By Josh Kramer
The New England Patriots and the word winning have become synonymous over the past decade. It is also no secret that a key to New England’s winning formula this past season centered around their tight ends. If last year was the ”Year of the Quarterback” in the NFL, this very well could be the “Year of the Tight End.” Not only did New England have two very good tight ends, but arguably the two best in the NFL. Well yesterday, they added a third very good tight end.
Meet Jake Ballard. The third year former New York Giants tight end out of “The” Ohio State is the newest member of the defending AFC Champion Patriots. After suffering a torn ACL, the Giants placed the talented youngster on waivers. In typical New England fashion, the Patriots swooped in and nabbed the 6 foot 6 275 pound up and coming star from Springboro, Ohio.
New England is already stocked at the tight end position. They are quite possibly more loaded at the tight end position than any team has ever been in the history of the NFL. Between Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots seem to be set at tight end for the next decade plus. But the NFL is a rough and tough league. As we saw with Rob Gronkowski towards the end of the postseason, nobody is invincible. Dozens of players sustain injuries every Sunday (sadly). Hats off to New England on another great offseason move.
Now Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have a combined 207 receptions, 2,841 yards, and 28 touchdowns in 2011 at their disposal holding down the tight end position. There is a reason to smile in New England. Perhaps people should start calling Foxborough’s finest the New England Tight Ends.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.