AFC East: Kell Holcomb

Your AFC East mail returned

September, 13, 2008
Posted by's Tim Graham

Matt in Maine writes: Give me one reason as a Pats fan that I don't give this season up and use this time to build up good karma with my wife and do family things on Sunday afternoons this fall?

Tim Graham: I'll give you three: Bill Belichick, the defensive line and Randy Moss.

Matt in Fresno, Calif., writes: Does ESPN tell you to only talk about New York vs. Boston? Is that the only thing they allow you writers to talk about? I mean seriously ... Even if there is no rivalry, you gotta try to make one up Jets and Patriots? Give me a break.

Tim Graham: Yes, we're making it all up. You caught us. All those reasons I gave why Jets-Patriots is a huge rivalry were fictional. I actually thought about naming my lead character Santa Claus instead of Bill Parcells, but then I thought that might be a little too over the top.

Chris in Fort Lauderdale writes: Pats-Jets is just another ESPN-forced rivalry. The true rivalry in the AFC East is Jets-Dolphins.

Tim Graham: I guess that's why about a third of the upper deck consisted of empty orange seats on Sunday, when the Jets visited the Dolphins ... on opening day ... with the Dolphins unveiling their new team and head coach ... with Brett Favre making his Jets debut ... with Chad Pennington playing against his former team.

Harlan in Boston writes: I'm a Pats fan, a huge one and I am realistic about the Patriots not being the team they are without Tom Brady. What I don't understand is why people are so high on the Jets taking over the AFC East. If any team has a chance I see Buffalo, a team with a solid defense, an All Pro-caliber RB and a promising QB. Your thoughts?

Tim Graham: I agree with you. I've gone on record as calling the Bills the new team to beat in the AFC East. They also have Pro Bowl LT Jason Peters coming back from his holdout.

Brian in Phoenix writes: Do you think the Bills will win at least 10 games to make it to the playoffs?

Tm Graham: I like their chances if they stay healthy. I'm not going to get into picking wins and losses down the schedule, but they have the Dolphins twice, the Raiders, Rams, 49ers and Chiefs. That's favorable for the Bills.

Garrett from Parts Unknown writes: I enjoy most of your work, but when I looked over your preseason All-AFC East defense lineup I just ended up puzzled. You stated that you were doing a 3-4 defense, which is intelligent, but then you selected Aaron Schobel at RDE. A 250-pound DE cannot hang in the 3-4. 270 pounds doesn't even cut it. Is this an isolated oversight? Or should the readers be prepared for more nonsense?

Tim Graham: Garrett, are you the guy who complains that the Shoeless Joe Jackson character in "Field of Dreams" incorrectly bats right-handed, yet overlooks the concept of ghosts living in a cornfield?

The preseason All-AFC East team isn't real. It would have been, but I couldn't find another team for it to play this weekend.

Mr. Anonymous from Waukesha, Wisc., writes: When a player makes a team's practice squad, is he under contract? If so, what is his salary?

Tim Graham: Practice squad players are under contract, but they can be signed to another team's 53-man roster. Their minimum salary is $5,200 a week. If they stay there the whole season that adds up to $88,400. But they can make more than that.

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