So How'd They Do? - Part 2
A few minutes with The Huddle Report's Drew Boylant
By Chris Timoney, Patriots Insider
From Part 1:
It's been days since the 2005 NFL Draft and everyone from Bill Belichick to Bill Pullman has an opinion on how things went. What teams made good moves? Who blew it last weekend? What does the future hold? These questions and a ton more have been asked about a million times already, so we decided to ask them for the millionth-and-one time to The Huddle Report's Drew Boylhart.
Drew's a Buffalo guy with a lot of insight to what's going on in the NFL. In our 30 minute talk Drew sounded off on Maurice Clarret, the Denver Broncos, The Heisman Trophy and dropped the 4-1-1 on Pac Man, JP Losman and USC backup Matt Cassel and just about everything else.
PI: How do you think the other teams in the AFC East did to put themselves on pace to catch New England if not this season than in the future?
DB: Miami did a nice job. Miami is not as bad as a team as everyone thinks. The coaching was very bad down there. The biggest problem for Miami is injuries. Do they have a person to back up and hold it for two or three games and get them through? The Bills are always going to be a tough team. They got an impact player in the second round, Roscoe Parrish. They are going to do exactly what the Patriots did with Troy Brown and use him on both sides of the ball as a corner in nickle and dime situations to match up against speed receivers and they're also going to use him in the slot and scare the crap out of people with him.
PI: Were you surprised there was no Travis Henry trade?
DB: Yeah without a doubt. It's disappointing that two things weren't done with the Bills and that is they didn't pick up a tackle at all in the draft(they lost tackles in free agency and replaced them with guards) and not having someone pick up Travis Henry. The Travis Henry thing is debatable. What you feel what a player is worth is really not existent, it's what a player is worth to another team is really it. The Bills are not in a bad spot because this is his last year of his contract. He has to come in and play and he has to be a good citizen and he has to work hard or else he's not going to get a good contract from somebody else. So it's not the worst case scenario. He's not their starting guy, he's not like Mike KcKenzie last year with the Packers. It's not a great situation. The reality is that the locker room is never that great a place for a team unless they're winning. They Bills aren't in a bad position, Travis Henry is the one that put himself in a bad position.
PI: Is there a sense up there that JP Losman is ready to take the reigns this year?
DB: Well there's a fear with JP Losman and there was a fear in the draft or else he would have been one of the first players picked because his athletic talent was probably greater than any quarterback that was drafted. If he went on athletic talent his arm was stronger than Ben Roethlisberger, his agility was better than any one of them, but the reality is mentally there was a problem with him as far as him handling pressure.
The biggest problem with him is the biggest problem with most very, very talented people who come out in the draft. Does he feel he has to do every play by himself and every play has to be a home run or can he work within the game plan. Can he deal with being a good team player? That will be the question mark for him. We'll see, but I tell you he will make some remarkable plays that people doing the highlight film will be shocked. His arm is like a cannon, it's probably as good as Elway's.
PI: Now down to the Jets. Everyone knows what they did, how's that going to work out for them?
DB: I know the importance of kickers, everybody does. Adam Vinatieri, let's be honest, has been an important cog for the Patriots but did they draft him? No. Very rarely does a kicker stay with the team that drafts him. You can go through history and find that it doesn't happen very often. The reason being is that when they first come into the league they struggle no matter how good they are. This kid Nugent is a good kicker there's no doubt about it. In fact he's going to be a very good cold weather kicker. He has a slap movement to his kick style, very soccer-like and not that football swipe, but he probably will take time.
I think when you're going into the first day of a draft and you take a kicker or a punter and you actually think that that's what's going to put over the top into the Super Bowl I think you're in for a shock. I think the Jets are in for a shock this year. They don't have very big corners, their pass rush is questionable at this point. They still need some linebackers. Their offensive line got weaker, Pennington has a sore arm, Curtis Martin is one year older plus they lost their backup and they went and drafted a kicker.
PI: What was your favorite pick in the first round?
DB: My favorite pick is Marcus Spears. He was a top five player in this draft. He didn't get to work out, he played all season long with a knee injury. He has Michael Strahan talent and he will impact this year for the Dallas Cowboys and I was a little shocked that he went all the way to the 20. Everyone better watch Marcus Spears because that's the guy in this draft along with Mike Williams and of course Ronnie Brown that I'm going to put in my top 5 players of this draft.
PI: So in two or three years we'll look back and say these are the studs of the 2005 Draft.
DB: Yeah, I think so. There's no doubt in my mind about that. Mike Williams is going to bring the joy and the laughter back to football for Joey Harrington. This kid is a leader and he's a real good kid. You can sense it on the field, his teammates love him. He's not this "I'm the greatest guy in the United States" after he makes a catch. When he celebrates he celebrates with everybody. He's big, he's strong, he's powerful and his hands are fantastic. On my personal list of players Mike Williams was the top pick in the draft and Ronnie Brown followed him. Antrel Rolle was the third. I think Cleveland made a little bit of a mistake taking Braylon Edwards over Antrel Rolle. I feel Rolle was a better fit for them.
PI: Do you think there's going to be ego clashing with Braylon and Winslow in Cleveland?
DB: I absolutely do. It's funny because the GM and Romeo should know better. They should know that that guy is going down the wrong road mentally. They should have realized that yeah, they'll get a year out him, maybe two but he'll disappear after that then show up for his contract year. That's what he did in college!
PI: The Patriots took Leinhart's backup towards the end of the draft. If they wanted a QB why not take Tommy Chang out of Hawaii or even the Heisman Trophy winner, he was available? What's behind that pick and also if the Heisman Trophy winner isn't getting drafted what does that say a) about Jason White and b) about the Heisman Trophy Award?
DB: We all know the Heisman Trophy Award is for the best player in college football and really has nothing to do with the NFL. You take the kid from Nebraska who's bounced around, Eric Crouch, he doesn't exist. Go down the list of Heisman winners and you'll see it does not translate over to the NFL. Jason White is a good quarterback but he doesn't have the arm strength, he's a backup quarterback. He probably will never challenge to be a starter, only in injury situations. You want someone you feel will always challenge to be a starter at some point in his career. Matt Cassel is a good quarterback who has a lot of potential, I understand the pick totally.
Tommy Chang is a kid that's got to go to the Arena League to figure out what he wants to do because his arm strength isn't there and his maturity is lacking terribly. He never improved from his first year in college to his last year. He never improved in reading defenses, he never improved in his leadership. He never improved in the qualities you need to be an NFL quarterback.
It's not all about just throwing the ball, Peyton Manning will show you that. The Cassel kid, he just wasn't who they (USC) wanted to put in their politically. He's a good kid, a smart kid and he will push Brady. Brady will come in and be shocked at this kid. It's not a bad pick at all.
PI: Do you think Matt Cassel is better than Kliff Kinsgbury?
DB: Without a doubt. There's no doubt in my mind about that. To change gears a bit, New England had a nice pick. I was one of the first people to say he had first round talent, so I was real happy when you guys picked Logan Mankins. There's a ball player right there for ya. Very much like Matt Light. A guy who can play all positions. Not a tackle, but in a pinch can play tackle. I think he'd be a dynamite center for somebody.
Chris Timoney covers the Boston Celtics for Sporting News Radio's 1510 "The Zone" Celtic Pride postgame show. You also can hear Chris Wednesday mornings talking Patriots football on Sporting News Radio 1320 "The Drive". You can reach Chris in the forums, or contact him here: JakBrown
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