Chat with Mike Reiss
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPNBoston.com New England Patriots blogger Mike Reiss stops by to chat.
Reiss joined ESPNBoston.com in September 2009 and is a native New Englander. He first started covering the Patriots in 1997 with the team's official newspaper, Patriots Football Weekly, before moving on to the MetroWest Daily News in his hometown of Framingham. From 2005 to 2009, he covered the Patriots for The Boston Globe, while also writing on the NFL. He started his popular Patriots blog in 2004.
Send your questions now and join Reiss Thursday at noon ET!
Mike Reiss (12:00 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome to today's Patriots chat.
Mike Reiss (12:01 PM)
I am just going to take one minute and get settled here and away we go. The question asked in our Patriots blog today was "What Patriots draft pick did you like best?" I'll start with mine -- Shane Vereen -- and will surf through some of your responses to share before we kick this chat off.
Kevin F. (Framingham,MA)
Hi Mike. To answer your question/topic of the day, I really like the Cannon pick in the 5th round. If the cancer treatments go well as planned, you can redshirt this player and he becomes part of the guard rotation in 2012. He has early round talent, and to get him in Round 5 seems to be a steal. The Pats maybe now can make a Asante Samuel type deal with Logan Mankins where they sign him for the one year with the promise not to franchise him next year. Mankins stays this year for stability and this young man can slide into his spot in 2012. If things don't work out football wise for Mr. Cannon, I just pray that he can live a long healthy life regardless...
Think both the O-line picks represent good value, the upside of Solder coupled with great coaching should could see a dominant LT emerge for the next 10 years. Gannon could be mammoth inside, and with the lockout shouldn't be too far behind the others when hopefully his recovery is complete. Also noteworthy that even if Light isn't resigned Kaczur is under contract so could plug him in at RT shift Vollmer to LT until Solder is ready.
My favourite pick was probably Cannon, love the idea of getting big and physical on the line of scrimmage, if the Solder pick means releasing Light (or resigning him cheaply) to make money for signing Mankins, then I'm a huge fan of that pick too. In theory we could end up with 4 of our OL locked in for years to come - and they're all monsters!I'm wondering about your opinions on the Mallet pick and his "attitude". Having seen him on a few interviews and videos, he does seem the sort of player who might rub a few people up the wrong way. Given the effort BB has made to fill the locker room with high character people recently, I'm surprised they've taken a potential loose cannon at such an important position.
Tim (Newton, MA)
Hey Mike,Might be an obvious one, but Solder. At first I was a little on the fence on the pick, but let's admit. If the Patriots want to win another ring (or more) Tom Brady needs all the help he can get to stay standing. The O-line is not only long in the tooth, but we have to remember, Neal is gone, Light is a FA, and of course, the Mankins situation. I think the combination of the ceiling of Solder (which is huge) as well as the value (I know, I'm sounding like Bill with that work) with Cannon, most likely for 2012, is a great start for giving Tom a great group of guys for the next 4-5 years.
Elliot (Narragansett, RI)
Mike, my favorite pick is the one they traded into next year's 1st round. I'm having a hard time getting excited about any of these guys. Here's hoping Jermaine Cunningham can overcome the added pressure to make that year 1 to year 2 leap...
Matt (Elon NC)
The pick I liked best is the obvious one: Nate Solder. Our most important issue is boosting the offensive line and protecting Brady; Solder, at his height and skill, will certainly be able to do that. Plus he's our left tackle of the future (or present, if Light doesn't return).
Pete (Boston )
Mike, the best pick was the first pick. Nate Solder is exactly the type of player this team was looking for. Big, athletic, smart, hard working and plays in the trenches where football games are lost and won. We have one of the best O-Line coaches in Dante Scarnecchia, it should be fun seeing what this master craftsman can mold that 6'8" slab of granite into.
eric (north reading)
hi mike my favorite draft pick is shane vereen i have been high on him since the combine i think we have him start and spilt the load with the law firm have wood head as the change of pace back and ridley has goal line and third/fourth and short back sounds like a good group to me in the backfield what do you think?
Laurie (Moncton, Canada)
Draft pick I liked the best? No doubt, it's Marcus Cannon. Incredible value in the 5th round, it was definitely a position of need, and a player who will have the support of any fan (on any team)who has been touched by cancer.
Bob (New Hampshire)
Not real giddy about this draft but long term Nate Solder. He will need a year or so of sttegth training and learning under Dante. Short term is Stevan Ridley. He will immediately contribute on special teams and with a good first step and good vision will hit the hole and gain yards on short yardage plays. This in turn will pull safeties down and make Brady's game easier. He was a team player and offensive captain so he will learn to block. Not great hands but at least an outlet receiver. Do you agree Mike.
Hans (Medway, MA)
I like the Shane Vereen pick -- I think he can be an every-down back, not just a third-down specialist. He has to be more exciting and elusive than BenJarvus, and I hope he turns into our best back since Curtis Martin.
I'm generally happy with all of the Patriots picks, but I especially like Marcus Cannon late in the draft. Wishing him well in his fight with cancer. If you went back and evaluated the Patriots biggest needs going into the draft knowing that in the next CBA four year vets would become unrestricted free agents, how would that affect your perspective of the draft? Would OL and RBs become bigger needs than DE and OLB?
My favorite has to be Ryan Mallett. I know he isn't going to be contributing on the field but in the third round, he was a steal. I had him as my #1 rated QB for this draft but didn't realistically think he would drop to the point where the Pats could draft him. I like hearing the fire from Brady after the pick was made. I think not only will Brady help Mallett but the process will help Brady. Mallett provides another quality perspective from the QB position. I hope we win enough games this year so that BB feels free to use Mallett at the end of the year against the Dolphins and Bills, teams that had multiple opportunities to draft him but didn't.
The picks of Solder, Cannon and Smith impressed me the most. Those picks were attitude picks letting everyone know that the Patriots wanted to get bigger and meaner on the line. My hope is that Mankins and the Pats can bury the hatchet and hopefully a healthy Cannon can play the opposite guard. A 360 lb G! I can't imagine him as a run blocker!
Mike Reiss (12:07 PM)
Great stuff. Based on our informal "poll", the Cannon pick in the fifth round is the winner.
Mike Reiss (12:07 PM)
My plan is to chat today until about 12:45. Let's roll.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett was a Great Pick for the New England Patriots in the 3rd Round?
Mike Reiss (12:09 PM)
I liked the pick in theory, Chris, mainly because I think at that point you want to make sure you pick a player that is going to be on your 53-man roster. You don't want to draft a third-rounder and then cut him. It was clear to me the Patriots were trying to back out, couldn't find a taker for the pick, so they went with the player that stood out on their board. Any team can use another layer of insurance/development at quarterback. Now we'll see if the team's evaluation is sound.
I loved the Patriots draft. I understand the disappointment in not getting Sheard or Brooks but I look at who we did take and I am excited. Solder and Cannon (as soon as he is healthy) can team with Mankins and Vollmer and form a killer O-line. Ras-I opposite Mcourty will give us tough corners. The new RBs and TE will help us get back to the 03-04 running attack we had opening up the play action. I think this draft signaled a shift on offense that started last year with the drafting of Gronk and hernandez. I know people have many concerns still about the defense but our best defense may be a ball control offense.
Mike Reiss (12:11 PM)
Rick, that is an optimistic view on the draft and I could see it unfolding that way. On the flip side, if Reed/Sheard make a Clay Matthews-type impact, that to me is the big second guess. Looking back, the Patriots might say 'We weren't going to take Clay Matthews, we had a third-round grade on him.' I get that. But the follow-up question in my mind is 'Why did you have a third-round grade on him, and what grade would you put on him now?' That's the challenge of the scouting process, and it's only fair to point out, the Patriots weren't the only team to miss on Matthews.
Mike, great coverage over draft weekend but I was wondering if you had caught any of the Bill Parcell's draft special. If you look closely at his board you can see that he did not have some of the "2nd round" pass rushers rated highly. He had Bailey, Acho,Moch and Houston as second rounders but Jabaal Sheard was a 3rd rounder and Brooks Reed a fourth. Parcell's board certainly seems to validate Bill Belichick's decision to pass on the above names and seek better value. Any thoughts?
Mike Reiss (12:13 PM)
I haven't had a chance to watch it in full, Ross, but I think it just comes down to a matter of opinion. Just because Parcells says it doesn't necessarily mean it's right. After all, he drafted Pat White in the second round a few years ago and he's out of the league. I think the main point is that value varies from team to team, and the best thing to do is look back a few years from now and see who had it right.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Trading back or out of the first round is not always the answer. In 2009 the Patriots traded out of the spot where Michael Oher and Clay Matthews were drafted. This year the Patriots passed on taking Ingram, Wilkerson, and Heyward for future picks. At some point the Patriots need to change how they approach first round picks right?
Mike Reiss (12:14 PM)
I wouldn't go that far, Cheesehead. It's only fair to mention the trade-downs that produced Devin McCourty and Jerod Mayo. I think the draft is tough. No team gets it right all the time. And just as the teams sometimes miss, so do the people critiquing them, such as myself. I was really high on Darius Butler the last two years. That's not looking too good for me right now.
Corky Decker (Destin)
Hi Mike: I am totally in a state of shock, Solder yeah ok, good one there but a hurt corner 2 backs and a qb??? Are we going to send corner blitz to get some pressure? Ol TRex must be doing his best SB shuffle about now, please shine some wisdom on this head scratcher...
Mike Reiss (12:16 PM)
Corky, in the end, I think it comes down to Belichick not wanting to force a need. He just didn't see the value in the pass rushers like Brooks Reed and Jabaal Sheard in the second round, or Robert Quinn/Ryan Kerrigan in the first (to trade up). Given the amount of money, time and resources the team puts into it, I respect the decision-making. Now let's give it a little time and see if he was right. I remember last year at this time, a lot of folks were upset at the McCourty pick. It turned out to be a very good one.
Mike, is coach Belichick looking for coachable players for the last few years? We all know Al Davis, the czar of the Raiders, is raving for the speed, and I am guessing Bill Belichick is raving for intelligent players. As much as we discuss physical upsides of the players, the Patriots are drafting former captains, high Wonderic scores, and early graduates. Offense and defense of the Patriots are complex, and does he trying to assemble a team who understand the Belichick style football?
Mike Reiss (12:18 PM)
It's a mix, MarkJ. I don't think you're ever going to get 53 Boy Scouts. But the profile of player the Patriots generally have looked is tailored to those who fit the team's demanding program, those who look at football as one of the most important things in their lives. There is some push and pull there -- some risks are taken with the idea that maybe a strong locker room can lead a player down that path -- but that was one thing that stood out to me from this year's class from a first impression standpoint. A lot of solid, solid guys.
Mike, if Marcus Cannon is fully recovered in 4-5 months, or even placed on the PUP list until next year, do you feel he could be the steal of the draft? Not much risk with a 5th round pick!
Mike Reiss (12:19 PM)
I'm thinking PUP, Glenn, similar to Brandon Tate in 2009.
Michael (los angeles)
Hey mike, with the selection of nate solder does this mean that we don't offer matt light top money for the purpose of pay of paying mankins because without him I see an o line that is not consistant enough to protect brady
Mike Reiss (12:19 PM)
I don't see top money for Light, Michael, but I do think there is still interest in him coming back if the sides can reach an agreement. I'd lean toward it not happening, with Light landing in Kansas City. Makes too much sense to me.
munchkin (glenwood springs, co)
Mike, I believe that if Tyron Smith was still on the board at 17 the Pats would have taken Solder. Belichick made the pick but I believe Dante chose the player. Just as it was on Belichick, as de facto defensive coordinator, to assure McCourtey's success last season it is on Dante to bring out the potential in Nate Solder; based on Dante's track record, I like the odds that he will. Ridley is a hard one to gauge as he only had one year as a starter at LSU. In the tape I watched he appeared competent catching the ball and read his blocks well at both the LOS and in the open field. He went much higher than most pundits had him rated so the Pats must see something in him that many others don't. I wonder if Belichick sees a little bit of his own son in Mallett; a basically good kid who made some bad decisions. He's not alone in that respect. With his on field talent he is certainly worth a shot where they took him.
Mike Reiss (12:20 PM)
You always bring it, munchkin. Just a hunch, but I think Pouncey, Solder and Jordan are three players the Patriots were thinking would be the pick at 17 depending on how things unfolded.
Arjuna (Durham, NH)
Mike, after meeting most if not all of the draft picks who was the most "patriot" like player to you and who was the least "patriot" like player?
Mike Reiss (12:21 PM)
There were a lot of them, Arjuna. I'd start at the top, with Nate Solder.
Who are the most likely FA OLBs the Pats would consider adding to their roster? I've seen Rodak's list you posted earlier, I was more interested in getting your educated guess as to who they would target. Thanks.
Mike Reiss (12:23 PM)
Nick, I think the defensive front-seven is the place to look. It's all guesswork right now, but maybe someone like Matt Roth gets a look as a Vrabel-2001-type under-the-radar type signing. If you want to think bigger, and bigger bucks, Vikings DE Ray Edwards is someone I'd keep on the radar. Part of that solid Purdue pipeline of 4-3 DE/OLB types.
James (Derry, NH)
Hey Mike, I was looking over the Free Agent list you linked to yesterday and saw a couple of intriguing names. First do you think Takeo Spikes has anything left in the tank after 13 years? I think he could be useful in case of injury and also like another coach in the film room. Also saw Mike Vrabel?s name on the list as well, any chance he?s open to coming back to New England; and if he is, would BB want him back? There has been a lot of talk about how BB likes linebackers with experience and they have 27 years between the two of them. Thanks.
Mike Reiss (12:24 PM)
James, I'd say no on Spikes. Sort of duplicates what you already have in Brandon Spikes. As for Vrabel, he's obviously slowed down with the pass rush, but it looked to me like he can still set the edge. I think they need more of a rusher, so I'd lean toward "no" on that one as well.
It looks like Marcus Cannon may be a candidate for the PUP like Brandon Tate was in year one. Does a player on the PUP get paid less than their contract would normally call for?
Mike Reiss (12:24 PM)
Same pay, Andy.
Since the Pats did not draft any additional (needed) pass rush help and the top pass rushers who were to be free agents received the dreaded franchise tag (Hali, Woodley). Do you have any thoughts about what players may be available for trade at OLB or DE?
Mike Reiss (12:25 PM)
I don't think there are any sure-fire answers there, SpainMan. They might add someone, but given the recent history of the team's signings at the position (Adalius Thomas, Derrick Burgess) -- coupled with the crop of available players -- I don't see any big-time solutions unless the team was thinking about someone like Ray Edwards.
It turned out that you were completely wrong. Taking your advice, I stayed up to watch on Thursday and Friday night, much to your and my embarrassment and regret. So now we wait for free agency and hope that there is someone in that building with some common sense.
Mike Reiss (12:26 PM)
Paul, I was wrong. I thought they'd go with a defensive front-seven player/pass-rusher in the first 2 rounds. Seemed like a great opportunity for them to do so. Won't be the last time I swing and miss.
Jan (Auburn, NH)
I hate the ridely pick, I would have rather have seen either moffit or bailey there. It seems like he could have been had much later. Also, let me get this straight, we trade, in theory, ingram for vareen and a first next year, and because vareen isn't everything ingram is, we also pick ridely in the third. We all know NO's #1 next year is going to be 28+, don't like it...
Mike Reiss (12:29 PM)
Understand what you're saying, Jan. I had some reservations about that trade at 28, not because of Ingram, but more because I liked Wilkerson/Heyward, who went 30 and 31. But a couple of things to consider: What if Drew Brees suffers a 2008-type Brady injury early in the season. That Saints pick would suddenly be looking a lot better. In this league, you just never know. As for Vereen vs. Ingram, I look at it differently. I think Vereen was the best RB fit for the Patriots in this draft. Ridley's selection had nothing to do with that, only that they need to fill 4-5 spots on the depth chart and the kid is tough, hard-nosed and a solid character guy.
Nate C (Somerville)
Hi Mike, thanks for the excellent draft coverage! You have written at length about how pick 33 will define this draft, but no one seems to have said as much about 56. I personally was surprised to see Vereen taken when LeShoure was still on the board. I know Vereen is a better pass catcher, but Woodhead is already our 3rd down back. We need a big Corey Dillon type in the backfield to pound between the tackles and I thought LeShoure would be perfect for that. With that kind of size, he can learn to be a good blocker on passing downs. Obviously the Lions agree because they scooped him up with the very next pick. Thoughts?
Mike Reiss (12:31 PM)
Good one, Nate. I think it's more than just pass protection when it comes to Vereen vs. Leshoure. I think they have their pounder in Green-Ellis and now Ridley. They have their third-down back in Woodhead. And now they have a Swiss-army knife in Vereen, who is faster and stronger than I feel analysts have given him credit for. I think Vereen is an all-around back who is extremely smart when it comes to Xs and Os, whereas Leshoure is a little more one-dimensional.
Hi, I was just wondering what you thought of Brandon Spikes. Serviceable ILB? Good Potential? How better will he get? Will the 4 game suspension affect him in any way? etc.
Mike Reiss (12:32 PM)
Mike, I think Ted Johnson when I see Brandon Spikes on the field. Two-down LB, strong against the run playing downhill. He probably has some better instincts than Johnson when playing in reverse.
Mike, I haven't heard of any Patriots organized team activities. I know you've commented several times that Brady still has the same fire and passion but I think this is proof he doesn't. There's no arguing if this was 2002-2007 we'd be seeing him on Sports Center running a camp similar to Brees or Sanchez. What's your thoughts?
Mike Reiss (12:32 PM)
Chad, the defense got together a few weeks ago and kept it low. As I understand it, the offense is holding off a bit longer before deciding on a course of action.
Seth (St. Louis)
The Pats have had only two guys go into double-digits in sacks in BB's tenure: Vrabel, a FA scrap-heap pick-up, with 12.5 in '07, and TBC, a 7th-round pick, with 10 in '09. With that in mind, do you think maybe the calls for a early-pick "dominant" pass rusher each year are over-blown?
Mike Reiss (12:34 PM)
I personally don't Seth, but I think it's a fair point. In the end, it's about points allowed and the Patriots were ranked 8th in the NFL in that category last year. So that would play to your point. I just think they need to get a little more heat on the quarterback. Maybe better coverage on the back end -- with McCourty, Dowling and Bodden teaming with Meriweather/Chung/Sanders -- helps that become a reality.
Bill Parcells jr (Key West)
My dad thinks all the NE fans are clueless. He says BB purposely let all the pass rush chatter percolate so his real draft interests would be more protected. His guess is that BB has a plan and is remaining purposely vague/evasive. He can't understand why that is a mystery up there. He says he taught BB well, but says he would have had 4 super bowls with brady.
Mike Reiss (12:34 PM)
Can I call you Little Tuna?
Kyle (Cranston, RI)
Mike, I think the Dowling pick was made for two reasons: 1) Insurance / upgrade for Bodden and Arrington at starting CB and 2) To get Chung off the field in nickel. Chung got toasted last year when forced to cover slot receivers (Blair White comes to mind) and the more options we have to go to the better. Your thoughts?
Mike Reiss (12:35 PM)
Fair point, Kyle, and maybe Chung stays on the field but not in the slot.
Chris (Manchester NH)
The draft pick I like the best is Shane Vereen. It's very easy to see he's got good character. On the football field and off the Patriots are getting a good player. I also like the versatility he bring being able to run and catch the football. I hope he becomes this drafts version of Ray Rice.
Mike Reiss (12:35 PM)
Thanks Chris. I missed that one on my first sweep through the chat.
Casey (Work Cubicle somewhere in TN)
Hey Mike, I don't think that it should be that big of a shocker BB didn't draft someone in the front 7 on D mainly because all the work he put it with the D last year. Last year he was basically the Defensive Cordinator and Head Coach and even if fans and media members think he needed to address the front seven, I think all the work he put in with them would show lack of trust. Your thoughts?
Mike Reiss (12:36 PM)
I look at it a little differently, Casey. Bill Belichick always says his decisions are in the best interests of the football team. To me, that means picking the best players who are the best fit for the overall program. I wouldn't think lack of trust is at the top of the list, but I could be wrong.
Tanvir (Norwalk, CT)
Mike,Nice work on the draft. I had a couple of process questions. First, does Belichick use current players when evaluating college talent? For example, does Brady ever sit in on a film session of Mallet, Locker, Gabbert, etc.? Second, who's in the draft room with Belichick and Casserio? Thanks again for your hard work.
Mike Reiss (12:37 PM)
I don't believe he does tap into present players, Tanvir. As for the draft room, footage on Patriots.com shows Bill Belichick, his assistant, Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft, Jon Robinson, Nick Caserio and Ernie Adams. Maybe the smallest draft room in the NFL.
Mike Reiss (12:38 PM)
Robinson is the director of college scouting.
Ras-I Dowling (Foxboro)
Tell the WRs in the AFC East they can take the day off when they face me and McCourty because they won't be catching anything that day.
Mike Reiss (12:38 PM)
Doesn't sound like the humble Ras-I Dowling I've been hearing about, but the confidence is to be admired.
Been asked before, but any chance of unretiring numbers. With the team Hall of Fame, seems redundant. Any way for fans to reach out to ownership on this?
Mike Reiss (12:39 PM)
I'd write a letter Aroon. Good topic and a good year to pursue it with the possibility of Nate Solder wearing Bruce Armstrong's old 78.
Steve (San Diego)
Hi Mike, Do you think Constanzo's agent was the reason the Pats went with Solder and do you think Solder was worthy of being the first tackle picked over Constanzo and Carimi? Thx!
Mike Reiss (12:40 PM)
I think it was because Solder has a bit more upside. Castonzo may be more ready to step in now, but projecting Solder getting a bit stronger and touching up some technique issues in the Dante Scarnecchia School of O-Linemen, he could be a beast.
Is it definite that Cannon will start the year on the PUP?
Mike Reiss (12:40 PM)
PS> Is Shane Vereen related to Ben?
Mike Reiss (12:42 PM)
Believe he said distant cousin.
Mike, enough with the Pats not picking a pass rusher early in the draft. Is it possible that BB wasn't overly enamored with the group (irregardless of what he publicly stated), and figures that with the lock out, there won't be enough time to teach up rookie(s) in order that they would start ahead of whomever is already on the team? Just remember that for all of the praise and accolades being placed upon the draftees, remember what was said last year regarding Hughes, Kindle, etc...
Mike Reiss (12:42 PM)
Fair point, John, and certainly that's possible with Belichick's mindset. Let's see how it plays out.
Hey Mike. Loved your analysis of the draft. I was wondering if the drafting of Mallet will affect the team. Do youthink we can sign mallet for more than 4 years and do you think he will be content being a backup in 4 years time?
Mike Reiss (12:43 PM)
Adam, I view Mallett as more of a Hoyer contingency than Brady. Hoyer shows promise and his contract expires after 2012. So much changes from year to year, I don't look much beyond that when it comes to Mallett.
Hi Mike, I like the way BB manipulates the draft boards, and while he isn't perfect, most of his trades work out well for the Pats. My question is the trade of the 2nd round pick (I believe it was pick #60) to move down in the second round and pick up a 5th rounder. Did we use the 5th round pick on OL Cannon? Off the top of my head it doesn't seem like a good trade, in that 2nd round picks have the most value, and trading one and moving down, but not really picking up anything increasing in value, such as a higher pick the following year. Am I way off on this?
Mike Reiss (12:43 PM)
Jeff, the Patriots came up short on the trade-value chart on that deal, quite significantly. That to me is an indication that they wanted to get the heck out of there because they didn't like the options on the board at the economic cost.
Matt G. (Boston)
Hi Mike. Do you anticipate Mark Merzlich signing in the UFL? Or do you think he might wait for the NFL dispute to end, and see what shakes out? Sorry he didn't get drafted, but still rooting for him, big time. Thanks.
Mike Reiss (12:44 PM)
Just a hunch, Matt, but I don't see Herzlich signing there. Again, just a hunch, but I think he's thinking NFL at this time.
Clark (Washington DC)
Mike,Could you see Lee Smith at fullback?
Mike Reiss (12:45 PM)
Sure, Clark, but only sparingly, like we saw Alge Crumpler sometimes line up there.
Mike Reiss (12:45 PM)
Let's go for another 5...
Tore (New Jersey)
Hi Mike, Great good covering the draft. Who do you see the Pats targeting in FA? I don't see any major signings but maybe BB has something planned. Will they be in the Sidney Rice hunt?
Mike Reiss (12:45 PM)
I don't see them in the big-money WR mix, Tore. Maybe a pass-rusher, but the crop of free agents is not great.
With the pick of Ras-I Dowling there seems to be a glut of corners on the roster. If you were to speculate, how would you think the depth chart at corner would come out?
Mike Reiss (12:46 PM)
McCourty, Bodden, Dowling, Arrington, Butler/Wilhite/Carter/Turner fighting for one spot.
David B (New York)
MikeI could maybe live with the Pats ignoring the pass rush if -- in addition to getting Vereen and Ridley -- they had grabbed one big, deep play threat wideout, to make the offense that much more unstoppable. Do you think the team is still high on Tate, and are you?
Mike Reiss (12:47 PM)
I think they like Tate, and see bigger things ahead for Taylor Price too. I believe both deserve more time and show promise.
This business about drafting back-up quarterbacks as being "good business" seems over-sold to me. The Patriots only got a 2nd round for Matt Cassel because they included Mike Vrabel, and to make that work, Cassel needed to have a big injury to Brady to get the time to learn to job. I don't see Ryan Mallett getting any significant playing time before he is eligible for free agency. I would have much rather used the pick, maybe combining it with another, to get a pass rusher while Brady is still in his prime. What do you think?
Mike Reiss (12:48 PM)
I don't know, Spike, maybe somewhere in the middle. Matt Schaub, when he was traded from Atlanta to Houston, had played sparingly in the regular season. The preseason was big for him. I can see both sides of it, but I lean toward the "drafting and developing quarterbacks is good business" category.
It seems there are a handful of possible OLB's for the Patriots that will be available come free agency. Ray Edwards, Matthias Kiwanuka, Kamerion Wimbley, and Manny Lawson are all free agents who would probably be looked at. And depending on how the franchise tag works this year Tamba Hali and LaMarr Woodley could also be available. I think we've seen in the past that this is one position BB does not mind spending money on in free agency.
Mike Reiss (12:49 PM)
Kiwanuka is an interesting one to consider. Might be more of a 4-3 end, but did play off-the-line LB at one point. Wimbley also got the franchise tag, so he's not a likely option.
Do you think the reason the Pats spent more picks on offense is that Belichick realizes his defense has young talent but outside of Wilfork nobody that has been there/done that leadership experience which I believe is what they need? Also what one free agent would you sign that could add that?
Mike Reiss (12:50 PM)
More than anything, Brad, I think it was a result of the players available at the time the team was picking. I just don't think he liked the defensive options. Now we'll see if he was right over the next few years.
Mike, I have no problem that the PATS didn't pick Matthews a few years ago because there's no guarantee that any one pick will pan out. Hindsight is great, but if the Pats didn't have him highly ranked, that's fine. This year is different. They had enough picks to select a few defensive prospects that they could even miss on a few. So unless all those players we've mentioned in every chat since January are busts, i think the Pats made a mistake. And as you always say, the other coaches get paid too. They didn't think those prospects were worth passing over.
Mike Reiss (12:51 PM)
Let's see how it plays out, Dave. One point I'd make is that the Patriots have invested some rich resources at CB the last few years -- Terrence Wheatley (2nd round), Darius Butler (2nd round), Devin McCourty (1st round) and Ras-I Dowling (2nd round) -- not to mention a 4-year, $22m contract for Leigh Bodden. What have they done at OLB? Not as much. I think it's interesting to look at from a philosophical standpoint.
hi mike, i actually like the pats draft, IF. The if is a if veteren DE or pass rusher is signed. Manny Lawson or Tamba Hali. Do you think the Pats will ever give up a 1st and a 3rd for franchised pass rusher? They just trade the number 1 picks anyway. At least give up draft picks for a proven player.
Mike Reiss (12:52 PM)
I don't see them giving up a 1 and a 3 for a player like that, Larry.
Bruce Mount (Cambridge, MA)
I know that BB has going inside info on players from Urban Meyer and Nick Saban in the past. Is BB friends with Bobby Petrino as well? Would he have had inside info on Ryan Mallet?
Mike Reiss (12:52 PM)
I don't think so, Bruce, but he did meet with Mallett before the draft and came away with a good feeling.
Mike O'Brien (Pflugerville, Tx)
I like Solder because I feel like the money we will save from not resigning Matt Light we can use to start over with Logan mankins resigning and clearing the air!
Mike Reiss (12:53 PM)
Boston Rocks (Ocala Fl.)
Lets get this over with first thing Mike. Will there or will there not be an NFL season this year? Thanks
Mike Reiss (12:53 PM)
Let's end on this one, Boston Rocks. I'm going the optimistic route and saying 'yes' there will be a season. I can't imagine the owners and players would be so foolish as to ruin this great thing they have going.
Mike Reiss (12:54 PM)
Just want to say thanks to everyone for chatting. I appreciate your passion. Couldn't get to all the questions, but the quality of them is always impressive. Enjoy the rest of the day and the weekend.