Let the real games begin
Page 17 of 19 -- A: I think Belichick is always looking for a good deal. But if he feels he can obtain a good back in the draft and he's as sold on Antowain Smith as I think he is, I would be surprised to see that.
Hi, Nick. Whatever happened to Jamal Anderson -- his potential return to the NFL and the Patriots interest in him? I couldn't help from thinking about him amidst all this running game uncertainty and cafuffle.
-- Hiram Pines, Toronto, Ontario
A: I guess he never got into good enough shape.
Now that Ted Washington has arrived my first question is maybe a little moot, but it seems to me that the Patriot's defense with all its schemes and looks is aimed at confusing the QB and that it is hard to confuse a QB that simply takes three steps back and hands the ball to a RB. Isn't stopping the run vital for the defense to be successful? Why is Troy Brown still fielding punts? Shouldn't they let somebody else take this beating? I know the saying about putting the ball in the hands of your playmakers but I think somebody else needs to take over for him.
-- Paul Bachman, Boston
A: Any team that gets rid of the ball quickly will render a pass rush meaningless. I'm sure that's what teams will try to do against the Patriots. They'll use spread formations, and either try to run out of them or throw the quick slants so you take Colvin out of the game. Brown is fielding punts because he wants to. He feels he can still make big plays as the punt returner, and I would have to agree.
It was reported that Bills GM Tom Donohoe was at one of the Pats' pre-season games to do some "scouting." Is it routine for a GM to scout an upcoming opponent, and if so, is the GM's input used by the coaches when they draw up their game plan?
-- Andrew Teed, Los Angeles, CA
A: Tom was there with a Bills scout. I'm sure there are things he'll suggest to his coaches, and if I were them I'd listen. He's a powerful, highly intelligent and very skilled in the football business. I think GMs do get out there occasionally when there's a break from their team. You see some of them at Monday Night games for instance.
Hey, Nick, I saw that at a recent charity event, 15 minutes of playing catch with Tom Brady went for $34,000! Wow, my question is, does the winner have to stand 5 yards away so Tom can do the little dumps and quick outs, which is basically all he does? Obviosuly if the winner stands more than 20 yards away he will have a long day of coming in for the ball. Just a thought, great column!
-- Mike, Chicago, IL Continued...