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Monday, April 29, 2013
Younger look for Patriots at WR

By Mike Reiss

There is still the potential for signings, but for the most part, the foundation of the Patriots’ 90-player roster is set. We’ll be breaking that down in the coming days, but before we get to that, one thing stood out from this perspective.

In a matter of months, the Patriots went from one of the oldest receiving corps in the NFL to one of the youngest.

2012 (top 6 from December into playoffs)
Kamar Aiken  -- 23
Deion Branch -- 33
Julian Edelman -- 26
Brandon Lloyd -- 31
Donte’ Stallworth-- 32
Wes Welker – 31
Average age: 29.3

2013 (top 6 as of April 29)
Danny Amendola – 27
Aaron Dobson – turns 22 on July 23
Josh Boyce -- turns 22 on May 6
Julian Edelman – 26
Donald Jones -- 25
Michael Jenkins -- 30
Average age: 25.3

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: The numbers can be manipulated slightly but any way it’s sliced, this is the position that has undergone the biggest transition on the roster from an age perspective. It’s similar to what the Patriots did at running back from 2010 to 2011. Whenever young players are being integrated into the mix, it highlights the importance of coaching. Receivers coach Chad O’Shea will be part an integral part of coaching up the younger group, and Bill Belichick noted that he will be involved to some degree, as will offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and assistant Brian Daboll.