Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, December 15, 2009.
Q: What is your take on Randy Moss and what you have seen from him over the last four or five games?
NC: I think from my perspective, with all due respect, without rehashing what happened last week, here's what I think about Randy and him as it relates to our team: Randy has been a productive player for us since he's been here. He's been one of our most consistent players and I think just like anybody on our club - and you can go through probably any particular player and earmark a few plays - but everybody has some good plays and everybody has some bad plays. But the thing about him is - and there're a lot of plays in that game, you know, because there have been a lot of things brought up. There're a lot of things in that game that he did really well that helped our team, that helped our club, whether it was make a block here or run the route and carry the rest of the defense with him in order for [Benjamin] Watson to get open. So the reality is that Randy is a great player. He's as productive a receiver as there is in the league. I think he's what - sixth in the league overall in whatever it is, yards. The reality is this year, for Randy, in terms of production, in terms of what he's done for this team, is really no different than what it's been in his career. And we've had our moments offensively, too, with Randy. You go back to the Miami game where he caught the 60-yard touchdown pass or whatever it was and the rest of the game they did some things to take him away, and we did other things, so...
Q: Are you starting to see production out of Laurence Maroney on a more consistent basis like what you thought you'd see in 2006 when he arrived here?
NC: Yeah, I think we've always had confidence in Laurence's ability when he's on the field. I think Laurence has shown what type of runner that he is. I mean, he's tough, he gets downhill, he can break tackles, he's strong. So going back, you know, Laurence has been productive at different points in different years and over the past few weeks he's been productive. I think it's a product of not only Laurence, but it's a product of the offensive line. It's a product of the tight ends. It's a product of the fullback. So I think collectively, just from a running game standpoint, we've been consistent and you know, the other day happened to be one of our better days rushing the football. So I think it's a compliment to the entire group and we've never wavered on what Laurence can do and we're happy he's on our club and he's been productive with the carries that he's had and that's our hope that that continues moving forward.
Q: What made Titus Adams the choice as backup to Vince Wilfork for Sunday's game?
NC: Like you said, we have some options, but we go through each week and you go through practice and you look at different things. With Titus, you have a little bit of versatility. He's played nose tackle, he's played end, so we knew we were going to have a situation where we might need a guy that would be able to play both spots - not that Ron [Brace] can't do it. We just went with Titus that week. That was the decision that we made and we'll go through this week and see what we're dealing with in terms of healthy bodies and then once we get to the end of the week, we'll make the decision about the roster and who is going to be active.
Q: What are your thoughts on Kyle Arrington since he has been promoted from the practice squad?
NC: Kyle, you know, it's one thing when we watched him play in the preseason with Tampa; he was productive on defense and he showed up in the kicking game as well. I think when you look at his skill set for the kicking game, here's a player who has good size, he has good playing strengths, he has good playing speed, and those are some of the attributes you need in order to be productive in the kicking game. And he's made the most of his opportunities when he's been in the game. I think it's a credit to him. He comes in, he works hard and he's prepared to play and he's gone out there and performed his job and done what he's been asked to do. I think it's a credit to Kyle and his work ethic. The things he's shown on special teams - you saw some of those things when he was with Tampa Bay. That was one of the things that made him sort of intriguing when we were going through that process early in September or whenever it was.
Q: Can you revisit the decision on making Jake Ingram the team's long snapper?
NC: Sure. I don't know if I should say anything since we haven't said anything all year, but I think when you get to that situation, obviously, we lost Lonnie [Paxton] and we drafted Jake and in our opinion, we felt that he was the best long snapper that was available in the draft. I think he's come in and to this point, the ball-handling for the most part has been pretty consistent. You know, I think he's snapped in different conditions even though he played at Hawaii. They played in Boise or whenever it was and they had to deal with some if the conditions. Is it perfect? No, but I think we're comfortable with where we are and we feel confident in his ability to handle whatever conditions come up here over the next few weeks. And, we've had to deal with some conditions during the year, even in October. Who thought it was going to snow? So we've had some snow. We've had some rain and for the most part, we think he's been pretty consistent to this point.
Q: You extended Rob Ninkovich a couple years. How nice of a surprise has he been for you this season and why was the time right to get that done now?
NC: You know, I think since Rob's been here, going back to training camp, I mean he's come in, he's worked hard. Rob's a smart guy. He's a pretty versatile guy. He had production in the kicking game. He has some value defensively. He can rush a little bit. He can play the run a little bit, so with a player like that who is versatile, who's tough, who's smart and has some of those qualities, we want to keep those types of football players around here for as long as we can. Rob has come in, done his job and we're happy he's on our club and hopefully he can continue to improve upon his performance and build on the things he's done to this point.
Q: What is it about the type of player Rob Ninkovich is - the rush end from Purdue like Rosevelt Colvin, Shaun Phillips, etc. - that makes them wind up as outside linebackers in 3-4 defenses and is there something they all have in common?
NC: I think that to a degree, if you look at their size, their height/weight and their speed and they all, you're right, they all played with their hand down at Purdue. And so those are the types of players when you're going through the evaluation process where you're trying to figure out, 'OK, what's their best position?' So with all those particular players, they are really 4-3 defensive ends for 4-3 teams, and then if you're a 3-4 team, the best spot for them is probably outside linebacker. Now, [Akin] Ayodele, he's played inside linebacker for Miami and he actually played inside for Dallas, but in terms of their skill set, their size, their speed, their ability to rush - to whatever degree that is - those particular skills sort of translate over into some of the things you look for in an outside linebacker. Sometimes those things are hard to find; it's not perfect. Sometimes you get some of those undersized ends and so I'd say from that perspective, in terms of the position they played, their skill set, there's a degree of carry over and the attributes are similar.