Washington a good acquisition
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A: I wouldn't say the offense has been an afterthought, but the emphasis has been on defense. They feel defense and special teams wins games.
Does the Washington trade seem a little fishy to you? You would be a better judge of value than I, but it seems to me that a fourth round pick for a four-time Pro Bowl nose tackle is a steal. Is their any chance that the Bears know
A: What the Bears know is this: he's 35 years old, in the last year of his contract and they believe he has a year left, if that. He's coming off a big injury year, they have other, younger DTs they feel are better suited for the youthful direction they're going in. This is a gamble, but for the Patriots there's not much risk.
Concerning our offensive line,
A: There are no rumors about Pace. I
Looking far ahead, what do you see as the Pats number one concern regarding the draft next year? Do you see them selecting a RB, WR, OL, or CB.
-- David Wessel, Boston
A: That's pretty far in advance, but I'll say running back. I think they'll also go after a younger safety.
Mailbag rocks, Nick. I asked in the first bag about the hole at nose tackle. Now, its been filled. I considered Wilkinson to be about $1 million better than Washington and I wonder if price played a role in the outcome. If so, what do you think about how big a role the financial management issues play in the decisions Belichick and Pioli make? Too big or just right? Not that I think Washington's a dud, but from my perspective, the price tag has cost them Robertson and Wilkinson this year at a need spot, and we're trying to win a Super Bowl here, not just barely make the playoffs for 10 straight years.
-- Timothy Cardozo, New York, N.Y.
A: I was surprised they didn't proceed after Wilkinson a little more diligently than they did. I think they knew he was looking for a long-term deal and they weren't going to do it. Money is always an issue. It's an issue everywhere, really because of the tight cap. They did go after a big-time player in Colvin and in today's game that's about the best you can hope for. Everyone else has to be fit into a very tight roster.
What kind of car did Tom Brady receive for being MVP?
A: Cadillac Escalade.
Do you think the Patriots will win the AFC East or will it be hard for them to win it? Also, what do you think of the AFC East? Who do you think will win it?
-- Ryan, Rockland