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 (12:00 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome to today's chat. I am here at the NFL combine.
Mike (12:01 PM)
Just testing to see if we're up and running.
Mike (12:02 PM)
It's a great environment here at the NFL Combine.
Mike (12:03 PM)
You get to hear from all different NFL head coaches and personnel men. A chance to learn about their teams and mindsets. Helps from a knowledge standpoint going forward. Still waiting to talk to prospects. It's specialists, offensive linemen and tight ends today.
Mike (12:04 PM)
Today's lead-in question: What area is the one the Patriots must address this offseason.
Casey (Plymouth, MA)
Re: Lead in question...I'll take the cheap way out and say "defensive back". I know there's been debate about where Devin McCourty should be, but as you said in last week's chat, McCourty at safety was out of necessity. Let's see what positions the Pats come away with in free agency before projecting draft picks (although I still think if they use both 1st round picks, we're looking at help on both offensive and defensive lines...)
Mike (12:05 PM)
Thanks for leading us off Casey. I put safety at the top of the list. With the draft seemingly a little light in that area, I'm thinking the Patriots target it in free agency.
grandjordanian (san diego, ca)
Mike, what do you think Hoyer would get us on the trade market on draft day or afterwards? I know you've said you think we'll carry 3 QBs next year but can't see us carrying three potential starters, rather keeping Mallett (if he has a good preseason) and drafting/signing a no-name to develop as a practice squad guy. Thoughts?
Mike (12:05 PM)
At this point, I think it's asking a lot to expect anything more than a mid- to late-round pick, if that. But it could all change if he blows up in the preseason. I think the 2012 preseason will be big for both him and Mallett.
Tron (Waltham, MA)
Hey Mike, It's hard for me to get amped up about the draft considering how unpredictable Belichick can be and how he always trades down. So I'd like to focus on free agency. You mentioned that Michael Griffin seems like a potential target and I would have to agree. What do you think it would take to sign him? Also don't you think franchising Welker kind of takes the Pats out of any big FA signings considering they have they're own players to sign and they also have to sign draft picks? Thanks!
Mike (12:07 PM)
Tron, the hardest thing at this time is answering a question, "What do you think it would take to sign him?" I don't think the teams really know what market will take shape. I thought Broncos coach John Fox made this point in a humorous way in a recent Denver Post article. "You've got to have price tags before you buy stuff," Fox said. "Right now there's no price tags. It's like, 'Honey, I really like that pair of boots.' Well, how much are they? They look great if they're $100 instead of $1,000."
Neil X. (Rozzie)
As for which position the Patriot s should focus on, the answer to me clearly is hybrid DE/OLB pass rushers. Both New York teams are excellent examples of how pass rush, almost by itself, makes the difference between a mediocre and excellent defense. The Giants' secondary is unspectacular, but their line is so good, and they get after the QB so quickly, that their defense is dominant against passing teams. On the other hand, the Jets have one of the best secondaries in the league, but because they generated such an anemic pass rush, their defense was a liability against the Pats. If the D-line can control the LOS, the Pats will control games.My question for you is how hard do you think the Patriots will go after the WR position? Do you see both a FA acquisition and a draft pick? And what about TE, how much of a priority is a #3 TE?
Mike (12:08 PM)
Neil, that is one of the big themes I've picked up here at the combine over the last two hours. I've heard from Lions coach Jim Schwartz, Bears coach Lovie Smith, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland -- and I think each of them said something along the lines of "pressure defense" and how the game has changed in that regard. ...
Mike (12:10 PM)
... As for the WR position, I see a veteran free agent and a draft pick. I see them going after it aggressively, and if it doesn't work out, they'll explore other avenues in the team-building process. On the No. 3 TE, I figure that's a good possibility in the draft (mid to late rounds similar to Lee Smith last year) or in rookie free agency. Solder played 149 snaps as a big TE in the 2011 season. I'm not sure if they want to keep doing that.
Mike, The Bills are not expected to use the franchise on Stevie Johnson and the two sides are reportedly far apart in negotiation. If he hits the market, isn't he a great choice for the Pats at WR? solid speed deep threat, good hands and takes it to Darelle Revis like no one else in the league. and wouldn't he be cheaper than Wallace? The only downside is they don't know if he can handle the offense, which is a known with a guy like Brandon Lloyd...
Mike (12:11 PM)
Mike, when we talk about Stevie Johnson, I think it's important to note it's not just the player on the field, it's how the player handles himself off the field as well. From afar, Johnson has seemingly had some trouble staying within the structure set by coach Chan Gailey. When I see that, it makes me question how good of a fit he'd be in New England. As Bill Belichick said last season, this program isn't for everyone.
Marc Nunes (middletown)
The Patriots biggest need this offseason has to be a down-the-field (legitimate) target for Tom Brady to get the ball to. A Mike Wallace or Brandon Lloyd (if they were to fit into the system) would make this team almost unstoppable, at least the offense. You would have to bracket the man sprinting downfield while trying to bracket both Welker and Hernandez, and I haven't even mentioned Rob Gronkowski. You're talking about opening up the underneath stuff for two of the best slot guys at their positions. As long as we don't have a Tom Brady Randy Moss love affair type thing then this offense would be too much to handle, not to mention the strength of the running game. The defense proved this year that it could string a few good games together when it needed to, but with an offense like that, all you need is a complimentary defense
Mike (12:13 PM)
Thanks Marc. Two of the receivers with the most 25-yard-plus pass plays over the last two seasons are expected to be on the market -- Mike Wallace (29 catches of 25-yards plus, projected restricted free agent) and Brandon Lloyd (26, unrestricted free agent).
DJ (Ann Arbor)
Top position to address this off season? Have to go one offense, one defense: WR and S. But if you can get a potential difference-maker on the D-line in the first round, take it.The one thing I'd most like to know about the Patriots' draft strategy is which of the young players they think can be developed into quality starters (and hence which positions are less pressing needs in the draft and free agency). Here are some names: Moore, Barrett, Connelly, Cannon, M Carter, Love, Deaderick. Who in that group do you think are most likely to develop into quality starters, guys who might not be stars but don't need to be upgraded either?
Mike (12:15 PM)
Good question, DJ. I think Deaderick is there. He reminds me a little of Bobby Hamilton back from those championship teams in the early to mid 2000s. Of the players on the list, he was the one who stood out. We also saw Love take a dramatic jump in playing time this year -- up to about 50 percent as a first- and second-down player from about 13 percent in his rookie 2010 campaign. He is still developing, but there is also promise there. The others have a chance, but Deaderick and Love were the ones that jumped out to me.
If Rich Ohrnberger had not tweeted frequently ........ (or myface or whatever)
Mike (12:16 PM)
Mark, I don't think the Twitter had much, if anything, to do with Ohrnberger's release. They have Wendell and McDonald there who are similar and my sense is that the situation had just run its course.
This team needs to get younger on offense and older on defense. The more I think about the draft the more I could see the Patriots drafting 2 offensive players in the 1st two rounds for these 3 reasons: (1) Peter Konz, Wisconsin center is a real sleeper in the first round for the Patriots who has a ?Mangold-type? of talent they need and would secure the line for many many years. Sure, Mark Barron or Michael Brockers would be nice fits too but I expect the unexpected here and Konz would be a pretty good value pick. Then sign FA Dan Connolly for flexibility at C and G, letting Koppen go, and that line is set! (2) Then, in the early second round, get younger at WR and pick game-changing, match-up nightmare in WR Alshon Jeffrey, who would offer great value if he falls to into the early second. (3) Lastly, the defense, needs to get veteran help in the secondary because Moore, McCourty, Arrington, Dowling and Chung are already very young. Veteran leadership and direction from FA is more of a need and depth on the D can be had in rounds 3-7.
Mike (12:18 PM)
A lot to digest here, Eric. I like the Konz theory/idea a lot. It's on my radar too. As for Jeffrey, there is some question as to how game-changing he actually is. Draft analysts say he's had some trouble gaining separation in the college game. That is always a concern for pro scouts. I see help coming for the DBs, specifically at safety.
Safety, Wide Reciever, D-Line they should address all in draft and free agency specifically Wide Reciever in free agency maybe Lloyd.
Mike (12:18 PM)
Agree with all three, Dave.
gbm23 hernando ms [via mobile]
Who do the pats need to go after at wide recieves to help the deep pass game out
Mike (12:19 PM)
Brandon Lloyd is a good possibility given his background in Josh McDaniels' offense. I also like Reggie Wayne. A lot of it will come down to price/market. It's hard to tell what type of market will develop for these players.
Mike (12:19 PM)
Side note: They are announcing some prospects coming into the media center. A lot of punters and kickers. Patriots in good shape there with Mesko/Gostkowski combination.
Mike (12:21 PM)
Side note, part II: Sitting next to Jim Wyatt, who covers the Titans for the Tennessean, and I asked him about safety Michael Griffin. He tells me that Griffin has been inconsistent. So while I view him as a potential solution in New England, some see him as a player who could be replaced to help the Titans upgrade. Always interesting to hear different perspectives.
Mike (12:22 PM)
We resume our chatting ... it's just neat to pass along little nuggets of info that are right in front of you here at the combine.
Mike, realistically,what do you think the chances are we sign Mike Wallace? Obviously we would be giving up the 31st pick, but he is worth it to me. I think the bigger question is how much money he would want. But with 2 picks in each of the first 2 rounds, why not use one on Mike Wallace?
Mike (12:23 PM)
Keith, I view it as a longshot. I just don't see the Patriots giving up the big pick and big contract to "buy" an asset at its highest peak. I agree that Wallace is the type of player the Patriots could use (and a lot of other teams too), but think the smart approach is trying to find the "next" Wallace in the draft. It's easy to forget he was a third-round pick just three years ago.
Brian (Chapel Hill, NC)
I think the top position we have to address is safety, followed by defensive end. If there are no good values at those positions when the Pats are drafting, I'd consider offensive line up there as well. Especially with Brian Waters a possibility to retire and the recent rumors of Matt Light considering retirement also. Holes in the o-line will kill our ability to sling the ball all over the field far more than failure to pick up a deep threat WR.
Mike (12:24 PM)
Thanks Brian. Chapel Hill is a great area. Enjoy.
Tim (Newton, Ma)
Hey Mike,Your opinion, what will the Pats do about Carter and Anderson. I certainly hope at least one of them is back, preferably Anderson...
Mike (12:26 PM)
Tim, I think Anderson is going to get some action on the free-agent market if he gets there. A team like the Titans, who is looking for veteran DE help, makes some sense to me (pure speculation). I think it would behoove the Patriots to try to lock him up beforehand, but I'd understand -- from Anderson's perspective -- if he wants to maximize his value on the open market. I would think the Patriots have interest in both returning, although as we've discussed, a big part of it will be what type of defense the team intends to employ (4-3 or 3-4).
Chad (New York)
Hey Mike, with the Patriots first pick, I could see them taking Dont'a Hightower out of Alabama. He can play inside or outside at linebacker and he also played for Saban. If Bill decides to keep the second pick, I would like them to look at a wide receiver. Reuben Randle or Alshon Jeffrey come to mind. What do you think?
Mike (12:29 PM)
Chad, really getting more familiar with some of the draft prospects, and Hightower is intriguing to me. I'd put him on the radar if available. But will be available? Randle and Jeffrey are bigger receivers and the knock on them, according to draft analysts, is whether they can consistently separate. That is not the type of receiver the Patriots have generally targeted, so it's a bit outside what we've seen. That doesn't mean they won't do it, but something to consider.
Prepare us for the disappointment. Every year there is something that it seems everyone but BB sees as a must have. What area this year will not be address via FA and the draft that we all think needs to be. Please prepare us for the shock.
Mike (12:30 PM)
Brave, I'm sensing a negative vibe here. Let's go the positive route here. It's draft season. It's free-agent season. Your team was just in the Super Bowl. Hey, it's not all that bad.
Eric (Asheville, NC)
I wouldn't overlook Donta'a Hightower as a possible pick at the end of the 1st round. Brandon Spikes had a solid year, but he's kind of slow. He delivers big hits, but they are after the catch. Hightower would upgrade our presence and depth in the middle of the field, and he's also versatile enough to step to the edge and rush. His versatility, ability to provide depth and obviously the Saban connection combine to make him a sleeper pick for the Pats.
Mike (12:31 PM)
Eric, I was thinking of Hightower as more of an OLB, but that might not be a fit. Just a projection.
Does Light play this year?
Mike (12:32 PM)
Paul, my view on Light is pretty straight-forward. If he wants to play, why wouldn't the team want him back? He played at a very high level in 2011 and is under contract for $3.4m in 2012. I think it's a bargain based on the position and the level at which he played. Now, if Light is thinking differently, that alters the equation. I spoke with someone close to Light this week who told me no decision like retirement has been made at this point.
Holla at me for a minute mike.. is Randy Moss a real option?
Mike (12:33 PM)
Kitna, it's my belief the team has moved on. But my belief isn't always the reality. Will be a good question for Nick Caserio today, if media members speak with him.
jeff (NY, NY)
If it was only that easy to find the next Mike Wallace...
Mike (12:34 PM)
No doubt, Jeff. Not to mention, the Patriots have struggled to find receivers in the draft (Chad Jackson, Bethel Johnson, Brandon Tate...).
What do you think is a reasonable contract for BJGE, 2 yrs/2.5M?
Mike (12:35 PM)
Todd, I would double the money -- 2 years/5m. Another team might be willing to go higher and in that case, I could see the Patriots wishing him luck. That's a total guess on my part.
Arjuna (Durham, NH)
Is Patrick Chung entering a contract year? If so, I think this is a make or break year. I say that because while he has shown flashes of talent, he's also been inconstant from a play perspective and a health perspective. Will be interesting to see how that goes.
Mike (12:36 PM)
Arjuna, Chung signed a four-year contract as a rookie in 2009. So yes, this is the fourth year of that deal.
Mike, Do you think the Patriots will let Wes Welker test Free Agency?
Mike (12:37 PM)
Amy, I can't imagine the Patriots would let Welker test free agency without the restriction of the franchise tag. He's too much of an asset.
Mike (clearwater, Florida)
hey mike, The Pats are 2 very good defensive players and 1 good WR away from a very special team. Anyway Verern and Ridley carry more of the offense this year. Time of possession- just 5 more minutes a game and we win the super bowl last year!
Mike (12:38 PM)
Mike, I heard Bears coach Lovie Smith say that he's treating 2011 first-round draft choice Gabe Carimi as a free-agent signing for his team, and I think the same could be said for Vereen. Smith's point was that Carimi didn't play much (injury) so it's like adding a solid player all over again the next season.
Mike Reiss (Indianapolis)
I know it throws off the whole space/time thing by asking me a question as me, but: Do I think the whole cute thing of posters asking me questions in the voice of the person being asked about has gotten a bit old? Has it jumped the shark? I'm curious what I think.
Mike (12:38 PM)
Well done, Mike. Why are you so short?
Mike (12:39 PM)
Every now and then, those questions shake it up. Let's put the onus back on the chatter for not picking too many of them.
munchkin (glenwood springs, co)
The team needs to find the Devin McCourty from the 2010 season. If the team can get Pro Bowl production at the left cornerback position that will go a long way in solidifying the secondary. In the draft, I would like to see the team bring in a productive player along the D-line. Someone that the opposing O-line has to account for beyond Vince. BB hoped that guy was Haynesworth; it wasn't. To that end, DaJohn Harris out of USC seems to be making a push up draft boards. Get the pulse on him if you have a chance.
Mike (12:40 PM)
You got it, munchkin. Saturday is the day for DLs. Harris (6-3, 308) looks like a third/fourth-rounder at this time, but like you say, possibly rising now. Love these scouting reports on the players. First words I see next to Harris are "thick trunk."
Mike (12:40 PM)
Ah, yes, the thick trunk.
Do you think we have seen the last of Dan Koppen, Mike?
Mike (12:42 PM)
Harry, my view on Koppen is that the Patriots will keep dialogue open with him. He's been a productive player. I could see him exploring the market and the Patriots being part of the mix. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I could envision a scenario in which the market dictates if Koppen returns.
Mike, you say "the smart approach is trying to find the "next" Wallace in the draft" but how has that worked out for them in the past?
Mike (12:43 PM)
Not well, Bob. No denying that. I guess my approach is that a team can't stop trying. I sort of relate it to what I heard from the Dolphins today. They are trying to find the next quarterback. Haven't they been doing that for 10-plus years now? But they shouldn't stop trying.
Kyle d (Charlotte (NC))
Dream Scenario over next few months. Re-sign Welker to 4-year, $32 million l with 20 million in guarantees/bonuses. Sign Brandon Lloyd for 3-year, $18 million with $8-10 million in guarantees/bonuses. Draft Joe Adams in the late 2nd/early 3rd. Select OLB, SS, and C or CB with first 1st round pick and first 2nd round pick and trade the 31st for a first rounder next year. And please, no injury prone players with potential! Thoughts?
Mike (12:44 PM)
Really smart, Kyle, in my view. Impressive makeover in my view, while retaining top players. Would Welker take that deal? I think it's fair.
The last couple drafts have been kinda offensive drafts. Id like to see BB go after some young defensive guys. We could use help every where. A pass rusher would be nice to have on this team. I think we can get a WR through free agency and maybe try and hit on one later in the draft.
Mike (12:44 PM)
Thanks Ernie. A lot of Southern Cal talent here at combine. Be well in SoCal.
Nemanja (Vranje, Serbia)
Mike, any chance the Patriots sign both Wayne and Lloyd? We really need that deep threat . Now Mike Wallace is also in the mix. What's the most realistic free agent signing at WR position for the Pats?
Mike (12:46 PM)
I think Lloyd would be most realistic, simply based on his background with Josh McDaniels. With that, you eliminate a variable of "how will this player assimilate to the ofense?" Yes, there is the obstacle of working with agent Tom Condon (the Patriots haven't consummated a deal with a Condon client since 2004/Benjamin Watson holdout), but I noticed that the team did a deal with Ty Law's old agent (Carl Poston who repped Andre Carter) and there was a similar situation there from past years. Shouldn't be a deal-breaker.
Adam (Irvine, CA)
Mike, I've submitted umpteen questions to you over the years (perhaps none were good enough for comment :-) ), but I'm wondering if you can answer this for me. Why is everyone talking about Brandon Lloyd, Reggie Wayne, Mike Wallace, etc. and not Vincent Jackson? Would VJ fit in the Patriots scheme and would you see the Pats kicking the tires on him?
Mike (12:48 PM)
Adam, thanks for all the questions. I'm sure they were all good enough for comment. It's just hard to get to them all. Hundreds of questions are in the queue. VJ is a huge cost and I think that's why he hasn't been mentioned as much as the Lloyds and Waynes. Wallace would also be a big ticket item and I think his speed -- which is so noticeable -- probably catches the eye easier. VJ is fast too, but Wallace is arguably the fastest player in the league.
Alvin (Amherst, MA)
Hey Mike, few care to admit but losing Mike Wright is a huge deal. I don't believe the team will falter, but he was pretty consistent getting to the QB in 2009 & 2010. Do you agree?
Mike (12:49 PM)
Alvin, I thought Wright was the team's best interior rusher for a few seasons there. Unfortunately, they'd been without him for almost a year and a half now. Gerard Warren, I thought, played well in that role (particularly in the playoffs).
McNoob (Mansfield, MA)
With the combine seemingly 3-4 weeks after the Superbowl, just how much time off do the Pats' coaching staff and front office receive?
Mike (12:50 PM)
Very little. We saw Belichick play Pebble Beach. So I think they got a few days before coming back to the office the following week. The coaches will get their biggest break from mid-June to mid-July.
Free Safety, Mike. What do you think of Thomas Decoud or Michael Griffin? Also, do you think there is a possibility that Ras-i Dowling could be the guy? He has the size, and I think he played some safety in college.
Mike (12:51 PM)
Sami, I see Dowling at CB. As noted by Bears coach Lovie Smith today, with all those big WRs out there (e.g. Megatron in NFC North), you can't be trotting 5-9 CBs out there. Dowling has good size at CB. On the safeties, I like Griffin. Decoud I'm not as familiar with.
Anyone going to be named Defensive coordinator this season? Look at the job wade phillips did in houston, is it time we bring in someone else defense has been less than stellar now for years...
Mike (12:52 PM)
I think it's a fair point, kid, but I don't think we'll see an independent d-coordinator come in. It would be someone in-house. Then the question becomes: Can the Patriots alter their defensive approach and become a more attacking unit? Seems like we've been talking about this one for a few years now, no?
Mike, you used "behoove" and "consummate" in the same chat! You really have your Chat game face on. Kudos and keep up the great work!
Mike (12:53 PM)
Ha. Thanks Dave. Not sure if you're familiar with Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe, but he often uses some vocabulary words that send me to the dictionary. So I guess I'm channeling my inner Gasper.
Mike, I really think the Pats need to find an electric return man. How much do you think this factors into how they value the WRs and CBs, for example, on this year's board?
Mike (12:54 PM)
Great point. They were ranked 29th in the kickoff return game in 2011. Not good and certainly an area to improve. Seemed like they had a good one in Brandon Tate but Tate really tailed off from the midway point of the 2010 season up to his release in the 2011 preseason.
Dave (Newton, MA)
How does a big contract for Welker affect our ability to resign both Gronkowski and Hernandez when their rookie contracts expire? I guess I am concerned with giving big contracts to receivers over 30 when they are not the long term future of the franchise and that hurting the Patriots ability to resign the two tight ends.
Mike (12:55 PM)
Dave, I think they will be OK if we're talking about a 3-4-year term.
Mike (12:55 PM)
Let's go for another 5...
Mike, you've mentioned Joe Adams quite a bit. And I really like him too. But I"m not sure he's a 60 snap guy. I view him as a 3rd wr, great on reverses, amazing on screens, the guy has an incredible first step. I do like him and want us to take him. But does BB value the 2nd round too high on a guy that may only tap out as a 25 snap per game type player? I think he's worth it, because when he'll be on the field (based on my projection of him) the defense will always have to worry about him. What's your take?
Mike (12:56 PM)
Jay, you may be right. I'm still learning more about Adams, but I like his speed/quickness etc. The situation reminds me a little of Dexter McCluster a few years back (second round, Chiefs). We're not talking the same position, but you're looking at a player who creates matchup issues. I think a 2 is value for that.
Brian (Oxford, CT)
If the "succession plan" with McDaniels is really in place, don't you have to assume that he's going to hand-pick Brady's successor, too....So do you think both Mallett and Hoyer survive next training camp on the roster?
Mike (12:57 PM)
I do, Brian, unless one of them gets traded.
Mike thoughts on free agents brian dawkins help at safety? Marquis Colston at wr? with brees situation maybe they wont be able to give colston contract
Mike (12:57 PM)
Dawkins looked a little old to me last year. Not sure there is much left there when I put my amateur scouting hat on. Colston worth a look.
If Brady goes down in week 2, who comes in for him Hoyer or Mallett?
Mike (12:58 PM)
If we were in the season right now, would be Hoyer.
Mike any thought on the wideout from rutgers muhammed sanu? alot of talk of him recently has great hands and speed. targeted alot last year.
Mike (1:00 PM)
Telly, some draft analysts say Sanu has trouble separating from DBs. So that might be a concern. I talked to someone close to Sanu here at the combine and they think he's going to run 4.45. If he does that, he could rise up the board. Always dangerous when a timed 40 does that, but it might give a team more comfort in taking the plunge.
Oh, forgot the lead in question.. Safety, safety, safety...call up mr. Reed
Mike (1:00 PM)
Mike (1:00 PM)
Emil, on your Mathis question, I think they have a similar player (cheaper too) in Mark Anderson.
The top position has got to be pass rush, either at defensive end or outside linebacker. I can't help but feel like even our mediocre secondary would have a lot more success if we could consistently get after the opposing quarterback.
Mike (1:00 PM)
Bobby Thomas (Dallas,Texas)
Do you see the Patriots getting marquee WR's in free agency?
Mike (1:01 PM)
Bobby, I think their top priority is Wes Welker, and they will go from there.
Riley (Fairfax, VA)
Mike, i know Sanu is a somewhat polarizing pick, especially since it might be a little bit of a reach to take him late first round as some mocks have suggested, but I think that given he's a Rutgers guy, he should be pretty "pro-ready" and you can't deny he has a great physical skill set that could really help us. We've always lacked those big physical outside receivers. My question however is, have you seen any other guys that are comparable to Sanu that might be flying under the radar a bit?
Mike (1:02 PM)
Riley, to be honest, I'm not up to speed on the draft enough at this point to have a good answer. Maybe after this combine I could try this one again.
Mike, where do you see the Pats going with the RB situation - will LawFirm be back? If he becomes too pricey, do you think they will fill his spot through the draft, or with a veteran free agent?
Mike (1:03 PM)
Nick, I think the Patriots would like Green-Ellis back ... at their price. So I could project it being a situation where the market dictates.
peace out Miguel, good chat
Mike (1:03 PM)
Thanks Kitna. Have a good day.
John (Southington, CT)
Mike ... draft a pass rusher and hear all the moaning about our DB's go away...
Dave R (Cambridge, MA)
Mike! Want to try and get this question in before the the clock runs out. I hate to ask, but I have to: with all this talk about a game changing deep threat (which I agree we desperately need), are you at all concerned about Brady's ability to throw the deep ball? This isn't 2007, and while I used to attribute the lack of long plays to not having a Moss-type talent on the roster anymore, Brady is getting older, and he made a lot of ugly deep throws this season. Am I making this up?
Mike (1:04 PM)
John, I call that the "Giants Plan." They have a solid front and it helps their secondary play better.
Mike (1:04 PM)
Sorry about that. Hochuli just flagged me 5 yards for the false start -- triggering a second question before the answer.
Mike (1:05 PM)
Dave, I think Brady can still throw the deep ball. My belief is that you give him a big deep threat he'll make it work. I'm not saying he hasn't had some ugly ones. Just think a better deep threat should make him better, creating more opportunity for him to get his throws in there and also synch up the timing.
Mike I'm late but can you answer this one??/ I remember when rodney harrison first came to the team he set the tone from day 1 by leveling Troy brown in practice... seems like this D needs some attitude, is there any free agents out there that can bring it along with experience?
Mike (1:06 PM)
Bk, when I read that, I thought they probably have the answer in house and his name is Brandon Spikes.
Mike (1:07 PM)
I know Spikes is just a third-year player but that style of play is infectious in my view.
lots of lovie smith references today, not sure i put much stock in anything coming from him. hes very narrow minded and uncreative... booooring
Mike (1:07 PM)
Fair enough, Matt. A lot of it is timing and Smith was one of the NFL people who spoke early today.
Brian (Oxford, CT)
Hochuli's explanation would be a lot longer than that, Mike!
Mike (1:09 PM)
And with that, let's fire the final gun on this chat. Lot of fun, and being here at the combine had me feeling a little more energy as we went through it. Back to the combine grind.
Mike (1:09 PM)
Have a great day. We'll chat again next week.