Hey guys, I read your column avidly. Thanks for all of the work you guys do to carry us through the offseason and during the season. Whatever happened to the record setting ball that set TD records for Tom Brady and Randy Moss?*Dave Cruz *
I was at the post-game press conference when Moss was asked about that ball, and I remember him joking that he and Brady were going to share it by splitting it in half. Thankfully, that didn't happen. It's currently on display in The Hall at Patriot Place as part of the "In Record Numbers" exhibit, which focuses on NFL records that have been set by the team or a Patriot player. I'm told by Hall curators that it may be moved at some point to the "Building Blocks" exhibit (focusing on the history of the team), but in either event, it will remain in Foxborough for fans to see and enjoy.
Rodney Harrison was injured for the season last year, as you know. So were Adalius Thomas, Laurence Maroney, et cetera, et cetera ... So, why are Thomas and Maroney still on the depth chart you have, while Rodney is missing? Are you assuming his last season with the Patriots has come and gone?Michael Stevens, England
I assume you're talking about the unofficial depth chart that's available on patriots.com. And no, we're not assuming anything, Michael. The reason you see Thomas and Maroney listed there is because they're currently under contract with New England, while Harrison is not. So, as of today, he's not officially a member of the team and therefore not eligible to be on its depth chart. If and when he re-signs, his name will be back up there, rest assured.
It's difficult to refrain from reading too much into Coach Belichick's offseason moves, but I found it interesting that Damane Duckett was originally drafted as a DEFENSIVE lineman and, as far as I know, has not actually played a down as an O-lineman. I mean, maybe he's actually just camp fodder. Either way, I was wondering what you guys knew/thought.Steve Warren
It's an interesting move, to say the least. He's certainly there for depth, but remember, this isn't the first player the Pats have picked up who didn't have significant experience at O-line. Stephen Neal didn't even play college football and he became a starting guard – and a good one – under the tutelage of Belichick and Scarnecchia. Maybe they see something in Duckett that makes them think he can handle the switch. I'm curious, like you, to see what happens.
Here's a list of questions ... I'm just looking for your opinion. 2009 starting TE: Chris Baker or Benjamin Watson? 2009 starting RB: Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, or Laurence Maroney? 2009 starting left and right corners: Ellis Hobbs, Shawn Springs, Terrence Wheatley, or Leigh Bodden? Wins for the season: over or under 12? Will BenJarvus Green-Ellis make the 53 man roster? Who will the Pats sign, Julius Peppers or Jason Taylor? What will the Pats do with the first round draft choice: OL, LB, CB, S, or trade? Will Harrison come back? Who will the Pats face in the Super Bowl? Will Adalius Thomas be ready to start the season? Who do you want as next year's cheerleader: Britney Spears or Jessica Alba? THANKS FOR THE GREAT WORK!Kevin Hahn
A lightning round, I love it! OK, here goes … ready?
Baker. Taylor. Springs and Bodden. Over. No, but BJGE will be on the practice squad. Peppers. Outside linebacker. No (maybe a mid-season signing if the injury bug bites). The Giants. Yes. And saving the best for last … Alba, hands down.
*Erik Scalavino *
First off, I just want to say great job guys! Love reading it every week. I have a trade proposal. Seymour and the 34th to the Carolina Panthers for Peppers and a third- or fourth-rounder. Thoughts?Mark D., England
I like it. I'd make that deal in a heartbeat. Makes sense for both teams
This question doesn't have anything to do with anything anybody's been talking about. It's just something I've been wondering about for a while. If the starting center snaps the ball to the quarterback in the shotgun, why do we need a separate long snapper? You could use that roster spot for someone who contributes during a higher percentage of the game.Howard Wolfe
It may look easy, Howard, but snapping a football eight to 15 yards on a dime is harder than you think. If it weren't, teams would send any old player out there to do it. To your specific point, the center, on shotgun plays, is just flipping the ball with one hand to the QB, who's normally just five yards or so behind him. There's less precision involved in that exchange than there is on place kicks or punts. It's imperative that the ball gets there faster on those special teams plays because the kicker/punter only has about 1.5 seconds to get his kick away. Whereas a QB in the shotgun has at least three seconds before he has to deliver a pass. May not seem like much of a difference, but in football, it's a significant one.
*Erik Scalavino *
This question seems to be a bit ostentatious, but would the Pats be able to afford both Peppers and Taylor? PFW ... can I have my cake and eat it too?Alex Leeds
*Erik Scalavino *
Why is there no love anymore for the Patriots among sports fans? Any sports blog I visit has fans blasting the Patriots, and even people I meet roll their eyes when I mention I'm a Pats fan.
*Jim Van Allan *
It's called jealousy, Jim. It happens anytime a dynasty emerges in pro or college sports. Fans of other teams get tired of seeing the same team have success year after year after year. Look on the bright side: would you rather go back to the "good ol' days" when everyone felt sorry for the Pats because they were the laughingstock of the league? Didn't think so.
Hi guys. Just wanted to send a "Thank You" to Sammy Morris and the rest of the guys who have gone to the Middle East to lift the spirits of our troops. My younger cousin is doing his second tour in Afghanistan and although Sammy and other athletes go there for the troops, they need to know that it helps lift the spirits of family and friends here as well.