Mangini: Can't replace a guy like Hernandez

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
1:15
PM ET


Here is former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini's take on what the Patriots are losing with tight end Aaron Hernandez's ankle injury (video above):

"The Patriots' biggest problem is losing Aaron Hernandez because they use him in so many different ways. And in a lot of ways he was their second wide receiver. They would split him out wide on the same side as (Rob) Gronkowski so Tom (Brady) could get man-zone answers. Then they'd move him into the traditional tight end position, then they'd move him into the backfield. Sometimes he'd come out as a wide receiver, sometimes he'd carry the ball. It's that versatility that's really going to hurt him and the fact they can't create that same thing with any other player.

"OK, so you bring in a guy like Kellen Winslow. That's fine. But you brought in Ochocinco last year and if you don't know the system you can't operate at a high level and operate efficiently. So losing a guy like Hernandez with so much versatility, who does so many things well, to me by far is the biggest issue."

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