Final '11 offensive snap counts

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
6:00
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A look at the final snap counts for offensive skill-position players (minus quarterbacks) in the 2011 Patriots season, while analyzing what it means (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

TE Rob Gronkowski -- 94.6%
WR Wes Welker -- 89.2%
TE Aaron Hernandez -- 77.1%
WR Deion Branch -- 76.0%
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 34.4%
RB Danny Woodhead -- 33.0%
WR Chad Ochocinco -- 26.3%
RB Stevan Ridley -- 14.0%
WR Julian Edelman -- 13.3%
TE Nate Solder -- 11.1%
WR Tiquan Underwood -- 7.2%
RB Kevin Faulk -- 6.5%
TE Dan Gronkowski -- 4.1%
WR Matthew Slater -- 3.3%
TE Thomas Welch -- 2.7%
RB Shane Vereen -- 1.9%
FB Lousaka Polite -- 1.3%
WR Taylor Price -- 1.3%
FB Dane Fletcher -- 1.0%
FB Donald Thomas -- 0.8%
TE Matt Light -- 0.3%
FB Ryan Wendell -- 0.3%
FB Dan Connolly -- 0.1%
TE Sebastian Vollmer -- 0.1%

ANALYSIS: Three skill-position players (non-quarterbacks) registered snaps in all 19 games -- TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Wes Welker and RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. ... Gronkowski's playing time spiked from 74.7% last season to 94.6% in 2011, highlighting how he took an impressive step in his second season. ... Welker went from 70.7% to 89.2%. ... TE Aaron Hernandez spiked from 48.0% to 77.1%, highlighting his growth in the offense, as well as the Patriots playing the majority of their snaps with two or more tight ends on the field. ... WR Chad Ochocinco, at 26.3% and producing 16 receptions, earned $6 million between signing bonus and base salary. Not good value for the team. ... At the other end of the spectrum, WR Deion Branch played 76% and had 59 receptions, while earning a $2.2 million base salary. Over the last two seasons, Branch played 1,544 snaps and totaled 112 receptions; he was well worth the fourth-round draft choice surrendered to the Seahawks. ... Green-Ellis' snaps were down from 41.8% to 34.4%, while RB Danny Woodhead went from 38.9% to 33.0%. ... WR Julian Edelman's snaps were also down -- from 17.2% to 13.3%. ... The Patriots used an offensive lineman as an eligible receiver/tight end on 192 snaps (14.3%).

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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