A .500 Bill due in Foxborough
Page 9 of 18 -- A: The big free agents are Todd Walker, Mike Timlin, and Scott Williamson. I doubt you can keep everyone. I would think Sox management would want to go for it one more time considering their big guys are up after next year. But the manager situation is up in the air. The current players love Grady Little. Would they respond the same to another manager? That's the chance you have to take if you fire him.
Looking ahead to Week 9, it's obvious that The Tuna has completely turned the moribund 'Boys around. While I don't doubt his ability to get more out his players than Campo could, is their record reflective of a really good team or an above average team with an easy schedule thus far? Also, how do you compare the talent Parcells has with Dallas to that he inherited at New England and the Jets? Thanks!
-- Mike Worden, Millersville, Md.
A: Mike, sometimes a great coach can bring out the best in a team that has average talent. That's what he's doing. Do I think they'll come back down to earth at some point? Probably. I think teams that overachieve too early usually don't hit a wall later in the season. Now the '01 Pats did their overachieving down the home stretch. The timing was perfect. As for talent, I think Dallas had more talent than the '93 Patriots, and even though the '00 Jets were coming off a 1-15 record, Parcells felt he had some guys with ability.
Hi, Nick. Great mailbag last week as always, and I really agree with your feelings on the Red Sox. Regarding the Dolphins game, don't you think this "Brady can't throw the deep ball" stuff can end? He has been hurt because of the lack of height we have at the WR position, which limits the ability to out-jump the DB for the deep passes. His pass in OT was a thing of beauty, and if they ever get a truly skilled taller receiver, I think, he will hit more and more deep passes. Also, how bout the offensive line play against Miami? Jason Taylor was held in check for most of the game, and Brady had time to throw just about the whole game. Plus, the offensive line has been opening good holes for the running backs all year, with the exception of the Miami game, which could have to do with the overall speed of the Miami defense. What do you think?
-- Bill Wilkinson, Colchester, Vt.
A: I think Brady can throw it deep. Can he throw it as well as a Bledsoe or a Culpepper or a Trent Green? Of course not. But now that he's done it, teams have to watch for it. The O-line might be the biggest story going. We all thought losing Mike Compton would be a major blow, but it's turned out for the best with Dan Koppen emerging. Continued...