I was just wondering if Junior Seau's coming back. He's in great shape and can still play.Ian M.
Why haven't the patriots brought back Seau? He had an excellent season last year … The Pats should sign him on for one more year.
Well, guys, we've been wondering about that, too. For a linebacker his age, Seau has made remarkable contributions to the Patriots. As recently as a month ago, Bill Belichick said he was closer to reaching the point of having to make a decision one way or the other on Seau. Not that he was leaning one way or the other, but just that the time is coming when he'll have to decide. That's a long-winded way of saying we still don't know if Seau will be back or not. But here's something else to consider: even if Seau doesn't take part in traininp camp, he might still be an option to sign mid-season, were injuries to become a problem at linebacker.
Do you know the injury report on Sammy Morris? Also do you know if he will be with the team this year?
Morris appears to be fully recovered from his clavicle separation injury. He participated in minicamp and passing camp, taking part in all the workouts, and did not need the red (no-contact) jersey that injured or rehabbing players typically wear when they're still somewhat on the mend. Morris is under contract with New England and will likely fill the role he had last season, prior to his injury, which was as a complement to Laurence Maroney.
What are the odds of seeing Shaun Alexander in a Patriots uniform?
Not very good, in my opinion, Dennis. I think there's more of a chance you'd see them sign Kevin Jones, the former Lions back, although several other teams have expressed interest in him of late. Alexander may have some mileage left, but he'd most likely be looking for a team that would make him the featured back. And with Maroney and Morris currently sharing the load, there wouldn't be much room for Alexander. It's not out of the question, but I'd say it's unlikely.
Can you please name the Patriots home fields prior to the opening of Schaefer Stadium? I understand that at some point they played at least one "home" game in Birmingham, AL. Why did that happen?
Before Schaefer, the Pats played originally at Boston University Field, then Harvard Stadium, B.C.'s Alumni Stadium, and Fenway Park. The Alabama game took place at Legion Field in September 1968 versus the New York Jets. From what I'm told by the folks running our soon-to-be-opened Hall at Patriot Place, then-owner Billy Sullivan thought he could draw more attention to the game by playing it in the home state of Jets QB Joe Namath.
With the limited roster spots reserved for the TE position, is there any chance that Marcus Pollard will ever see the field? Or will Watson's backup be [Stephen] Spach, [David] Thomas, or [rookie Jonathan] Stupar?
My guess is that if he stays healthy, Thomas will emerge as the number two tight end on the Pats roster. That said, don't be surprised if Pollard hangs on with the team. He's certainly in the twilight of his career, but he showed some signs in minicamp that he can still catch the ball. I wouldn't count Spach out either. He's young, and we probably haven't seen all that he can do on the field. It's conceivable that Belichick would keep four tight ends on the active roster, but the more likely scenario would be keeping three and maybe placing one other on the practice squad.
Will rookie LB Jerod Mayo be a day-one starter or will he be more like a mid-season starter?
It's a little premature to offer an educated answer about this, Pablo, given that we haven't seen Mayo in full pads yet here in New England. As Bill is fond of saying, rookies have "a long way to go," particularly at this time of year. But seeing how he was a top-ten pick, I'd expect Mayo to see significant minutes, whether he starts or subs in a rotational basis, from day one.
Where do you Chad Jackson this year, as a starter opposite Randy Moss with Wes Welker in the slot, or a fourth receiver behind Jabar Gaffney?
Scott, all indications thus far are that Jackson is being given ample opportunity to fight for that number two spot opposite Moss. He got a lot of attention during the recent camps, both in terms of having passes thrown his way and the coaches talking with him on the field. From what I've seen of WRs in this league, the third year is telltale season. If a receiver is going to be an impact player, we usually find out by this time. So far, it looks like Jackson realizes this and is making the effort. But we'll have to see how it shakes out in training camp.
I'm liking the additions made to both the secondary and linebackers during the offseason. Who do you feel benefited the most from their new additions and will prove the best during the season?
Again, it's a little early to be assessing this because the players haven't put the pads on yet this season. By sheer volume, however, the secondary is full of players who could contribute. Right now, there are 15 DBs on the Pats roster, the most of any position. The linebackers certainly got younger, with all the rookies that have been brought in, and there looks like there could be some talent there as well. I don't mean to dodge the question, Lauren, it's just that we haven't seen enough of these guys at full speed yet to make a determination. But check back with us in August.
Of all the new DBs we brought in through free agency and the draft, which do you think are going to make the team? I imagine that at least one, maybe two, are going to be cut. Who is the most versatile? I'm sure that is going to play a huge factor in who makes the team and who doesn't.
You're right, Brady. Versatility will make a difference. It usually does with these Patriots. In the limited action we've seen, Tank Williams has shown a good amount of it, playing both safety and inside linebacker. My guess is that the coaches wouldn't be spending so much time with him at different positions if they didn't think they could find a role for him on this team. Rookie Matthew Slater is another one to watch. He's been playing offense, defense, and special teams. This will probably be the most competitive position in training camp, with possibly three or four players being odd men out when the dust settles.
What roster changes do you feel will return the Patriots to the Super Bowl and make them winners this time?
Frank, the team won 18 games last year, with pretty much the same players coming back this season. I don't think it was the roster that lost them that Super Bowl. It was a combination of the Giants playing the game of their lives and the Pats not play theirs when it mattered most. No addition or subtraction to the roster can change that. Given what they have, I think the Patriots could certainly return to the Super Bowl this year, but it won't be easy and it'll help if they stay healthy (as they did last year) and get most of the breaks to go their way. That's often what ultimately determines who makes and wins the Super Bowl.