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Kraft preaches patience on receiving corps

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  March 22, 2010 03:02 PM

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for brandontate.JPGRobert Kraft knows the Patriots roster like New England fans know the team's roster, and he sees what you see: a dearth of targets for Tom Brady to throw to.

Randy Moss is on the team, apparently for his final season here, and Wes Welker unlikely to be available until November at the earliest. That leaves just Julian Edelman, Sam Aiken, Brandon Tate and David Patten at the position -- none of whom inspire tremendous confidence at this point.

It is a problem, but at the moment, it's a March problem. Kraft wants you to remember that there's still time to acquire the pieces to build a better receiving corps.

"I think this young man Tate could surprise some people," Kraft said of last year's third-round pick, who began last season on the PUP list finishing up his rehab from a torn ACL suffered in college and played in all of two games before missing the remainder of his rookie season with another knee injury. "But there's a lot of opportunities out there -- as I explained to you, this is a different market environment. Probably there's going to be a lot of action right before training camp or right before the season starts."

Kraft asks for patience, but understand, as the Pats Fan in Chief, sometimes he struggles to heed his own advice.

"Absolutely (it is tough to be patient). You have a quarterback like Brady, you want him to have the best resources. In an ideal situation, we'll rack up more points -- if our defense is what we hope it is this year, once we get over 20, 21 points, other teams could have a tough time, so you want to facilitate that," he said.

As Kraft mentioned, receivers could hit the market if they are cut as the season draws near, and there is also the option of trying to acquire one of the top-flight restricted free agent wideouts, though San Diego tendered both Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson at the highest level, requiring first- and third-round draft picks as compensation were either to sign an offer sheet. Arizona tendered Steve Breaston at the first-round level, as Denver did with Brandon Marshall. New Orleans' Lance Moore was tendered at the second-round level; Moore had 79 catches in 2008, but struggled with injuries and slipped on the depth chart last year with the Saints.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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