Patriots cowboy up
Page 8 of 8 -- A: I'd go for a RB first unless Cloud becomes the fulltime answer. I'd like to see them devote early picks to the offensive side of the ball, though I would think they'd have to address taking another corner or safety if they decide Ty Law is out of here.
Nick, thanks for responding to my last question. Here's another observation, it appears that football commentators this year have jumped on the scouting term "second level of blocking" as a way to elaborate on run blocking. Case in point, even Madden stammered on about this during a Monday night game. Prior to this year, I've never heard that term used by play by play guys or analysts and now everybody's dropping it. It's kind of like how Gammon's made "arm angle" the vogue in baseball this year. My question: is there some kind of updated cliff notes like handbook which the tv guys get at the beginning of each year or does the "copycat league" transcend the playing field?
-- johnny mongoose
A: Hard to keep up with, isn't it? Every year a head coach or an assistant will coin a new phrase and it sticks. It's the same in baseball. A prominent national guy like Peter will begin to use it ands then everyone uses it. Interesting point.
Nick, would you please weigh in on the McNabb/Limbaugh thing? I think people miss the point, which is not whether we want black QBs to do well or if he's overrated. The point is that even if McNabb IS overrated, it could be for the same reasons many white QBs or black position players are. Do Bledsoe bashers think he's overrated for racial reasons? And if not, why can't McNabb be overrated for the same reasons as Bledsoe? Also, Steve McNair is often considered UNDERrated; is it a right-wing bias in the press? The point is that there are a million reasons a guy might be overrated, but Limbaugh only sees one, which says more about Limbaugh than it does about McNabb.
-- Erik McGunnigle
A: What Limbaugh said was ridiculous. If he had said McNabb was overrated and end it there. That would be fine.
In your 10/3 column on Fred McCrary, you mentioned Sam Gash. He seems to be a team leader, an unselfish player. He's been available via free agency a few times since he left the Pats. Why do you think the Pats haven't brought him back?
-- Joe Curtis
A: There's been bad blood between Gash and the organization for some time. Sam didn't like the way he was cut by the Pete Carroll-Bobby Grier regime and he's held a vendetta ever since.
Nick, When McCrary comes back and we have a true full back; can the Pats start running it down others team's throats?
-- Michael Welke
A: That's what he's hoping.
What is the deal with Ken Walter?! Isn't the coaching staff fed up with all of his 20 yard punts. I realize that he is the holder for Adam V., but really, we need someone who can boom the ball down the field. Do you know if the Patriots are entertaining getting a new kicker?
-- Jonny Maybach
A: I don't think they're entertaining a new punter. They've had some chances to go get one, but they haven't even had one in for a tryout, so they must be content with Walter or they feel there's nobody here to take his place.
Hi Nick, I've really only begun watching football over the last few years and I love the game, but don't know a lot of the technical rules. I'm wondering how the wildcard works--I know we've gotten in the playoffs the last few times on the wildcard. How is it determined what team is the wildcard? Thanks for the mailbag-I read it every week! Carrie
-- Carrie Laewe
A: Carrie, the wild card teams are the ones who have the best records after the divisional winners. Sometimes there are teams tied with the same record and then there are a bunch of tie-breakers which determine which of the teams get in as the wild cards.