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Patriots Replay Fri May 29 | 12:00 AM - 11:58 PM

Ask PFW: Moving On

I've read some stories about the draft class of the Pats this year, and I've heard a lot about how each pick was a high-class player. Mayo, Wheatley, and now the story on Bo Ruud that was on Patriots.com. All are heralded as film junkies and stand-up guys. Last year people were wondering what we were doing picking Meriweather with his on-field fighting and trading for Moss, who had a history of a bad attitude. I understand the Patriots always try to pick high-quality guys, but was it more of an emphasis after the media backlash of last year's draft?
Cole Wiegmann

I don't know a lot Cole but one thing I do know is Bill Belichick doesn't make decisions based on what the media thinks. Meriweather had an incident in college but since then he's hasn't been in any trouble at all. I think there are bad character guys and people who make a mistake here and there in their lives. I would put Meriweather in the latter category. In my opinion, Pacman Jones has character issues, while a guy like Meriweather made a mistake. I think there is a big difference between the two. So to answer your question, I think the Patriots drafted those guys you mentioned because they were the players they thought could best help the team win. And I think that's the same reason why they drafted Meriweather the year before.
-Tom Casale

When are these idiots holding political offices going to start paying attention to the vast problems this country has, and keep their noses out of sports. I am so sick of Specters medaling into the so-called SPY Gate affair. Everyone has put this behind them (case closed), but now this idiot wants to waste taxpayer's money for an independent investigation that will prove absolutely nothing. JUST ANOTHER GREAT EXAMPLE OF OUR POLITICAL LEADERS AT WORK DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST. (NOTHING).
Bob Lacourse

I said I wasn't going to answer any questions regarding this but I just wanted to comment on this one. I keep hearing that politicians should leave the NFL alone and focus on the real problems in this country. When is the last time they did that? This is what politicians do. They focus the public's attention elsewhere away from the real problems in the country. I don't know why people are so surprised. Going after the Patriots is much easier than actually doing something that may actually help people in this country. I'm still waiting for a cure for diabetes but I guess they'll get back to that after we see 100 more videos of the Patriots doing the same thing they did on the first 20.
-Tom Casale

What do you think the rotation will be at linebacker?? Will it be Bruschi and Mayo or Bruschi and Thomas? I want to see Adalius on the outside pass rushing where he belongs, what do you think?Matt French

I would definitely expect to see Thomas on the outside in 2008. He played well there at the end of last season and that's where Thomas can cause the most havoc. On the inside, I think you are looking at a rotation that involves Bruschi, Mayo and Victor Hobson. And to be honest, that's a darn good threesome at inside linebacker. People who read this column regularly know I loved Mayo going into the draft. But the sneaky signing to me is Hobson. He may never be a Pro Bowler but I think Hobson and Mayo are going to add a lot of speed and athleticism at inside linebacker, something the Patriots have lacked in recent years.
-Tom Casale

Wes Welker has become a fan favorite and is a personal favorite. I know he was initially reluctant about coming to the Patriots but obviously 112 catches later he made the right decision. How does Wes fit in the locker room, is he a leader? And how do you see his role evolving this year? Who do you see as the number two receiver, enabling him to remain in the slot? You guys do a great job.
Dave Barry

From what I've seen Dave, Wes Welker gets along with everyone in the locker room. You always see him talking and joking with different players. Welker is one of those guys that seems kind of quiet when you see an interview with him but he really opens up when he's around his teammates. I think Welker will always remain in the slot. That's where he does most of his damage. Because of his quickness, Welker is extremely tough to cover coming out of the slot. I think the team would like to see Chad Jackson step up and grab the starting job opposite of Moss. I like Jabar Gaffney but to me, he's like Welker and better suited as an inside receiver. Watch out for Jackson this summer. I think he'll make a strong push for a starting job.
-Tom Casale

Earlier in free agency there was talk about the Patriots getting Ty Law. Why hasn't any team made a move?Kris Gagnon

My guess is Ty is looking for too much money at the present time. From the numbers I've heard floating around, Law is going to have to lower his asking price if he expects to play in the NFL this season. Also, while I wouldn't rule out Law still signing with New England, it appears by what the Patriots did in the draft and free agency that they are moving on without him. My guess? He winds up with the Jets some time in August.
-Tom Casale

Has there been any consideration of Kelley Washington becoming a defensive back, perhaps in a nickel situation? He's a special team's standout, very physical, and has both height and receiving ability. When I picture Hobbs marooned with Plaxico Burress, I sure wish we had a tall physical alternative? Even covering tight ends in the slot in a nickel situation, he seems like he could be a good fit. What do you think?
Jack Hanover

There is one problem with your theory Jack: Kelley Washington doesn't play defensive back. Heck, he couldn't even get on the field at the position he does play (receiver). He did a heck of a job on special teams and I wouldn't be surprised if Washington's role on offense increases, but there's no way you'll ever see him lined up as a defensive back.
-Tom Casale

Hey guys - I remember a few years ago that Bill Parcells stated that due to the new and stricter rules set up by the NFL it just isn't worth it to draft a DB high because no matter how good they are they are handcuffed by the rules. Do you agree? With the stricter rules it seems that more emphasis needs to be on the scheme and less on the talent of the player.
Mike Anderson

I think there's some truth to that statement. I still believe you are a much better team with guys like Champ Bailey, Asante Samuel and some of the other elite corners in the NFL but I don't think you HAVE to have those guys to win. Obviously, the Patriots feel the same way because they chose to let Samuel walk. I've always believed you need four things to win in the NFL: Good coaching, consistent quarterback play, offensive lines that can give the quarterback time and pass rushers. The Patriots have all those things, that's why they are tough to beat. If I could get a Pro Bowl corner I would take him but I don't think a team necessarily needs great players at that position to win. Just look at the Giants as a prime example of that.
-Tom Casale

I for one am elated that Chip Heard will be forever banned from "Ask PFW"! His comments regarding Drew Bledsoe typify that of an ignorant Pats fan. My best guess would be that he was a bandwagon fan that jumped on after February 3, 2002. A true Pats fan knows that Bledsoe is a key cog in the history of our team and what we have accomplished, and further, what we are today. In fact, rather than the Hall - of - Shame that Mr. Heard believes that this man should be in, I would argue that Bledsoe should be one of the first players inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame! Mr. Kraft (one of the classiest owners in Football) knew that, and that is why Bledsoe was invited along with another great in McGinist. When you think about the Parcells era and how our team became a contender again, it was because of people like Bledsoe, McGinist, and Troy Brown (all first ballot PHOF's in my book)! So, Mr. Heard might as well be a Colts fan, because he is no Patriots fan in my book! Thanks for listening to my rant on an ignorant "fan."
Chris Ackers

Chris, if you are unable to realize all the good that Drew Bledsoe has done for this organization, you are either not a Patriots fan or delusional. According to Mr. Heard, he's a Patriots fan, so you do the math.
-Tom Casale

With the recent addition of linebackers in the draft and free agency, do you see a future in New England for Larry Izzo? With the rookies needing to learn the defense I can see Izzo's roster spot going to a veteran LB who can contribute to the base defense or sub-packages, rather than only playing special teams?
Richard Walker

This is an excellent question Richard. The Patriots not only brought in some solid special team players, they drafted a couple as well. I love Izzo but I think his level of play has dropped off a bit in recent years. However, I can't see him not making the team in 2008. Not only is Izzo still a solid special teams contributor, his leadership and guidance to the younger players is immeasurable. He may not make as many tackles as he once did but I still see Izzo making the team based on his role as a leader in the locker room and because he's one of the most respected players on the team.
-Tom Casale

Ok, enough with this spygate thing. I coach 8 year olds in football, and in a close game against the undefeated team in the league last season, the opposing coach stood close to the line of scrimmage and listened to our play call. When we were ready to snap the ball, he starts screaming to his team to cover one of my players who we had as our primary receiver. We adjusted the play at the last second to pump fake to that receiver and throw it to the wide-open guy on the other side for the winning touchdown. My point is this: in every sport, at every level, teams are looking for an edge. It is naïve to think that this is not pervasive throughout the league – just look at the film for the last game of Nick Saban's NFL coaching career between the Dolphin's and the Patriots and tell me he did not know something extra. Do you think we will ever move on from this spygate thing?Paul Greco

Paul, the fact that a coach was trying to cheat in a game involving 8-year olds is the exact reason why my kids will never play organized sports when they are young. At that age kids should be learning how to play the game but instead, guys who are clinging to their days as an average high school football player are too busy trying to win some cheap plastic trophy. This is not meant at you Paul because I have no idea what kind of person and coach you are but the father that thought a football game between young kids was so important that he had to cheat should never be allowed to coach again in my opinion. Trust me, I speak from experience. My father was one of those coaches when I was growing up. Just teach the kids and let them play. They're 8-year old for Heaven's sake.
-Tom Casale

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