There is no doubt Buffalo’s Mitch Morse is a crucial member of the Bill’s offensive line. The team made him the highest paid center in the league, but could have buyer’s remorse if he can’t stay healthy.
The New England Patriots got suspended Josh Gordon back, and want to keep him on the field as well. New York Jets safety Brian Poole, and Miami receiver Jakeem Grant, are the main players at their position.
Every team has a player that they can’t be without. This is the next installment in a series about players that teams simply cannot afford to lose.
Gordon Return Good News for Patriots
After seeing several wide receivers on the sidelines with various injuries, New England got some good news at the position with the reinstatement of Josh Gordon. The 28-year-old had violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and was suspended last year.
Now that he is back, the team needs him more than ever. He is the deep threat that quarterback Tom Brady relies on. With Rob Gronkowski gone, Gordon could be his most trusted pass catcher.
“He’s a different specimen of athlete,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon told a local radio show. “He’s fast, he’s big, he’s strong and he has great hands. He can go up and get the ball. He can make the tough catches over the middle on critical downs. Not too many guys can cover him on a slant. Slant, comeback, fade, he’s just different. He’s a big receiver who’s fast and has great hands. I’m really excited that he’s on our team.”
Mitch Morse Center of Buffalo’s Offense
The good news is Buffalo center Mitch Morse returned to the team after getting out of concussion protocol. The bad news is it was his fourth one.
Morse is in his fifth season, his previous four were with the Kansas City Chiefs. He signed a free agent deal with the Bills in the offseason for 4 years, $44.5 million.
But there has to be concern with a player that is averaging nearly a concussion a year. He missed a game in 2015, and the playoffs, as well as five games in 2018.
The team made him the highest paid center to help bolster an offensive line, and he won’t be able to help second-year quarterback Josh Allen if he is on the sideline. He is returning to the team after his latest head trauma three weeks ago, and the team said he’ll be ready for the first week of the season.
Brian Poole Needs to Solidify Secondary
One of the weaknesses the New York Jets have is at cornerback. One of their strengths is with safety Brian Poole. Now head coach Adam Case just has to figure out how to highlight Poole’s talents, while hiding his cornerbacks’ deficiencies.
He is already starting to do that. In practices, he was seen blitzing on passing downs, and that could help force opposing quarterbacks into poor throws, and give his secondary teammates some help. Defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson told the New York Daily News Poole’s physical style is infectious.
“Brian is very instinctive,” Wilson said. “He’s a natural football player. He has a good grasp of the game. He understands concepts. He’s not a repeat-mistake offender. You tell him once and he gets it. Then, when he goes out there, he plays fast. He has a chip on his shoulder. He practices like he has something to prove.”
Miami’s Grant Big Talent in Small Package
Wide receiver Jakeem Grant had played a minimal role with the Dolphins the last three seasons, but of the 34 catches he has in that time, four have been for touchdowns.
Coach Brian Flores said the five-foot-six-inch pass catcher can expect a lot more balls to go his way.
“He’s a very talented player,” Flores said. “He’s someone who embodies a lot of the characteristics we’re looking for.”
Whoever wins the quarterback battle, be it Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Rosen, they will have a dependable receiver to throw to.