AFC East: Ron Meeks
Mack from Waverly writes: Hey Tim I have a couple of questions regarding the patriots defense. Alot of people are counting on the pats to draft a corner high or get one in free agency. I really felt like the defense improved down the stretch after Jonathan Wiilhite was injected into the starting lineup. Do you think he might be the answer at corner? Also do you think the pats might ask Junior Seau back for depth since he has bailed them out for three straight years?
Tim Graham: I'm with you on Jonathan Wilhite. I thought he played well opposite Ellis Hobbs late in the season and may have convinced the Patriots they're OK at cornerback for next year. Junior Seau was an emergency replacement late in the season. He won't be back in 2009 unless disaster strikes -- repeatedly.
Brian in Fort Myers, Fla., writes: I do not see Buffalo taking the TE from OSU, he is unpolished and has too many off the field issues in his past. I actually think he could be a bust and we need help at DE and LB, who do you see the Bills looking at with their first two picks. Thanks--Go Bills!
Tim Graham: You're correct that defensive end and linebacker are needs. The Bills also need a center, but that's not a position you take in the top third of the first round unless he's elite, and there are no elite centers in this year's draft class. That said, Bills fans should be happy if Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew is the pick.
Matthew in Wichita, Kan., writes: There Rumor going on net that Pats hired Romo back to staff. That Pats going after Free agents in nfl as well look at draft because of Jared Mayo.And look at May talking Ray Lewis.
Tim Graham: See what I deal with here? I get about 47 questions like this in my chat every week and another dozen in my mailbag.
Mr. Anonymous in Phoenix writes: tim, i seem to be the only bills fan that doesn't blame dick jauron for yet another losing season (bills seem to have a history of it). do you think he can get the bills to 9 wins or should i wait until the team is sold to another town to see a winning season.
Tim Graham: I've written in my chats and mailbags before I think Jauron is a satisfactory coach. Buffalo's problems are systemic, not coach-oriented. When the Bills decided to retain Jauron and make few front-office changes, Bills fans must hope they've at least decided to adopt a new philosophy on spending money and obtaining players.
The free-agency period hasn't begun yet, so it's too early to tell for sure, but fact the Bills went hard after CFL sackmaster Cameron Wake -- they lost out to the Dolphins -- could indicate they'll be active in pursuing free agents.
Josh in Norfolk, Va., writes: Mr. Graham -- do you think the Phins will pursue Julius Peppers?
Tim Graham: It wouldn't appear the Dolphins would be hot for Peppers, whose agent recently announced the Carolina Panthers defensive end would like to play linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. The Dolphins already have Joey Porter, and last week they spent a healthy chunk (by CFL standards) on Wake. They also gave an exorbitant sum to Charlie Anderson last year.
Doug in Memphis, Tenn., writes: Kurt Warner will QB a second team in the Super Bowl. How many other QB's have done that?
Tim Graham: Kurt Warner is the third quarterback to lead two franchises to the Super Bowl, joining Craig Morton (Cowboys, Broncos) and Earl Morrall (Colts, Dolphins). But Morton was the first to start both Super Bowls. Bob Griese came back from injury in time to start Super Bowl VII in place of Morrall.
George in Wilmington, Del., writes: The last time the Jets drafted an offensive weapon in the 1st round was in 2001 (Santana Moss) and before that it was Keyshawn. Do you think this has contributed to gang greens woes? Was sticking with Tannenbaum over Mangini (or sticking with him at all) a bad choice? Is there a roadmap for the Jets to make a play-off run next season? I am not looking forward to another 5 or more years of having my heart broken.
Tim Graham: Great football teams are about the organization, the culture, the system. Mike Tannenbaum has made more moves that contribute to establishing a winner than he has made mistakes.
The Rex Ryan hire was a great one, even though he is another in a line of defensive-minded coaches. That's where their affinity for taking defensive players in the first round stems from.
Ryan will establish his tone and begin to weed out the players who don't fit his mind-set while adding players who do. But the Jets aren't in need of a major overhaul. They won nine games last year and have talent on the roster. If the Dolphins can go from one victory to 11 in one year's time, then the Jets certainly can make the playoffs next year.
Mark in Danville writes: With McCoy and Bradford electing to return to school does that increase the potential trade value for Matt Cassel should the Pats look to move him before the draft?
Tim Graham: Fewer available prospects will affect Cassel's value somewhat. It's about supply and demand. But the Patriots won't be able to trade Cassel before the draft because they won't know enough about Tom Brady's rebuilt left knee by then. The primary reason they'll franchise Cassel is to provide insurance in case Brady's not ready.
TK in Brooklyn, N.Y., writes: Hey Tim, this seems like a no brainer to me, but is there any chance the Bills go after former Colts defensive cooridinator Ron Meeks? Buffalo runs that Tampa 2 defense he ran under Dungy, and he would be a great help in improving their defense; plus he knows how to defend Brady and the Patriots. The Bills would be foolish not to try and get this guy on their staff in some capacity or another. Please tell me this is going to happen.
The New England Patriots quarterback consented Wednesday to his first real interview since tearing up his left knee in September.
He was on the air for only 10 minutes. The first part of the interview was devoted to Barack Obama's inauguration and Brady's philanthropic works in Africa, and some of the segment was dedicated to hawking a sports cream, the reason for his interview to begin with.
Still, he spoke and didn't dodge any questions that were set forth, although I was told by someone in the know concessions were made in arranging the interview and certain topics, including girlfriend Gisele Bundchen, were verboten.
He was not asked whether he would be ready for training camp, about the NBCSports.com report his rehab was delayed by an accumulation of scar tissue or if the Patriots would need Matt Cassel to stick around for a while.
Brady showed his interview skills were rusty when he unleashed a curse word not allowed in the U.S. or Canada.
What was it like to watch an entire season and not be able to play?
Tom Brady: You play this game long enough, and [expletive] happens, so to speak. The reality is it happens to everybody. I'm in a new part of my career, and I'm excited about rehabilitation and different challenges. The tough part is you're not experiencing something you love to do. But you get over that and you focus on what you've got to focus on and you just say, "OK, well, it happened. We're moving on."
Could you follow the team closely, or was it too hard?
TB: I watched everything. I was the biggest cheerleader. It's painful when you see our team lose, and I thought we really had a great year, being that we finished 11-5. It was tough enough to not make the playoffs, and a team that's in the Super Bowl, the Arizona Cardinals, we beat by 40 points.
So I was disappointed along with the rest of our team and coaches, but it was what it was. It was a tough competition in the AFC this year. We're going t try to make some improvements this offseason and see if we can make it back to being the division winner next year.
There have been a few developments in the New York Jets' coaching search.
So I thought it was a good time to give an update as to where the process stands after one week based strictly on information I'm highly confident is factual. In other words, I'm not going to guess what's going on in Mike Shanahan's head.
- The Jets have received permission from the Indianapolis Colts to interview defensive coordinator Ron Meeks. The interview will take place Friday at the Jets' facility in Florham Park, N.J.
- Meeks is black and would satisify the NFL's "Rooney Rule" that requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate.
- The Jets will interview Arizona Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm on Thursday in the desert. Owner Woody Johnson will be present for his first interview after being out of the country through the first three.
- The first two interviews were Friday with Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach Bill Callahan, but Johnson wasn't present. Johnson met with Schottenheimer on Tuesday and will meet with Callahan on Wednesday.
- Johnson has not met with New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who interviewed Saturday.
- The Jets have received permission to interview Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan but haven't scheduled an interview yet.
- Newsday's Erik Boland reports Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski interviewed Tuesday. The Jets have declined comment.
- Bill Cowher still is not interested in coaching in 2009.
- Francisco Franco is dead.