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Patriots Replay Thu May 28 | 02:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Ask PFW: Two wins away from third payday

Great win against the Colts. Time of Possession - grade A . No Turnovers -grade A. Penalties - (B-), Punt Returns - B , Kickoff Returns B. Overall (A-). Other Comments Great in getting them to turn over the ball 2 times. Terrific in no turnovers. It would have been nice for the defense to get another sack, BUT probably pressure was not applied to make sure the receivers were well covered. Area of Improvement Need to improve on kickoff returns. Offense needs to protect QB - there were 3 sacks. ---- Need to do the same exact thing against the Steelers (Time of Possession) & no turnovers. The Steelers will run the ball right down your throat if the Pats allow it. They have no problem with 45-50 running plays per game. As a matter of fact, that's what they'll try to do. The Defense better get ready for a very physical game and hit Pittsburg all day long, otherwise the Pats Defensive Line will look like a HUMAN BLOCKING SLED. Did you notice the drive that the Steelers had in overtime? Good luck!
Jack Endabocks

Nice to see Professor Football checking in to put his stamp of approval on the Patriots win, one of the best in the team's recent run of success. Just kidding. You are right, the AFC Championship game will be decided in the trenches as the two teams try to impose their physical wills on each other. One aspect that should fall in New England's favor in this rematch is the fact that Corey Dillon will be in uniform. While I don't think New England would have won the game during the regular season even with Dillon, this Sunday will be a different story. I don't expect Tom Brady to turn the ball over as he did in the first meeting. Conversely, I can easily see Ben Roethlisberger making a couple of costly mistakes, just like he did last week against New York. It is going to be a tough, physical, defensive-minded matchup between the two best teams in the AFC, just what you would hope for in a conference championship.
Andy Hart

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]()All I have been hearing about from all media outlets is about what the Patriots defense going to do against the Colts. Well, I'll tell you what I have not heard anybody talk about what the Colts are going to do against the Patriots offense. I think the Pats will do enough to slow them down. I don't, however, see the Colts being able to slow down the Pats enough. Patriots in a shoot out 38-34. Thanks guys.*Mark Veillette*

Obviously this email came before the game, but I figured I would throw it in. Just like most of the national and local media, Mark too was wrong. The Colts defense did all it could against the New England offense. I mean if you told them they would trail 6-3 at halftime and 13-3 in the fourth quarter they would have taken it in a heartbeat. They did their job, it was the over-hyped, high powered offense that couldn't get the job done for Indy. New England's defense had a dominating day against Peyton Manning and Co. and the Patriots offense took advantage of its opportunities. But you certainly can't hang the loss on the Colts defense. They played their hearts out and more than held up their end of the equation for Tony Duny's team.
Andy Hart

HI Can you please tell me if the stadium will be open to visitors on the 19th Feb 2005. My friend and I are flying in from England on the 18th and are driving down the east cost to 6 different football stadiums on the 19th/20th Feb starting at Gillette stadium and finishing in Miami. Is there anything you could do for some British football fans? Thank you for your time.
Austin Bradshaw

Sorry to disappoint you, Austin, but the stadium does not conduct tours for the public. The only part of the facility that is open to the public is the Patriots Pro Shop (open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) that is located just outside of the stadium bowl. If you are going to be in the area and really want to see Gillette Stadium from the outside, I would stop by the Pro Shop. Otherwise, I am sorry to say you are out of luck.
Andy Hart

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]()Do you think that Ty Law could be traded for a early- mid first round pick? The Pats could likely pick up Antrel Rolle or Marlin Jackson at CB, or we could draft Thomas Davis at safety and move Eugene Wilson back to corner. Then we'd also have our original 1st rounder.*Zach Gildea*

I really am not sure what you could get in a trade for Ty Law. My gut tells me that there would always be someone willing to trade a first-round pick for an All-Pro corner. They are just too rare to pass up, even if it is a guy on the downside of his career who is coming off injury. I doubt you would get a high pick though, simply because any team that would trade for Law would likely feel they are just a player or two away from getting over the top and those teams have picks that are in the mid to later rounds of the draft. I do think the Patriots will be looking to draft a corner in April, whether it is with their own pick or an acquired pick. Regardless of how well they have done with the likes of Asante Samuel, Troy Brown and Randall Gay, the unit needs to add more depth to the position, especially if the team is planning on moving on without Law and veteran Tyrone Poole.
Andy Hart

Guys, Just read on SI.com that when asked how he'll spend his off-season after the Pro-Bowl, Adam Vinatieri stated, "It's a contract year, so I don't know if I'll be back with the Patriots". That did not sound too heartwarming towards the home team. I know, it's the future and God and BB forbid looking towards that but I would like to think that he'll be with us for the remainder of his career. I know it's alarmist to some point to worry about that because the big bad Colts are coming and we should be focusing are interest and positive karma on the upcoming game but I think losing him would be big problem.
Joe Lemery

While I understand your concerns with Adam's quotes, I would be shocked if he doesn't re-sign with the team. Belichick has been very open in his praise for his kicker and the value of that position has never been more evident than this postseason. Vinatieri won two Super Bowls for this team and that means something. He's still automatic and no one is better in tough, pressure-filled situations, especially when weather is a factor. Call it a hunch, but I think they already have something in the works with the Pro Bowl kicker and I don't think Patriots fans should worry too much about seeing Adam with another team.
Andy Hart

Do you think that Ty Law has played his last game for the Patriots as his CAP will be prohibitively huge next year? The Pats did go 14-2 without him, Poole and a host of others on the IR proving they can win without him although admittedly would be better with him. Also, I haven't seen that much of Rosevelt Colvin. It seems that McGinest, Vrabel and Banta-Cain are used much more at outside LB. How is he progressing and should we expect much more from him next season?Otis Hill

First, I think we have to start calling you Every-Week Otis. I mean it seems like you have at least one question in every Ask PFW and sometimes more than one. You get my vote as the first unofficial Ask PFW Hall of Famer. As far as Law goes, I personally think he should be back. The money is only about $2 million more (from about $10 million on this year's cap to about $12 for 2005). That money can be made up in a number of ways including an increase in the cap, the departure of some other veterans (Poole, Roman Phifer, Troy Brown or others?) and the fact that you practically dealt with it this year. I believe that if you are able to have an All-Pro cornerback on your roster, you do it. I know guys have done a great job in his absence, but I would still rather play with him than without. You finish the current deal and then the two parties can go their separate ways. I know there are still probably some hard feelings on both sides in this one, but I think it is in the best interest for the Patriots to have Law on the field. He can help the young guys along, make plays, maybe win another championship and then is off the books after next season when you have to worry about deals with guys like Tom Brady and Richard Seymour. Maybe I am naive, but I just think having a guy with Law's talents is just in the best interest of the team, especially when you already got through this year with a similarly difficult cap number. As for Colvin, he is playing quite a bit but isn't making that many plays. While Vrabel and McGinest get the most time on the outside, Colvin is clearly third in the group of outside linebackers. He isn't back to pre-injury production but he is getting closer every week. I think next season will be the real test as to whether the former Bear can be a playmaking force again or if the hip injury that caused him to miss last season will limit him for the rest of his career.
Andy Hart

Team PFW: I'm a lifelong Pat's fan (and pushing 50!) and greatly appreciate "Ask PFW" & especially the Patriots.Com audio broadcasts. Rarely having the opportunity to hear them live, I tuned into a rebroadcast Thursday eve from 8:30 to 11:00 to enjoy the "fireside chats" about the World Champs. Here's a suggestion from one true fan. Research your archives, find out which host's show was playing, and buy him a one-way ticket to Peytonville. His condescending self-proclaimed "objectivity" in predicting a 33-31 Pat's loss was insulting, arrogant, and entirely focused on our defensive back weaknesses--repeatedly professing Randall Gay as the "key player of the game" in his anticipation of Manning taking advantage of his inexperience. But nary a word about our strengths--defensive scheming, coaching & home field advantages, legendary linebackers, Colts defensive weaknesses, Cory Dillon, or Brady's all-pro leadership. No, we're simply going to lose because Randall Gay was an undrafted free agent. Unbelievable... Perhaps, if he had a modicum of journalistic discretion, he'd realize who's sponsoring his anti-Pat's diatribe, and more importantly realize he's in the heat of post-season passion. As a minimum, keep his coverage positive and highlight where the Pat's need to focus to meet the challenge. His repeated "I'm sorry folks, I don't think the Pat's can do it" absolutely sickened me. But he seemed articulate and clearly impressed with himself throughout. Perhaps he can apply as Vanderjagt's new press agent, because we don't need him remotely associated with this world class organization. BTW, the game is 2 days away--Pats 31, Colts 23 Sign Me A "True" FanTom in Hampton, Virginia

This is another pregame email, but I thought Tom deserved to voice his opinion. The work we do here at Patriots.com and on Patriots.com radio isn't about blindly supporting the team and being fans. We try to be objective and give our honest analysis of the games. I am not sure who you were listening to, but I have to be honest with you and say that I too thought the Colts would win on Sunday. In hindsight, I was wrong. But that doesn't mean I didn't have the right to that opinion. Your job as a fan is to support the team with all the emotion you can conjure up. Our job as journalists, analysts and radio hosts is to break down the games and give honest opinions. While I hope you enjoy what we do, we simply can't just wave our pompons and talk only about everything New England does well. This time you were right and most of us were wrong. Enjoy that, enjoy the winning and please accept the jobs that we are paid to do. Plus, doesn't winning and saying, "I told you so," feel even better that way?
Andy Hart

First, thanks for the great work all year Ask PFW. Second, I respect the fact that Peyton had a great year, but how long do we have to hear about it? Finally, What key players on the Patriots roster will be free agents at the end of the season?Steve Stephenson

As of right now New England's unrestricted free agents of note include Joe Andruzzi, David Patten and Adam Vinatieri. On top of that Jarvis Green, David Givens and Brandon Gorin will all be restricted free agents this spring. The situation with Givens, including what level tender the team gives him and his value on the open market, is one area that should be of interest for Patriots fans when the season ends.
Andy Hart

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]()Is the signing of Antwan Harris only for the playoffs, or will he be with the team for the '05 season?*
*Nathan Graf

Considering that the team passed on Harris through all the injuries and settled on Brown, Earthwind Moreland and Hank Poteat before re-signing Harris, I think this is just a move for depth for the time being. He was out of football for the entire season and I think there is almost no shot of him being in New England by the time the 2005 season rolls around.
Andy Hart

Hi, I have a bet going on....So, I am wondering what kind of car the great Belichick drives? Thanks.Wendy Colby

One with four tires, a steering wheel, an engine and doors. Sorry, best I could do.
Andy Hart

I received a team roster today from one of my patriots websites(i cant remember which one!) that showed Ty Law on the active roster. please please please tell me this is true! Please?Tracy Tucker

Ty Law is on injured reserve, where he will remain for the remainder of the season. Once a player is placed on IR he is not eligible to play again that season. Sorry to break the bad news to you those are the rules, even for the Patriots. Besides you should be checking Patriots.com for all your up-to-date information, not some other questionable source. I am so disappointed, but at least you figured out the error in your ways and came here for the real truth.
Andy Hart

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]()What is the probability of our free agents getting re-signed? How would you prioritize our own free agent re-signings? And where is the money going to free up from?*Mr. Jules*

Right now I would say Adam Vinatieri, David Givens and Joe Andruzzi need to be the top priorities, in that order. I think Adam's value speaks for itself, especially in the postseason. Givens is a developing young star who might be the best all-around receiver on the team right now. And Andruzzi is a hard-working, do-his-job type player who has been a key member of the offensive line over the last four seasons. He isn't flashy, but he gets the job done and epitomizes what this offensive line is all about. I think there is a good chance that the team will re-sign all these guys (especially Givens who is only a restricted free agent). In terms of the money, it can come from a variety of areas. The cap will increase, some veterans will not be back, others will re-work their contracts and realistically we aren't talking about that much coin. Plus, that's not our problem. We are only fantasy G.M.s, Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick are the ones who really have to worry about that.
Andy Hart

Hi When the Patriot's beat the Colt's and go on to the Super Bowl, will Ty Law be allowed to play in the Super Bowl if he has recovered from his injury or will being on the injured reserve block him out of play?
Joan Mandzik

No. Please see answer above. Law can not play again this season.
Andy Hart

Hi guys, I am having trouble finding the right link to Ask PFW, so I hope this is the right place via Feedback. We usually don't hear who the coaches give the game balls to. It would be interesting to hear who they thought deserved game balls for each game, especially when they are not obvious choices (e.g. Damon Huard in last year's playoff game for impersonating Manning). Can you find out who got the game balls for this year's Colts game and perhaps regularly publish that info for every game? Thanks,Evan Shu in Melrose, Mass.

Evan, the only time we really find out about game balls is when the coaches tell us, when we see one in a player's locker and ask about it or when another player tells us. That info comes out on occasion and I agree with you that it is interesting to hear especially when it is someone like a coach, scout team player or other lesser-known contributor. I will see what I can find out about the game balls for the Colts game, but don't hold your breath. I can tell you that some guys who played a key role on scout team in last week's preparation, as Huard did last January, were Jim Miller (Manning), Kevin Kasper (Brandon Stokley), Justin Kurpeikis (Dallas Clark) and Jed Weaver (Marcus Pollard).
Andy Hart

PFW, I appreciated the hint of sarcasm in your response to those writing-off the Pats against the Colts. Forgive those e-mails. I suspect they suffer from the old Red Sox "wait until next year" syndrome. For those e-mailers, let me get you started with "Plaxico Burress is too big and the Steelers receiver corps as a whole is too physical . . . ." My question, which you may or may not feel comfortable responding to as it pertains to media, is this: on a national level, doesn't it seem like the vast majority of commentators want to see the Patriots fail? I know it sounds like the "grassy knoll" theory, but I rarely hear a kind word about the Pats by particular commentators in some of the major television programs, and even a dominating victory like the one against the Colts is attributed to field conditions and cold weather rather than a great defensive effort or offensive game plan execution. My perception of the overall media is it would favor a Vick/Manning Super Bowl, which I don't know would necessarily be a great game (the Chiefs-Falcons game this year, 55-10, was nothing special). I expect the Pats' philosophy, which doesn't place individuals above the team, might appear vanilla, but few would say their two Super Bowl victories weren't two of the most exciting games in Super Bowl history. I guess my concern is that those marketing the NFL want a name from every team, a Randy Moss, a Terrell Owens, a Peyton Manning, to market the league on. It is understandable to a degree, in that news loves controversial/flashy characters, but if I were to pick one thing wrong with professional baseball or basketball, it would be that marketing philosophy. Ultimately, my question boils down to do you agree or disagree with my media perception, and why. Stated another way, do you perceive the general commentary about the Pats to be less than balanced, giving them an appropriate share of NFL discussion? Thanks for taking the time to read and or answer this. I enjoy reading the discussion every week far from my Massachusetts home.
Mike G. El Paso, Texas

Mike, with all due respect, I totally disagree. Today for example there is a story on ESPN.com declaring the Patriots the best team ever, even if they lose in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Patriots have been atop most power rankings for the better part of two seasons, have won two Super Bowls in three seasons and are being considered a dynasty by some observers. What more do you want? Yes people pick against the team at times, but just as many people pick with the team. And as far as your star theory, don't you think people would like to see Tom Brady win his third Super Bowl MVP? Patriots fans need to realize that this whole "no respect" thing, with all due respect, is getting old. The team is being considered the best ever, a dynasty. What more could you ask for? Do they need to rename the trophy or the league after Belichick, Brady and the team? Enjoy the success, the winning and the titles because they won't last forever. And don't ruin them by worrying about a lack of respect. You root for the best team in football and no one can argue that.
Andy Hart

What year did the Patriots start as a pro football team? Thank you for your help and the best of luck to the team.David Morehouse

The eighth and final franchise of the American Football League was awarded to original owner William H. Sullivan Jr. on November 16, 1959. The name Patriots was selected after a public contest on Feb. 20, 1960. The team, known as the Boston Patriots from 1960-1970, played its first preseason game on July 30, 1960 against the Buffalo Bills and its first regular season game on Sept. 9, 1960 against the Denver Broncos at Boston University Field.
Andy Hart

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]()Greetings Gents! Great show you have. My question is in regards to compensation for losing Romeo to become the Brown's head coach. I don't mind losing a position coach or head coordinator to a promotion to another team after their contract expires. However, I do wish that some time of compensatory pick was given for a guy who is lost and who is under contract to his previous team. Case-in-point is RAC. He is still under contract for next year to be New England's defensive coordinator, but he will probably be named the Brown's head coach for next season. I think the Pats should get a compensatory drat pick for this loss. Not one from the Browns, but one from the league. I think the compensation is justified not only because he is under contact, but because his loss hurts the Pats. RAC is every bit as important as any player on that decision and losing him is huge. It makes sense to me, how about you guys?*
*Scott Houde

By rule, NFL assistants are allowed to leave their current employer for a head coaching job. There is no compensation or anything like that. That's just the way it is. I hope Crennel gets the Cleveland job because I think he is a good guy, a great coach and he deserves the opportunity. Will it hurt the Patriots? Yes. But the team will get past it. Sorry Scott, but like all winning teams the Patriots will have to deal with other franchises hiring away some of their top employees that's the way the NFL, and most business, works. Sorry, but they don't chance the rules just for the Patriots.
Andy Hart

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