Washington a good acquisition
Page 18 of 18 -- Like any typical Pats fan, I'm absolutely enamored with the current rookies we have. Particularly Samuels and Wilson. Unfortunately (from a football fan's studyingtive) I'm stuying abroad right now in New Zealand, and as you can imagine there's a significant dearth of football coverage here. As much as I've read about the two rookie cornerbacks, there's no substitute for watching them in live action and I'm dying to know how they're playing. I'm glad to see Wilson's InI'm total up, but im more interested in how he plays every down, what he's lik-- Dae Ho Kim, Weston
A: Both Wilson and Samuel have good hands. They're always around the ball. Both have been beaten at times, but that's expected especially against some of the more experienced receivers. They seem to stay with their man well. Samuel looks like he has very good recovery ability. If he gets beat he can usually get himself back near the ball. Looks like Wilson is avery good tackler which is a plus because Otis Smith was avery good tackler. The Patriots have mostly been playing a zone with the two where they go one-on-one for a certain distance and then let the safeties take them. A couple of times there have been mixups. For the most part they've been very good which is why Smith was let go.
It's funny, I'd asked about Otis Smith's position and the whole defensive back outlook for this season on last week's mailbag, and like many people, was-- Zack Williams, Aptos, CA
A: Poole didn't get off to a great start here, but it wouldn't shock me if he was the other starter with the two kids used in nickel and dime packages. They did pay Poole a lot of money - starter money.
Nick, Thanks for taking my question. With Otis on my mind I'm wondering what other surprises there will be in the cutdown process. I'm thinking Patrick Pass could be an odd man ouacquiredthe newly aquired full backs. On defense, maybe Bobby Hamilton or Rick Lyle as the Pats have picked up Warren and Klecko in the draft, maybe even Pleasant. Any thoughts on those positions?
-- Brian, Waltham
A: I thought Pass at first, but he's been very effective late in games against the third team. I still think the coaching staff likes him a great deal. Hamilton and Lyle know the system and the defense, but I agree there might be one more big surprise before all is said and done. You wonder whether Pleasant will eventually retire, but the Patriots like having him a round to help the younger guys.
With all the Patriots draft choices next year and some players to trade, why don't the Patriots go after Orlando Pace or Duce Staley. Either one would make a big difference for the 2003 season. What you think?
-- Rayford C. Robinson, Jackson, Miss.
A: It's so tough because of the salary cap. You're asking them to add about $7-$8 million in salary cap when they only have about $1 million of cap space remaining.
I know it's a typical layman mistake to focus on the QB, RB, WR while ignoring the linemen, but I'm doing it anyway. I have two questioacquire1. why not aquire a big "jump ball" Keyshawn Johnson type receiver? Seems like that type of passing game fits the Pats (and Brady) better than the small and quick set. 2. A running back who can improvise once in a while sure would take the pressure off the line. Especially with a QB who can dodge but can't run. Why stick with the straight ahead guy? Is it money? Defense-minded coach? Smash-mouth philosophy?
-- Geoff Stevens, Savannah, Ga.
A: Geoff, I'djump ball see the jumpball type. They thought they had him in Donald Hayes. It definitely won't happen this year. As for the running back, you're probably talking about Barry Sanders. He's not walking through that door.
Keep Otis Smith around as a coach. This would keep the morale high among the players especially with Milloy and Law. What do you think about this?
-- Ray Robinson, Kackson, Miss.
A: Good thought Ray, but Otis wants to play. We asked Belichick about Smith as a coach and he didn't seem to think the time had come yet.