Let the real games begin
Page 4 of 19 -- A: Only Ted's age and the fact he's returning from a serious injury (broken leg).
Will Ted Washington be the answer to the Pats run defense problems?
-- Jolyon Yates, Melrose
A: He could be a big part of the puzzle. He gets double-teamed which is the best possible scenario. That means Richard Seymour might have single coverage some of the time. That can only be good.
Hi, Nick, love the column! Call me an overly optimistic season ticket holder but I think this promises to be a great season for the Pats, especially considering all of the upgrades on defense. Have the Pats modified the hard line approach they are taking with pulling people's season tickets over seemingly minor infractions? Secondly, I am heading out to Buffalo for the opener, any restaurant suggestions? Thanks.
-- Lou, Boston
A: Lou, the Patriots policy remains the same. If you violate their behavior code your tickets will be revoked. So far challenges against them in court have gone in their favor. There are still a couple of cases out there and we'll see how they go.
I hear a lot about Big Bill's (Parcells) inability to be a sucessful head coach without little Bill (Belichick) as a defensive coordinator. What is Parcells' NFL record without Belichick?
-- Jay Caron, King George VA
A: Parcells is the 13th winningest coach with 149-106-1 (.584) record. His record with Belichick as his defensive coordinator was 65-30 from 1985-90 with the New York Giants. Belichick was not the defensive coordinator in the one season he spent with Parcells in New England or the three years with the Jets. In both of those situations, Belichick was the assistant head coach and in charge of the secondary. Al Groh was the defensive coordinator.
Huge Pats fan! A few pointed questions for you, Mr. Cafardo: 1. Should we expect Washington to be a major contributor or did the Pats take a flyer on a guy near the end of his run? 2. Will Samuel start opening day, and is he as good or better than he has looked in games so far? 3. Will Kenyatta Jones be the starting right tackle; will he ever return to action? 4. Who are some known names that you expect to get cut? Klemm? Womack? Jones? Centers? Lyle? Ward? Patten?
-- Andrew Hughes, Washington D.C.
A: Washington should be a major contributor for 20-25 plays. You have to manage his playing time to get the most out of him. It appears Samuel is the guy, but that is not official. Kenyatta was placed on physically unable to perform list which means they've lost him for at least six weeks and perhaps more. Adrian Klemm appears to be the starter in the interim barring a free-agent signing. As far as cuts, I'd say Ward is on the bubble but he had a very good finale. I think you have to keep Lyle (although he got hurt in the finale) because he can play nose tackle. Patten will likely start. Centers could be on the bubble because Pass has had a good camp, but the Patriots will probably keep five backs and Centers is among them. Continued...