Over the past 11 years the New England Patriots offense has been the most consistently stable offense in the NFL. One reason for that is the consistently strong offense line that the Patriots have had. Injuries and retirements have hurt the Patriots offensive line this offseason but Sebastian Vollmer’s return will help to alleviate that problem.
The Patriots have been dealt several blows to their offensive line this offseason. First it was the retirement of long-time starting tackle Matt Light. After spending 11 seasons protecting star quarterback Tom Brady’s blind side, the three-time Pro Bowler put an end to a successful career. The swing of possible retirements then continued with guard Brian Waters. A six-time Pro Bowler, Waters was brought in to strengthen the Patriots offense line and help protect Brady. But Waters has reportedly been pondering retirement and has yet to report to the team’s training camp.
In addition to the two retirement decisions, the Patriots have had to deal with several injuries this offseason. Two of those injuries were to starting offensive linemen Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer. Both of these linemen are expected to start for the Patriots when the season begins next month. Mankins returned to the playing field last week and now Vollmer will be returning as well.
The injuries and retirements have caused depth problems for the Patriots throughout this offseason. At one point it had gotten so bad that the Patriots had to sign free agents just to have enough linemen to practice. But with the return of Mankins and now Vollmer, the Patriots are finally back to full strength on their offensive line.
The most important player on the Patriots is Tom Brady which makes the second most important players his offensive linemen. Brady’s health is essential to the Patriots success in 2012 and a strong offensive line is essential to keeping him healthy. With the return of Sebastian Vollmer, the Patriots ever important offensive line will get significantly better.