Players met with the media after day two of New England Patriots training camp. Lawrence Guy, Josh Uche, Juju Smith- Schuster, and others spoke to the media following practice. One of the others was Patriots tight end Hunter Henry.
In comments made to the media, Henry talked about how offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien had been showing the tight end room game tape of former Patriot tight end duo Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Henry then said, "Those guys are legends around here."
Without delving into the controversy surrounding Hernandez, the 2011 season, in particular, is fondly regarded as one of the greatest seasons for a tight end duo in NFL and New England Patriots history.
Gronkowski alone put up absurd numbers that season, solidifying the start of his incredible 11-year career. Combined, the two former Patriots tight ends put up 169 receptions with 2,237 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns.
The Patriots have hoped to recreate the production the pair brought to the offense in the years since but have failed to replicate their performance.
Head coach Bill Belichick raved about Henry's offseason this morning before practice and before the players spoke to the media.
He told the press how the tight ends offseason was "one of our best." Even our contributors at Musket Fire have been ecstatic about the Patriots tight end duo this upcoming season.
Last season for the Patriots, the 28-year-old tight end put up solid numbers totaling 41 catches for 509 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Fans should expect Henry to have an even better season in 2023 because, as left tackle, Trent Brown said to the media, O'Brien will bring back "traditional Patriot football."
Inferring, this makes me think we will see much more two tight end sets on offense with a heavy dose of the running game mixed with play-action.