Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rivera: Patriots getting 'a helluva blocker' in LaFell


One of the most underrated traits of an NFL football player at a given position is a wide receiver's ability to run block.

Apparently, the New England Patriots will be getting some serious help in that regard in newly acquired receiver Brandon LaFell. At least according to LaFell's former coach, Carolina Panthers' Ron Rivera.

". . . his consistency as a football player you’re gonna love," Rivera said recently, via "And he’s a helluva blocker. He is one of the better blocking wide receivers I have been around in my 26 years in the NFL."

While Pro Football Focus had LaFell rated in the about-average department of that category last year compared to the rest of the NFL's receivers (T-35), we'll take Rivera's word for it.

The Panthers coach then went on to laud LaFell's game IQ and versatility -- a combination that should fit the Patriots' offense quite well.

"Very smart football player. He’ll learn every one of those positions and he’ll play any of those positions those guys need him to," he said. "He can play outside, inside, slot, the X, the Z, the F the W and he can block."

LaFell hauled in 49 receptions for 627 yards and five touchdowns last season.

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