Has any past or present Patriot ever won the Punt, pass and kick competition ? Enquiring minds want to know!
While I couldn't find any specific results, I do know that former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe took part in the competition as a youngster. I am not sure of the exact age group Bledsoe competed in or if he actually won. Bledsoe is among the list of NFL stars that have taken part in the competition that includes Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Vinny Testaverde and others.
I just have one question about Roman Phifer who by the way I think performs very well day in and day out and is a very underrated tackler which most people know by now so in fact he may not be so underrated after all. Anyways after the Pats won in 2001 and Roman was thinking of hanging em up has his production declined in any way since? I did read last week that you expect him to be a starter for this season but he is getting up there in terms of age and I was just wondering if he has lost a step in the past year or so and if any younger guy are close to winning over his position in the near future?
I do not see anyone ready to step in and take on Phifer's role with the Patriots at this time. I truly believe that the 36-year-old Phifer is one of the more underrated aging athletes, not just in the NFL but in all of professional sports. After 13 seasons the veteran linebacker is still a playmaking presence on one of the best defenses in the NFL. On top of that Phifer made the switch from the outside to the inside a year ago and didn't miss a beat. Combined with the fact that he is one of the nicest guys in the locker room, I really don't think that Phifer gets the praise, respect and credit that he deserves. Sooner or later I would expect him to slow down, but I also wouldn't bet against him continuing to shine.
I really can't believe you posted some of those ridiculous questions over mine. "hats the difference between mini-camp and training camp?" You've gotta be kidding me. Anyways you guys are still great. My question is should Romeo Crennel and/or Charlie Weis leave after next season to fill head coaching vacancies, who are the prime candidates to replace them?
First of all, "hats the difference.."? I didn't know they made hats for mini camp. I certainly didn't get mine. As for the coaching situation, that's a debate that we have had around here a number of times. Defensively we all seem to have concluded that if Crennel leaves there is a pretty good chance that Eric Mangini would get a long look to jump up to coordinator. But offensively, I am not sure there is a candidate currently on the staff that is ready to ascend to offensive coordinator. Dante Scarnecchia certainly has the experience and resume, but I am not sure he would be looking to make that move at this point in his career. Another candidate would probably be Jeff Davidson, but whether he is ready to run an offense and call the plays, I am just not sure. I have the feeling that if Charlie leaves, and by all accounts that is a likely possibility following this season, the team would look to fill the spot from outside the organization. Bill Belichick has been around the NFL for almost 30 years and has crossed paths with a lot of coaches in that time so I wouldn't be surprised if there is a guy down that long line of connections who might get a look if the offensive coordinator job does in fact open up.
How is David Patten doing? I know he ended his season with a knee injury early last year. And I was wondering if you think he could land his starting job back this season. Deion Branch, Bethel Johnson, and David Givens all seem to have improved and in my opinion perform better. Your thoughts?
I personally thought that Patten was one of the standout performers in last month's mini camp. While I know there is still a long way to go before the banging begins and the season kicks off it looks like the veteran wide receiver is going to make it very difficult for the team to even consider cutting him. He caught everything that was thrown his way and didn't appear to be struggling at all with the knee. While he did wear a red, non-contact jersey, he moved well and his speed looked good. The battle at wide receiver should be an interesting one, but at this point it looks like a healthy Patten is ready for the challenge.
What's up PFW? I am still having a hard time understanding the "2 Gap" and how it works. I have seen the answers here and other websites though none seemed to help me fully. Maybe it is just one of those things that will evade me. :-) You do not have to post this if you can't. I understand how busy you must be, and with some or a lot of fans begging you to post theirs. Just do me one thing please! Keep up the great work--I depend upon reading your PFW Mag and this board every week. One more thing. As for the "elementary" questions people have, even though some I know already, there are lots at times that even when I thought I knew all of it, there will be something in the read that "rings a bell", so I am glad you post even these. I guess I may be the minority on this but I know that I do not know everything and I crave learning. Thanks you guys!!!
Wrong state or I would be asking you if you had tickets to the game. Anyway, in it's most basic form the 2 Gap assigns each of the players in the defensive front two gaps (although gap assignments between lineman and linebackers do overlap) for which they are responsible. In order to cover both gaps the players must be able to take on blockers at the point of attack and be able to move laterally as needed. The defenders can't pick a side on a blocker or shoot a gap because they would then be vacating their other gap responsibility. For that reason the 2 Gap puts a premium on defensive technique and hand placement so that the defenders don't allow blockers to get to their bodies and take them out of the play. Essentially 2 Gap is a read and react defense that forces players to be under control at the snap and react to what the offense does, making plays and controlling their gap responsibilities without creating holes in other areas of the front.
How does Tom Brady's shoulder look in mini camp and is he throwing the long ball any better this year opposed to other years????
Brady is throwing the ball very well. At last month's mini camp he appeared very sharp and made all the throws. I have not been one to criticize Brady's long ball in recent years, but based on the fact the he had offseason surgery and that it is still early I think Brady looked exceptionally strong and accurate.
Are we there yet?
Not even close. And if you keep asking I will turn this mailbag around and ruin your precious little field trip. Thanks for the email though, you allowed me to simultaneously reference one of my favorite movies and to aggravate all the readers who hate it when we post these sort of questions/answers.
Hey...you guys do a great job and I enjoy reading the Q&A's every week. But I have a question about a few players contracts. I was wondering how long these players contracts are....Ty Warren, Jarvis Green, and Eugene Wilson. Also I would like to know how you see the starting DL looks and who do you think will be the starting nose and the other DE opposite of Richard Seymour, because I believe that Ty Warren might have a little edge over Green. Thanks and keep up the good work.
In terms of the contracts, Warren is signed through 2008, Green through 2004 (he will then become a restricted free agent) and Wilson through 2007. As for the defensive line there is still a lot that could happen, but I would expect that by the end of the season the hope is that Seymour, Warren and top pick Vince Wilfork would be the starters. If that happens I would also expect the team to do a lot of rotating within the group, with guys like Keith Traylor, Green, Rodney Bailey and others all seeing a solid amount of playing time in various situations. But as guys like Green and Warren can attest, the transition to the NFL for defensive linemen can take a little time. So a regular lineup of Seymour, Traylor and Green would also not be out of the question. Either way I think that the defensive line is a strong, young group that should be the backbone of the New England defense for years to come.
This is a very obvious question, but its not.Who would you guys consider the Patriots rivals at this point of the time? In a historical opinion, I would say the JETS or Miami [yeah they are in our division], and Buffalo ; but what about outside the AFC East? and if the Colts never left our division, would they probably be considered our greatest rival today?
That's an interesting question Ryan, and I think the answer sort of depends on what you view as a rivalry. Thanks in part to the parity in the NFL there can be dramatic changes in the competitive nature of matchups between teams from one season to the next. I would say within the AFC East that the Dolphins are the best rivalry right now thanks in part to the highly competitive, high-stakes games the franchises have played in recent years. But I think there is still plenty of fan hatred for the Jets that could be stoked up at any time and the presence of Drew Bledsoe and Lawyer Milloy in Buffalo could make any game a heated affair. Outside the division I would say the Patriots rivals are the Colts, Titans, Steelers, Raiders and Broncos. Depending on the season, the status in the standings of the teams and the time of the year the game is played I think that any of those opponents make for a marquee matchup with spirited feelings both on and off the field.
Hey there! I was wondering why the only extended David Givens contract for one year? Also do you think after this year they would keep him. I think that he was become a great player and is younger then Troy so I think it would be better if they kept him. What do you guys think?
Sarah I have been on the Givens bandwagon all along. I think he has developed into the best all around wide receiver on the team and has a very solid NFL future ahead of him. After just two seasons in the league he is an exclusive rights free agent. He will likely play under the one-year tender this season, although the sides have talked about working on a longer extension. As a potential restricted free agent next spring chances are high that he will be back for at least the 2005 season as well. So don't worry Sarah you (and the young woman we have here at PFW working in our graphic design department who has a huge crush on Givens) won't have to worry about the developing young star leaving New England for at least a couple of years.
As sports writers, do you believe that there ought to be some kind of accountability for journalists who are dead wrong in their analysis of the game or a specific team? You guys do a good job of incorporating some levity with the facts. It works especially well within the context of the PFW forum. Whether it is on the air or in print, is it the fine line between entertainment and reporting the facts or is it the writer's intent to provide some kind of incendiary opinion? Or is it both? I'm not looking to single out any one individual, but it appears to be occurring on a more consistent basis. An instance that comes to mind is one in which Ron Borges (of the Globe) called the Pats pick of Richard Seymour over David Terrell in the 2001 draft a terrible mistake and one that might end up costing Bill Belichick his job. Was he trying to get a rise out of his readers or was he just dead wrong? I'm not singling out Borges and I understand football is just a game, but if I screwed up as much as some of these journalists do, I'd be living in a van down by the river eating government cheese.
Are you telling me that next time I am wrong I should be fined, fired or beaten? While I agree with you that there needs to be some sort of accountability in the sports media, I am not sure exactly how that comes about other than on an individual basis. I have no problem admitting I was wrong (as I did for example in the pages of PFW last season after originally writing on Oct. 1 that a banged up Patriots team was "destined for early draft preparation and not the postseason." Oops!) We all make mistakes, just watch a weather report once in a while or read the Farmer's Almanac. I also think there is a difference in the sports media between the written word and radio/television appearances. I know that I sometimes say things on air that I would never put in writing. Whether this is fair or not, I don't know. I just believe there is a certain finality and degree of accountability that must be maintained in print that sometimes gets blurred in the electronic media. In the end though it is up to each individual reporter and outlet to police itself, admit mistakes and strive to bring the most accurate information and analysis possible to the public because -- as you have proven – fans don't forget.
I am a big Arkansas Razorback football fan. I wanted to know how Cedric Cobbs is doing thus far as a New England Patriot. I think he has the talent to replace Corey Dillon has the starting running back by mid-season. What do you think?
BB from MM, CC clearly has potential. There is no question that Cobbs is a talented athlete when he carries the ball. The big adjustment for the fourth-round pick will be in the passing game. Not only must he learn all the pass routes and show he can be a contributor as a receiver, but more importantly Cobbs must show he is capable of pass protection and keeping Tom Brady safe from blitzing linebackers. That learning process in the passing game is well under way and it will be up to Cobbs to bury himself in his playbook and show he is mentally capable of doing all that is necessary to become a solid all-around running back at the professional level. I really don't think physical talent will stand between Cobbs and NFL success, but rather it will be more about his mental adjustment to the requirements of the pro game. Cobbs must also remain healthy after missing most of the latest mini camp with an undisclosed injury. Can he be the back of the future? Yes. Will he be the back of the future? Ask me again in five months.
Hi guys, just curious as to what the 53-17-1 on the Super Bowl ring you have on your website represents?
As we have said a number of times in answering this question, one of the more popular questions of late, the numbers stand for the Patriots 53 players, 17 coaches and one owner.
I know that quite a few members of the current Patriots (especially of the defense) have been around for both Super Bowl victories, never mind just one. My question is...do any current Patriots have Super Bowl rings from other teams? None are coming to mind....Terrell Buckley maybe?
As far as I can tell the only two players on the Patriots roster who own Super Bowl wins from previous career stops are Keith Traylor and Marquise Walker. Traylor contributed to Broncos wins in both Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII, while Walker was on injured reserve for Tampa when the team won Super Bowl XXXVII.
Is it absolutely true that all patriots games will be on SIRIUS radio?As an out of market fan who has followed the Pats since '73, I have been seriously frustrated trying to get the broadcasts over the net. Even NFL.com was unable to deliver.
Big Daddy Fed
That's a big 10-4 Big Daddy. No longer will you be seriously frustrated -- you will be SIRIUSly entertained.
Hey I don't know how is it working but I asked 2 questions in the past month who were never been answered....I'm sure you are pretty busy to answer to others peoples but I think my question isn't stupid as some questions in pfw: who is calling the offensive plays: Mr. Weis or Mr. Belichick and how does he transfer it to Tom Brady? by a earplug in the Brady's Helmet or Mr. Weis doing signs to Tom Brady? Thank you very much for the answers! Have a great season. Pat's fan since 10 years and I'm 22. Not bad hein?
Quebec City, Quebec
As the offensive coordinator for the Patriots, Weis calls the plays, eh. While Belichick obviously has say in any game plan and any critical play call, Weis is the man running the offense on a play-to-play basis, eh. The plays are sent in from Weis' headset to a speaker in Brady's helmet, eh. The team does have a number/signal system to use in case of emergency, loud crowds or any other scenario that might make the audio system ineffective, eh. Not bad, eh?
Andy Hart, eh
This may seem like a bit of a conspiracy theory but doesn't it look like the ESPY awards are set up to split the vote in certain areas of the country this year(i.e. Best Game of the Year: Sox/Yankees, Saugus Little League World Series, and the Super Bowl. Not to mention Best Team: Patriots, UConn Men's B-Ball, UConn Women's B-Ball)? Is this divide and conquer?
Fort Collins, Colo.
Roger you are living, breathing, emailing proof that Patriots fans are never happy. You may live in Colorado, but you would fit right in here in New England. I can only hope you are kidding, but knowing the track record of many fans that email us, I fear you are all too serious. I mean that is a conspiracy theory worthy of one of the world's greatest conspiracy theorists. No, I am not talking about Oliver Stone. I am of course referring to PFW Editor-in-Chief Fred Kirsch.
My question is about Kevin Faulk. Now that the Patriots got Dillon, who will likely be a big upgrade in almost all areas over A. Smith, what role do you see Faulk playing in next year? Will he still be the third down back despite Dillon's pass-catching abilities, or will he primarily serve as role player when Dillon needs a breather? The Patriots did give him an extension, but will he serve the same role he did last year or will his touches be limited?
I think that Faulk's role will be very similar to the one he has served over the past few seasons. He is a more-than-capable receiver, can spell Dillon on occasion or simply provide a bit of a change of pace. He will get his touches and he will get his catches as he has in the past. In fact I think he will have an AVIrage Faulk type season. (OK, I will admit this is a slow week for humor and that is one of the worst jokes I have ever typed in this forum. I apologize in advance.)
I think the addition of Cory Dillon will help us to go deep more often. The Packers are adept at using Ahmad Green on play action passes. Because he is such a threat, defenses have to respect the run and can't go all out after Favre. Do you feel the Patriots will be effective using Dillon in the same manner?
On paper you are right, Ed. Dillon should provide a more consistent running game in New England based on his career numbers. But career numbers won't matter on the field. The only thing that can make the play-action game more effective is an immediate rushing threat and that means Dillon must be productive from the start of the season and be a threat on a week-by-week, play-by-play basis. His resume will give the Patriots running game more respect initially, but only his 2004 production can really make the Patriots a better team on the field.
Hey guys --great job in helping those who don't live in the land of Patriots ,helping us staying informed. I just had to say what a great guy Bill Belichick is. When the Pats won, I sent everybody from Kraft, Pioli, Crennel, Weis, and players too, a thank you note. Being from the land of Giant and Jet fans I can walk taller than a Giant and I am flying higher than a Jet. Bill Belichick was the only one who wrote back and thanked me for my support.I am not knocking the others because I'm sure they are busy and may not received my note but Bill sent me a nice letter. I have it framed in my Long Island office to show all the lovely New Jersey fans.
Floral Park, N.Y.
Brian, that is a great story. I am glad you enjoy the note. I am sure it really eats at the Jets fans around you as they ponder what could have been had Belichick taken over the Jets franchise few years back. Too bad they will never know.
After Brady's second yr in which he led the team to the Super Bowl, many articles were written about how he had this veteran presence during training camp. It's easy to write all these analysis and praise after he becomes successful. Is there anyway to accurately gauge a young qb's potential before he becomes a full-time starter (Rohan Davey)?
Pardon me, but after parting the Red Sea shouldn't you be able tell me if Rohan Davey is going to be good? I mean that should be small potatoes. By all accounts Davey is a natural leader with the ability to rally teammates and take charge on the field. That was his reputation at LSU and that is what he did this spring in Europe. Whether he can translate those leadership skills and intangibles, along with a strong throwing arm and solid physical skills, into NFL success will be a mystery until he gets his chance. But he can take another solid step in that direction with strong play in what will probably be significant action this preseason.
Hey guys, great column. I'm wondering what you guys think of the depth at safety, a weakness exposed by Jake Delhomme and the Panthers in the Super Bowl. While not taking anything away from the Panthers, the Pats' defense stopped most teams from hitting down the field passes with that much regularity. While it's unusual to lose two safeties in a game, the two draft picks seemed to me to answer the question? What do you think?
There is no question that Belichick wanted to improve the depth of the secondary this offseason. With the drafting of Guss Scott, Dexter Reid and Christian Morton and the signings of Otis Smith, Jeff Burris and Terrell Buckley the Patriots have plenty of bodies to fight for roster spots in the defensive backfield this August. With Eugene Wilson still recovering from his Super Bowl injury Scott got plenty of reps alongside Rodney Harrison during mini camp and both Burris and Smith have experience at free safety. Even considering the age of all the players involved (with a few falling on each end of the spectrum) there would appear to be more competition and depth in the secondary than there was a few months ago or even last August.
I have the most important question you will receive this entire summer:Do you, or anyone you know, have the ability and willingness to start the NFL season immediately and salve our 2004 Red Sox wounds as soon as possible? LOVE AND MERCY! PLEASE START PLAYING, PATRIOTS!Sincerely,Sad Red Sox fan
Training camp is just around the corner, but is it really that bad right now? The baseball season is only half over. It is a marathon, not a sprint and a lot could happen with the Red Sox between now and the postseason/offseason. I know this is hard for a Sox fan to swallow, believe me I know, but have some faith. Don't start saying, 'Wait 'til next year just yet.'
Who do you think is the better coach, Bill Parcells, or Bill Belichick? Base your answer on facts and not on bias. Please tell me why?
I think that depends on what you are looking for. I think Parcells is a master motivator with talent for getting the most out of each individual player and creating a winning atmosphere instantly. I think that Belichick is a much better Xs and Os coach and a better guy to hire to build an organization from top to bottom that is as prepared as any in football. Clearly both Bills have proven themselves with multiple Super Bowl success stories. But if you forced me to choose, right now, which guy I would want to coach my team I would go with Bill Belichick. And I am assuming that nearly every person in New England and throughout Patriots Nation would agree with me, although Bill Parcells' contributions to the franchise should not be forgotten.
I have read that presently only 51 players salaries count towards the salary cap. Obviously all players count at the beginning of the season but does the number of players salaries counting against the cap change from the beginning of the league year in March to the June 1 cuts to camp? Are the Patriots under the cap for all the players currently under contract?
The Patriots are under the cap (reportedly by about $1.4 million) for the top 51 salaries currently under contract, as are all teams in the NFL. The rules do not change from March to June. The rule of 51 applies until the start of the season at which time all players, including those on IR, the practice squad, etc., count toward the cap.
Ex-Patriots nose tackle Chad Eaton reportedly told Bill Belichick (when asking about a job for this season)that Ty Warren is a "terrible" player. Where did that come from, and what are the conflicting schools of thought, if any, about Warren' potential and current development?
Jim that's a Taff one. (I know, another lame name joke.) I think Warren had a solid rookie season when he was given the chance to get on the field and contribute. There is no question there is a clear growing period for all rookies, especially defensive linemen. I thought Warren filled in well for Ted Washington at times a year ago and played well at times in the postseason. He seems to be even more comfortable and confident this spring, which at this point I can only take as a good sign. As Belichick has said in the past this team will be looking for the next Richard Seymour type player for a long time, but Warren has already shown me things that make me believe he can be a contributor on this defense both now and well into the future.
You were saying that a fullback isn't really a very productive position, and asked how many fullbacks' names just come to mind immediately. I'd say that KC without Tony Richardson, the 49ers without Fred Beasley and Dallas without Richie Anderson would have been much weaker teams last year.A really good fullback who gets the ball can pound at the middle, forcing linebackers to cheat in. If the halfback has some speed, that will put the corner closer, making big runs more frequent. Used to be, everyone did it that way--Jim Nance with Carl Garrett, Larry Csonka with Mercury Morris, Franco Harris with Rocky Bleier, Sam Cunningham and Don Calhoun with a committee of halfbacks.Even if the fullback isn't an All-Pro type, he can be good enough to prevent keying. On the old Dallas teams, the minute people started keying Calvin Hill or Duane Thomas, Walt Garrison was shooting through the middle.
Oak Lawn, Ill.
Ken, as a big fan of good fullback play I just had to post your response email. There is never enough love for the fullback and I think it's time we change all that. Finding a guy who can run, block and catch as an NFL fullback is not an easy task. We need to show greater fan support to those guys. Long live the fullback!
Here is a question I know that you will answer. How does one subscribe to Patriots Football Weekly?Thank you from a fan lost in Panther Country.
Jay F. Smith
There are a number of different ways to order Patriots Football Weekly. You can go to Patriots.com, PFWonline.com, call 1-800-494-PATS or call circulation manager Carrol Hardy at 508-384-4381. If you call Carrol, tell her that Andy Hart gave you the number and she will be extra friendly while processing your order.
I know that there was a lot of talk last off-season about the Patriots' installation of a new 3-4 defensive scheme and during the season they used a combination of 3-4 and 4-3 fronts. I recently noticed while reading some off-season overviews, that several other teams are trying to follow suit. Oakland, San Diego, Houston, the Vikings, and the Giants all plan on using a 3-4 front to some extent next year. Do you think these teams are trying to copy the Patriots' successful scheme or is the sudden resurgence of the 3-4 alignment a function of the current personnel in the NFL? Finally do you think Keith Traylor will actually be an effective nose tackle for the Patriots? . . . I remember reading that he has no NFL experience at this position!
The NFL is the ultimate copycat league. When a team wins the Super Bowl other teams try to follow that path to success. In recent years the Patriots have made such things as second-tier free agent acquisitions, solid team play, the 3-4 defense and sound cap management fashionable. Winning breeds followers and that is probably a part of the sudden popularity of the 3-4. It is also possible that there are more capable linebackers on market now and less high-level defensive lineman. That might also lead to more 3-4 defenses. As far as Traylor goes, only time will tell. He clearly has the physical capabilities (6-2, 340) to play the spot, but playing nose tackle is as much about technique and leverage as it is about size and strength. He certainly has a lot of general playing experience to work from, even time spent with prototypical nose tackle and former Patriot Ted Washington in Chicago, but in the end the ability to play the two-gap, nose tackle position isn't the same as playing tackle in the 4-3. Traylor will be an interesting player to watch this season as he tries to fill the mammoth shoes of Washington on one of the most successful defenses in football.
When does the 2004 training camp start, when the public can go watch this summer? Last year it was the last week in July, I think. Thank you.
New England Patriots training camp 2004 is scheduled to kick off at Gillette Stadium on July 29 at 3:00 p.m. Practices are open to the public, but practice schedules are set by the football staff and can change on a daily basis. Fans are urged to call the camp hotline number at 508-549-0001 or check Patriots.com for practice schedules and potential changes before heading to practice.
I know I've asked this like a million times, but, ARE THE PATRIOTS GOING TO WEAR THE SILVER ALTERNATES AGAIN THIS UPCOMING SEASON?
The Patriots are expected to wear their silver, alternate jerseys for at least one game in 2004. While the exact game has yet to be finalized, there is a good chance it will be a contest at Gillette Stadium during the second half of the season. An FYI: the Patriots have a 2-0 record in the silver jerseys.
Often during the radio broadcasts it is said that the Patriots are going "left to right" or "right to left." Does this just indicate in which direction the offense is driving from the perspective of the radio booth (the north end zone being "left" and the south end zone being "right")? Or, does it indicate whether the ball is being spotted at the left set or the right set of hash marks? Or, is it something else entirely?
Sorry to disappoint you with a simplistic answer, but you were right. The direction is the way the team is moving in relation to the broadcaster's view from the press box. I wish I could give you a more scientific or technical answer, but I'd be on a witch-hunt for something that simply isn't there.