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!
ESPNBoston.com (12:01 PM)
Mike is currently setting up at the stadium. Today's chat will kick off around 12:10 p.m.
Mike (12:12 PM)
Good afternoon and welcome to today's chat.
Mike (12:13 PM)
A few more minutes here and I will make up the time on the back end.
Sean (Manchester NH)
Who do you think will be the "unknown" player who has the best change to make the team?
Mike (12:14 PM)
Sean, here are a few under-the-radar players who have caught my eye through the first 5 practices: TE Zach Sudfeld, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, DL Joe Vellano, DE Marcus Benard. There is a long way to go, but those are four names that stand out.
Sean (Manchester NH)
Is Tommy Kelly a clear upgrade over Love/Deadrick?
Mike (12:15 PM)
I think that's fair, Sean. The only reason I wouldn't be as authoritative on that is the age factor. Kelly toward the end of the career. Love and Deaderick in the prime years.
Darren (College Park, MD)
Mike, so I was doing a litttle research about Kenbrell Thompkins and I see that he ran a 4.54 40 yard dash at the combine. This is a little concerning as most good NFL WR's run sub 4.5. Speed wise, how has Thompkins looked at camp based on what you've seen. Does he look like he has enough speed to be successful for the Patriots?
Mike (12:18 PM)
Darren, I wouldn't read into the 40 time. I feel strongly that there is much more to being an NFL receiver than the 40. Here is one visual to pass along from camp practices: I was watching Tuesday with colleague Field Yates as the WRs went 1-on-1 with the CBs and Thompkins was our focus. Field has a little bit of a background in scouting so I was picking his brain on what I was seeing and we had a nice discussion on what it means to set up a CB with good footwork and technique. Thompkins has that. He is more polished than the average rookie from what I've seen. On the flip side, I'd point to Bethel Johnson and Chad Jackson as WRs the Patriots have had in their system who ran well but couldn't put it all together on the field as WRs.
Mike (12:18 PM)
All that said, I'll invoke the Bill Parcells line here, "Let's not put him in Canton yet." It's early, but Thompkins has put himself in position to make the club and make an impact.
You should tell Darren that Boldin runs a 4.7. But speaking of speed, how has Josh Boyce's speed and athleticism translated onto the field? He should be the fastest guy out there more often than not
Mike (12:19 PM)
Seen Boyce in the deep third of the field quite a bit Shaun. He got behind the DBs a few times. Didn't make the catch, but you can see how well he runs.
Have you seen any improvement in the return game with the addition of Leon Washington? I would assume it's hard to tell when the players don't play in full pads and contact but any indicator we might actually have a consistent threat back there?
Mike (12:20 PM)
Too early Travis, but one thing I would say: Washington turns 31 on Aug. 29 and there is still some life left in those legs.
Any chance the Pats re-sign Mark Anderson?
Mike (12:20 PM)
Jeff, I don't think the knee is healthy enough for them to do so. Believe they feel Justin Francis would give them the same thing as Anderson, if not more, with less of a health risk.
Raj (Morrisville NC)
Hello Mike, Who would be on top of priority list of players for the pats to sign to a contract extension? Do you think spikes would be one among them?
Mike (12:21 PM)
Raj, I think the top player would be center Ryan Wendell. Great story. He's emerging as one of the AFC's best centers right before our eyes, but a lot of people just haven't caught up to him yet from a public perception standpoint. Started on the practice squad in 2008. Another success story from the Dante Scarnecchia School of Offensive Linemen. LOL.
Alex (New Jersey)
Mike, hope you are having a great day. I'm wondering when the Patriots might sign Devin McCourty to an extension. Is the fact that he is a safety, but can play corner when need, and plays special teams mean that he gets more money than a typical safety? Thanks and I enjoy your work on the blog.
Mike (12:22 PM)
McCourty has two years left on his contract. He'd be another player near the top of the list for an extension.
Hi Mike, I understand that the supporting cast around Brady is new, but I think that people are over-reacting, we are talking about perhaps the best player to put on an NFL jersey. All I do is think back to 2006 when Brady won with a rag-tag group (headed by Troy Brown) and came within a defensive collapse of a Super Bowl appearance. I think analysts just like to predict the demise of the Patriots so they can be the one to say that they first saw it coming. Thoughts?
Mike (12:23 PM)
Marc, I feel like this has been talked about every year since around 2005, no? They'll be in the mix.
Esam [via mobile]
Put me in the minority if you'd like, mike, but McCourty and ninkovich need to be signed
Mike (12:24 PM)
Ninkovich is another good one. Only factor there is the age and future projection. Love watching him rush the passer in camp. He is relentless. Turns 30 next February.
Dave (Newton, MA)
Probably too early to say, but do you think the defense will make a noticeable improvement?
Mike (12:26 PM)
Dave, here is the thing about the defense: We're going to find out the benefit of continuity and development this year. I mean, think about it, the secondary is starting at such a higher point this year than last year. It starts with Aqib Talib. He was a difference-maker for them last year, both on the field and in the meeting room, after being acquired in early November. Now you have him for a whole year. I was talking with cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer the other day and he mentioned how Talib and Kyle Arrington have really taken on a leadership among the cornerbacks. On top of that, you have the projected development of 2012 first-round picks Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower. They should be better. They can be game-changing difference-makers, but will they get to that point? Most of the players are back from last year. Most of the players should be better than last year. I think it's fair to project improvement.
Brian (Oxford, CT)
Hi Mike - So should we expect Nick McDonald to end up replacing Koppen in Denver? And if so, are you surprised he was released so soon with such the obvious (and dangerous) landing spot?
Mike (12:28 PM)
Thought the same thing Brian, and my only conclusion was that the team just didn't see his health/strength improving to the point that he was going to be a factor for them. Mild surprise. But I don't have all the details on that one. Maybe they didn't like his testing numbers in the offseason and saw a decline. Tough without knowing all the facts.
Alex (New Jersey)
Mike, I know chances are probably slim, but what are the odds of Aaron Dobson competing for rookie of the year?
Mike (12:29 PM)
Alex, I wouldn't rule it out because usually that goes to a QB, but how much confidence do you have in this year's rookie QBs? This isn't an Andrew Luck/RGIII/Russell Wilson type of class. And Dobson will have an opportunity to show what he can do, with TB12 throwing him the football. We've already seen that in camp. I wouldn't call him a leading candidate, but I wouldn't rule it out.
Kyle F (Piscataway)
What are the chances that Mark Harrison and Steve B make the club?
Mike (12:29 PM)
Kyle, I'd lean toward the practice squad for both. Harrison has yet to practice. Beauharnais has a better chance IMO, and could come down to special teams.
munchkin (glenwood springs, co)
Mike, reports out of camp thus far lead me to believe that it is going to be difficult to weed through the perspective DE pass rush "specialists" when making final cuts. It seems that Buchanan and Marcus Bernard have shown enough to possibly supplant players from last year's roster such as Bequette, Francis and Cunningham. It's early, but it appears that Buchanan has shown enough that he wouldn't survive an attempt to place him on the Practice Squad.
Mike (12:31 PM)
Munchkin, I have watched that area closely, charting every repetition in 1-on-1 drills. From what I've seen so far, I think Cunningham is on this team. I also think Francis is on this team. The player I wonder about is Bequette. I think Benard/Buchanan are threatening him more than the other two. Too early to say Buchanan couldn't get through to practice squad but I'd lean toward that line of thinking.
Jimmy M (My body: NC My heart: MA)
Mike, thanks for the chats and insights. Keeps me going 768 miles from home. My question--what do you see as odds the Patriots come out spreading the field, with the hurry-up attack on full display--for one thing because everyone they can't do it and have to run? Seems like Belichick eats up these times...
Mike (12:33 PM)
Jimmy, they will build things up and spread the field and attack with ferocity; it's just a matter of getting the young WRs up to speed. Theer might have to be some trimming of the offensive playbook fat early on and then they'll build up to it. I have little doubt that they'll move the ball through the air and score points -- it just might be a more gradual process than 2007 when they came out guns-a-blazing from Day 1.
EJ Linehan-Los Angeles, CA [via mobile]
The Pats still have about $9 million left to spend with no quality free agents left. I don't see BB wasting the opportunity Brady gave the team by taking a cut this year. My thought is BB is waiting to see which one area is struggling most by the trade deadline (WR. TE, or D-line), then makes a 'holy crap we're going to the Superbowl' trade. Thoughts?
Mike (12:35 PM)
EJ, a lot depends on what is available. Football isn't like baseball, where we just saw the Jake Peavy trade for the Red Sox. More than anything, I would imagine they take care of one of their own (Wendell, McCourty, Ninkovich etc.) who is nearing the end of their contracts by using some of this year's surplus to set up the future.
First, your guess of the impact Dobson will have this season? Second, do you believe that Amendola is more injury prone than Wes Welker, or were they both just unfortunate to end up in major injury situations? In other words, has Amendola shown the type of nagging injuries that plague certain player (ie. Concussions, Pulled Muscles, ankle sprains)?
Mike (12:36 PM)
Nate, the comparison I have made is a Deion Branch-2002 type rookie season -- 43 catches, about 500 yards, 2 TDs. I think it's a modest package that takes into account potential injury, inevitable growing pains etc. At the same time, I think the ceiling is much higher if everything falls into place.
KJ (VA Beach by way of Dorchester)
First time today Mike and let me start off by saying thanks to you and the team for keeping us Pats fans who are away VERY informed. Couple quick questions, has Brandon Ford made any headway with the offense? He skill set coming out of college was close to AH, wondering if he's a potential replacement in the regard. Secondly, I'm interested to see what Mark Harrison brings to the offense, any timetable for his debut to compete or do you think he's bound for the practice squad/release? Thanks again and keep up the great work!
Mike (12:38 PM)
KJ, thanks for the kind thoughts. It's a pleasure. Feel like a fortunate guy myself. Feel like Ford has dropped quite a few passes in camp. Practice squad is where I see him landing. On Harrison, he hasn't practiced yet, so can't make any determination at this point.
Damian Moran (Birr, Ireland)
Hi Mike. With Marcus Cannon making such an impression at Right Guard and with the usual well coached depth on the OL, what are the chances the Patriots could trade Dan Connolly. The Broncos for one are desperate for a starting centre (where Connolly has played) and could be in the market. I know Nick McDonald was let go which thins the depth a bit but do you think the Patriots would be willing to trade Connolly for a third or fourth round pick?
Mike (12:39 PM)
Damian, I think Connolly has more value to the Patriots than what they would get in return. I see him on the club in 2013.
Hi Mike, Been following all your camp news, and it seems like the young rcievers are going to just fine. But what about the defense do we have it this year? You see any player(s) really making a big impact??
Mike (12:41 PM)
Corky, one player I've watched closely is Chandler Jones. It's my belief that if this defense is getting to the next level, he's a key guy. He's bringing it off the edge. He's not winning every time, but there is a certain explosion that he plays with that looks special at times. As for the defense, it comes back to the whole idea of continuity and player development. I always think it's easier to say a defense will be improved when a team makes a few big additions in the offseason, because those additions can be pointed to as the reason for improvement. In the Patriots' case, it's not so much that as having the same players back and allowing them to build off 2012. I see a lot of talent on that side of the ball and I know some disagree with me on that.
Mike - do the Pats have any double sessions on the schedule for this camp? I haven't seen/heard of any and don't recall them being banned in the new CBA.
Mike (12:42 PM)
No more double sessions, Gus. Not allowed via the CBA. It's a lot different than just a few years ago
Mike: You've seen other rookie receivers that did not pan out at practice. Compared to them, how does this years crop look? Keep hearing good things, but does it mean anything?
Mike (12:45 PM)
Paul, the biggest difference I would start with is that everyone seems to be on board that these rookie WRs need to get the reps with TB12 and there is a certain patience and tolerance that seems to be shown by all involved. These guys are going to make some mistakes, and it's being accepting of that, and not burying them, that stands out to me. I often wondered why we didn't see Brandon Tate or Taylor Price get similar reps. Of course, I didn't have all the info that the coaches did as to why maybe they were held back, but this definitely seems different. They have had a lot thrown at them and it looks to me like they've responded well. Mentally, they look up to the task at this point.
Charlie B (Murray UT via Watertown)
Hi Mike. My question is about Adrian Wilson. His stature IS intimidating in person. What are your impressions of him at camp so far?
Mike (12:46 PM)
Charlie, teammates are calling him the "Incredible Hulk" because of his physique and the way he goes about his job. He has been rotating with Steve Gregory at the safety spot next to Devin McCourty. Still trying to get a feel at how well he's running. Saw him block a FG the other day, bursting through the left side of the line.
thomas [via mobile]
Mike, whats the latest on Jaime Collins and how he is doing in camp?
Mike (12:47 PM)
Thomas, mostly off-the-line linebacker for Collins. Haven't seen him take one rep in 1-on-1 pass-rushing drills and thus not a nickel-rusher type presence. A couple of days, we've seen him come on and Brandon Spikes come off, giving the team a little more speed at linebacker. Work in progress seems like a fair assessment. Lot of special teams work for him, which factors him into the 46-man game-day roster.
Likelihood of the Pats keeping 7 WR's on the 53 man?
Mike (12:49 PM)
Unlikely, Alex, even with Matthew Slater technically listed as a WR but really not a factor in that group. One domino to fall is Julian Edelman. Does he remain on PUP? If not, this is what I see at WR right now: Amendola, Dobson, Thompkins, Boyce, Edelman, Slater.
any sense of how much we will see the role of Shane Vereen increase?
Mike (12:50 PM)
Heavily. They were working the screen game on Sunday and it was like the "Shane Vereen Practice" because he was catching all sorts of passes. He played 12 percent of the offensive snaps last season, with Danny Woodhead at 34 percent. With Woodhead now in San Diego, look for Vereen, assuming good health, to be closer to 34 percent.
How is the RB situation unfolding? My 'old man' watched practice the other day and said Blount looked good. Or at least from what he saw. One has to think the missing time is going to affect Bolden. Do you think he's at risk to get cut? Can they stash him on the PS or is he out of eligibility?
Mike (12:51 PM)
Bolden doesn't have practice squad eligibility, Shaun. He's also a big factor on special teams, so I think he and Blount could actually both stick. On Blount, it was only one play, but I saw one time where he and Brady had a miscommunication because it appeared Blount went the wrong way.
Raj (Morrisville NC)
Hi Mike, Kamar Aiken seems to have come on really well? why don't you see him in the 53 man roster?
Mike (12:52 PM)
Raj, I like Aiken and think he's done well to this point. If Edelman remains on PUP, I could see him sticking. Otherwise, I think he gets boxed out in a numbers game.
Tom B (SLC, UT)
To clarify: Do you have Edelman 5th on the depth chart?
Mike (12:53 PM)
It's so tough right now, Tom, because I had him at No. 2 before his latest health setback. I wouldn't put him there now. Anywhere between 3-4-5 because those guys after Amendola and Dobson all bring something different to the table so it depends on what you're trying to do that week on who might be utilized more.
You still see Edelman on the roster even if he doesn't practice for a little while more? He needs time to get into game shape and right now Jenkins/Aiken are taking up his reps. You still see him being kept over Jenkins/Aiken even if he doesn't practice?
Mike (12:54 PM)
Travis, if Edelman doesn't practice, I see him opening the year on PUP. Could be a valuable midseason addition in that way. But for all we know, he's close to returning to practice, so that's just speculation by me at this point.
Mike, have you seen Amendola make any highlight reel plays (downfield, in traffic etc...) or is he mostly doing his best Welker impression and making short, underneath grabs?
Mike (12:55 PM)
He's made plays down the field, and along the sideline, for sure. He can play inside and outside. Wouldn't pigeonhole him into the slot only.
How many UDFAs do you see making the 53? I'm hoping Thompkins and Studfeld.
Mike (12:56 PM)
Austin, 2-3 sounds about right and I think you picked two good ones. Want to see Sudfeld bang a bit, and also see if he makes it through preseason healthy with that injury history.
Mike I see the Pats only keeping 2 QB's this season with Tebow as nothing more than a trade piece. I know Rex failed at getting that done, but I feel that with a strong preseason showing, BB could get something solid for him. Thoughts?
Mike (12:57 PM)
Rob, I don't think anyone would trade for Tebow. I didn't put Tebow on my initial 53-man roster projection, but after the first 5 days of practice, I've had a change of heart. I think he'd be on the team if we were making a 53-man roster right now.
Tim (Washington State)
Mike, what's going on with the TE battle in camp? Is anyone setting themselves apart from the others at this point?
Bob (Moultonborough, NH)
Mike, Does Sudfeld make the team? Can he block?
Mike (1:00 PM)
Tim and Bob, going to answer these two in 1. The TEs have been interesting to me because they obviously aren't as dynamic as we're used to seeing. Fells and Hoomanawanui have been the top pairing and they are catching everything thrown in their direction. Ballard still getting his legs under him, it seems. Has not distinguished himself at this point. Sudfeld showed up on Tuesday in the red zone. To be honest, haven't had a chance to watch them blocking wise. Need to watch that more closely. If Sudfeld plays like he's practiced, specifically when it comes to catching the ball, I think he'll secure a spot on the 53-man roster.
Hi Mike. I read the blog every day at work, and I'm wondering if you could provide more info Wilson and Harmon at safety, like how they look in camp so far. I understand these guys aren't going to be relied upon to be starters, but I think there is a legitimate question as to why BB used significant picks on these two in back to back drafts.
Mike (1:01 PM)
Chris, Tavon Wilson looks like the 4th option right now at safety, more of a factor on special teams. Hasn't distinguished himself to me in this camp. Harmon ended Monday night's practice with an INT of Ryan Mallett on an overthrow, but I have to be honest, need to watch him closer to be able to pass along anything of substance.
I know there is no timetable on Armstead and Gronk but what do you guess is the timeframe for them?
Mike (1:03 PM)
Newt, like you said, there is a timetable, we just don't know it. I think Gronkowski is fluid but the projection would be early-to-mid-September if everything goes well. Armstead, this could be a lost year IMO. Just as we stressed the importance of the rookie WRs being on the field from Day 1, the same is true for a player like Armstead. This train moves fast in training camp and it's tough to catch up. Again, I'm just speculating, and I want to make that clear. I don't have any inside info. Just speaking from my gut.
Matt (Silver Spring)
Has Marcus Forston done anything of note? Seems there's a battle for the back of the DT position.
Mike (1:06 PM)
Matt, he's getting a ton of reps. A ton. The other day in 1 on 1s, he was gassed after taking 7 reps. Wilfork, on the other hand, had 3. I don't think anyone was happier than Forston that the team signed Rutgers DT Scott Vallone. Guy deserves to have his load lightened a bit. At the same time, it's a chance to impress the coaches. I think he's the No. 3 guy at DT right now. Can't say I've seen the type of explosion from him as the other DTs, but he's a strong player in there. Also playing on the wedge on KO returns, which speaks to his movement skills for a player at 6-3, 305.
Tim Tebow (Camp)
From your lips to Gods ears Mike...53 man roster here I come!
Mike (1:07 PM)
Fasinated by the story, to be honest, but checking myself as much as possible when writing on it because based on importance to the team's on-field fortunes he's closer to a "1" than a "10" on the 1-10 scale.
Who is this years Greg Salas?
Mike (1:11 PM)
Dave, we sort of have a running joke on here about my thoughts on Salas. I don't have all the information on why the Patriots waived him last year, and it's obviously not a huge deal, but I really believe he would be a big factor in the WR mix if still here. My sense is that the Patriots got caught up in a roster crunch at OT and felt the need to keep Markus Zusevics (coming off non-football injury list and would have been lost for the year if not activated) just in case Sebastian Vollmer (knee/back) had a setback last year. But when I watch Zusevics on the practice field, he seems to play a little stiff and I'd be surprised if he makes it at this point. Seeing Zusevics, it reminds me of Salas (the Patriots won't have a 7th-round pick in 2015 because of the trade) and his potential. Sometimes you have to take a long-term hit to protect the short-term goals of the team and I think that's what happened with Salas.
Mike (1:12 PM)
Probably more than you bargained for when asking about Salas. LOL. I'm not going to make any Salas-based predictions this year :)
Mike, any chance we see the defense in more of a 3-4 this year? Jone-Wilfork-Rob, Hightower-Mayo-Spikes-Collins, Dennard-Wilson-McCourty-Talib is the best defense we can put on the field in my opinion
Mike (1:12 PM)
Yes, Dave, entirely possible. We're seeing some different fronts in camp.
Mike, did you see Jeff Howe's story on Thompkins? Always love reading those type of things and sometimes we get lost in only seeing the downfall of people/players. Its nice to see a player change his life for the positive. Here's a link if you feel like sharing: http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/new_england_patriots/2013/07/kenbrell_thompkins_rescues_himself_from_woes
Mike (1:13 PM)
Yes, Esam, I read Jeff's story on Kenbrell with interest. Nicely done.
Who is the 4th corner at this moment (in your opinion)?
Mike (1:13 PM)
has mallet done anything in camp thus far to increase his value? I know its early but it he has been around a while and should have hit the field running....
Mike (1:14 PM)
Lav, looks similar to me as last year. Big test will be the games when he has to run the entire operation. Really no way to truly simulate that in practice.
Greg Salas (Philadelphia)
Mike, I appreciate all the confidence you have shown in my skill set. I wish I had the chance to showcase to everyone my ability to haul in 61 catches last year. I have kept a close eye on the Patriots since I left and I expect Kenbrell Thompkins to have a strong season. He may not be the "star" receiver but he will become a very dependable receiver for Tom to throw to. Much Love, Greg 61-catch Salas
Mike (1:15 PM)
Greg, want to grab a cheesesteak next week after Patriots-Eagles joint practices?
Matt G. (not Gutierrez) (Portland, ME)
Mike: For the first time since '09, I'm actually excited to see what the D is made of. I love the potential for so many different looks within basically the same personnel. Is this a reaction to the pro game speeding up? With the Pats leading the way, but also the Eagles, Colts, and other teams looking to run 70+ plays per game on offense, isn't there a need to have players on D that can adapt to many positions without substitutions to counteract this?
Mike (1:16 PM)
Yes, Matt, and there's probably a lot of meat there to write a bigger story on why that is the case. Look at the Patriots roster and all the defenders who are in the 250-to-270-pound range, the hybrid types. Game has changed. Need to be able to play more in space. Jamie Collins draft pick, in part, a reflection of this.
Mike, New Jersey [via mobile]
Been following u for a while now. Love the reporting and work ethic! Danny Woodhead- a lot has been made by you that the contract that he signed with the Chargers could've easily been match by the pats. Wouldn't it be possible that the pats made a similar offer, but Danny declined because he had better opportunity (bigger role, more downs/carries) with the chargers? That he wouldn't be just a third down back? After all, he was the Pats third option when it came down to running backs... Maybe charges said you'll be our guy to carry the ball for us... Just a thought.
Mike (1:17 PM)
Yes, Mike, a nice point made by you. Sometimes we just assume that the player wants to return. Not always the case. Believe there is some truth to that in this case. Not saying Woodhead didn't like it here, but by the time he reached free agency, was probably more ready to cut the cord.
Mike (1:17 PM)
Let's go for another 5...
Mike, it is still early in this summer camp, but how do you take the impact of releases of Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick in terms of where they could be on the current DL depth chart? I am also worried with the Armond Armstead situation.
Mike (1:18 PM)
MarkJ, they'd be in the No. 3 and 4 spots on the depth chart, right where the Patriots are thin right now. Will Patriots regret cutting them? Possibly, but still a long way to go.
Speed (South Boston)
Mike, a little surprised with the "release" of Nick McDonald. Thought he did more than an adequate job filling in on the OL the last two seasons. Expected him to be the backup center this year. What happened? You reported that he was on the active/physically unable to perform list. But why release him with the "failed physical" designation and why now? Appreciate all your good work from Foxboro. Hope to get to down to view a practice. Will this be the last weekend for practices open to the public?
Mike (1:19 PM)
Speed, McDonald had a shoulder injury and wasn't going to be ready for a few weeks. Don't have all the info, but Patriots obviously felt it was trending in the direction.
Michael (Burlington, VT)
Seems to me that there's too much concern about the offense this year. It seems like the team's ultimate success this year will be decided by the defense. Your thoughts? Thanks!
Mike (1:22 PM)
Michael, how are things in Burlington? Such a great time of year up there right now. Nectar's gravy fries, perhaps? Your point is well taken and it ties to the point I was making earlier -- when you have changes on a unit, it more naturally draws your attention. When you have most of the same players back, maybe there isn't as much intrigue/storylines but that doesn't mean it is any less important. Had this same discussion with my dad this morning, and he said the same thing you did: Why all the talk about offense? I want to hear about the D because if it isn't better than 2012, nothing will really matter.
Zoltan Zesko (Romania )
Can I beat Ryan Allen in the "punter controversy" ??
Mike (1:23 PM)
Z, I still think you have the inside track on the job. Ultimately, it will be determined by consistency over time, not one day.
Tom B (SLC, UT)
Thanks for answering all the questions. Any regular podcasts scheduled in the near future?
Mike (1:23 PM)
Thanks Tom. Once the season starts, we'll have a weekly podcast with Tedy Bruschi. Hoping to do one more before then but nothing scheduled right now.
Lavelle Hawkins (unemployed)
what happened to me?
Mike (1:24 PM)
Lavelle, probably a case where the combination of your own performance, coupled with the rise of the rookies, led to the decision to move on.
This year's crop of draft picks and UDFAs with a legitimate chance to make the squad seems unprecedented. Might that lead to more surprise cuts than we're used to from years past?
Mike (1:25 PM)
Possibly Nick. That's why I like doing those 53-man roster projections. Highlights some of the spots where things could be tight.
JJ Barnes (Boston, MA)
With Pitta hurt and Bolden gone, do you think the Ravens fall out of true contender status?
Mike (1:25 PM)
I don't, JJ. That's a tough organization and a tough team. Lot of changes there, but I wouldn't count them out.
Mike...from what you have seen/heard, is the media asking players & coaches questions about Aaron Hernandz or has everyone moved on?
Mike (1:26 PM)
Let's end on this one, Jeff. Everyone moved on by the second/third day of camp. That could always change if new developments emerge in the case.
Mike (1:26 PM)
Thanks to everyone for chatting. Next week, we'll do it from Philadelphia. Enjoy the rest of the day.