Page 4 of 17 -- A: The coin toss is called by the visiting captain. The winner can choose whether to receive or not receive, kickoff, or which goal he wants to defend. If he chooses to kickoff, the loser gets to chose which side to defend first. The Patriots lost 11 coin tosses before winning in Indy. I don't know if they call the same side or if they mix it up.
Hello, Nick. Inevitably, Crennel and/or Weis will be hired for a head coaching job. If that happens this offseason, how would Belichick fill those positions? Would he promote from within or would he go outside the organization? Is there someone being groomed for those spots?
Larry Pohner, Foxboro
A: I'm not completely convinced either or both will go. There will be a few coaching openings, probably less than we think, and don't forget, there are guys like Tom Coughlin and Dennis Green, and, who knows, Jimmy Johnson, out there who are proven commodities that teams would have to consider. But let's say it happened, I would guess that Eric Mangini would be a candidate for defensive coordinator and offensively, maybe a Dante Scarnecchia unless Belichick could find a coach in another organization he could pry loose or if a deposed coaching staff (like the Giants) became available he could pluck somebody from a staff.
Nick, A quick question on the owners in the city. I don't know where else to go to get the question answered -- how much are each of the principal owners (Kraft, Jacobs, Henry, and Grousbeck) worth and how did they make their fortunes? Does Henry have the money to spend Steinbrenner like dollars? If you can't put this in the mailbag, could you e-mail me back and let me know who I could ask to find out this info? Thanks.
Larry Pohner, Foxboro
A: They're all very wealthy is the short answer. Kraft inherited a fortune from his wife's family and turned that into more wealth with his paper company. Jacobs has made a mint with Delaware North and concessions, and Henry, from what I've told, doesn't need the partners, he's so rich as a result of his hedge fund investing.
The question of whether Ty Law (or Lawyer Milloy before him) should consider accepting less money seems to split people into two camps: "They are entitled to whatever they can get" and "It's a business and the owners won't pay more than they feel is market value or less." Isn't there another point that's being missed? When a player insists on the highest end of the pay scale for his position, isn't he, in effect, saying, "I know I'm taking money that could be used to build a stronger ball club, but it's more important for me to take what I can get?" How can such a player ever again say "Winning is the most important thing to me?" NFL teams have a salary cap. Owners have a set amount of money to distribute to their players. If one player takes a disproportionate amount, there is less that can go to others. How can the Patriots attract good free agents or pay to keep other important players on the club if the money needed to pay them is going to one player? I'm not talking about subsistence wages here. Surely even if Law took a cut, he would be financially secure for life, still among the higher-paid corners, and the money freed up could well contribute to getting another ring. When I read last year that Law and Milloy were chanting "No cuts! No cuts!", it seemed that the good of the team was of little interest to them. Am I missing something here?
Michael Martorano, Tewksbury Continued...