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Monday, October 21, 2013
Snaps: Gronkowski eases into mix

By Mike Reiss

Snaps played by Patriots offensive skill-position players in Sunday’s 30-27 loss to the Jets, while analyzing what it means (as charted in the press box, small margin for error)

QB Tom Brady – 79 of 79
WR Julian Edelman – 74 of 79
WR Kenbrell Thompkins – 73 of 79
TE Rob Gronkowski – 51 of 79
RB Brandon Bolden – 49 of 79
WR Aaron Dobson – 44 of 79
TE Michael Hoomanawanui – 34 of 79
RB Stevan Ridley – 28 of 79
WR Austin Collie – 26 of 79
FB James Develin – 12 of 79
RB LeGarrette Blount -- 2 of 79
TE Matthew Mulligan – 2 of 79

(Penalties included.)

ANALYSIS: Rob Gronkowski usually is closer to playing every snap, but in his 2013 debut, his snaps were managed. The Patriots were mostly in a three-receiver package throughout the game, so when Gronkowski wasn’t in the game as the lone tight end, Michael Hoomanawanui came on in his place. The Patriots preserved Gronkowski for crunch time, as he played 22 of the final 25 snaps of the game. ... At receiver, Kenbrell Thompkins and Julian Edelman were the top two options. Rookie Aaron Dobson, who had played a season-high 80 snaps last week, settled back into a No. 3 role. ... At running back, because the Patriots opened in more of an up-tempo approach, the usage trended more toward “passing back” Brandon Bolden. It was a noticeable drop-off for LeGarrette Blount as there was less of a three-player rotation at the position.