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Patriots Replay Thu Jul 29 | 12:00 AM - 09:25 AM

Ask PFW: Streaking along

Do you think the defense is still good as last year or did the defense get exposed in the first two weeks? They have been letting the teams they play stay in the game.Robert Kilpatrick

Quick trivia question, Robert … How many times was the Patriots opponent not in the game last year? The answer: once. Only the Bills, who mailed it in for the finale, didn't have a chance to win. Every other team had a chance to win heading into the fourth quarter. The Patriots defense is still developing after just three games. Vince Wilfork and Keith Traylor are learning a new system and trying to fit in. There have been occasional lapses against the run and Buffalo hit the secondary for some big plays. But overall I have faith in this defense and believe it will be solid. It might not post all the shutouts it did last year or lead the league in fewest points allowed, so maybe it's not quite as good as 2003. But I don't think it's time to panic, either.
Paul Perillo

In regards to bye weeks, I've always wondered why the NFL did not consider a scenario where in Weeks 7 and 8 they do all the byes at once. In Week 7 half the teams get a bye, in Week 8 the other half gets the bye. This way no team has an advantage near the end of the season or a disadvantage by having their bye early in the season. What is the opinion of the distinguished PFW staff on this matter?Damon Sklar

You raise an interesting proposal Damon. I guess my question would be, would the NFL like having just six games on those Sunday afternoons to join the Sunday and Monday night games? That's not a lot to choose from, but it also doesn't sound like a deal breaker either. My guess is the league likes spreading the byes out over the entire season so the week's slate is close to full. I personally hate byes and wish they would go away. But if we must endure them, I like the way they do it now with only a few teams off each week rather than 16 taking a vacation at once.
Paul Perillo

My question is in regards to New England's secondary. With Rodney Harrison aging and Ty Law's tenure with the team almost surely over, I'm wondering how the Pats plan to revamp their secondary. Will there be any free agents this year the Pats may be interested in? Or maybe some kind of trade? Or do you think that they will fill this gap specifically from the draft?John Nelson

My guess is your third choice would be the team's course of action. I agree there are some concerns given the age of Harrison, Law and Tyron Poole. However, Eugene Wilson will be a cornerback soon, and Asante Samuel will also be a starter in the near future. I don't see a major free agent signing given the money it would take to lure a top-notch player at such a marquee position. But Poole was an unrestricted free agent and is in his second year as the starter, so you never know. Trades are always a possibility but almost impossible to predict. My guess Belichick will continue developing young players through the draft – don't forget about Guss Scott as a potential starting safety. Those three players could comprise a young, promising group before long.
Paul Perillo

My question is about the future of the Patriots. With Brady's contract expiring in 2006, and with him having 2 Super Bowl MVPs already and possibly more coming, he's going to want a lot of money, which the Pats seem reluctant to pay to superstars. With Seymour's contract expiring in a couple of years as well, he is obviously going to demand top billing. It seems that in a couple of years the Patriots will have quite a number of hefty contracts to pay, which could affect their "team-first, spread the cash around" strategy. What do you think about this? Do you see it probable that someone like Brady or Seymour (or, in theory, Branch, Givens or Graham) going elsewhere for a higher salary? If I had to take one between Brady and Seymour, I'd take Brady but that's just me. Thoughts?Ben B.

While there's still plenty of time before these issues become major, there is reason for concern. Brady most definitely would be within his rights to break the bank. If he chooses to do that and demand substantially more than a guy like Chad Pennington, it could be tough to work the numbers. Brady, in my opinion, is clearly the most indispensable player on the Patriots. I changed my view on that last year during the Super Bowl. Before then, I felt Seymour was that person. He, too, could demand tons of money. It's tough to picture what the salary situation for the team will be in 2006, but it's fair to say those decisions and negotiations will be difficult. My opinion? Brady will structure his deal in as cap-friendly a manner as possible. Seymour, however, I think will look to make as much as he can when he gets the chance. Those opinions are not based on anything either of those guys has said – they are strictly guesses on my part.
Paul Perillo

Who was drafted higher? Ty Law or Ty Poole? What team was Poole drafted by, and a question I don't know the answer to – how long was he with his original team?Snibbets

Snibbets (what kind of name is that?), I would hope you don't already know the answer to any of the questions you ask. That would make this pretty much a waste of our time. Poole was taken by Carolina with the 22nd pick in the 1995 draft, one spot ahead of Law. Poole spent three years with the Panthers before moving on to Indianapolis for three more years, Denver for two and the Patriots starting last year.
Paul Perillo

It seems everyone is upset with the Pats run defense this year vs. last. How many games did Ted Washington play during the year? We seem to forget when with his injury somebody else was filling the middle. And they were doing OK.Don Kierce

Washington played 13 games, including the playoffs, in 2003. The Patriots did a good job when he was missing, but they did allow their only 100-yard rusher in one of the games he was out (Denver), although Richard Seymour was also sidelined for that game. Just because the team did OK without him doesn't mean it doesn't need him. The Patriots wanted him back but Oakland offered more money. Otherwise, Washington would be back in the middle and the coaches would be trying to work new guys in at nose tackle. Run defense has been a concern so far, regardless of who has been on the field.
Paul Perillo

I love the linebackers the Patriots have now, but unfortunately they can't be around forever. Almost all are veterans and close to or already in there 30s, but my question is, do you see the Patriots signing or drafting a young linebacker in the near future?Bdawg

I'm feelin' ya, Dawg. I share your concern about the age of the linebackers, especially the inside guys. I think the group as a whole is talented but you can't expect them to be around forever. I was surprised Belichick wasn't able to draft a young guy at that position this year, but with their track record in April it's tough to argue with their choices. They have some younger guys who potentially can play on the outside like Chatham and Banta-Cain, but really Klecko is the only potential fill-in on the inside … and he's just learning the position. I'd expect an inside guy to come in next season – whether through the draft or free agency, or both.
Paul Perillo

Why doesn't the punting game get the attention it deserves? I was nearly as excited at the Pats upgrade to middle-of-the-pack punter Josh Miller as I was about the acquisition of Dillon. But If Miller kicks it 5 times a game, averaging, as he has so far, 9.4 yards per punt more than Walter did last year, that's an improvement of 47 yards per game! As good as Dillon looks so far, he's not likely to make a difference of 47 yards a week in our run game. Also, I wouldn't trade Brady for 4 Michael Vicks and a Peyton Manning. Whatever "It" is that makes a winner, he's got "it" like nobody I've ever seen.Kenyon Gagne

I think the addition of Miller has been huge. He's a major upgrade over Walter and his performance thus far has certainly been solid. In fact, all three of us wrote several times during the offseason that Miller would make a difference and many of the readers sort of downplayed that importance. Now, I don't think you can look at punting in the terms you have. You can't compare 47 yards a game difference between Walter and Miller with the difference between Dillon and Antowain Smith. It's just not the same. And actually, Dillon's impact has been even greater than Miller's if for no other reason than a running back is far more important. He may not out-perform Smith by 47 yards a game (although don't rule that out), but he's been at least that much better than his predecessor. And I agree with you about Vick. He still hasn't proven he can throw well enough for my liking. I'd take Brady every time. Manning is different … I think he'd be more than capable of winning a title on a well-rounded team. I'll take Brady because he's the guy the Patriots have had success with. But it's not a no-brainer.
Paul Perillo

This is kind of a random time to raise this question, but I have been thinking about this for close to two years now, and especially during this year's preseason. Why is it that Rohan Davey seems to constantly gain Coach Belichick's trust with consistently mediocre performance in game action? I was happy to see him win over in Europe, but why is it that every time I've ever seen him play or read his stat line in NFL action, he's been unquestionable subpar? Yet the Pats drop Kingsbury (if I remember correctly) and name Davey the No. 2? Thank God we re-signed Jim Miller is how I feel. I mean is Davey just phenomenal in practice every day or something, which I would never see? Trust me, I give Belichick a ton of respect in making unpopular personnel decisions, but is he just really attached to a never-ending project with Davey or what? Most opinions of other scouts I have read don't see much in Davey, either. What do you guys think?John Parisi

I can't argue with one thing you wrote. Davey has been consistently inconsistent and has never shown the ability to lead this team if something were to happen to Brady. He didn't look good in the preseason, and he didn't look particularly good on training camp practices, either. However, Kingsbury was not even as good as Davey and therefore is no longer here for good reason. Miller is here for insurance and my feeling is if Brady goes down then Miller would be the guy to step in. I think Davey remains No. 2 based on Miller's health and until he returns to 100 percent Davey will remain the backup. But your assessment of Davey, I think, is right on.
Paul Perillo

In the book "The Art of War," one of the chapters is based on having a gap in your defense to draw the enemy in and surround them. In the Colts game, do you think the Pats coaches could possibly have been soft on the run so Peyton would be less of a threat? They stopped the run when it counted but allowing the back some success would cause Manning not to throw as much. What is your opinion?Dennis Anderson

Dennis, I respect your literary knowledge, but my question to you is: Are you out of your mind? I don't mean to be disrespectful, but do you honestly think the Patriots thought it was a good plan to let the Colts get the ball on the 1-yard line so Peyton Manning wouldn't throw as much? Do you think it was part of the plan for Edgerrin James to fumble twice and have Mike Vanderjagt miss his first field goal in 43 tries? I clearly think they put more into stopping Manning (which they didn't do a great job of, either by the way) than James and the running game, but to suggest it was part of the plan to allow the Colts to roll up and down the field and hope they didn't score … that's where you lose me. I know a lot of people like to compare football to war, but this one is a little far-fetched for my liking.
Paul Perillo

What are your thoughts on Cedric Cobbs? Will he stay with the team after coming off of the PUP list? If so, do you think he will make any sort of impact this season? I believe that he will if given the opportunity, especially if Faulk stays weakened by his knee injury.Anthony McGuire

I spoke with Cobbs last week and said he's feeling more and more comfortable with the offense and physically he's feeling great. I do believe the Patriots will try to add him to the 53-man roster when he's eligible (after the Seattle game). However, I don't think he'll make a major impact this season unless something happens to Dillon. Faulk will add his third-down dimension, which Cobbs really can't provide. Cobbs will provide a legitimate backup at running back, though, and that's how I see him this year. Maybe a few carries here and there to spell Dillon but nothing too major.
Paul Perillo

Hey guys, could you please update some of us Pat fans on status of some of the young players that got cut just before the season started. Players such as Chas Gessner, Ricky Bryant, Grant Steen, Scott Farley, Larry Flugence, and Kliff Kingsbury. Did they catch on with another team or are they still out there available should an injury happen to one of our starters? Thanks and keep up the great work.Ray Bergeron

Kliff Kingsbury is currently on the New Orleans Saints practice squad. All of the others you mentioned are free agents and out of football.
Paul Perillo

I have recently read "Patriot Reign" by Mr. Holley, and I did find the behind the scenes look interesting and sometimes insightful. Like many, I can't seem to get enough. But with that said, I have a question regarding the book. Did the Patriots have a say in the time of release? The timing of the release seems risky. Will any of this have a negative affect on the locker room? This book couldn't wait until after the season?Paul Calderone

The Patriots gave Michael Holley 100 percent access to write the book, but other than that, they had no control over its release. It's not a Patriots book; it's a book about the Patriots. There's a difference. Holley obviously wanted to get the book out during the season to maximize the attention it would receive. Judging from the fans' reactions, he succeeded. But there was nothing Belichick could do about the timing of its release.
Paul Perillo

If the Patriots were an ice cream, what flavor do you suppose they would be? My second question is, is PFW too stiff to post such a brilliant question from an obvious source of conventional wisdom such as the "King of Rude Dogs?"King Rude Dogs

Brilliant is in the eye of the beholder I guess. But no one has ever accused us of being "too stiff" to post anything so there you go, King. As for the flavor … since the Pats have a little bit of everything, how about rainbow sherbet?
Paul Perillo

What is that slingshot-lookalike gadget that the referee wears around his hand and fingers?Alan Lang

According to a very informed official that I asked, the device is for the Umpire and it's used to indicate where the ball is spotted. For example, the Umpire faces the offense while in his position, so if the ball was spotted dead center on the field, then he would put the elastic on his middle finger. The index finger would indicate that the ball is on the right field-goal post, and the thumb would be the right hash. It's opposite for the ring finger and pinkie. That way, on incomplete passes and fouls, the officials know where the ball was last spotted. For the other officials, it's a down-indicator.
Paul Perillo

Why can running backs, tight ends, receivers, and possibly quarterbacks jam their hands to the face/facemasks of defensive players while running with the ball, while offensive linemen and defensive players are called for a hands to the face penalty, even when the hand(s) inadvertently slips up from the chest or shoulder pads. I thought the reason for the penalty was player safety. However, this obviously cannot be the reason since the penalty is not called when running backs, tight ends, receivers, and possibly quarterbacks jam their hands to the face/facemasks of defensive players, which is an equal or greater risk to player safety as the penalties called at the line of scrimmage. Please enlighten me as to the reason the penalty is not called in every situation where a player's hand or hands slide up or are jammed into the face of another player.Scott Stevens

I'm going to call on my official friend again for this one. He tells me a player can contact another player's facemask, as long as he doesn't grasp the facemask. Also, a player cannot repeatedly hit another player's facemask or helmet, but he can make contact as long as he's not smacking the side of his helmet. I have to agree with you on this topic, Scott. A straight arm seems unfair if other players aren't allowed to similarly hit an opponent in the face whether they're grabbing the mask or not. I guess it's one of those NFL rules that is unfair … and believe I have a lot of those.
Paul Perillo

I don't agree with what Andy Hart said about the Rams last week. I think the rams, assuming all is healthy, have a very good offense. Should Bulger, Faulk, Holt and Bruce be at the top of their game, the Patriots will struggle on defense against the Rams offense. Marc Bulger may not be a Peyton Manning, Torry Holt may not be Marvin Harrison, but one is a solid QB and the other is a top 10 WR in the league. What Indy doesn't have is another great WR like Isaac Bruce, or the offensive line the Rams have. On to my question, Christian Fauria's role as a tight end has lessened now that Graham has stepped up. Do you think Fauria will be moved to fullback? He's a great blocker, good catcher, and slow enough to be a fullback.Dru

On your first point, I think Andy is an idiot too. I think the Rams offense stacks up favorably with the Colts and can be dangerous. Bulger is definitely not in Manning's league, but the receivers and backs are at least on par. But the Rams offensive line is terrible with the exception of Orlando Pace. The Colts group is much better. Indy does have another top receiver in Reggie Wayne, who is having a strong start to the season. As for Fauria, with Watson out for the year he will join Graham in a lot of two tight end sets. He'll get plenty of playing time. I don't see him as a fullback-type, though. Graham and Watson were better suited for that role. With Watson out, I don't think any of the tight ends will play much fullback the rest of the way.
Paul Perillo

Andy, Someone today posted a question that asked how Deion Branch was and whether he would play on Sunday against the Bills. You replied with wait until the injury report? What the heck are you guys there for, if you can't give any information out? It seems you guys never have any important information to tell us. Obviously you're not a mind reader but can you tell us if he was at practice? Have you seen him around Gillette Stadium? Is he wearing a brace? A cast? If we have to wait for the press conferences or the injury report what good is Ask PFW? I certainly wouldn't subscribe and pay for Patriots Football Weekly if I get information like that.Scott Moquin
Peabody, Mass.

Scott, I understand your frustration, but you have to realize we can only report what we know. We're just like other reporters who are trying to find out what's going on. Just because we work at the stadium doesn't mean we're privy to more information than anyone else. At the time Andy made his comment, we hadn't seen Branch at all. He hasn't been in the locker room since he was injured so we can't tell you if he's wearing a cast or brace. He didn't make the trip to Buffalo so we can't tell you how he was walking. We can't go to practice so we can't tell you if he practiced until the injury report comes out. If there was no injury report, we wouldn't even be able to tell you if he practiced. Injured players are generally kept under wraps by Belichick and the medical staff. They are adamant about not letting such information get out. I understand that makes it tough on the fans who are looking for some info. But please try not to shoot the messenger when we don't have a lot to pass along. It's not because we're not trying, believe me. But for Andy or any of us to speculate without knowing would be wrong. And Belichick makes sure we don't know.
Paul Perillo

We hear a lot more about Belichick, than the actual players on the team in national broadcasts. To a point it appears that other teams don't have good coaches, and they only rely on their all-star QB. Is this just stupid or is it just me? Tony Dungy is a great coach, and I am sure that they have a good offensive coordinator, but people make it sound like Manning runs the whole offense by himself. Yes, he can change plays at the line, but how many other QB's do that. Brady certainly does it doesn't he? I guess I find it curious how people point to individual greatness without acknowledging others that help in the process.Dave Isaacson

Different teams are perceived in different ways. Most of the credit for the Patriots success has gone to Belichick. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but that's the way it's been. But as great a coach as he is, without talented players he wouldn't have been able to win two Super Bowls. The Colts are considered to be Manning's team – he had great success with and without Dungy. Again, that's not right or wrong. Manning does a lot for that offense and that no doubt adds to that perception. I think you're reading too much into what announcers say, though. I doubt announcers intentionally belittle the accomplishments of others when they're pointing out individual greatness. I know it sometimes sounds like that, but believe me they're not intimating that the other coaches are stupid when they're saying how good Belichick is.
Paul Perillo

My question is actually about a game (one of only 3) I went to BEFORE I had season tix. I believe it was in 1988 against the Bucs. It was the 1st game back after the strike and the Pats sat Flutie to play the returning Eason (boo!). The game ended in OT. (6-3 maybe?) I think this was the first game the Pats won in OT in their history. True? Can you give a OT history of the pats and their overall OT record.Brian Silva

The game you're talking about took place on Dec. 11, 1988, at what was then Sullivan Stadium. The Patriots beat the Bucs, 10-7, in overtime with Tony Eason returning from injury to replace Doug Flutie at quarterback. It was not the first game back after the strike, however. The strike took place in 1987. Flutie had played the past several games but Ray Berry decided to put Eason back in against the Bucs. It was indeed the Patriots first-ever overtime win. The Patriots had lost 10 straight in overtime before winning that day. Overall, the Patriots are 17-18 in OT, including wins in their last eight tries.
Paul Perillo

I disagree with Paul on my question about comparing Brady and The "Manning Sisters" and the way they act after a bad play. Paul wrote "Brady is very excitable after good plays but keeps calm after bad ones. That doesn't make one right and the other wrong. It's just the difference in their personalities." I totally think a negative attitude or loss of composure can carry over to the whole team if your leaders are showing defeat isn't it time for everyone to start worrying? And he also mentions Marino, Elway and Manning and out of those three only one has a couple rings so it seems it could be an ineffective personality defect?
Hammerin Hank

What can I say, Hank. We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't equate being upset with a poor play at the time necessarily the same as conveying a loss of composure. For years around here Drew Bledsoe was vilified for not showing any fire and constantly maintaining an even keel. Now people are being critical of other quarterbacks who are too emotional. I'll reiterate my point: there's no right and wrong way to act. Brady is great because he plays great, not just because of how he reacts. And to somehow say Marino is not to be considered great because his team never won the Super Bowl is ridiculous. More than one shoemaker of a quarterback (Mark Rypien, Jeff Hostetler, Trent Dilfer, just to name a few) has won the title. That doesn't make them better than a quarterback who hasn't.
Paul Perillo

I have something to get off my chest and I think a few others may have the same views. Recently, the NFL has declined player/players the right to wear the No. 40 decal on their helmets for the remainder of the season. (Not part of the official NFL uniform, which I feel is ridiculous.) My question is, if they are so big on decals, why does the league still allow these guys to wear jewelry? Dillon looks like the real thing so far and I am very happy about that. But, he recently had on a gold chain and cross that needed attention after every play. I have also seen many others with large earrings and so on. What is the rule for jewelry? If there isn't one, there should be one! It doesn't belong on the playing field. Again, thanks for the great job you guys do!Richie Bright

I totally agree with the outrageousness of the NFL not letting players wear No. 40 decals. Especially in Jake Plummer's case. Plummer wanted to honor his former teammate and was not allowed to. How silly is that? But jewelry should be up to the player as well. Some players wear it to be flashy, but others have their reasons – sentimental or otherwise – for wearing it. Hopefully the league will wake up and stop being so stifling.
Paul Perillo

Is Week 2 an anomaly? Or has Weis finally realized that Dillon is a weapon worth integrating fully into the Patriots scheme? This is, after all, the first year that Charlie has had a top-shelf running back to work with in his offensive plans.Scott Griffin

I think you'll see plenty of Dillon in weeks to come. I don't know if he'll average 32 carries a game, like he got in Arizona, but 20 or so seems realistic. The Patriots never got the ball with the lead in the fourth quarter at Buffalo. If they had, you can bet Dillon would have added to his 19 carries that day. No doubt Weis understands how good his new weapon is and he'll use it.
Paul Perillo

I recently got into a discussion about the "point of emphasis" situation on hitting receivers when more than 5 yards past the LOS. In the course of reading the rules on Pass Interference, we noted that the rule states that the restrictions on hitting a receiver are dropped if "the QB leaves the pocket." Now, in the 50 years or so that I've been watching the NFL, I don't ever remember seeing DBs intentionally knock a receiver down after the QB rolls out. My question is, WHY NOT? If the "no bump" rule is dropped once the QB rolls outside the tackle box, why not knock his receivers to the ground? Yet we consistently see defenders running with receivers as the QB rolls, playing "normal" coverage techniques. If I were coaching the defense, I'd have a code word that would be shouted when the QB leaves the pocket. Upon hearing that word (or seeing the QB roll out), the job of my defenders would be to knock down every potential receiver they could reach (as long as not from behind, of course). It seems that this tactic would severely limit the success of QBs who thrive on the roll out pass. Why isn't this a standard technique in the NFL?George Richman

Boy would I love to be an offensive coordinator playing against your defense, George. You actually think it would be easy for a cornerback to knock down a receiver in the open field while a quarterback is rolling out? And you think in stadiums filled with 70,000-plus screaming fans that you'd be able to have a code word to tell the defensive backs it's time to start knocking people down? And the no bump rule doesn't eliminate the chance for pass interference. The defender cannot hit the receiver at any time when the ball is in the air. So if the defender is trying to knock down the receiver and the ball is on the way, he's going to get a flag.
Paul Perillo

If Tom Brady's shoulder is bothering him, it might be a good idea to allow Rohan Davey or Jim Miller to get some playing time, assuming the Pats have the lead.Brian Michener

First, Tom Brady plays until his shoulder actually falls off. Second, with the exception of the season finale against Buffalo last year, when Brady actually did rest in the fourth quarter, name me one other time the Patriots had a comfortable enough lead to warrant resting the quarterback. Doesn't sound like a sound plan to me.
Paul Perillo

You guys have always been very good at taking people to task who second-guess the coaching decisions of the Patriots, and I agree with you. The current staff has brought us an embarrassment of riches. More than any New England sports fan has a right to expect. This isn't a "Charlie Weis is a bad coach" email, just a question: Does anyone else see the speculative similarity between Charlie and Mike Martz? An inspired offensive coordinator who needs a strong hand at head coach. Weis is a masterful offensive planner, but his decisions don't seem to make sense in terms of game-planning or team management. The Brady Hail Mary in the waning seconds of the first half in Arizona is a prime example - a flashy low-percentage play that can (and did) go terribly wrong. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but why not take a knee and end a shaky turnover-filled half? Weis, like Martz, is supremely confident of his players and his ability and this is great as far as it goes, but the flipside is that he doesn't see the downside of some of the plays until after the ball is snapped. He also is a poor clock manager. Willie McGinest wouldn't have had to stop James at the one in the Colts game last year if Weis hadn't been so hot to pass for a first down on the Patriots' possession before, when he burned a grand total of like 14 seconds off the clock with three incompletes and a punt. I'm just wondering if I'm being excessively maudlin about this, or if anyone else sees the parallel.Mike C.

I totally disagree. I think the Patriots game plans are outstanding. Weis is guilty of making questionable play calls just like every other coordinator in the league, but for the most part I think he's excellent. This team hasn't been overly talented offensively in the past yet still found ways to move the ball and generate offense. The coaching has to be at least partly responsible for that. The last-second Hail Mary against Arizona was neither flashy nor risky. Every team in football with a touchdown lead would have done the same thing. When you have the ball on the opponent's side of the field with time for one more play at the end of the half, and you don't try to score, that would be terrible coaching and a wasted opportunity. Branch was hurt on the play when a Cardinals playing knocked Stephen Neal into his knee. It was an unfortunate injury but that could have happened on any play. How did you feel back in 2000 when the Patriots threw a Hail Mary at the end of the half against the Colts and Tony Simmons caught a touchdown? Were you concerned about the injury risk then? The fact that the Patriots turned the ball over twice previously should have no bearing on the plan for the future. Now I agree with your criticism of Weis' play calling at Indy last year. That was an error in judgment in my opinion. But again, no one is right all the time, and I do think you're being excessively maudlin about this. (I just wanted to use the word, maudlin).
Paul Perillo

On the last Bills possession of the game on Sunday, Drew Bledsoe threw a pick in the end zone, why is that play not being called an interception? And what were the stats for the second half of the game for both teams? Thanks again, and GO PATS!Brad Vandehey

The official ruled that Asante Samuel was out of bounds when he made the final interception. I never saw a replay on it, but it looked to me like he only got one foot in bounds on the play. My guess is if the play had any meaning, it would have been reviewed. But since it was the final play of the game, there was no need. And other than giving Patriots fans a false reason to further rip Drew Bledsoe, I don't see what good it would have done to further delay what had already been a ridiculously long game. I'm not sure what stats you're interested in, but the Patriots had 143 yards of total offense in the second half while Buffalo had 133 yards.
Paul Perillo

Good job on the Patriots 2004 Yearbook. But I did notice one error/omission. It is in the section that looks at each opponent this year and gives the all-time results against that team. It lists the all-time record against the Cleveland Browns as Cleveland 12, Patriots 6 (page 213) but doesn't include last season's 9-3 Patriots win.Phil Robinson

Good catch by you, Phil. The Patriots all-time record against the Browns should be 7-12 with last year's Patriots win included. Sorry for the omission.
Paul Perillo

Would you trade Ty Law for the Saints 2 second-round picks. We get 2 picks and do not have to break the bank to sign them.Matthew MacKinnon

I would not. Ty Law is a known commodity and second-round picks are not. I'd rather find a way to re-sign Law. If they can't, I'd like more than 2 second-round picks in return. I'd hold out for a first-rounder.
Paul Perillo

On the Patriots full roster only Ben Watson is listed under injured reserve. Did Zeron Flemister, Rodney Bailey, and Guss Scott reach injury settlements or are they just not on this list?Art Graham

All of those players are on injured reserve and should be listed on any roster. The roster I clicked on patriots.com listed all of those players, plus those on PUP. Please let us know what roster you looked at that didn't include those players.
Paul Perillo

In Arizona Cardinal issue of PFW, it was stated that Dillon fumbled in the game. Dillon also fumbled in the Buffalo game. Under game notes, it was mentioned that the fumble in the Buffalo game was Dillon's first in 220 touches. Please explain the discrepancy. Thanks.David Gibbs

Actually, both of those statements were correct, although technically wrong. Dillon dropped a pitch against the Cardinals but that fumble is credited to Brady because he was the last person to have possession. But the blame definitely goes to Dillon. So when it was stated that Dillon's fumble against the Bills was his first time 220 touches, statistically that was true. It was his first "official" fumble, even though we all saw him fumble the previous game as well.
Paul Perillo

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