Leftovers from the Patriots' weekly mailbag:
Mark (Astoria, NY) If your QB is a lefty, shouldn't your right tackle be your best pass protector? Does this confuse players who usually play a technique to protect the blind side of a righty?
Mark, glad you brought this up, as this was also something that was mentioned in the comments section of this week's mailbag. Yes, if the quarterback is left-handed, my thought would be that the best pass protector should at right tackle. This isn't always an easy switch for some tackles. Bill Belichick has told the story of Matt Light's attempt to play right tackle numerous times in recent years, and how it wasn't a fit. It was left tackle or bust for Light. Other players, the switch is a bit easier to make.
Memo (Mexico) Hi Mike, regarding the negotations for a long-term contract between the Pats and Wes Welker, one of the possible factors for the impasse could be that with the influence of Josh McDaniels, the offense should not be so dependant on the slot position. When considering the Brandon Lloyd contract, and the 2-TE offense, there will not be an expensive long-term contract in the slot position especially for a 31 year old WR. Your thoughts?
Memo, I think Wes Welker will still be a vital part of the offense, and believe the Patriots feel that way too. My sense is that from the Patriots' view, they feel what they're offering Welker represents the top of the line for a player with his skill set in that role. So more than anything, I view it as a pure difference in opinion on what Welker feels he is worth, and what the Patriots feel he is worth. I believe part of the consideration is also that the Patriots have the projected flat salary cap in mind over the next few years, and are being careful on big contract numbers in 2013 and 2014. So while I agree that perhaps the tight ends can eventually pick up some of the responsibilities in the short- to intermediate areas of the field, and negate part of the need for a slot receiver, I don't see that as the main issue.
Kaushal (Trumbull, CT) Hey Mike, I'm reading this week's mailbag, and disagree with your rings vs HOF argument. Would you rather have the career of Dan Marino or David Carr? Scott Wedman or Charles Barkley? Of course, I would like to have both, and a good career with rings is better than a great career with no rings. But for sure, a HOF career is way better then getting one ring as a bench player, isn't it?
Kaushal, I respect that viewpoint. I also think there are going to be some comparisons that are going to favor the Hall of Fame career vs. Super Bowl ring, if we're talking about a Dan Marino vs. a doesn't-take-a-snap backup quarterback. But my view was more from an overall standpoint, highlighting what I think is the great reward of team sports -- a bunch of players coming together as one to accomplish that ultimate goal. When you can put it all together, and take that journey together, I think that's more meaningful in the majority of cases. This isn't tennis or golf, which is more individual in nature. I'm not saying players are completely selfless and I'm not naive to think individual accomplishments don't mean anything. Overall, I think this is a great topic to debate, and there are a lot of layers to it. You pointed out a good one and I appreciate it.