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Bill O’Brien: ‘I don’t really agree with’ fact that Patriots don’t have a deep threat in passing game

11.08.11 at 1:28 pm ET
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Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’€™Brien said he doesn’€™t really agree with the notion that they don’€™t have a deep threat in the passing game this season.

‘€œI don’€™t really agree with that,’€ O’€™Brien said when asked about it during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. ‘€œI think we have guys that can stretch the field. We have guys that are good vertical receivers and some that do a little bit of both. … I don’€™t necessarily agree with that. I just think, again, we have do a better job of coaching, playing, and actually showing what we’€™re capable of doing. Hopefully we do that this week.’€

To O’€™Brien’€™s point, this season the Patriots have 38 pass plays of 20 yards or more, and are on pace for 76, which would be the highest total since New England had 71 in 2005. At the same time, the Patriots are annually one of the best teams in the league when it comes to yards after the catch (they are only one of three teams to have at least two receivers in the Top 15 in YAC), and many of their big plays have come this season because of a great catch-and-run by a wide receiver, including a 73-yard connection against the Jets by Wes Welker and a 99-yarder against the Dolphins, also by Welker.

Many have pointed to second-year receiver Taylor Price as a possible deep threat for New England, and O’€™Brien even referenced him in last week’€™s conference call as someone the Patriots need to get on the field more often. Price was a late scratch from Sunday’€™s game against the Giants, and O’€™Brien said Tuesday he was ‘€œdisappointed’€ for the Ohio product.

‘€œI was disappointed for him, but you can’€™t control injuries,’€ O’€™Brien said. ‘€œAnd as it was related to that question last week, I really would like to get a lot of people involved. We play a lot of guys and each game go into it with that thought process and we take what the defense gives us. Like in this past game, Wes and Rob had a bunch of catches but hopefully in the next game, we can get some more involved. It’€™s not just one guy, it’€™s trying to get a lot of guys involved.’€

Read More: Bill O'Brien, Taylor Price, Wes Welker,
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