Saturday, May 11, 2013
Leftovers on Hawkins signing
By Mike Reiss & Mike Rodak
A few leftovers on the Patriots' signing of former Titans receiver Lavelle Hawkins:
1. Why Patriots over Texans and Giants?Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean quotes Hawkins' agent, Brian Overstreet, on why Hawkins chose the Patriots over other suitors: "He liked the situation in New England. They are going to throw the ball a lot, and they have one of the best quarterbacks of our time in Tom Brady. It's a great situation for Lavelle. They use a lot of guys, and he's going to get a shot." Hawkins had also visited the Texans, according to Wyatt, while the Giants were also interested in setting up a visit.
2. Stepping into Welker's 83. Hawkins wore No. 87 with the Titans. He'll wear Wes Welker's old No. 83 with the Patriots.
3. A good fit for hard coaching? Paul Kuharsky, who covers the AFC South for ESPN.com, had positive reviews of Hawkins from an off-the-field perspective. One question for Kuharsky, however, is how he'll adjust to the Patriots' demanding ways. "I struggle to see him blossoming under the harsher coaching I expect he'll get from Bill Belichick and his staff than he got from Jeff Fisher, Mike Munchak and their staffs," Kuharsky says. "He has some talent, but isn't reliable or confident enough. He had plenty of chances to seize a bigger role and didn't. I didn't understand the Titans' thinking in giving him that last contract at all."
4. Projecting his best on-field role. In terms of Hawkins' potential fit in the offense, Kuharsky says, "more inside than outside, but can do both." Because the Patriots ask their receivers to line up in multiple positions, it's unlikely to be one or the other for Hawkins. At 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds, Hawkins could be compared to Deion Branch (5-9, 195) in terms of fit/playing style.