Let the real games begin
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I find myself in Redskins country -- how painful -- but logistically it is good for scouting purposes. I love how NE addressed the need at NT after looking at their roster and realizing the need. Now I think another link that Pats need to address for this years is RB and here in Washington I believe any of the 4 RBs currently vying for an opportunity -- Trung Canidate (who they would not trade), Ladell Betts, Kenny Watson, Chad Morton (not a starter), and even Rock Cartwright -- could help. Although Washington's offensive line is developing, these backs (Betts, Watson, or Cartwright) are running impressively and could help the Pats, I believe. What is your take on this situation? Washington has a glut, keeping in mind they let Stephen Davis go (ah Spurrier, what a joker), is there any talk up there on Washington's RBs, particularly since they played two weeks back? Thanks for your answer.
-- Toby Elwin, Arlington, Va.
A: No, haven't heard mention of Washington's running backs. I'm sure the Patriots want to get Chad Morton for his return capabilities, but I doubt the Redskins would let him go.
When do you answer the questions? In Friday's mail? All I see are the old questions. Do you mean on TV; if so when and where?
-- Bob Trott, Weymouth
A: Bob, the answers are usually posted by Friday afternoon on Boston.com.
Hey, Nick, I know there were some concerns about Rodney Harrison's ability to defend the pass. How has he looked in preseason? With so many new people in the secondary, how long will it take for that unit to jell? Thanks!
-- Brian, Portsmouth, N.H.
A: He's looked OK, Brian. He seems to be playing more the up safety and Milloy more the deep safety. At least that's the way it was in pre-season, so he hasn't had as many coverage situations as Milloy.
Nick, Thanks for responding to my question about QB interchangeablity last week. My example of replacing Brady if he was having a bad day was a bad one. Even though that is the most common reason for replacing a QB, what I was thinking was that since they change personnel on almost every play, and they like "trick" or "gimmick" plays, why not bring in Huard or Davey on a second-and-two, for example, and throw a bomb. Just the change in personnel would have the "D" off-guard for a while, although once they were successful and other teams had it on film, they would have to try variations. Didn't they do that with Bishop in a couple of games, a couple of years back? I would think that since the Belichick/Weis/Crennel coalition likes the "mental" game as much as the "physical" game, the interchangeabily of players should be exploited. Plus you shouldn't have to worry about the problem of a backup QB not being ready to play as happened in Buffalo a few years ago. Everybody would be ready at all times, knowing the chances of their "number being called" is higher. A couple of observations to questions in your last mailbag: Drew Bledsoe will continue to help the Patriots, while a Buffalo Bill. He's good for at least one win each, against Miami and the Jets, and the Patriots should be able to dominate the Bills for two wins, despite the Bills' "upgrades" (Spikes, etc.). I think the lack of access to Crennel and Weis is more of a result of their workload, not secrecy. The way some press people want to blow an unguarded word or expression out of proportion, it's easier to not say anything, than to spend time trying to correct misinterpreted statements. Who wants to waste time explaining why a coach called a player "she." I think Belichick correctly controls media access. The fewer the distractions, the better. The "beauty" of football is the game, not the media "circus" that performs around it.
-- Ed Sherman, Easthampton Continued...