Possible change at No. 2 receiver?

August, 17, 2013
8/17/13
9:00
AM ET
A look at the snaps played by Patriots offensive skill-position players on the first two series of the game against the Buccaneers, when Tom Brady was on the field (penalties and 2-point conversion included):

QB Tom Brady – 25 of 25
WR Kenbrell Thompkins – 21 of 25
WR Danny Amendola – 20 of 25
TE Jake Ballard – 17 of 25
RB Stevan Ridley – 11 of 25
FB James Develin – 10 of 25
TE Zach Sudfeld – 10 of 25
WR Josh Boyce – 9 of 25
RB Shane Vereen – 8 of 25
RB LeGarrette Blount – 6 of 25
TE Michael Hoomanawanui – 5 of 25
WR Julian Edelman – 4 of 25
RB Brandon Bolden – 2 of 25
WR Aaron Dobson – 2 of 25

ANALYSIS: The most noticeable number is Dobson, the second-round pick out of Marshall, having such little on-field time with Brady. We’ve heard all offseason and preseason about the importance of Brady being on the field with the rookie receivers, and one conclusion that could be drawn is that Thompkins had a better week of practice and that’s why he took the majority of snaps over Dobson. It's hard to imagine that anything would be permanent at this point, but Dobson had been previously viewed as the team's likely No. 2 receiver. This alters the picture a bit. ... At tight end, Ballard – who ended up playing 19 total snaps – increased his workload from last week (12). He looks like he might be the team’s best inline blocker at the position. ... Pretty even split from the running backs, as the Patriots ran two plays with two running backs on the field (Vereen and Bolden). ... Develin's presence was a surprise, with Bill Belichick saying the team wanted to take a closer look at him.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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