Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Q&A Session With Foxboro Blog

This week we were lucky enough to do a Q&A exchange with a fellow blogger, Derek Henson from Foxboro Blog who covers the New England Patriots. Derek does a great job over at Foxboro Blog even if he does cover the evil empire. Please check out our Q&A sessions for some insight into the Rams @ Patriots contest coming up Thursday night.

1. What team is the Patriots biggest current rival?

While the Patriots and Colts have had some epic yearly battles and a handful of
contests to determine who goes to the Super Bowl, the Patriots biggest rivals
will always be the Jets. There's just so much bad blood and history between the
teams, from our coaching drama (Parcells, Belichick, Mangini), to Spygate, to
the natural New York/Boston rivalry. The battles against the Jets may not be as
dramatic or important as some of the ones with Indy, but even when New York has
been horrible, that's still a game the Patriots always get up for.
2. What 2010 Draft Pick are you most interested in watching Thursday?

I'm a big "defense" guy, so even though watching rookie tight end Aaron
Hernandez snag a touch down throw might be more exciting, I'm really looking
forward to seeing how ILB, Brandon Spikes, performs on Thursday. He's had a big
training camp and has looked great in his other pre-season games. Belichick
seems to be very high on him and will likely have him in a starting role in Week
1. I'm hoping to see another big game out of him tomorrow.

3. How bad do the Patriots miss Scott Pioli?

When Pioli left, I wondered if it would be a devastating blow. Many people
hailed him as the true "genius" behind the Patriots' success last decade.
However, I've been pretty impressed with Belichick's drafting without Pioli in
2009 and 2010. He seems to have snagged some real gems like Patrick Chung,
Sebastian Vollmer, Aaron Hernandez, and Brandon Spikes. The Patriots drafting
was actually fairly weak in Pioli's final seasons, which I believe attributed to
the little bit of a slump we've seen from the Patriots the past two seasons. I
honestly believe that they're going to do just fine without him.
4. What do Patriots fans truly think of the devil, Bill Belichick?

If Belichick is a devil, then I don't want to be good. Patriots fans, almost
universally, love Bill Belichick. How can you not love a coach who took a last
place team and transformed them into a dynasty? Yes, there was the whole
"Spygate" issue, but I think people chose to make a bigger deal out of that
controvesy than it actually was. Stealing signals is not illegal in the NFL.
Using a video camera to steal signals is. If Belichick had sent a guy with a
still-photo camera to snap pictures, or had a guy in the stands with a pair of
binoculars and a pad and pencil, it would have been totally within the rules. He
wasn't penalized for what he did, just how he did it. I think a lot of people
miss that.

Otherwise, Belichick is simply a great coach, probably the
best in the NFL. The media likes to hate on him because he's very tight lipped
and not the most interesting or personable person to cover. Fans love to loathe
him because he so often beats their team. However, I'd much rather have a coach
like Belichick who preaches fundamentals and teamwork and does his talking on
the football field, than a loud-mouth like Rex Ryan. Ryan seems to mostly get a
free pass, where Belichick would be crucified for pulling the same stunts.
5. If you could have one player off the Rams roster who would you take?

The easy answer would be Sam Bradford. Not because we need a quarterback, but
because we could probably flip him in a trade for the most value. I'll admit
that I'm not super-educated about the Rams, so I'd have a tough time making a
legit answer. From a pure needs perspective, I would probably take one of your
outside line backers or guards.
6. What is your prediction for the Rams this season?

I'll actually be a little more optimistic than you. A 1-15 season is actually a
difficult thing to repeat, so I'm expecting some decent improvement. You have
games against Oakland, Washington, Detroit, Tampa, Carolina, Kansas City, and
your annual two against Seattle. Those are all fairly "winnable" games. I'll
pencil the Rams in for 3-13.

7. What is your prediction for the Patriots this year?

They have Brady. They have Belichick. That automatically makes them contenders.
However, if the Colts are as good as they were last year, I have a hard time
seeing this young team defeat Indy in the playoffs. I say the Pats take the AFC
East, they win their home wild card round game, and then they fall in the
divisional round.
Click this link to check out my responses about the Rams over at Foxboro Blog!

By Stlvinnie -

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