great run blocker and pass blocker as well, with the latter quality being a bit tougher to find among TEs in the league.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.