What do the Patriots think of their own receivers?
That question is central to the Patriots’ off-season plan. It will be answered through their actions on the roster. And it could answer questions about others on the team, too. Because new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien by himself won’t be enough to elevate the Patriots offense to a level on par with the top contenders in the AFC.
O’Brien should at least restore the Patriots’ offensive operation to competency, a passable and functional part of the team. But “competent” most certainly describes the operations of the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, who have now met in the AFC Championship Game two years in a row. Big difference in Kansas City: the quarterback is on another level. Big difference in Cincy: the quarterback is also on another level right now, and so are his weapons.