Nobody needs to be reminded about what an unholy, unnatural disaster the Patriots wide receiving corps was last year. Not for lack of trying. They invested as much in the position as they had in years. N'Keal Harry was the first, first round wideout they'd drafted since Terry Glenn in 1996, but he missed half the year. Antonio Brown wasted no time going Full Antonio Brown and got released. Josh Gordon fell back under the spell of the Samwise Ganjah. It was like one of those season of SNL where most of the best cast members have gone off to do movies and passion projects on cable, with Julian Edelman as Keenan Thompson, having to carry the show doing Steve Harvey week after week after week.
So they invested even further in the position, sending a 2020 second rounder to Atlanta for Mohamed Sanu. A tough, reliable, 16-game receiver who's good for 60+ receptions and 800ish yards a season. Only to have him get hurt too, in just his third game in a Patriots uniform. Sanu only missed one week, when he was expected to sit out a couple of games or more. And he was clearly not himself when he came back, with just 13 catches over the final six games, including the playoff loss to Tennessee where he caught just one ball on five targets. I believe with all my heart he's closer to the guy who caught 10 balls on 14 targets in his second game in New England. And the fact he had high ankle surgery in March would go a long way toward backing me up on that.
Considering Belichick and Nick Caserio decided to invest no more capital into the wideout spot and just bring back virtually the same depth chart, they're going to need Sanu back to his old Cincy/Atlanta self. And watching him catch balls over houses and tight spirals fired from what I'm pretty sure is the ED-209 from "RoboCop" is a welcome sight indeed. He looks great. To the extent he was moving he seemed to have no leg issues. And this is not the first intense, sort of offbeat training he's done along these lines.
(Note: I don't know why the video doesn't appear but click the link.)It's just the first we've seen Sanu do since he got his walking boot off in the middle of May. All we can do is hope this is the start of him returning to peak form and becoming the WR2 or WR3 this franchise and their new, second-year quarterback need. Because we can't have another cluster like we had last year.