The bulletin board material for the New England Patriots keeps coming in, and the latest comes from Skip Bayless.
The co-host of FOX Sports 1 show "Undisputed" was recently reacting to the Patriots reportedly agreeing to sign quarterback Cam Newton when he took a shot at New England's rookie tight ends Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi. Keene went to Virginia Tech and Asiasi attended UCLA. Both were selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
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"They took (two tight ends) in the third round and you can't name them because nobody knew them in college football," Bayless said. "Are they diamonds in the rough? ... So one of those guys is going to just rise and shine and become the next Rob Gronkowski or even the next Greg Olsen? Ah, stop it. No, not going to happen."
There are many issues with Bayless' comments, but one that immediately comes to mind is the fact neither Keene nor Asiasi need to become the next Gronkowski or Olsen to make a positive impact on the Patriots offense.
Keene had a simple, measured response on Twitter when alerted to Bayless' criticism.
Keep it coming... https://t.co/39rXOGA4jU— Dalton Keene (@DaltonKeene18) June 30, 2020
Sure, the Patriots didn't get much offensive production from their tight ends last season. There's no denying that, but to knock Keene and Asiasi before they have ever played a game is pretty foolish. Both showed time and time again in college that they could be a factor in the passing game as a receiver and in the run game as a blocker -- the kind of versatility that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick values a lot.
Bayless joins a long list of experts, former players and talk/debate show hosts who've been critical of the Patriots over the offseason -- one that has seen several important players including quarterback Tom Brady depart New England. In fact, before Newton joined the Patriots, oddsmakers had the Buffalo Bills winning the AFC East.
You might not find a more motivated team in pro football than the Patriots this season. No team thrives off of bulletin board material more than New England, and Belichick has so much content to work with entering Week 1 of the regular season.