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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 11 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 16 - 11:55 AM

Ask PFW: Part I -- Seymour soundings

Not surprisingly this week’s edition of Ask PFW has a flurry of emails on one main topic – Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour’s absence from the team’s recent mandatory mini camp.

Let's trade Seymour... I know at first it might not seem like a good decision but let's take a look at it. First, Richard is the best defensive lineman in the league because of his production and versatility and has outplayed his rookie contract partly because he is a great talent and because he was fortunate to be drafted by the Pats who surrounded him with great players. 3 Pro-bowls 3 Super Bowls. Seymour is now only looking for the big payday. He will hold out and become the Anti-Patriot and has every right to. With what happened to Teddy B. life in the NFL could be over any day. So let's trade him, I am sure that the Pats could land a first and a third-round draft pick, or better, a fist and second for next year. So instead of clogging the Cap pipeline with two massive contracts Brady & Seymour, that might take up to 25% of cap space, trade him. Kraft and Belichick always said their goal was to keep the team competitive year after year. Even though the defensive line is the most important part of the 3-4 (The d-lineman are used to hold the line while eating up blockers), and Seymour almost always commands a double team, I think we can get away just fine with Jarvis Green. Jarvis has played backup, but in last year's playoffs he stepped in and I forgot Seymour was hurt. I'm sure that the Colts and the Steelers game plan was to run right at Green but he held his own. Even if Jarvis is only a pass rusher I'm sure that Rodney Bailey could step in for downs 1&2 meaning I feel that we have enough depth to survive. So let's thank Big Sey for all he has done and let him go the way of Milloy, Law ect. and see if the grass is greener somewhere else.James Joseph

I would like to know why the press persists in asking questions an athlete doesn't want to answer, specifically speaking about the Seymour situation. I read the blurb on the website at the ring ceremony and [PFW's Bryan] Morry kept asking and asking about Seymour and his situation. While I realize reporters have a job to do and sometimes that means being very persistent, I think if an athlete is trying to handle his business in a very non Terrell Owens fashion, meaning in Seymour's case with class and dignity in this case, why don't you just let it lie at that? I too am unhappy as a lifelong Patriots fan that he seems to be holding out or at least is on that track but I would like to know where Morry got the report that stated he is prepared to sit out the season or at least who else printed that report. You guys generally do a great job and I love this site. If our guys start acting like some of the poorer behaved NFL players ( see Colts, secondary) then by all means take them to task but as much as I love BB and Kraft, Pioli et. al, I do think Richard has a point. I know that may be opening Pandora's box but he is pretty much the best lineman in the game or [darn] near. I would think a raise of some sort would be in order. If he means to break the bank, then he can hang with Lawyer, Ty, Drew and count his money while we count wins. Thank you.Joe Lemery

I love football. I love the Patriots. I've had enough of millionaires complaining about being underpaid. I'm always the first one to defend players salaries to those who say athletes shouldn't make so much money. They earn it. They're not stealing it. It is a business and they should get as much as they can for their services. They should also honor their agreements and once they sign a contract they should stop complaining about being underpaid. You know what? I'm underpaid. I run my own business. I work an average of 70 hours a week. After I pay my expenses and employees I'm lucky to take home about $10,000 a year. Holding out is not an option. There is no renegotiation of my contract. There is no way any reasonable person in this country can accept the notion that anyone making a million dollars a year or more is underpaid. For most of us, a million dollars would set us up comfortably for the rest of our lives. Why is this important? Because I'll bust my tail to attend one Patriot's game this year. It will cost me about $175 a seat to get tickets from some ticket rapist (now called "ticket agencies"). I'll spend another $100 on Patriot's gear and another $250 on food and lodging. Why? Because it's a good time and I've always appreciated the opportunity to see the best athletes in the world demonstrate their craft. I understand that if I want to see the best I should be willing to pay for it. What I'm not going to do anymore is to tolerate the complaints of athletes in a world where the minimum wage is $350,000 a year [complain] about being underpaid and disrespected. I am not alone in these sentiments. There are many like me who have finally reached the breaking point. We enjoy our football. We enjoy our Patriots. We have appreciated the "Team" first concept that makes you so special. Many of us were with you in the darkest days of Patriots history, not just in the last few years of glory. Now it's time for these athletes to show the fans some respect. You're right, it is a business and as in all consumer businesses, ultimately we the fans pay your salaries. How about showing us some respect? Earn what you can and go for everything you can get. Just keep your damn mouths shut about it and appreciate the money you make. The average working stiff fan is willingly paying through the nose to support your business, one in which your first contract can secure you more money than the average American will earn in a lifetime. It's the ultimate sign of disrespect for you to complain about how you're being abused. I hope you'll understand the importance of these sentiments and print this letter. For kids, for average working people like myself and for our millionaire athletes it's time for us to demonstrate some appreciation for the blessings we have to live in such a great country where we can spend our time worrying about a game.Jim Bouchard

What does Seymour expect from his mini (so far) hold-out? It seems that this has put BOTH sides in a bad situation. The Pats won't acquiesce in fear of setting precedent. And how far can Seymour take it? He has to show up at some point, right? Question- what is the longest holdout in Pats history?

I know the Patriots will not throw a ton of $$$ at Seymour and make him the highest paid lineman in the league or anything crazy like that (which they shouldn't) and I know they are pretty straight forward in their policy of not renegotiating contract, but their has to be middle ground somewhere here. Since he showed up on the scene the team has won 3 Super Bowls on the strength of their "D" and in 2003 he was the MVP of that unit, sure he was dogged by injuries last year and didn't have his best statistical year, but he showed up big in the Super Bowl and his speak softly but carry a big stick approach to the game personifies the Patriots as much as Troy Brown, but he is at the dawn not the twilight of his career. Will Kraft, Belichick and Pioli hook this guy up? His abilities, work ethic, and age make him as valuable as anyone in the NFL, will they offer him the extension he deserves???????????Rudy Flamisch

Hey Guys, Like everybody else I'd like to thank you all for keeping us transplanted Pats fan up to date and informed. I have a few quick questions about Richard Seymour if you don't mind. I know he is currently grossly underpaid for the job he has been doing and that the Pats do not USUALLY renegotiate contracts when they have two years left but wouldn't you think he, like Tom Brady, would be worthy of that exception? It would make sense to me to wrap up #1 (Tom) then go for Richard if they like him that much and I think they do. Also, how much money would his skills demand if he were out on the open market and do you think that the Pats will pony up the coin for him? How would that money squeeze the rest of the team if they did pay him that market value? I'm not certain but I think what he's worth and that number the Pats think he is worth may not be all that close for him to ignore. He's got the rings so now it may be time for him to go get the money (for groceries according to Ty!). One last question please, I know it's still too early to know if he is indeed holding out and may be a problem\distraction but, correct me if I'm wrong, that doesn't seem like he's that type of a person. Just before the Super Bowl all the talk was about one particular top-notch player who was coming back from an injury to play in the game. Well what they all neglected to note was that there were TWO top-notch players coming back from injury. It's just that the other guy is well grounded, unassuming, and a team player not wanting to shine the spotlight any brighter on him than any of his other teammates. At least that's the way I saw it and see him. Thanks again guys!!Dave Young
Easton, PA

I would like to ask about the situation with Richard Seymour. His absence from practice and his contract situation suggest that this may be a holdout. If so, do you think he would sit out the entire year? Clearly he DESERVES more money. I don't blame him for trying to get it while he can, but this has me a little worried. That said, I think Jarvis Green would make a good fill in. Am I overanalyzing this, or does this smell like a holdout to you too?James C.

Not to overstate the obvious, but the Seymour situation is a tough one. I think most objective observes can, at least in part, see both sides of the issue. Seymour is clearly one of the best defensive linemen in the game and is probably underpaid. But he also has two years left on his deal, one he chose to sign. On the other hand, the team just gave Brady an extension despite two years remaining on his deal. You could argue that Seymour is the Brady of the defense, the building block that the rest of the unit is built around. So with all that in mind what can be done? From Seymour's perspective he has three Super Bowl rings and is probably looking for the pay day that will support his family for the rest of their lives. But as a business the Patriots have to worry about the salary cap, as well as maintaining the financial stability and flexibility they have had in recent years. It's a tough situation. Neither side is right. Neither side is wrong. But their motives and end goals may be different. I think Seymour was making a point with his mini-camp absence (likewise with his attendance at the ring ceremony and team golf tournament). Past that I sort of expect him to be in training camp and play this season. He really doesn't have any other options (other than sitting out until the 10th week of the season and then coming back in time to get credit for an accrued season). Will something long term get done here in New England? I have my doubts. Right now it is a tough situation that will have play itself out. I am just glad I am not making the tough decisions for either camp.
Jarvis Green could be an option to replace Seymour, as could a number of the other young defensive linemen the Patriots have, but they probably won't replace the production you would lose. Belichick has said in the past that guys like Seymour don't come along too often, in fact that is why he is so valuable and believes he has the right to get paid.
New England has not had an extended holdout in quite some time, although there have been a few short ones in recent years. But the franchise does have a history of top talent holding out such as with future Hall of Famers John Hannah and Mike Haynes. Hannah (and teammate Leon Gray) missed three games during a 23-day holdout in 1977, while Haynes missed four games during a two-month holdout in 1980. Obviously that was a different era in New England under a very different management. But like those disagreements, this contract issue is worth watching as both sides have solid arguments and have plenty to gain -- and lose.
Andy Hart

Nice ice. Those rings elevated bling fashion to rap artist proportion. Who is responsible for the masterpieces? Can the jewelers get some notice? Back to business, what were your impressions of mini camp? Can Chad be the man in the middle? Tough cuts in the secondary, WRs ,LBs and special teams. Can't keep them all! Also best PFW I've read in a while, how do I subscribe?Mr. Jules

I agree with your ring observations. They get bigger and better every year. They aren't exactly practical, but they certainly are attention getters. They are made by Jostens, the company that has produced rings for 26 of 39 Super Bowl champions.

My impressions of mini camp were similar to those I read in a Romeo Crennel quote from Cleveland – it's tough to assess much when guys are running around in shorts. But as you said there is certainly a lot of depth and competition at a lot of spots, the most I have seen in my time here in New England. That should make for a very interesting training camp and preseason where every rep and opportunity could mean the difference between a guy making the team and being sent packing.

And most importantly, you can subscribe to PFW by going online to or calling 1-800-494-PATS.
Andy Hart

Assuming that Tedy decides to take a year off to avoid any unwarranted injury from contact, do you see him acting as an assistant LB coach for this season, and also perhaps making a career in coaching when he can no longer play? I personally think he will make a terrific coach in the NFL....(hopefully, with the Pat's)Bobby Hickey

Whether Bruschi plays in 2005 or not, he will make his contributions to this team. He has been taking part in meetings and has already played a role in helping newcomers like Chad Brown work their way into the defense. I am not sure Bruschi has long term coaching aspirations as he is a strong family man and might not be willing to put in the time it takes to be an NFL coach, but he certainly has the football smarts and instincts and is already putting those to use to help this team.
Andy Hart

There has been talk about Benjamin Watson possibly making the Pro Bowl this year and being better than Daniel Graham already. Isn't it way too early to tell given he only has 1 regular season game under his belt?Moses Ip

This answer is easy –- yes it is way too early to tell. While Watson has shown incredible speed and athleticism, he is recovering from a serious knee injury and hasn't proven much in the NFL yet. Right now he is an impressive talent with great potential, nothing more and nothing less. I just hope fans and the media give him a fair chance to recover from his injury and get his feet set in the NFL before going overboard with the expectations based on his impressive talents.
Andy Hart

I would like to know the name of the Boston Yankees football coach during the seasons 1946-1948. Thus far, I have not had any luck finding this information. Would the New England Patriots web site be able to muster up the name of the individual who coached the Yanks during those years.Jimmy Garoufalis

The Boston Yanks were in existence from 1944-1948 with a five-year record of 14-38-3. According to Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League, Herb Kopf coached the team from 1944-1946 and Clipper Smith coached the team from 1947-48.
Andy Hart

"P.K. Sam made a nice jumping catch on a pass from Tom Brady in the back of the end zone in the drill, although NFL Europe intern official Rodney Harrison ruled the play out of bounds from his viewpoint beneath the uprights.…" Seriously? I know Mr. Harrison said he wanted to be an official after he retires. Did he really fly to Europe and serve as an intern there?Jason Jarvis

Harrison attended NFL Europe training camp in Tampa this spring as an intern official. As you reference, Harrison has said a number of times that he would like to pursue a career as an official after his playing days are over.
Andy Hart

Guys, Here's a question you probably haven't received yet and one I hope you will post. I am VERY concerned about our special teams. Not from Adam or Josh's performance, but more from Brad Seely, their coach. Under his direction special teams on our team has been anything but. We are very undisciplined, averaging one of the highest penalty totals in the league for special teams. You can see Seely barking at them on the sidelines during games, but they don't seem to listen to him. I want the bum fired and we need to revamp our kickoff and punt coverage return, because we don't get the field position we used to on punt returns when we receive the ball, and if it weren't for Miller's booming kickoffs, we'd really be in trouble when it comes to the opposition returning the ball on us. So with that said, do you think our Pats will reevaluate special teams in the offseason, specifically with a new coach and retooling some of the players as well? I don't think Brown or Dwight is the long term answer to our kickoff return problem.Jon Dowling

Jon, you are being way too harsh on Seely, and frankly have a number of facts wrong that cloud your credibility on the issue. I understand some of the fuel behind your opinion, but I have to disagree. First, Brown doesn't return kicks, Bethel Johnson does. Miller doesn't kickoff, Vinatieri does. And while the team had a bit of a down year on special teams in 2004, Seely is still one of the most experienced and well regarded special teams coordinators in the game. He is a former Special Teams Coach of the Year. And if he weren't getting the job done, Belichick would definitely show him the door. Ineffectiveness in one's job is not a characteristic of the New England staff. If you can't do the job, they'll find someone who will. Seely has led guys like Larry Izzo and Adam Vinatieri to Pro Bowl seasons and I expect will get the unit to bounce back this season. Bottom line, he's a good coach and I think you are way off base here.
Andy Hart

I would like to thank you guys for doing a great job fielding everyone's questions. Thanks to you, the fans overseas including myself (in Egypt) are kept well informed in facts and speculation about the Patriots. My question is, why does everyone assume Ted Johnson will be one of the starters at inside? With the tons of linebackers on the roster and the limited final roster space, isn't it a possibility that there are linebackers more skilled/flexible that could play inside? Is it a possibility that that Patriots could cut Johnson in favor of a younger, equally talented player?Chris Brownlee

I think there is an outside chance that Johnson could be cut, but I believe the lack of experienced depth at the position will keep him in New England for at least one more season. Even though the team went out and signed guys like Chad Brown and Monty Beisel to man the inside it will take time for those guys to learn the New England 3-4, two-gap system. The experienced Brown has already admitted it is not really like anything he's ever done in his 12 NFL seasons. With Roman Phifer gone and the questions surrounding Bruschi, Johnson is the only truly proven, experienced player the New England defense can throw out there to man the middle. Plus, he can help the other guys learn the system and has been as healthy as he's been in years.
Andy Hart

Did you recognize that Brady was wearing at the mini camp shorts with the No. 10 ....AND....... No. 10 was wearing No. 12's short? Brady and Terrell wearing each other's shorts? Is that what they did at Michigan? Take care guys!Susan K.
Budapest, Hungary

Susan, old friend, you weren't the only reader to notice this detail in the photos on I have to be honest, I didn't see it when we were out at practice and didn't ask either player about it on the first day of camp. After that, I checked and the two players had their own shorts on. Maybe it was just a random thing. Maybe it wasn't. I promise to keep a watch on it during training camp. One thing I can tell you is that Brady has taken a very active and vocal role in helping Terrell learn the offensive system. A number of times during the recent mini-camp Brady could be heard talking to Terrell about intricacies of pass routes or what exactly the quarterback was looking for on a certain play. I have to say, if you are a receiver the one guy you really want in your corner as you begin with a new team is the guy who decides where the ball is thrown. That has to be a good sign for Terrell that his old college buddy is looking out for him in the early going.
Andy Hart

Hi. Been looking/trying to remember if a picture I have of Bledsoe tossing it into the end zone in the AFC Championship game in 1997 resulted in a touchdown. With a final score of 20-6 and 7 of those due to OTIS' Fum. Ret. What was the other TD? Hopefully a TD toss to either Glenn or Jefferson. Thanks. Love Ask PFW as much as PFW, I never miss EITHER. My only complaint/suggestion is for those who "love" Ask PFW every week. Subscribe to PFW and a lot of your questions will be answered in great detail. An example is all the linebacker questions you get when there was recently an in depth article in the PFW paper. Thanks.Brian Silva

Thanks for plugging the paper, but I have to disappoint you with regards to your question. The other touchdown in that AFC Championship game was a 1-yard run by Curtis Martin. The other six points, resulting in the 20-6 win, came on a pair of Adam Vinatieri field goal. Thanks again for the love for the paper.
Andy Hart

Since the Patriots may not be getting Tedy Bruschi back, do you think that will clear cap space and allow them to re-sign Ty Law?
Freddie Moment

First of all, we don't know what Bruschi's status is and probably won't until after Law has signed somewhere. Second, I don't think there is any chance Law will be back in New England. Both sides have moved on.
Andy Hart

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