Page 3 of 5 -- A: Unfortunately for Tom, his reign in Buffalo hasn't been very good. I thought he started well by getting the Bills to go from three wins to eight when he first acquired Drew Bledsoe, but it's been downhill since the 31-0 win over New England. What he's failed to do is devote all of his efforts toward putting together the best offensive line. He needs that with Bledsoe. The coaching choices haven't been that good, either. He had a chance to hire Charlie Weis, and he opted for Mike Mularkey. Tom did a great job in Pittsburgh, which is what made him one of the best. But he's fallen and he'd be the first to admit that because he's such a standup person. As for Belichick, he's done a great job as a GM. That aspect of his role gets underplayed, because at the end of the day success in this league has so much to do with personnel. If you have great depth, you're going to be OK. I think that's the one thing he learned from the '02 season when their were mistakes made with Steve Martin, Donald Hayes and Tom Knight.
Welcome back, Nick! Two quick ones: will the Pats bring in another receiver, and have you heard Coach Brad Seely's reaction to Sunday's special teams breakdowns (besides any epithets)?
Chris, Bronx, NY
A: Chris, Kevin Kasper was signed; a speed burner from Iowa. As for Seely's reaction, as you know there is no media contact with the special teams coaches, but seeing Brad after the game, he looked very unhappy as he should have been. When you allow a 98-yard return, you kick the ball out of bounds on a kickoff, and let the punter run wild, those are three no-no's. The special teams players all were very serious this week, meaning they've been chewed out. They fired Shawn Mayer, who was beaten on the Terrence McGee kickoff, and re-signed Je'Rod Cherry, an experienced cover man.
Ever since the Super Bowl, the Pats' corners seem to be beaten every time by the long pass; why do they play the opponents' receivers so tight in the first place?
A: John, they believe in playing very aggressively. A lot of time the corners should be getting help from the safeties on longer routes. I know that teams try to get Rodney Harrison biting on the run and then throw long. That happens sometimes. I don't think Law gets beat too often, but Ty Poole didn't have a great game against Buffalo.
Just finished watching Tom Jackson on SportsCenter after the Pats win in Buffalo. Very complimentary of the team, but he never mentioned the coach. Just curious: Has he ever revisited or followed up on his "The Patriots hate their coach" comment of last year?
Michael, Tewksbury Continued...