A .500 Bill due in Foxborough
Page 18 of 18 -- A: Again. it's that element of surprise that Weis likes to create. I get the feeling that one of them was Brady checking off and calling his own number.
Hi, Nick. It appears to me that Branch is making huge strides in the learning curve this year. Do you see him as eventually developing, possibly as early as next year, into a Hines Ward type of number one receiver?
-- Tom Lacey, Plainville
A: He's a lot different than Ward. Not nearly as physical. He's more Troy Brown; maybe even Terry Glenn. He's developing, but he too needs to stay on the field more.
Yes, his loss was overcome because Wilson has played so well and Harrison has more than filled Milloy's leadership void. But it wasn't overcome in Game 1 vs. Buffalo. That's a game the Patriots did not show up for. It was poorly coached. It was poorly played. If the distraction of Milloy hadn't occurred, would the Patriots have beaten the Bills that day? Didn't it seem obvious that they had our entire play book that day?
-- Matt Felix, New York, N.Y.
A: I agree. Hopefully it's a game that won't haunt them by the end of the season. Even the biggest Belichick supporters out there can't defend that one, at least the timing of it.
Hi, Nick. I'm curious if you're aware of the hyperbole you've applied in your recent article about the "Two Bills," to wit: "The aftermath of that game had to be the low point of Belichick's coaching tenure. Never had he been under such scrutiny and criticism. Coming from that low to 5-2 has to be one of the great psychological turnarounds any team in the NFL has made in some time." Check out the microfiche from the Cleveland newspapers when Belichick, a valedictorian of the Duquette School of Manners and Human Treatment, benched Bernie Kosar. The guy was getting death threats, and the home fans were chanting for him to be fired at games. After Game 1 this year was no doubt a low point in his career, but in no way the low point. Just a thought.
-- Bill Considine, Chelmsford
A: You're probably right, Bill. Sometimes I forget the magnitude of the anti-Belichick sentiment in Cleveland. It was nasty. That's why I always get a kick when people say I'm too hard on Belichick. Go back to those stories and those days. I get ripped apart here for writing his record. Very touchy, those Belichick fans.
Nick, I have read your column a few times and think it is pretty decent. I recently read a question regarding the "Brady-meter" in which a someone writing in said that it was condescending to Tom. I went to it and read this weeks comparison to "Mike." I did not find it condescending so to speak, but my question is this: did this Shanahan guy ever play any football in his life, and how much does the other writer know about football (Peggy something another)? Afterall, it looks like they write for the arts and entertainment section. If they are writing for this section should'nt they stick to their expertise of recipe and curtain selection?
-- Daniel W. Sawall, Topsfield
A: People are emotional about this.