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Ask PFW: Lucky? No way.

In your opinion will we one day see Troy Brown's number retired and his name in the Patriots Hall of Fame. I know it is early in his career but it is of my opinion that his stats and play thus far should get him inducted.
Trent
Regina, Saskatchewan

I would have to say yes, Trent. Troy has more than 300 receptions since the beginning of the 2000 season when Charlie Weis and Bill Belichick made him a full-time starter. His 308 catches since then is the most productive stretch by any Patriots receiver ever. He set a team record with 101 catches in 2001 and was the best offensive player on a team that won the Super Bowl. He is third all-time in receptions by a Patriot and fourth in receiving yards. That's to say nothing of his punt return stats. His number probably won't be retired because I'm not sure the Patriots will be retiring many more numbers because it limits their availability, but he is an absolute lock for the team's Hall of Fame. Also, this is Troy's 11th season so it's not so early in his career.
Bryan Morry

I've been watching punter Ken Walter all season, and it seems to me that he is having a bad year. I believe sooner or later, he's going to cost us a game. Do you think he will be around next year?
Ted Speight
Waterbury, Conn.

I don't know if he will be around next week or next year. Ken knows he's struggling and every punt is being scrutinized. He owes something to the defense for bailing him out the past couple of weeks or a couple of those late-game kicks could have cost the team a win. Bill Belichick continues to support Walter publicly because he needs him to get out of his funk. Walter has never had a big leg, but has been a high, directional kicker. He's not executing that well right now and he went threw a similar funk with Carolina and it eventually cost him his job there. The ice has to be thin for him now, and Belichick actually asked an inquisitive reporter this week, "What else is out there?" He needs to kick better.
Bryan Morry

I have two questions if that's OK. What has happened to Antowain Smith? Is our running game going to be able to carry the load in the playoffs.
Ken Powers
Washington, Mo.

Hey Ken, any relation to Ken Powers, who covers the Patriots for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette? Antowain Smith just hasn't been productive enough this year. I think the Patriots need him to emerge in December since all four of their games will be in the Northeast, but I'm not sure he's earned the chance to carry the load this year. It's a definitely a concern as the playoffs near. Antowain can be a good power runner, but he seems to have lost a little of his quickness or decisiveness – I'm not sure which. I've heard people compare this team to the 2001 team, but that team used a physical running game down the stretch to impose its will. This team doesn't seem capable of doing that offensively.
Bryan Morry

Although USC whipped UCLA last weekend, UCLA's first score was on a blocked PAT attempt, which UCLA ran back for a score. I thought this would be a touchdown, but it was scored as a safety with UCLA getting two points. I don't think I've ever seen a PAT blocked and returned for a score before. What is the rule in the pros for a blocked PAT run back to the end zone? TD or safety?
R. Soden
Lake Forest, Calif.

Neither. A blocked PAT in the NFL is a dead ball.
Bryan Morry

With both Weis and Crennel being top candidates for head coaching jobs after this season, who do you think would take over for them if they were to leave? Do you think that they would promote from within the organization or bring someone in? And what teams do you think will go after Charlie and Romeo?
Matt
Halifax, Mass.

That's a great question Matt. Two years ago, Charlie seemed to be a hot candidate and last year it was Romeo. I think there could be between 6-10 openings and both will get a sniff. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants, if they decide to let Jim Fassel go, come after one of the two – probably Romeo. But that's a guess and I don't know which teams might come calling. It is a popular belief that defensive backs coach Eric Mangini would get the defensive coordinator job. He started with Bill Belichick in Cleveland and then coached with him at the Jets as well. He knows the system and could be the choice if Belichick thinks he's ready for the job. If the Raiders make a coaching change, their defensive coordinator, Chuck Bresnahan, could come East since he worked under Belichick in Cleveland. On the offensive side, I'm not sure who it would be. Wide receivers coach Brian Daboll will probably ascend the coaching ladder rather quickly, but he's in only his second season as a position coach and fourth in the NFL so he's too green and hasn't paid his dues yet. One possibility could be Saints quarterback coach Mike Sheppard, but I say that only because he coached tight ends for Bill in Cleveland. So I really don't have a clue.
Bryan Morry

Is Adam Vinatieri's confidence a question at this point in the season? He's been far less consistent this year, then the last two, missing kicks this season that should be chip shots for him. Obviously in OT vs. the Texans, the blocked kick wasn't his fault. But I'm just wondering if he just is not feeling as confident this year. Do we expect too much from him?
Jarrod
Trumbull, Conn.

We've come to expect perfection from Adam and that's tough for a guy to live up to, but he is hitting a career-low 75 percent of his kicks this season. That said, I don't think Adam has lost his confidence and there is no other kicker I'd rather have in the clutch. I'm not criticizing that guy, that's for sure.
Bryan Morry

Please list all Patriots college draft picks since 2000?
Mike West
Needham, Mass.

Mike you could do some research here and find that out pretty quickly, but since we are here to provide a service I will tell you. However, if you are not a PFW subscriber, you must call 1-800-494-PATS right now and subscribe. In 2000, the Patriots had no first round pick, drafted tackle Adrian Klemm in the second, running back J.R. Redmond in the third, tackle Greg Robinson-Randall in the fourth, tight end Dave Stachelski and defensive lineman Jeff Marriott in the fifth, defensive back Antwan Harris, quarterback Tom Brady and defensive lineman Dave Nugent in the sixth and linebacker Casey Tisdale and fullback Patrick Pass in the seventh.
In 2001, New England took defensive lineman Richard Seymour in the first round, tackle Matt Light in the second, cornerback Brock Williams in the third, tackle Kenyatta Jones and tight end Jabari Holloway in the fourth, safety Hakim Akbar in the fifth, tight end Arther Love and cornerback Leonard Myers in the sixth and kicker Owen Pochman and linebacker T.J. Turner in the seventh.
In 2002, it was tight end Daniel Graham in the first, wideout Deion Branch in the second, quarterback Rohan Davey and defensive lineman Jarvis Green in the fourth, and running back Antwoine Womack and wide receiver David Givens in the seventh.
This year's rookie class features first round pick Ty Warren, second rounders Eugene Wilson and Bethel Johnson, fourth rounders Dan Klecko and Asante Samuel, fifth rounder Dan Koppen, sixth rounder Kliff Kingsbury and seventh rounders Spencer Nead, Tully Banta-Cain and Ethan Kelley.
Bryan Morry

Last week a reader asked if there was a possibility if the Pats could get Terrell Owens, Keyshawn Johnson or Corey Dillon. The correct answer should have been none of these three guys and their respective egos would fit in on this "team". None of these guys have what it takes to be a Patriot and a true team player. Rather, you picked probably the biggest self-centered player in the league "Me-Shawn" Johnson. No thanks!!!
Mike Leclerc
Stratham, N.H.

Mike, we did that because Bill Belichick and Charlie Weis had a very positive experience with Keyshawn when they were together at the Jets. Belichick had a good relationship with the receiver and there is a mutual respect there. Once Bill Parcells got to New York, you never heard any bad things about Keyshawn. His book became a non-issue and he stopped dogging Wayne Chrebet publicly. On the surface, it would seem that you're right based on what happened in Tampa. But I'm sure there are two sides to that story and while I'm for players keeping their mouths shut and showing respect, at least publicly, for their boss, I don't know how or why things transpired the way they did in Tampa. Just don't be surprised if Keyshawn and the Patriots at least talk.
Bryan Morry

Maybe not the sexiest question, but I was wondering what the salary cap implications were for signing Jamin Elliot to the active roster before the Dallas game and then signing him back to the practice squad afterwards. Would his paragraph 5 salary simply count against the salary cap during his time on the active/inactive roster and then drop off the books once the Pats release him and sign him back to the practice squad? Or would the Pats simply have offered a contract at the same money as Jamin's practice squad salary thus not changing the money counting against the cap?
Johnny Sarcasm, a.k.a. The Random Thinker
Providence, R.I.

Jamin would have to make the league minimum for a rookie when signed to the active roster, but since he has no service time and is not a vested veteran, the Patriots would only count the salary for the weeks he is on the roster against their cap and then revert back to his practice squad salary level. He counts against the cap either way, but the number would increase for the weeks he was active.
Bryan Morry

In a game recently I believe Eugene Wilson was flagged for "Launching himself at the receiver." The hit was at the body, no contact with the face, yet on the Monday night game Tampa Bay/Giants, a receiver in the end zone was hit with such force around the face that his helmet came off. The defender had "launched himself at the receiver." What gives? No flag, is the NFL going to get this straight with the officials? Did the Pats get notification that it was a mistake?
Paul Clark
Atlanta, Ga.

Paul, I saw the hit you're talking about on Amani Toomer and I thought it might have been a penalty, but the problem with Wilson's hit, according to the league, is that he led with his helmet. I saw it differently. I thought he moved his head to the side in an obvious effort to lead with his shoulder pads. I think in the heat of the moment, I can understand that ref throwing a flag thinking he led with the helmet, but I think the league should be able to judge the player's intent when reviewing such a hit. To me, they blew it by fining him. I think his shoulder pad hit first and I think he made the effort to get his head off to the side. It was a good football play.
Bryan Morry

What ever happened to Andy Katzenmoyer
Stephen
Waianae, Hawaii

The Big Kat was forced to retire because of a neck injury. I believe he is back living in Westerville, Ohio, but don't quote me on that.
Bryan Morry

Two questions: If a defensive player jumps offside, the ref says he was "unebaited to the quarterback." What does unebaited mean? I looked in two dictionaries and there was no such word. 2. People said the Patriots had an NFL record seven-game win streak, but didn't the Chiefs have a nine-game win streak?
Mike
Davenport, Fla.

First, the word is unabated. It means "continuing at full strength or intensity." Second, the Patriots seven-game winning streak was not an NFL record. Heck, the 1972 Dolphins were 17-0. It tied a Patriots record for most consecutive wins in a single season and then the Patriots set the new mark with the win in Indy.
Bryan Morry

First of all, that was a good win against the Colts. It is a mystery to me, and probably many of you, why they didn't run the ball when they got it with 3:18 or whatever on the clock. Here is my question: Are passing yards the yards that the ball is actually in the air before the receiver catches it or do they include the yards after the catch. During the early second quarter of the Colts game CBS showed a graphic that said the Pats had 10 rush yards and 98 pass yards. Then they completed a pass to Kevin Faulk of about 2 yards and he has 6 YAC, so it was second-and-eight. Then a graphic came up that said they had 110 total yards. Is that a mistake or do pass yards include only the 2 yards of the 8-yard pass in the example? Also, please do not print any questions about a revival of Mike Cloud (HE'S A 3RD STRING RUNNING BACK!!) because I am sick of reading them and I am sure you are sick of writing them.
Henry
Charlotte, Vt.

OK, first, I don't have a problem with the Patriots trying to throw to make a first down with 3:23 left against Indy because I don't think time would have been a big factor in the game. As Bill Belichick said, I think the Colts offense could have scored in a 1:30 just as easily as in 3:30. Heck, maybe they would have thrown more and made a big play doing it that way. I often struggle with that. But Kevin Faulk fumbled on the series before and the Colts were stacking up against the run. The problem was that New England didn't complete any passes. I think that against a lot of teams, I would run it and punt it, but the Colts are a different entity and it looked to me like the Patriots wanted to make a couple of first downs to get inside the 2:00 warning before they started running. I also would have had no problem with running into the line three times and kicking and giving it to them with about 1:30 to go, but I rarely have a problem with a team trying to be aggressive and make first downs at the end of a game to run out the clock on offense. I admit, though, that throwing it often backfires, but don't think time was going to be an issue for Peyton Manning, who threw two touchdown passes in 1:06 in the third quarter.
Now, passing yards do include yards made after the catch, but they have to be positive yards. I don't know the exact play to which you are referring, but if Kevin Faulk caught a screen pass 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage and ran 8 yards for a net 2-yard gain, it would be second-and-eight and the play would count as 2 passing yards, which would make the total jump from 108 to 110 in your example. But if I throw a pass 7 yards and the receiver breaks a tackle and runs 90 more, I get 97 passing yards. Finally at the risk of opening up a can of worms here, I think it might be time to give Mike Cloud some carries. The Patriots have to find a running game in December and if Antowain Smith has fallen off to the point where he can be inactive, then it's time to give Cloud some more carries.
Bryan Morry

I have asked this question before, but you didn't post it, so I will ask again. We seem to have a good combination with Smith and Faulk. If we had a good fullback making blocks and making some holes for them, we may be able to get more yardage then we are already getting. It seams to me Dan Klecko fills this role perfectly. He is small compact and powerful. They have used him on short-yardage before. Now that the defense is a little more healthy, couldn't they use him a little more on offense to help with the run?
James Marshall
Saint John, New Brunswick

I suppose they could, but I think they want Dan to concentrate on learning his defensive responsibilities while giving him some short-yardage reps at fullback. They like versatile players and I don't think Klecko would fit that mold as an offensive guy. You wouldn't want him to protect the quarterback because he is inexperienced in that area. So you would be very predictable with him on the field.
Bryan Morry

Could you tell me who the kicker was for the Patriots back in the 80's that kicked without a shoe?
Andre Auclair
Pacoag, R.I.

Sure, and I don't even have to ask master of useless information Paul Perillo on that one. It was Tony Franklin.
Bryan Morry

Is there ANY possible way to buy past Patriots games on VHS or DVD? There are some good games I'd like to [legally] have on video. Please say there is!! Let me know! Thanks!
Buddy Lawruk
Medford, Ore.

Sorry. The NFL owns the rights to all games and does not make them available for re-sale.
Bryan Morry

I would like a list of all of the Patriots QBsback to 1975.

Karen Werlein
Bettendorf, Iowa

Oh you would, would ya? Alright I listed the drafts so here we go – Tom Brady, Rohan Davey, Damon Huard, Kliff Kingsbury, Drew Bledsoe, John Friesz, Michael Bishop, Scott Zolak, Tom Tupa, Scott Secules, Hugh Millen, Tommy Hodson, Jeff Carlson, Marc Wilson, Steve Grogan, Tony Eason, Doug Flutie, Tom Ramsey, Bob Bleier, Mike Kerrigan, Matt Cavanaugh, Tom Flick, Tom Owen, Jim Plunkett, Jay Barker, Neil Graff, Jim Murphy, Lee Saltz and Todd Whitten. Phew.

What happened to Larry Centers? Was he hurt? Cut? Released? Waived? No one seems to know. Everyone I talk to does not know. When I ask, that is when they realize that he has been missing. Please clear this up for Pats fans. We some how missed his disappearance.
Fred Fierley Jr.
Nashua, N.H.

He's gone? OK just kidding. You came to the right place. Centers was injured and then released on Oct. 18 with the club reaching an injury settlement with him. He could be re-signed for the playoffs.
Bryan Morry

How can you stand by a team that has to cheat to win?... and I hope you injoy having a team that doesnt have the testicular fortatude or physical talent to win a football game!!!
Shane
Indianapolis, Ind.

This obviously came in from a Colts fan. I thought I'd include it as food for thought and good message board fodder. I could have included his email address, but I thought that might be dangerous. Also, I usually try to clean up the spelling errors, but I left Indy Shane's in. He'll be channeling his anger at his own team if it relocates to LA.
Bryan Morry

I am completely lost when it comes to the Patriots lack of respect this year. If you asked anyone who the five best teams in the league are, you would probably hear KC, Tennessee, St. Louis, Indy and Philly, and we have beaten three of those teams. Our defense never gets mentioned up there with Carolina, Dallas or Tennessee. Are we as "lucky" as everyone makes us out to be? We have overcome more injuries than anyone in the league.....Where is the respect?
Shane
Punterenas, Costa Rica

It all depends on whom you listen to. We were just discussing this very issue and I refer to the Simon and Garfunkel line from The Boxer – A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. There are several power rankings that list the Patriots among the top 2-4 teams and have for several weeks. There are media members who give the Patriots tons of credit and others who won't give them their due. Unfortunately, sometimes those things are tied to relationships or agendas. But you watch them every week so form your own opinion. But lucky? That's the most ridiculous statement in the history of football. Tell Rosevelt Colvin or Mike Compton or Ted Washington or Ted Johnson or Troy Brown or David Givens or Adrian Klemm or David Patten or Mike Vrabel how lucky they are. They've had more injuries than anybody yet they've won in Miami, in Denver, in Philadelphia and in Indianapolis. They have beaten every winning team they've played. Luck. What a joke that is.
Bryan Morry

Even though Kevin Faulk is my favorite running back, I would just like to say that I am very pleased with the way the coaches are handling the running back situation. They really know how to get everything out of them. Faulk dominates the screen passes, Cloud gets touchdowns, and Smith is guaranteed at least 2 yards every time. We are 10-2. Why do people want one running back to carry the load? What is wrong with putting in the best running back for the certain situation? This is directed more towards the fans that write in. The same fans that want Ken Walter's head on a stake.
Patrick Dwyer
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Patrick, I think that it is ideal to have one back carry the load and get enough carries to get into a groove and get a feel for the game, but you have to have the back to do it. The Patriots use a committee because it is the best way to do it for them right now. Unfortunately, none of the backs has emerged as a true every down, carry-the-load kind of guy, but all have contributed. The Patriots try to play to each of their strengths.
Bryan Morry

I have a question in regards to the Indy game. Right after the last play of the game - when Willie McGinest runs down the field celebrating, another Patriot runs behind him and takes his helmet off. That should have been a penalty right? If so, would that penalize the defense and give Indy an automatic 1st down? Would it be after the play, and hence, penalize the Patriot offense? Being 15 yards, would that give the Colts an automatic safety?
Mike S.
Nashua, N.H.

First off, let me take this opportunity to rip this rule up and down. It's the Emmitt Smith rule and it's the most ridiculous rule on the books. Why can't a guy take his helmet off? It's hot under there and those helmets are heavy. A guy can get up and make hip gyrations at the crowd then fall on his back and continue and that's not a penalty. A guy can dance the night away after a score as long as it is not choreographed and doesn't include teammates and that's OK. But if Emmitt Smith scores, takes his helmet off and calmly trots to the sideline, that's a penalty. That's somehow drawing attention to yourself, but jumping into the stands as they do in Green Bay, that's not. The Browns lost a game last year because Dwayne Rudd took his helmet off. Now he threw his down the field, which is a bit excessive, but taking your helmet off in celebration should not cost a team a football game. OK, what Vrabel did should have been a penalty by rule, but it would have been a dead ball foul after the change of possession since it occurred on fourth down. The Patriots should have been penalized half the distance to the goal line, which would have been 1 yard.
Bryan Morry

Did anyone notice the Colts took 4 timeouts in the 2nd half of today's game? This is another classic example of the referees making what could've been a big mistake on something that is so mundane. I'm also surprised no one on the Pats coaching staff or NFL associate picked this up. This is the 2nd time it happened in 2 weeks. Fortunately, it didn't cost the Pats the game like it did for Seattle in the previous week.
James Demas
Nashua, N.H.

With all due respect, I have no idea what you're talking about. I didn't notice that so lump me in with the rest. Perhaps you thought Indy took a timeout when it was actually the Patriots. There seemed to be confusion during the broadcast on one such instance.
Bryan Morry

What do the following teams have in common?Indianapolis 9-3Tennessee 9-2Philadelphia 9-3Dallas 8-4Miami 8-4Denver 7-5They were all beaten by the Patriots.The Chiefs have eight wins against teams who are below .500.They defeated the mighty Chargers twice.The level of competition that New England has faced has been much tougher than what the Chiefs, Colts and Titans have faced.1. Why aren't the Pats ranked higher?2. The "experts" are saying that this team is doing it with "mirrors" and coaching. Not to downplay the coaching but the Patriots do have some very good talent. Why do the "I'm the best..." players get all the credit in this league?

Gord Bennett
Halifax, Nova Scotia

You make good points. It's kind of a stand-alone submission. As I said earlier, I think it's all in whom you listen to or read. When you win close games every week, people tend to think you could have just as easily lost them and therefore attribute winning to some other element besides skill. But I haven't seen anyone write, this phrase this year, "The Patriots have won a lot of close games, but as one former coach said, "you are what you are." Well the Pats are 10-2. If the Pats lost those close games and were sitting at 5-7, nobody would be saying they were unlucky. They would be quoting Parcells saying that Patriots "are what they are." The same is true when the record is 10-2.
Bryan Morry

When do we expect to get Troy Brown, David Patten, and Rosevelt Colvin back> This season I hope.
Reaperfairy
Chicopee, Mass.

Troy Brown is week-to-week. The other two guys are on injured reserve and out for the season.
Bryan Morry

Why does the clock stop for 5-10 seconds after a sack? Officially, a sack is recorded as a running play, and the clock doesn´t stop on a running play that is down in the field of play. I am pretty sure I saw this on one of the sacks on Peyton Manning. What gives?
Jack Rivers
Albany, N.Y.

OK Jack, here is the official word: Rule 4, Section 3, Article 7 includes this phrase: "The following situations are automatic Referee's time outs": No. 3 in this list includes the following – "Any time the player who originally takes the snap is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, except in the last two minutes of the half or the game."
The play clock starts at 40 seconds immediately after the tackle, and the Referee winds the clock to start when the ball is re-set for the next play.
Bryan Morry

OK, loyal readers, that's enough for now. Don't forget to call 1-800-494-PATS to subscribe to Patriots Football Weekly. It will make a nice Christmas gift.

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