Josh McDaniels says re-working Pats' offense without Gronk will be a "work in progress"

New England Sports Network LP

This offseason is going to be quite different for New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels.

In the wake of tight end Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, McDaniels and company must figure out a new gameplan for their offensive attack this year. Gronk was a force to be reckoned with in many phases of the Patriots’ offense, but New England now has some new weapons that they hope will fill his void.

The team chose 6-foot-2, 228-pound wide receiver N’Keal Harry in the first round of the NFL Draft this year and picked up free agents Dontrelle Inman (6-3, 205), Demaryius Thomas (6-3, 229) and Maurice Harris (6-3, 200).

“Nobody’s going to replace Rob. So it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, or who we bring in, that person is not just going to drop into the offense and say, ‘OK, I’ve got his role covered.’ That’s not going to happen,” McDaniels said. “I think what you do is take the best group you can put together, figure out what their strengths are, and try to play to them.”

“So at this point, I don’t really know. It would be unfair for me to say that, because I haven’t really seen many of them out there in our scheme, against a defense, obviously nothing in pads. So I think OTAs and training camp will be big for us this year in terms of evaluating what we have and how we should play. In May, it’s tough to say. It’s tough to project that.”

Although New England’s future offensive gameplan is up in the air for this year, McDaniels admits that this time of year is fun to see what type of players they’ve got and what kind of strengths they have to see which direction the team should go.

Another addition that the Patriots picked up was veteran Benjamin Watson. Watson has un-retired to come back to join his former team. He is assumed to be the top spot on the tight end depth chart.

Only time will tell how New England’s offense shapes up, but when McDaniels, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are in the mix, they usually figure things out just fine.

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