Page 3 of 17 -- We can only wish new punter Brooks Barnard, who kicked at University of Maryland, good luck in his first NFL game. His dad, John, an American Airlines pilot, named him after the great Brooks Robinson. Does that mean he has good hands?
On to the mailbag:
Nick, What do you think the Pats will do with there stock pile of draft picks? Thanks.
Joe Wagner, Woodbridge, Va.
A: My guess is they'll trade some of them. They usually do. Maybe they figure the '07 draft is going to be awesome. Just kidding. But I think they'll wheel and deal like they always do.
Nick, I respect your opinion. Is there a better owner in the NFL than Bob Kraft? Personally, I don't care if the Patriots get the national recognition as an outstanding football team and organization. As you've stated, they seem to thrive on being "under the radar." But here are some facts that I think other Pats fans (especially us transplants) can take into any argument about who is the best franchise in the NFL since 1996: Only 5 teams (Dolphins, 49ers, Packers, Bucs, and Vikings with five) have made the playoffs more than the Pats (4 times. No one has been to more than the Pats' 2 Super Bowls (Pack, Rams, and Broncos, 2 also). Only the Broncos have more than the Pats one Super Bowl win. And since the start of the 2001 season, no AFC team has more wins. (Only the Pack and Eagles have more, 30 and 31, respectively.) So very few team can argue that their run has been better. My final comment would be to tell the "Ask Nick" readers to stop worrying, whining, and complaining. We are in the Glory Years of Patriots football. Enjoy it!
Peter Northgraves, Atlanta, GA
A: You're right. These are the glory years of the team and you have so many unhappy people.
Love the column. I have some general comments so I will probably never get posted. The thing with huge salaries like Milloy's and Law's is that you have to start thinking in terms of is Ty Law worth three Rodney Harrisons or 6 Dan Kleckos? Milloy still can play, I think he has near 60 tackles this season, but you can't tie up too many dollars in a single player because you won't be able to fill your roster with quality players. Drew Bledsoe is a good quarterback, he put his health on the line for the team and I will always appreciate the fun of watching him blast the ball all over the field. I think his demise in New England started when Martin took off for the Jets and Terry Glenn took off for parts unknown. A downfield pocket passer needs a good running back to keep the defense guessing, unlike a Brady who does the short quick pass well. (Bledsoe never could take enough juice off the ball on the short routes.) Now my question. How does the coin toss work? Who makes the call? If the Patriots just called the same side of the coin every time, they would win the toss 50 percent of the time. Thanks a bunch.
Chris Morris, Chicago, Ill. Continued...