Dillon helping Brady take more risks
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Two weeks ago the Pats secondary caught some heat for a supposed hold on Tony Gonzalez. Given that for much of the play, both Gonzalez and Phifer were playing patty-cake with one another, I find this sort of crying to the officials about the Pats annoying. Contact was incidental, any holding by players was mutual, and most contact was created by Harrison whose eyes were already locked on the ball. Is this simply a case of sour grapes, or with the patchwork secondary, are we going to see more calls go against the Pats because this went uncalled?
A: I know that opposing teams (and I know some players around the league who have told me) feel the Patriots get away with a lot. I mean we can go back to the Indy game last year in the playoffs and what they did to the Colts' receivers. I think it's out there in the league now that the Patriots hold and grab a lot. I think teams make it a point to mention it to the officials every game. A high-profile guy like Gonzalez I'm sure gets held and grabbed a lot because it's the only way you can stop him. I don't think it's just a Patriots thing with Gonzalez. I'm sure he sees it every week to some extent.
I don't get to see every game out here in PA, but I did get to see the game against KC on Monday night. Ty Warren looked great; is he beginning to legitimize the number 1 pick the Pats spent on him? I notice his numbers are above last year's already, with 6 games to go, but the numbers don't always paint the full picture -- your thoughts on his progress please? Thank you!
Todd, Royersford, Pa.
A: Ty has become an effective player. Is he a stud like Seymour? Not really. But he's showing up more on film. He's making plays. He's a guy that opposing offensive lines have to account for and because Seymour gets so much attention, Ty has been able to get a lot of one-on-one coverage and he's making plays. He's a good player. He does his job. I think he's finally getting comfortable with the two-gap system the Patriots play. It's a big adjustment for guys to play in this system because they're not going to have big stats like sacks or too many tackles for that matter because the linebackers are going to get most of those.
Would you provide some insight to the Kevin Faulk performances lately? It seems he isn't getting used much in passing situations and his punt returns have been OK, at best. is he still hurt?
A: Frank, he got whacked pretty good on a punt return against the Ravens and he had to come out and be replaced by Troy Brown. I think he started slowly because he missed so much time because of his mother's death, but when you talk to the coaches about him, he's doing the same things he always has. Belichick said the other day that he's one of their most dependable players. He's been there a long time. He's a good guy, who knows his role and he gives them what they need.
Hi Nick. In preparation for the noise level in Kansas City, the Pats practiced with noise levels piped in. Coach Belichick then went on to say that he used a "silent count" for the entire game at the line of scrimmage. What exactly is a "silent count" and how is it employed? Thanks Nick. Happy Holidays.
A; Jack, a silent snap count is basically when each player on the offense counts to himself once the quarterback signals for them to start the count. Whatever that number is, once the count begins the ball is snapped on that number. Teams practice this all the time, but it takes one guy to mess up for a team to be called for a false start. The quarterback can signal the count different ways, sometimes by lifting his right leg up in the air, which means the offense needs to start counting.