New York state of mind
Page 3 of 19 -- In Lawrence Taylor's new book written by Serby, Taylor refers to Bill Belichick as Bill "Bedcheck." Taylor said that Belichick was a stickler for bed checks while the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. He also considered him a "football genius." There were obviously a lot of off field problems with Taylor during those glory years in New York. Belichick did not want to dwell on those when asked recently about Taylor. "Well, I don't really want to get into those," Belichick said. "I think they were far and away overridden by a lot of good things that he did, which a lot of those, as usual, wouldn't get the notoriety. You could do 500 charity events and get a ticket for jaywalking and you are a criminal. We all know what Lawrence's situation was. I am not trying to change it. I am saying that the guy played a long time. He did a lot of good things for his team, for his teammates, and for the community that he was in. There were other things that were less than perfect. I am sure he would be the first one to admit that."
League sources indicate the Patriots will explore, and the key word is explore, the Keyshawn Johnson situation in the off season. Certainly, they would not take on a contract that pays Johnson counting salary and bonus $6 million next season, $7.5 in 2005, $9 million in '06 and $10.5 million in '07, but a trade with the Bucs (for a mid-round pick) and then a contract restructuring would be the only chance of making it happen. And that part is not far-fetched...
Here's the mailbag:
Hi, Nick. Great game last Sunday. I have one question. Who can beat the Patriots? Love your mailbag!
-- Mark Metivier, Williamsburg, Va.
A: We saw what Indy did to the Patriots. Could KC do the same? I think Philly would pose a big-time threat in the Super Bowl.
Mike Cloud has 27 carries, 5 touchdowns, 12 first downs and a 4.4 yac (yards after catch). He's been crucial in winning big games when he's had the chance. He looks like a powerful runner who can deliver in short yardage situations. Why isn't Cloud given more time? I know that he was mediocre with the Chiefs and I don't know what the coaches see in practice, but as long as he gets results I can't understand why he doesn't get more playing time.
-- Ross, Providence
A: It's one of the great mysteries of this season. Cloud has fresh legs, has something to prove and he runs well when he's in the game. For a team void of a strong lead runner I don't get it. From what I'm told it's the familiarity of Faulk and Smith that becomes the key issue. Continued...