Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels held his regular Tuesday conference call with reporters today and he was asked about increased playing time for Julian Edelman and Wes Welker not being on the field as much as he was in 2011.
Here is the Q&A:
When Julian is out on the field alongside Brandon Lloyd, with the two receivers and two tight ends, what do you like that he brings to that package?
"First of all, we played multiple different guys and we moved them around the other day, quite a little bit. We did the same thing in Tennessee. I think we have a lot of guys that can do different things and help us make some plays and move the ball. Julian is certainly one of those guys. He made quite a few plays the other day in the game and really helped us, and came up big, in a couple of those two-minute situations there. He's a guy that gives you everything he's got on every play. He's got speed and has caught the ball well for us so far this year. He's a returner and gives you an element of run-after-catch that I'd say is something he does fairly well. Not to say that we don't have other players that do it very well too, but Jules, I think, has earned the right to get out there and play. We used him a lot in the three-receiver sets opposite of Brandon, with Wes inside. And then used him a little bit in there in those two-tight end formations as well."
A lot of discussion in the media based on Wes Welker and why he isn't on the field as much as he was last year. You weren't here last year, but why are those numbers down a little bit for Wes?
"I think Wes played a big role for us the other day. I think it just goes back to the fact that we feel like we've got a number of different guys that can contribute and help our offense, and have earned the opportunities that they are getting. Wes, whatever it was, [we] threw the ball his way 12 or 13 times or somewhere in that neighborhood the other day. He made a number of big plays for us. Each game-plan ends up different. Sometimes we play guys the majority of the game. Other times, we feel like using some different rotations that may give us some advantages, whether that may be a matchup we end with in the front, or a personnel grouping that we expect the defense to give us. Or even formationally ourselves, in terms of what we try to do. I think there are a number of factors that go into our game-plan every week, but certainly, he's going to be a big part of our game-plan each week that we go in and play."