The new-look Patriots offense

How New England's offense has changed this season

Updated: September 27, 2013, 11:24 AM ET
By Gary Horton | ESPN Insider

Brady/ThompkinsJim Rogash/Getty ImagesTom Brady and Kenbrell Thompkins have started to get on the same page.

We have been spoiled for years watching the creativity and versatility of the New England Patriots offense. Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are the best in the business at adjusting their schemes to fit the personnel they have on hand, and they are probably in the early stages of their biggest challenge yet with Tom Brady trying to bring a passing game up to speed without his top five pass-catchers from a year ago.

Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, both rookie WRs with good skill sets, are under tremendous pressure to get on the same page mentally with their QB. The first two weeks of the season were clearly frustrating for Brady, but in Week 3 we saw glimpses of things starting to come together and the young WRs actually looked as if they had a feel for what was expected.

Right now the one guy that Brady totally seems to trust is versatile WR Julian Edelman, but when Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are back and healthy, and these young guys have a little more time to improve in the system, this passing game may be as productive as ever -- even if it looks different.


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Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.