by Jeb Kush
The Patriots added to their already stacked free agent class by recently acquiring Bills running back Mike Gillislee. The move adds Gillislee to a very talented and crowded running back room. The Patriots now have speedster Deion Lewis, Super Bowl hero James White, special teams-ace Brandon Bolden, and jack-of-all-trades back Rex Burkhead. How Gillislee fits into the equation will be interesting to see, considering Gillislee actually led the NFL in yards per carry last season with an absolutely ridiculous average of 5.7 YPC. Backing up starter Lesean McCoy for the past few years, Gillislee has shown a lot of talent with his relatively small sample size. Gillislee is an absolute speedster that also has the ability to pound the ball between the tackles when necessary, even lowing his shoulder into linebacker’s chests on occasion. His acceleration is nothing short of absurd (seriously watch his highlights if you don’t believe me), and he also has incredible vision and agility which is really all you need to be successful in the Patriot’s system as a running back. Gillislee is also only 26 years old, and has had nothing but shitty coaches, players, and organizations around him so far in his career. To say his potential hasn’t been tapped is an understatement, making it very likely Gillislee will have a break-out year in New England this year. The only flaw I see in Gillislee’s game is the same one that forced former Patriot’s running back Stevan Ridley out of the NFL: Gillislee carries the ball in his right arm nearly every time he gets a touch. Even when running a stretch or pitch to his left sideline he carries the ball in his right arm constantly. This flaw may seem small on the surface, but if Gillislee develops into a full-time starting running back then it will eventually be exposed and taken advantage of, much like in the case of fumble-prone Ridley.
The Gillislee signing adds to another reason why the Patriots are the NFL’s most hated team, as well as next year’s Super Bowl favorite once again. It doesn’t even seem fair at this point. The Patriots just won the Super Bowl and somehow improved at every weak position
without losing strong positions. This offseason, among the Patriots many other moves, they stole the best corner on the market in Stephon Gilmore from their fellow AFC East Bills, traded for a top 10 receiver in the league in Brandin Cooks, resigned one of the best linebackers in the league in Donta Hightower, signed pass-rusher Kony Ealy, and somehow put together probably the best running back room in the league. Will this NFL season even be fun for other teams? Stay tuned.