James Harrison's sturdy presence on edge should show up versus Titans

From ESPN - January 13, 2018

Every Saturday, exploring New England Patriots hot topics in the form of a mailbag.

@MikeReiss Thoughts on Harrison this weekend? With two extra weeks in system, a strong running game and mobile quarterback...what kind of impact could he have?

Luke Trombley (@ltrombley24) January 11, 2018

Luke, this is something Tedy Bruschi touched on this week, so let's start with his thoughts on James Harrison: "This is the type of game you bring him in for: to set the edge in the running game and then bull-rushing [Marcus] Mariota. So it's [getting] that offensive tackle back in his pocket. Those two things, I know are being stressed, and James Harrison can deliver those things. He will make a difference." With such a focus on slowing down the Tennessee Titans' running game, I'd expect a sturdier front six or front seven, and Harrison immediately became one of the sturdiest options the Patriots have at the end of the line of scrimmage. I expect to see a lot of him Saturday night. On Thursday, he described his acclimation into the system after signing on Dec. 26 this way: "Its a little bit better, but nowhere where it needs to be."

I hope you will play "Project the Inactives" before the game!

Russ O'Melia (@russomelia) January 13, 2018

With almost everyone being ready to go I am sure the inactive list will have a few key names on it any predictions @MikeReiss

Alex Greenwood (@A_Greenwood_) January 11, 2018

Russ and Alex, with the Patriots potentially having almost everyone available to them health-wise, projecting the inactives for this game is a challenge. Running back Rex Burkhead strongly hinted that he would play, so the only player I believe would be ruled out due to injury is running back Mike Gillislee (knee). So I will start with Gillislee and then add OL Cole Croston, DT Ricky Jean Francois, LB David Harris, DE Geneo Grissom (a tough call based on his core special-teams value), WR Kenny Britt and WR Phillip Dorsett.

Hi Mike.Any sense for what Hogan's snap count will be? Wondering if he's still hurt and gutting it out or healthy enough for a full workload.Thanks.

adam boyajy (@aboyajy) January 12, 2018

Adam, when Chris Hogan (shoulder) returned for that one game Dec. 11 against the Miami Dolphins, he played 55 of 61 offensive snaps. That reflects how he is viewed highly by the coaching staff and that once he is cleared, he will be thrown right back into the top mix. He is traditionally in good condition. Meanwhile, Dorsett had dressed for that game against the Dolphins but did not play. So I'd expect to see a lot of Hogan against the Titans, with only a small percentage of snaps missed.


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