Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where Winslow and Branch fit into Patriots' offense


Multiple media outlets reported the New England Patriots added free agent tight end Kellen Winslow Tuesday. They're also bringing back receiver Deion Branch, according to the Boston Globe.

In a questionable move, the Patriots released Branch before the season. But no harm, no foul. He's back.

New England recently, or at least temporarily, promoted receiver Julian Edelman to the detriment of Wes Welker. If Edelman is lining up across Brandon Lloyd in two-receiver sets, the Patriots probably needed a guy like Branch.

Branch will help bolster a receiving corps that, while already kind of thin, was hit with an Aaron Hernandez injury last Sunday. Hernandez will be out at least "a few" weeks, according to ESPN.

That's also where Winslow comes in.

Winslow, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks prior to the season, will help the Patriots reestablish their two-tight-end set, as he'll take the field opposite Rob Gronkowski, given Winslow is actually healthy and prepared enough to be worth the playing time.

The ninth-year tight end, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, spent the last three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he caught 12 touchdown passes. However, his two scores last year was his lowest touchdown total since his rookie season in 2004.

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