A few leftovers from our weekly Patriots mailbag:
Dave (New Jersey): Hey Mike, I wanted to know what you have heard on the rehab front for Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork. Have you heard when they will be ready to go? Are they expected to recover 100 percent?
Dave, reporters caught up with Mayo on May 6 and he struck an optimistic tone. I think he has a good chance to be ready. Wilfork is keeping a lower profile but I was told, not surprisingly, that he's really putting in the time. One observer noted he was drenched from an intense workout the last time they saw him. Still, that's a tough one to come back from and we probably won't know for a little while on him.
Bob Q (Coventry, RI): Mike, I know there have been many questions about the Jimmy Garappolo pick, but I haven't seen this one before: If the Pats truly have an eye on Tom Brady's successor, why didn't they take Teddy Bridgewater? Was Dominique Easley so much of a temptation?
Bob, if the right offer was there for consideration, I think their preferred course of action would have been to trade down in the draft. After that, I just don't think they were going to pick a quarterback in the first round regardless. They obviously thought highly of Easley, but let's say Easley wasn't available, I would have been really surprised if they picked a quarterback there. While part of drafting a quarterback was with possible succession plans in mind, I believe that was a lesser part of the consideration than ensuring the No. 2 spot is ultimately in good hands.
Rick B. (Chesapeake, VA): Mike, will you be traveling with the Patriots to Richmond, Virginia, for the joint practices with the Redskins? I will be wearing 12's throwback jersey -- but looking for you on the sideline. Beyond excited for these practices. Virginia Pats fans will represent well in the backyard of the Skins!
Rick, I highly recommend those joint practices for anyone within driving distance. They will be open to the public and are usually a great take. Maybe we can arrange some type of get-together as the date approaches.
Anton (South Korea): Hi Mike, do you think BB shifts the offensive focus away from the "12" personnel grouping? Given the lack of TE personnel, and the two-tight end attack faltering in the playoffs in recent years, I believe BB and Josh McDaniels employ a new strategy on offense.
Anton, I think that's a fair assumption based on the present personnel. We should still see it, and we know the offense is game-plan specific, but in the end I think it's mostly about getting your five best skill-position players on the field. I see more upside at receiver right now, so I'd estimate that three-receiver package could be more prevalent based on the present snapshot. Of course, that can always change. There's a long way to go.
Richie (Los Angeles): Hi Mike, my question is why are rookies not allowed to participate with their new team until graduation? What if they are not graduating?
Richie, the way it was explained to me one time is that the NFL simply wants to promote the importance of graduating. I thought Bills coach Doug Marrone had an interesting take on this last year.