Washington a good acquisition
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Nick...great mailbag last week! My question...if it is so important for quarterbacks to get game experience to develop, why didn't the Pats allocate Rohan Davey to NFL Europe for some valuable playing time? I remember when we all had hopes for Michael Bishop...and once he played in Europe, it was obvious that he had significant limitations.
-- Name Katheryn Dunham, Kennebunk, Maine
A: I don't believe the Patriots place a great value in the NFL Europe experience. During the Bill Belichickk era, I haven't seen any players who have played in Europe stick with the team. I think they believe a guy like Rohan Davey is better off staying around Foxborough in the off-season and working with the coaching staff on his game. That's what they did with Tom Brady between his first and second year.
Two questions: Asante Samuel seems to be exceeding people's expectations at corner. What were the perceptions of him that caused him to be picked so low in the draft?
Also: Bethel Johnson didn't seem to take very good care of the ball in the Giants game. Is this a concern of the coaching staff and, if so, are there any signs of improvement?
-- Mike Martorano, Tewksbury
A: One thing that probably hurt Asante Samuel was playing at Central Florida, as opposed to one of the bigger schools. Teams see the potential, but then they weigh it against the competition he's faced. Scouts also weren't sold on his speed, most believing he had average speed for a corner at best. In certain defenses that stress speed, he was probably eliminated from consideration. But he has excellent instincts and he's always got his hands around or near the ball which is what the Patriots defensive coaches like from their corners. The Patriots are concerned about Bethel Johnson's dropsies, but I think they feel they have a very talented player on their hands if they can solve him of th
Nick, with the big question mark being the running game, do you see the Pats looking for a proven free agent or a #1 draft pick next year? I WOULD LOVE TO GET
MAURICE CLARRETT FROM OSU. I think he is the most talented back that I have seen come out of OSU or even all of college. What are your thoughts on the RB situation and Maurice -- Jason Valera, Fitchburg
A: Drafting a running back would have to be a top priority. I love Clarett's ability, but there are obvious questions about his maturity. The Patriots don't mess with guys who can't get their act together, and I think Clarett would have to prove he had his act together.
I remember you saying that the last two years Tom Brady had won the "hardest working" player award at training camp from Belichick and therefore gotten the prime parking spot. Were there more than 1 winner for that? and if so, who else won it last year? But most importantly, who won it THIS year?