|Patriots part ways with kick returner/wide receiver Brandon Tate||09.03.11 at 4:15 pm ET|
A day full of intriguing personnel moves got even more interesting when the Patriots reportedly made the move to release wide receiver Brandon Tate, according to Pro Football Talk.
The 23-year-old Tate, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, was a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2009, and did emerge as something of a deep threat and valued special teamer (he returned a pair of kicks for touchdowns last year, one 103 yards and another 97 yards). However, he never really appeared secure as a wide receiver, and struggled this preseason — he was sidelined for much of camp, and certainly didn’t appear to be the same player who was one of the best kick returners in the league over the first half of the season.
Going forward, the Patriots have tried several different options at kick returner, a position they have struggled with since Ellis Hobbs was traded to Philadelphia prior to the start of the 2009 season. Julian Edelman and Darius Butler remain possibilities at that spot — both of them saw time there over the course of the preseason. It was a topic that Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed on a Friday conference call with reporters.
“We have a number of guys that have done it on this team, so I’m sure it will be somebody from that group,” Belichick said on Friday. “We just have to figure out how it all fits together in terms of our game day roster and how we want to break those responsibilities up — for not only who can do it, but how to divide the responsibilities up for the game so that we give everybody, hopefully, a good role and try not to overload any one individual with too much stuff.”
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