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Ask PFW: Cool your jets

The Jets have been wining, dining, acquiring and signing former All-Pros, Super Bowl MVPs and future Hall of Famers all offseason. And Patriots fans have noticed, while simultaneously watching their own team seemingly sleepwalk through the spring.

Hi Guys, is it me or are the Jets making power moves this offseason? The Pats are in desperate need of an additional WR and the Jets get Holmes, a Super Bowl MVP for a 4th or 5th round pick! Are the Jets the team to beat in the AFC East?
Graham Smith

While you can question the type of guys the Jets have added this spring, Holmes being the latest, it's hard to argue with the talent they've added to what was already an AFC title game roster. I do think, at this point, based on last season's finish and the offseason's moves that you have to insert the Jets at the preseason favorite in the AFC East. Could that change? Sure. Would I be surprised to see New York fail to live up to the hype? Not at all. But right now, it is what it is.
Andy Hart

I see Rex, bringing big names to New York, & what about the Pats? I haven't heard of big names yet other then our Vince Wilfork but what about bringing in Jason Taylor? Why not try to ask what the Redskins will take for Albert Haynesworth? I have a feeling the Pats will not make it far this upcoming season. The Jets & the Dolphins are bringing in big names. & what have we done? Pretty much nothing. We have spoke about bringing names here but have we signed them? No. I'm sure you guys could get Shawne Merriman to play for us. Jerod Mayo & Vince cannot do this alone we need to help them we need to stack our defense up. Like we did in '07. Why not get Seymour back or even Vrabel? Yes they require more $$$ but we can get negotiate a settlement between them & have them play for us. Our defense would have been the best if we kept Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel. If we still had them plus bringing in Shawn Merriman. Wow we would be one badass defense along with Vince on the line but we don't have big names anymore we need names. And all I see I. The Jets & Dolphins stacking there team up, Buffalo is not really doing anything. But we should start doing something before Buffalo begins doing something.
Marshall Elim

Is this considered stream of consciousness? Take a breath. I'm not as infatuated with big names or getting the band back together as you are, Marshall. (By the way, do they call you Elim Shady?) But the overall point of your email has been received. The Jets seem to be getting better while the Patriots seem to be keeping together a team that wasn't good enough last season. Anytime you're starting to compare yourself to Buffalo, or as a fan worry about what the Bills are doing, something doesn't feel right. Thank the Lord it's only April. I agree with eh Patriots past statements (I think it was Scott Pioli that used to say it) that putting together a roster is not about collecting talent (in you're case, that would be the big names) but rather about building a team. Sure the team has added solid locker room guys like David Patten, Alge Crumpler and Damione Lewis this offseason, but I'm not sure that's added much overall talent to the roster or taken a huge stride toward building a championship team.
Andy Hart

Recently you said that BB will never permit the Jets divisional dominance. Yes, the Jets already have the makings of a SB champ, or worse - a dynasty. In some ways they are replicating Patriots success, even with a new stadium. If Jets sweep us, or humiliate us once, how would we all feel? I can tell you one thing, I am not going to be there to kiss their rings.
Ben Sokoloff

Not sure what the first line references, but I never said anything of the such. Probably something one of our less astute writers (read: Erik) wrote. Belichick clearly has not love for New York, but I don't think he ultimately focused on what the Jets do. I think he worries about making his own team the best it can be, because along the way in doing that he'll take care of Gang Green. I'll be honest, I've never kissed a ring in my life and don't plan on ever doing it. (Unless the ring was on skinny Jessica Simpson's finger. Then I'd kiss it and anything else she asked me to kiss. It's funny, Simpson is now like Elvis in that you need to specify whether you're talking about the skinny Simpson or the fatter version. Andy likey the skinny version a lot.) Anyway, I don't see much comparison with how the Jets are being built and what New England did back in the day. Belichick built his team through a slew of "K-mart" free agents and drafting. New York has drafted well, but has also gone the route of a lot of big-name trades and free agents. The Jets have a lot of different voices, names and egos on the roster at this point. But the end of the story will almost solely be decided by Mark Sanchez. If he can make plays and not screw things up, they could have the makings of a very good team for this year and years to come. If he throws more interceptions than touchdowns, they may not be able to overcome it regardless of how good they are in other areas. Brady was the centerpiece of the New England dynasty. If New York has any chance of building an annual championship contender, Sanchez will be at the center of that as well.
Andy Hart

Being that New York got Holmes for a 5th rounder, can we assume that the Pats could have traded a 4th or 5th rounder for Holmes to line up opposite moss? Moss, Welker/Edelman, Holmes, Tate, and potentially a stud rookie TE with Brady? Why not?
Dan B.

I think it is safe to say that had the Patriots offered Pittsburgh a better package (the Steelers reportedly shopped him to all 32 teams) the Steelers would have taken it. I don't see any reason why they'd want a lesser deal to ship him to New York over a better deal from New England. So I guess it is also safe to assume, or even surmise, that the Patriots didn't have any interest in trading for Holmes. Why? Don't know. Maybe it was the pending four-game suspension. Maybe it was his seeming immaturity and off-field issues. Personally, I think on the field he's a very good player who could have helped this team. I'd rather have traded for him than, as so many Ask PFW's have suggested, gone after Brandon Marshall. But alas, it seems neither is going to happen.
Andy Hart

To all the people who are afraid of the Jets and all their new talent, why should we be scared of a team full of thugs? This team is going to implode by Week 10. Rex may be a good coach but there is way too much ego on this team for it to work. Talk about locker room troubles waiting to happen.
Jae DeLuca

Your theory is a legit possibility. But is that really what we're going with as the reason the Patriots will prevail? Just flat out holding out hope that New York will fail, rather than focusing on New England's ability to defeat them?
Andy Hart

With everything the Jets are doing in the offseason I think Bill better start making some moves. I think Bill should try to get Taylor instead of letting New York. If they get Taylor our team is going to have a problem with that team. We need at least 2 good signings just to match their talent level. Who do you think the Pats could sign to bring in that type of talent?
Dan O'Neil

It doesn't seem that Taylor really wants to go to New York, but at this point in his career is he really the major difference maker in the division? I think he's a good play now, but no longer a season-changer. I'm also not sure it's as simple the Patriots need to sign two guys to keep pace/catch up to the Jets. Right now I see a Patriots team that has a lot more questions/what-ifs at wide receiver, tight end, outside linebacker, defensive end and elsewhere. The season is a long ways away, but I think there is a lot of work to do.
Andy Hart

Guys I'm getting scared about the Jets. They are having a very active offseason. They have added big names like Cromartie, Tomlinson, and now Holmes. Maybe even Jason Taylor. They have an outstanding defense and are getting much stronger on offense. Meanwhile, I'm all for locking up Wilfork and Bodden, BUT WE ARE MAKING MOVES TO STAY THE SAME. The same team that lost in the first round of the playoffs. I pray that we see some big moves come draft day. Agree or Disagree?
Nate D.

Agree, for the most part. The only thing I have issue with in your assessment of the Jets is whether the offense will be much stronger. Thomas Jones was a big part of the team's regular season offense and carried the ground game. Shonn Greene took over in the postseason and is the future of the ground game. But if he's not ready to handle the load as well as Thomas has over the last few years, and if Sanchez doesn't make a nice jump, then New York's offense could take a step back. The defense is still going to be legit. The Patriots have a lot of picks and a lot of options on draft weekend. The crop of prospects is strong. I'm looking forward to what New England ends up with and how it will give the team a boost of young talent. The Patriots do have quite a bit riding on this draft, as is the case with most NFL teams.
Andy Hart

On paper, two of the only question marks for the Jets may be Mark Sanchez and wide receiver. Give "Sanchise" a little more experience and he may be playing in the Super Bowl; add a free agent such as Randy Moss next season and the Jets may win the Super Bowl. Do the writers at PFW feel that the moves the Jets continue to make this offseason will change Belichick's strategy when it comes to signing free agents in the future?
Chris Adamec

No. I think Belichick lives and dies by his own thoughts, philosophies and goals. I don't think he'll change anything specifically based on what any one team is doing. He really does what he thinks is best for his football team. Sometimes he does the right thing. Sometimes he does the wrong thing. But at the time he always thinks it's right and it's always based on his 30-plus years of NFL experience. Not, on what some other team did in the last couple months. The picture is much bigger than that. As it should be.
Andy Hart

Hey guys, is there ANY chance that Sergio Kindle falls to 22? Is he a kind of guy that we should be looking at? Is he worth moving up a couple spots in the draft to get him?
Mark Vaccher

Yes. Yes. Yes. Everyone seems to agree – from a lowlife like Andy Hart to a respected former Perfect Patriot named Tedy Bruschi -- that Kindle is the perfect fit for the Patriots. And some think he'll fall into their lap at 22. Others, though, think he could be gone some 10 picks higher. That's what makes the draft, and the lead in to it, so interesting. If he's there at 22, I think they take him. If he's there a few picks earlier and think he'll be gone by 22, I think they'll very much consider moving up. If he's gone early, they'll move on. At least that's how I view it.
Andy Hart

Hey just wanted to get you're input on the possibility of drafting Jonathan Dwyer (RB GT)in the second round. The more I watch this guy, the more I think he would be a great steal in the second round giving us a tough-through-the-tackles back, who can hit the home run. Thanks.
Josh Mears

I don't care for Dwyer. I think he's slow and benefited from the system he played in to get a lot of his yards. There are also concerns about his weight. In my opinion he's destined to be an NFL short-yardage backup, not an elite featured back. But that's Mears-ly my opinion, so we'll agree to disagree.
Andy Hart

Compare the free agents Jets brought over the past two years and what they give up for them with us. I say, they have outperformed us hands down. Do you think we are missing S. Piolli?
Stan C.

I'm sure the Patriots are missing Pioli on some level. He had a great, long, successful relationship working with Belichick. But I don't think he's the specific reason for any successes or failures in the personnel department. I always thought this was Belichick's show, for better or worse, and believe that today. He makes all the final decisions. Might he have more information, more internal debate if Pioli still worked in Foxborough? Maybe. But they are still Belichick's decisions to make.
Andy Hart

The Patriots need a pass rusher very badly, but I would also like to see them get Jarred Odrick. He's been a very good DT in college and has Seymour-ish athleticism. Can you see a scenario where NE packages a few second rounders and gets two first round picks, one for a pass rusher like Kindle or Graham, and use their current pick for Odrick?Sam Frankel

When it comes to Belichick and Ernie Adams I can envision just about any scenario you can think up. It's all on the table. The Patriots have the picks to do anything they want. I've said all along that I'd most like to see the team address the need at outside linebacker, but if they can get Kindle and Odrick I'm all for it. He has very good potential for the hole at defensive end. Not sure he'll be Seymour-good, but he's probably better than the current limited options at the spot. Kindle and Odrick might make a nice pairing on the end of the line for years to come.
Andy Hart

Wow. Wow. Sorry to bring this up but We have to be the only team in the NFL "too Cheap" to have a offensive and defensive coordinator Is this a way to save money ???? Belichick can't do it all You guys don't even think this is an Issue ??/ Why?
Anthony Costa

Welcome to the mailbag and overall forum, Anthony, because clearly you're not familiar with our work at PFW. We've looked into this issue a lot over the last year-plus. To be clear, though, I'm not sure it's a money thing. In fact, I don't think it is. I think it's about how Belichick likes to build a staff with internal promotion of guys who've proven themselves, as well as with his trust level with assistants. He's not going to bring in coordinators who aren't going to run his systems. I, too, am curious and cautious about the team's potential performance with no coordinators. I just don't think the reason behind it is trying to save money. I think it's Belichick doing what he thinks is right based on how he wants his team built. Remember, he did the same thing with his staff for portions of his first run as a head coach with the Browns in the early 1990s.
Andy Hart

What round do you think C.J. Spiller would have to drop to for us to trade up? Do you think there's a chance that we draft Ryan Mathews or Jahvid Best? Also, if we don't pick up any RBs in the fist 2 rounds who are some guys to watch out for in the later rounds?Joel Muflam

I'm not sure the Patriots would trade up to get Spiller. If he fell to 22, now you'd have an interesting decision on your hands. But I don't see any way that happens. I do think there is a chance the team could take a back in the second round, especially if Mathews somehow fell to the team's picks in that round. A few names to keep an eye on at running back in the middle or later rounds would be Tennessee's Montario Hardesty (his stock is really rising), LSU's Charles Scott, Buffalo's James Starks, Fresno State's Lonyae Miller, Alabama's Roy Upchurch, Memphis' Curtis Steele or TCU's Joseph Turner.
Andy Hart

This is clearly speculation, but what if Dez Bryant slipped to the #22 spot in the draft? I think this would be an interesting situation. There is no doubt that the Pats need a pass rusher, and they could get a potentially great one at 22, but what if they decided to go the offensive route, and draft Bryant. This player is without question gifted, some have even compared him to Moss. Now if he was drafted by the Pats I think he would benefit greatly from moss's tutelage and solidify our receiver position. This is just a thought though. What is your take on Bryant?
Kevin Renick

Bryant is talented. But I don't see him as a Moss clone, as some have portrayed thanks to his immaturity and potential draft day slide. I don't think he has great hands or he is as smooth and naturally gifted as Moss is. Regardless, his recent reported visit to Gillette Stadium makes me think the Patriots are preparing for the exact scenario you are talking about. They clearly want to be prepared to make an educated decision if he's there at 22 to either take him as a great value pick or pass on him as an immature future bust. I tend to lean toward the latter. But given the team's need at the spot, his impressive talents and production two years ago, it's a tough decision to have to make. That's why Belichick makes the big bucks.
Andy Hart

Do I trust BB? That he is the most meticulous coach/manager in the NFL - yes. That given talent he can win SB - yes. Otherwise - no.Ted Zubarov

I don't know what this really means or how to respond to it. Kind of a new spin, or caveat, on In Bill We Trust.
Andy Hart

For the 5th round pick, the enemy (Jets) got SB MVP Homes, while we got Lewis. I can go down the line to show how Jets have done a better job in taking chances on quality free agents since Rex got there. You may say let's wait and see how it all works for them, but when we do find out, we may not like the results.
Bob R.

I agree with everything in this email. The Jets have done a better job adding talent over the last year-plus. The Jets went deeper into last postseason. And, in my mind, the Jets are the favorites to win the AFC East at this point. But time will tell if their brazen style and questionable character guys can stay focused on the end goal. Just as time will tell if the Patriots can build better chemistry, develop young players and fix the problems that plagued the team last year. I know this, New England still has the major edge at quarterback. Many times in the NFL that makes all the difference in the world.
Andy Hart

I love what you guys do at PFW. It makes being a fan that much more interesting. posted an interesting stat recently. Of the 5 NFL quarterbacks who threw 550 passes to their wide receivers last year, Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo completed between 49.0 and 56.3% of those passes. Tom Brady completed 70.1%. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Is it because of the quality of wide receivers in New England? Is it because of a lack of other quality targets in New England? Is Tom Brady just that good? Or is it something else? I would like to hear your thoughts and hopefully my question will not get ridiculed too badly.
Wayne Scott
Gilroy, Calif.

It's something else, Wayne. It's the fact that article is not worth the computer screen you viewed it on as the numbers used for Brady are totally wrong. (I'm not attacking the author, by the way, because as many PFW readers can attest I've made plenty of mistakes in my day.) It says that Brady completed 403 passes to his wide receivers last year, which is funny, because Tom completed a total of just 371 passes for the season. As I total it, Brady completed 273 passes to his wide receivers. I don't have the exact number of times he attempted throws to his wideouts at my fingertips, but the bottom line is that the article you referenced is just flat-out wrong. Sorry.
Andy Hart

Should the Pats trade a guy like Brandon Tate to the Denver Broncos for a first-round pick? How about Adalius Thomas and Brandon Tate? If so, who do you think the Patriots take with their 2 first-round picks?
Menachem Bronstein

If the Patriots can get a first-round pick for Tate, they should make the deal in a nano-instant. If they can get a first-round pick for Tate and Thomas, they should do it in an instant. I think the team could use the two picks to add an edge force -- Sergio Kindle – and an offensive playmaker. With the extra first rounder, which if from Denver is the No. 11 overall selection, New England would have the ability to do just about anything it wanted in the first round. Too bad none of this will ever happen!
Andy Hart

Hey guys, please insert your favorite suck-up line here. [EDIT: OK. "Andy Hart is the smartest, most knowledgeable, best-looking media personality currently covering the Patriots. It's amazing he hasn't been scooped up by ESPN to bring his immense understanding of the game to the national stage. He deserves a huge raise from PFW!"] Now onto the question, I'm getting a sinking feeling that the Patriots are going to trade their first-round pick for one next year. This is something they have done before. Plus there is probably some reason why the Seymour trade was for next year's draft, maybe the possible decrease in pay for rookies. Could you let me know of the chances of this happening? Thanks.
Jared Jordan

At this point, considering the supposed talent of this year's draft, I think it's a bit less likely that the Patriots trade out of the first-round of this draft. But I wouldn't be all that surprised, either. I just think that the current list of team needs, and current talent available, would likely keep the team from making such a move. I almost think it's more likely the team would trade out of the first round next week to add more second-round picks. Most likely, in my mind, is that the team will make a first-round selection next Thursday night.
Andy Hart

I would like to add my 2 cents worth concerning Ryan Matthews. This guy is going to be a Star in the NFL, I've watched him for 3 years and he is as explosive as anyone I've seen since Adrian Peterson. If you pass on him you will regret it a few years from now!!
David Dunn

When I read this, I figured it was from David Dunn the high-power NFL agent. I assumed he was pimping his own client. Then I checked my files and Mathews is a client of Frank Bauer. (Not Jack, who's TV career is limping to a disappointing g finish at this point.) So I guess this is a different David Dunn than the one that represents many stars, including Matt Cassel. And I guess this praise is, therefore, unbiased. I'll take it into consideration. I really like Mathews as he's really grown on me this spring. I think he has a chance to be a very good NFL player. But I'm not sure he'll ever be a star. As for regrets, New England will only have regrets if the guy it chooses is the wrong guy. Say the Patriots take Sergio Kindle and he becomes a multi-time All-Pro. In that case I don't think they'll care how good Mathews is in the NFL. It's more about the guy they get than the guy they don't. Hit a homerun with your pick and you don't care if other teams also hit homeruns. But swing and miss and then you really start noticing players you missed on. Thanks for the scouting report, double-D, which by the way is one of the greatest phrases in the English language. The image it represents is purely Devine.
Andy Hart

Didn't we get Oakland's 1st round pick this year for Richard Seymour?? I've been looking at the draft list with no mention of our getting Oakland's 1st round pick. Which is number 8 overall.
Dave Naha

Naha, Dave, we got ya! That trade was for the Raiders pick in next year's, 2011 NFL Draft.
Andy Hart

I've given Maroney a lot of grief over the years, but I just recently looked at his stats and they're really not bad. Fumbling really is a non-issue. He's not a fumbler, he just did at inopportune times this year. And in seasons that he played more than 13 games he has averaged 4.5, 4.3, 3.9 ypc. He's no beast, but I don't think he's a bust either. Why are we as fans so harsh on him? Is it the 1st rd tag? If he was taken 12 picks later, would we love him? Doesn't it make sense to keep him around, even re-sign him, since he's young and has a low price tag?
Pascal Rawls-Philippe

If Maroney is not a fumbler, does that mean that Tiger Woods is not really an adulterer but rather a married guy who got caught at inopportune times with a few girlfriends? Just wondering. As is so often the case, Maroney is nowhere near as bad as some of his critics make him out to be. But he's nowhere near as good as he was expected to be. And, he's gotten worse over the years rather than better. His big plays have diminished and his fumbles have increased. Fans had high hopes when New England drafted him, and when he flashed big-time ability as a rookie. But he's never put it together and fans have grown increasingly frustrated with him as he's danced his way behind the line. Let's be clear, as a first-round pick he's a bust. He was supposed to be a 1,200-plus yard, Pro Bowl talent. He's not. Sure it makes sense to keep him around for this year as a younger part of the backfield committee. Anything beyond that, no thanks. Sooner or later the team is going to have to find a back of the future, a role that Maroney once filled. Hopefully this time it finds the right guy to develop.
Andy Hart

With the Combine and pro days we as fans get to see a lot of the physical aspects of these draft prospects but we get very little information about what goes on with player interviews and meetings. My question is how much can a good interview or meeting improve draft stock? For example a player like Jerry Hughes from TCU has a lot of smarts and leadership qualities that aren't necessarily apparent on game tape. Could someone like Hughes stock rise with a good interview? Also the opposite; how much could a bad interview drop a players stock?
Chris Carlin

I think a bad interview can hurt a player's stock much more than a good one can help it. On some level a player must have the measurables and the game tape to show he's worthy of a draft pick. A great interview can show a team that he's the type of guy who's going to maximize that scouting report. On the flip side a bad one can prove to a team that a guy is never going to do what it takes and make the right decisions to be a true professional and maximize his raw talents. Hughes, for example, was ultra productive and a good interview will help teams feel he's a safe bet to work to continue that at the pro level. A guy like Dez Bryant on the other hand has done everything he could this offseason to jeopardize his draft stock, none of it having anything to do with his ability to make plays on the football field.
Andy Hart

With everyone anticipating that the Pats will cut Adalius Thomas, why wouldn't Belichick try to mend things with this player and bring out some of the skill set that precluded bringing him to NE in the first place? Although his productivity has declined, he should have some value over someone else new who doesn't know the system, players, coaches, etc.. Thomas' problems with Belichick came to a head with the snow storm day dismissal, an act that many felt Belichick was wrong about anyway. Can't our genius of a coach get this player motivated enough to be productive next year? Thanks for keeping it real for Pats Nation.
Franklin Wallace

The longer Thomas remains on the New England roster, the more this would seem to become a possibility. I never thought it would happen, and still don't. I think Thomas wants out and pretty much already packed in his career as a Patriot. Maybe Belichick can turn that around, but I have my doubts. I also think there is more at play here than just the day Thomas was sent home in the snow. He never lived up to his supposed potential for New England. Maybe it's a bad system fit. Maybe he was overrated. Maybe he hasn't been used well. I don't know. Maybe it's all that. I'm surprised he's still on the roster right now. I'll be stunned if he's on it to open the season. But I've been wrong before. Many, many times.
Andy Hart

Lots of defense (LB/DL) and TE in round one mocks - but no offensive line? Pouncey strikes me as a perfect masher, tough, big, just what Pats need to reinvigorate rushing game.B. Soule

I think Pouncey will have a very good NFL career as either a guard or center. He's going to be a first-round pick. With all the needs the Patriots have for immediate playmakers on both sides of the ball at this point, why would you want to take a lineman? New England returns its entire starting line and all its key backups. It re-signed Stephen Neal. Dan Koppen and Logan Mankins are Pro Bowl talents. If the team is trying to win now, why would it take a guy who might be an opening day backup offensive lineman? Or, do you think Mankins or Koppen could be on the way out of town? I've heard the Pouncey first-round theory bounced around quite a bit, and I think it's a terrible idea.
Andy Hart

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