Behind Enemy Lines Part 2

Rick Laughland, publisher of interviews Jon Scott, publisher of in advance of Thursday night's New York Giants vs New England Patriots preseason finale.

1. Quarterback Ryan Mallet has had a rough go of things so far this preseason. Do you think that he has regressed in his third year or are critics making something out of nothing?

Jon Scott: Mallett has had a difficult time establishing himself as a viable backup to Tom Brady in his three seasons in New England.  That's not to say the light bulb won't eventually go off for him, but his latest progress isnt' what you'd expect from someone who was as highly regarded coming out of a big college program.

Watching film of Maller now, compared to what we saw from the start of camp you could make a case that he's actually improved. The problem facing Mallett is that even with his improvement, he's just not there.  The thing that plagued him in college are showing up at this point still. That's why his critics tend to focus on what he's doing wrong --- it's the same thing year after year.

2. Of course it's the question on everyone's mind, but will Tim Tebow make the Patriots 53-man opening day roster? Belichick has yet to use him in special teams as a punt protector or as a gadget type player as many had anticipated. Does the holy one make the final cut?

JS: Tebow has a lot to prove. The biggest knock on him is consistency. You'll see him make a great thrown, then he'll toss out a  couple of High school worm burners.  His accuracy is questionable at best, his arm strength is an issue, and his decision making under pressure is probably his biggest liability.  Tebow has to show he can do something, anything, in the preseason, or he's a goner.  The Patriots may really like the guy as a person, but he's not going to earn a roster spot on popularity… he has to earn it.

3. Wide receiver Danny Amendola has sustained his fair share of injuries over the course of his NFL career. With Amendola already dinged up during the preseason, does his lack of durability create a cause for concern heading into the regular season?

JS: Amendola has a rep for being made of glass, the Patriots were aware of that when they signed him.  The problem is they signed him to a deal that negates his durability issues. Whether Amendola plays or not, he's going to get paid.  That's not always a good thing in New England.

The team desperately needs a Wes Welker replacement and Amendola has proven to be just that. What Amendola needs to do is to show hae can avoid those huge hits and stay on the field like Welker did. Without Amendola the Patriots offense looks limited. With him it's much more dynamic.

So yes, losing Amendola to injury for any amount of time is a big concern for New England.

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