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Tom Brady has thrown touchdown passes to many receivers during his 18 NFL seasons. He'll likely be adding new names to the list.
The Patriots receiving corps took a hit this offseason: the trade of Brandin Cooks to the Rams; the free-agency departure of Danny Amendola to Miami; and Julian Edelman's suspension for the first four games for a drug-policy violation.
That leaves New England's top returning wide receiver as Chris Hogan Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys , who had 34 catches for 439 yards and five touchdowns in 2017.
It means there will be an opportunity for others. The candidates are a mix of familiar names of newcomers.
Hogan earned Brady's trust the past two seasons and will certainly be a major part of the passing offense, along with All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. But it will also be a chance for the likes of Phillip Dorsett, Jordan Matthews and Kenny Britt to become factors in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' system.
Dorsett said going through his first offseason program in New England has been big help.
"I'm just light years past where I was last year when it came to just knowing the playbook (and) knowing what to do," said Dorsett, a 2015 first-round pick by the Colts, who was traded to New England for Jacoby Brissett just before the start of last season. "I feel comfortable at every position."
And Dorsett seems to be a guy the coaching staff is looking to play multiple positions. He was lined up both in the slot and on the outside during spring drills.
The wild card in the discussion is third-year receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who spent all of 2017 on injured reserve with a knee injury. He missed the opening day of training camp Thursday. He was on the field Friday, though he joined the team only for warmups before heading to a separate field for rehabbing players.
Coach Bill Belichick declined to say whether Mitchell might be on the trade block this preseason Royce Freeman Color Rush Jersey , but his presence is a welcome sign for a player who showed lots of potential as a rookie in 2016.
Mitchell appeared in 14 games that season, hauling in 32 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns. He also had six catches for 70 yards in New England's Super Bowl win over Atlanta.
Matthews has a similar injury history. He was plagued by knee and ankle issues the past two seasons before being signed by the Patriots to a one-year deal in April.
Meanwhile, Britt's situation mirrors Dorsett's, with Britt having just gone through his first spring in New England after signing in December and appearing in only three games last season.
Hogan is just two years removed from being a wide-eyed newcomer to the Patriots when he arrived in 2016. Now entering his third season in New England, Hogan said he wants to be the veteran presence that players like Edelman and Amendola were for him.
He likes the group and expects there to be tough decisions for the coaches to make by the end of camp.
"The competition brings out the best in people," Hogan said. "It's great that we have such a great room and a lot of guys that want to compete. ... When we come out here, we're not going through the motions."
NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t currently occupying a playoff spot, but manager Dave Roberts spoke confidently Wednesday about playing in the postseason. New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway Youth Sebastian Janikowski Jersey , on the other hand, is beginning to sound like a skipper who knows his team will be long forgotten by October.
Two teams headed in opposite directions will square off for the first time this season Friday night when the Mets host the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22).
Both teams are coming off series-deciding losses. The Mets suffered their third straight defeat Thursday when they fell to the host Colorado Rockies 6-4 in the finale of a four-game set. The visiting Dodgers were off Thursday after losing to the Chicago Cubs 4-0 in the last game of a three-game series Wednesday afternoon.
The series loss was the first in 10 series for the Dodgers (38-35), who are 21-9 since dropping two of three to the Miami Marlins from May 15 to May 17. The hot streak vaulted them from fourth place in the National League West to second place during the surge and gained 5 1/2 games on the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks, who hold a 2 1/2 game lead heading into Friday’s action.
In addition, Los Angeles has moved two games behind the Washington Nationals in the race for the second NL wild card.
The Dodgers did all this despite getting little to no contributions from stars such as Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill Logan Cooke Jersey Elite , all of whom have been on the disabled list for the last five weeks, and Cody Bellinger, who has struggled most of the season. No wonder Roberts sounded so confident after Wednesday’s loss.
“We’re going to be somewhere in October,” Roberts told reporters. “I can’t speak to the opponent, but we’re going to be somewhere.”
It will take a miracle for the Mets (31-41) to be anywhere but a golf course when the playoffs begin. New York, which has lost 40 of 60 since an 11-1 start, is 11 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East and 8 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.
The Mets’ slide has been marked by extreme highs and lows on both sides of the ball. They have scored 42 runs in the last six games, a span in which the pitching staff posted a 5.14 ERA.
New York scored just 42 runs in 17 games from May 28 through June 15 Cheap Kyzir White Jersey , during which its pitchers posted a 4.13 ERA.
“There’s no magic pill or magic wand to make everything sync up at the same time,” Callaway told reporters Thursday afternoon. “I think that’s been the tale of our season so far. Even when we’re not winning games, we have a part of us that’s going good. We just have trouble getting (everything) to sync up at the same time so we can get on a good run again.”
Wheeler didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start on Sunday, when he gave up two runs in six innings as the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3. Wood won the last time he took the mound last Saturday when he allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Wheeler lost his lone career start against the Dodgers on June 19, 2017, when he surrendered seven runs in two innings as the Mets fell 10-6. Wood is 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.