Lombardi: Patriots aren’t giving up on season

The Patriots trade of Randy Moss has brought about an interesting array of reaction, but there’s one question that continues to surface on Wednesday.

Have the Patriots given up on the 2010 season?

While some may view the trade in apocalyptic terms for the Patriots in 2010, there are voices who disagree with that fate for their immediate future.

“If you believe [the Patriots are giving up on this season], you don’t understand how talented Brandon Tate is,” Michael Lombardi told NFL Network. “Taylor Price, who they drafted in the third round last year, is a young player who they have high hopes for. Julian Edelman hasn’t been able to get on the field for them  because there isn’t a lot of room for him in the two tight-end sets. This opens up the door also for him.

“New England is a very talented offensive team, with or without Moss. They’ll certainly miss his vertical presence, but they have enough skill players around Tom Brady to make this work effectively. They’re not by any means giving up on this season.”

Lombardi believes the key element in the trade is Tate. As the Patriots offense has evolved this season, relying on two tight end sets with Alge Crumpler and rookies Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski more than ever before, the offensive dynamic changed. Mike Mayock believes that evolution of the offense and the team’s two young tight ends is a significant consideration in the trade.

“No one skill position player is going to replace Moss,” Mayock said during his live chat. “However, what they have is a group of dynamic players that collectively will play very well. Tate is one of the fastest players in the league and has the potential to lift the top off of zone coverages and provide operating room underneath. Welker and Edelman are tremendous slot receivers, and I believe the addition of the two young TEs — Hernandez and Gronkowski — has changed the dynamic of the Patriots offense. Moss’ big-play ability will be missed, but the Patriots have signficant play-makers.”

Are the Patriots better without Moss? Maybe not. But the talk of the Patriots headed toward doom, at least for some, is premature.

— Frank Tadych

Follow The NFL Network on Twitter @nflnetwork.

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