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Ask PFW: Filling the gaps

I was wondering if you could tell me why the NFL draft is so vastly different from the NBA draft. In the NBA players are often traded after they are selected by teams. I can't remember a player getting traded after being selected in the NFL. Is there a reason for this or is it just something that doesn't happen?Tyler Flanagan

There are some differences in the rules between the two that lead to the scenarios you're describing. In the NBA, trades are not officially allowed during the draft itself. When a trade is agreed to, teams have to go through the charade of picking a player for the other team and the deal is finalized afterward. The NFL wisely chooses to allow trades during the draft so teams can simply swap spots and pick for themselves instead of having a player technically being chosen by one team for another team. In the NFL, draft picks aren't allowed to be traded for a year.
Paul Perillo

I noticed that Rosevelt Colvin is still a free agent and he seemed to be a great asset to the Patriots last year before he got hurt. Why did the Pats let him go and why is no one picking him up? Is he still hurt? Is it career ending?Adam N.

The team never said for sure why they decided to let Colvin go, but I believe the injury was the overriding factor over the salary. Colvin was due to count $7-plus million on the cap and if he returned it would have been for less than that, but I feel Colvin's injuries were the key. Obviously the hip injury was a concern but several reports indicated the foot problem that ended his season last year was a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Those are tough to come back from and the combination of the injuries and the money made it the right move for the Patriots to let him go.
Paul Perillo

Do you know if the Pats were interested in using any of their three third-rounders to move up to get Quentin Groves? And given what we have going into next year do you think that Adalius Thomas will be a force rushing the passer?Mike Anderson

It's pretty tough to know if the Patriots were interested in moving up for sure since Bill Belichick doesn't normally let us know about all the individual moves that don't wind up being made. But the Patriots began the day 17 spots away from where Jacksonville picked Groves, which is a pretty sizable gap to close. Clearly with the three third-round picks at their disposal the Patriots had the necessary ammunition to move up, but at what price? Instead they chose to add a pick for next year and moved down, which seems like a pretty solid trade at this point. I really liked Groves on tape and I believe he'll be a nice addition to the Jags pass rush. But I also think Thomas will be a much more noticeable presence on the pass rush this season while playing almost exclusively on the outside, assuming that's where he winds up. Thomas has the size and speed to cause a lot of trouble off the edge, as he did in the Super Bowl. With a year in the system under his belt, I expect him to be much more productive.
Paul Perillo

Why so down on Shawn Crable? I know he's got the legs of a marathon runner, but he's quick and a tackling machine. He could turn out to be a great situation pass-rusher. Plus, he actually requested to play special teams at Michigan. Sounds like the Patriots type of player to me.
Kris Johnson

Well I don't know about the whole Patriots type of play cliché stuff but I do like Crable a lot. Andy is obsessed with the size of his legs, which actually could be a sign of some deeper issues, but all I know is he performed well at the Big Ten level playing on those skinny legs. It's certainly reasonable to expect his body to develop as a professional and for those legs to get bigger and stronger. But all of that is irrelevant if he can't play. I believe he can and I was as excited about that pick as I was about Jerod Mayo.
Paul Perillo

Love to read all your work people at PFW. I was wondering why the Patriots are being hit so hard with all this Spygate crap. Did the Dolphins not do the same thing two years ago when they killed the Pats 21-0? The Dolphins players were bragging to reporters that they had videos of the Pats practices from the week before. How is that legal for the Phins and not the Pats? I would love an answer and I know the Pats fan nation would like an answer.
Britt McPhee

Pretty simple, actually. Miami did not do any of the things you said they did. The Miami players talked about getting the television tapes (not tapes they illegally created themselves) of past games (not practices as you claim) and studying the audibles Tom Brady used in those games. They credited those tapes with helping them during the game. They later denied having done even that. The Patriots were caught illegally taping the opposing coaches from the sideline, which is a violation of NFL rules. So there's really no comparisons between those two acts and that's why Miami wasn't punished.
Paul Perillo

It was great to see Drew [Never-get-you-to-the-next level Bledsoe!] back in town as a non-member of the Patriots [thank you God and Mo Lewis!!]. Was wondering just how much he had to pay out to the girl [at the Paradise the night he dove off the stage there in a drunken haze along with Max Lane during an Everclear concert and severely injuring a BU undergrad who's neck was crushed by this idiot! People forget this stuff. He should be inducted to the Hall- o- Shame for that stunt and also for attempting to impersonate an NFL QB while in New England and Dallas and what was the final figure his Dad swindled the Patriots out of while here-he should return the money ?? ]. Just keepin it real fellas.Chip Heard

There's nothing I like more than an email tough guy ripping athletes with no accountability. My initial reaction after reading this trash was to simply delete it, but then I thought about it and came up with a better idea. Chip (Never got to any level at all) Heard has now been banned from "Ask PFW" for his idiotic banter each and every week and now all of your fellow emailers will see what we've known for years about you. Good luck.
Paul Perillo

First time, long time. In the aftermath of the letter by Matt Walsh's attorney stating that Walsh never was a source for John Tomase's ill-timed article, what happens to Tomase and the Herald? Could the Patriots sue the Herald? Could the Patriots not allow Tomase and or the Herald access to the team's facility? Would they go that far? I will admit it is troubling that someone can write such a damaging article without consequence, would you agree?
Mike Kennedy

While the article was certainly upsetting for all us here in Foxborough, there has been no proof thus far that anything in the story was false. Matt Walsh said he did not have a tape of the walkthrough and that he was not the source. The story never said the name Matt Walsh and never said Walsh had a tape. The story claimed the Patriots taped the walkthrough – not that whoever did so actually had the tape. So Tomase's story may indeed be proven incorrect at some point, but thus far that hasn't been the case. In terms of what the Patriots could do, they could bar Tomase from the facility if they so choose – even if nothing is ever proven factually incorrect about that story. It's a messy situation and one we're all looking forward to putting behind us.
Paul Perillo

So I get the part about the Pats violating league rules by videotaping signals from the sideline. But just out of curiosity, when did this "no videotaping from the sideline" rule go into effect?Tony Ramazio

It's always been part of the league's gameday procedures manual. It has been modified and clarified periodically (most recently before the 2006 season) but it has never been legal for teams to tape the opposing sideline.
Paul Perillo

The Boston Herald needs to come out clean and say, where did they dig up the Rams tape story. Then issue the apology to the team, the fans and do it promptly.
Brad Z.

That's assuming the story turns out to be incorrect. At this point, we're only hoping that's the case. The Herald reported that a source indicated a video assistant taped the Rams walkthrough. It didn't say that Matt Walsh did the taping or that Matt Walsh had the tape. So thus far we only know that according to Walsh he did not tape it and has no knowledge of the tape. Where I agree with you is in regard to the Herald's course of action. I think for the sake of the writer and the paper that they should reveal the origins of the story in an effort to lend legitimacy to their report. At this point they're losing badly in the battle of public opinion, and for a newspaper that's not a good thing. But technically the Herald never mentioned Walsh at all.
Paul Perillo

Is it: 1.) Tom Brady's terrible playoff chokes the last 3 years? He is becoming almost Bledsoe-like in his apathy. Remember, he clearly stated he wasn't hurt in the SB. Either a.) choke or b.) bold-faced liar. 2.) Matt Light? Simply put, this guy doesn't even seem to care about football much less caring if the Pats win or lose. Perhaps he can become a clown in the circus as he is a clown on and off the field. 3.) Worst No. 1 Pats pick ever, career under achiever and US Gov tool and Kraft suck up Ben Watson? 4.) Bloated overrated has-been and coincidentally a Watson-like Kraft suck up Richard Seymour? 5.) Extremely poor drafting the last three years? Look at how much better Indy has done. Stop only printing pandering suck up letters and let the fans decide.
Chris Casey

Ask and you shall receive Chris. I'll leave it up to your fellow fans and let them decide. Good luck hanging out with Chip and the rest of the bitter whiners. Not that this rambling wreck of an email deserved a response, but Indy has done so much better than the Patriots over the years that they've won one SB while the Patriots have won three.
Paul Perillo

NFL Access during draft stated that the Patriots had cut all of their draft picks from last year, except Brandon Meriweather. PFW had stated last year that in mini-camp CB Michael Richardson out of ND looked like a rookie "who belonged on the field." Saw him play several times in college and he was an effective cover corner on some pretty good receivers and an aggressive, hard hitting tackler. I understand that they were very high on him and he looked OK in preseason before getting injured in the Carolina game. With the talk of all the cornerbacks through free agency and the draft I never hear him mentioned. Has he met the fate of the rest of the rookie class of 2007?
Thomas Owens

Richardson spent the 2007 season on injured reserve and will be back to compete for a job this summer. Richardson showed some promise during camp last year but not to the point where he looked like "he belonged on the field" or anything like that. He likely would have been a longshot to make the final roster had he not been injured. However, with a year in the system he should be expected to improve, although with three veterans signed and two rookies drafted, he'll have his work cut out for him.
Paul Perillo

Greetings, I have noticed Andy Hart's wit in the past but his "W is an upside down M" conspiracy theory comment to the writer pointing out the W and M first-round draftees was hilarious. I think Jim Rome should seriously consider Andy as a first-round draft pick next year for back ups when he is on vacation. Keep up the good work.Bill West

I never thought I'd see the day but it's finally arrived. Someone actually finds Andy funny. Bill you now join Andy and his wife as the only three people in history that think he's funny. Oh wait, I just got off the phone with Andy's wife – she doesn't think he's funny either so leaves just you and him.
Paul Perillo

I'm reading the little feature on Victor Hobson that talks about his move to inside LB. I can't help thinking back to Chad Brown and how he didn't make the transition very well. I was wondering on your take about the move and if you see any legitimacy to my concern. I started thinking about the inside LB depth: Tedy Bruschi, Adalius Thomas, Junior Seau? and probable Jerod Mayo. Although his size is more a fit for the inside, I think he would be better suited for the middle in passing situations and keep him on the outside in run situations. He's got the size to play inside against the run but can he shed the blockers like the vets at inside LB. I just don't see him getting significant time on the inside. Can you give me more insight?Dave Cruz

Actually I can't really see him playing outside for the Patriots. I think he's too small at 6-0 to effectively set the edge against the run, which is one of the most important roles for the outside linebackers in the Patriots 3-4 scheme. Hobson and Brown really have no similarities whatsoever. Brown spent most of his career playing outside almost exclusively as an edge pass rusher in a scheme far different than New England's. He was then asked to play much differently with the Patriots and he couldn't make the transition. Hobson played the last two years in the Patriots scheme, albeit in New York. So asking him to move inside is nothing like asking Brown to do so since Hobson is making the move with much more knowledge than Brown had. Plus Hobson is about 10-15 pounds heavier than Brown, which makes him a better candidate to move inside and take on the guards. Overall I'm not sure how well Hobson will fit into the plans here in New England but I believe he has a better chance to do so than Brown did based on his experience in the system – even though Brown enjoyed a much better all around career prior to becoming a Patriot.
Paul Perillo

Hi guys. Didn't read anything about Kenny Cattouse being signed, and I was a little disappointed, just because he seemed like a solid practice squad player who could develop into a contributor somewhere down the line. You guys saw him in action, so tell me: Am I overselling him? Do you think the Pats will look for a backup/developmental third-down back anytime soon?Chris W.

I'm sorry to disappoint you Chris but I may have seen him at rookie mini-camp but I couldn't tell you which one he was. There were several players working out on a tryout basis and he was one of them. The Patriots didn't inform us who those players were so the only reason I know Cattouse was one of them was because it was listed on Troy's website. I can say that I wasn't overly impressed with any of the running backs that were practicing – there were three of them – so perhaps you are guilty of over selling him a bit. But it was just one weekend without pads so it's tough to make a definitive call.
Paul Perillo

Just thinking about Matthew Slater and his role with the Patriots. He will probably be a return man and gunner from what I've heard. I sort of think that because he played defensive back in college and he played special teams. Do you think that this dual versatility intrigued BB, more than his actual performance?

Well according to one of Slater's coaches at UCLA, he really didn't play any position in college. He was listed as a wide receiver and defensive back at various times but never logged any serious minutes at any spot. He received almost all of his playing time on special teams as both a returner and a gunner, so for those reasons I do believe Belichick will use him on special teams exclusively.
Paul Perillo

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