Transcript: Patriots chat with Adam Caplan

NFL Insider Adam Caplan stopped by the chat room last night to share some updates on the Patriots. What did Sammy Morris' agent tell Caplan about the RB's injury? Where does Chad Jackson fit in the lineup? Is Matt Cassel headed out of town? Which cornerbacks will likely start on defense and much more...

<adamcaplan> hi all
<JSinCT> Welcome Adam
<ff247> Hey Adam
<JSinCT> I know time is tight so lets get started as others will eventually join in
<JSinCT> LOL Adam Let me start actually.
<Guest22> where's morpheus? still threatening to jump off a bridge since the draft.

<JSinCT> What can you tell us of the Sammy Morris injury and the impact he's going to have when he returns

<adamcaplan> JS: He's fine
<adamcaplan> Morris
<adamcaplan> he had a freak chest injury
<adamcaplan> one of the oddest I've ever heard described
<adamcaplan> he'll be the main backup to Maroney

<JSinCT> He said that he has ligament damage... do you see it being a problem for him?
<adamcaplan> and as we saw last year before Morris got hurt, the coaches won't hesitate to put him in
<adamcaplan> I talked to his agent recently who said he was healed

<Guest22> LeKevin smith, bubble or contributor
<adamcaplan> 22: He could make it as the backup at NT

<ff247> Curious about Chad Jackson, role?
<adamcaplan> fF: This is the year they could use him, he could roll in as the #4 WR
<adamcaplan> if all works out well
<adamcaplan> and they will use 4-wr sets
<adamcaplan> aiken makes at as their special teams ace
<adamcaplan> Kelley Washington as #5 WR/special teamer

<ff247> How serious are they about Kevin Jones?

<adamcaplan> ff: They liked him out of the draft so they wanted to get a look at him
<adamcaplan> and see where he's at

<Guest22> kevin jones, competition or lack of faith in maroney
<Guest0> hey everybody
<JSinCT> Adam,what do you think of the players behind Vince Wilfork (Smith, Wright...) and Steve Fifita

<adamcaplan> JS: Mike Wright would be the imcumbent at NT then Smith
<adamcaplan> but Smith has upside
<adamcaplan> BTW, I'll get another update on Morris in a few weeks
<adamcaplan> I will be curious to see where he's at during the mandatory camp
<JSinCT> agreed. That's the real question

<adamcaplan> I think Bryant will win the CB job opposite Ellis Hobbs
<adamcaplan> Webster nickel
<JSinCT> What do you think of the guys at Corner
<adamcaplan> It will be more of a CBBC
<adamcaplan> cornerback by committee
<adamcaplan> I don't think they have much choice
<adamcaplan> Meriweather coild play S/CB this season
<adamcaplan> Was surprised they signed Marcus Pollard
<adamcaplan> being that he looked done last season

<Guest0> Is hobbs still a starter?
<Guest0> what about the players they drafted
<adamcaplan> GU: Yes
<adamcaplan> As I noted in my pre-draft notes, some teams had Jerod Mayo rated higher than Keith Rivers
<adamcaplan> and you saw what the Patriots did
<adamcaplan> he's the smartest LB in the draft

<Guest13> Are they looking at any other free agents?
<adamcaplan> 13: not that I know of
<adamcaplan> quiet time in the nfl
<adamcaplan> You could see a veteran WR signed in August if Jackson isn't progressing
<JSinCT> I wondered about that. In your opinoin how good is Jason Webster. He was a starter in his last two places, but he's been injured.
<adamcaplan> JS: Too many injuries, best role is nickel
<adamcaplan> but Fernando Bryant has a bad injury history as well
<adamcaplan> NE likes to get these older CBs (Duane Starks for example) and see if they can get them cheap and to revive their careers
<adamcaplan> Lewis Sanders has good size but that's about it
<JSinCT> I know we've talked about this before, but do you think they did enough in the Draft to help the defense?
<adamcaplan> JS: They had to get younger at LB (OLB/ILB) and they did that. CB is still an area of issues.
<Guest22> with presumeably a full training camp under his belt, do you expect a more productive year out of richard seymore
<adamcaplan> They are hoping Terrence Wheatley will dress each week in dime role
<adamcaplan> 22: Yes as he said he finally was 100%% late last season
<adamcaplan> so he should be ready to return to dominence

<Guest13> Ask Adam if Spygate is over finally
<Guest22> any thoughts on seau
<adamcaplan> 13: For practical purposes, yes
<JSinCT> 13, you can ask him directly

<adamcaplan> 22: He is expected to decide some tine in July
<adamcaplan> whether he wants to play one more season
<adamcaplan> they won't rush him
<adamcaplan> Belichick respects him in that way

<Guest9> hello
<JSinCT> hello 9 go ahead and ask your question
<Guest22> which undrafted free agents do you think have a realistic shot at a roster spot
<JSinCT> Adam, Morph wanted me to ask you if you thought there were any free agents on the market who could help this team?
<Guest9> Do you think the free agent and draft signings of various playera have helped the patriots with losing Wilson, Samuels, and Gay?
<adamcaplan> Redd won't make it but he's a good developmental OLB
<adamcaplan> as now I don't see any making it
<adamcaplan> JS: Not really on free agents. But one to keep an eye on is Eddie Kennison
<adamcaplan> I talked to him two weeks
<adamcaplan> ago
<adamcaplan> and he said he'd love to play for the Patriots
<adamcaplan> he can still run

<Guest22> what are your thoughts about tampa putting wilson at corner
<JSinCT> Didn't they talk to him once before?

<adamcaplan> 9: I have to think the CB position is a concern
<adamcaplan> the committee approach they are taking is risky
<adamcaplan> JS: Not that he indicated

<Guest9> Do you think it is smart to move Meriweather, a safety, to corner?
<adamcaplan> 9: I think he's a better safety, he can play the slot-nickel though
<adamcaplan> as he did some last season

<adamcaplan> 22: Wilson is a better safety, TB will wind up playing in there
<adamcaplan> him there

<JSinCT> Adam, AnthonyF from the Insider's lounge asked what your thoughts of Wheatley were. He mentioned that some papers say he had good ball skills
<JSinCT> but was concerned about his size
<Guest9> How will their first round pick, Mayo, affect their defense? Will he start?

<adamcaplan> JS: Nice upside, they think he can start down the road
<adamcaplan> just don't see it this season
<adamcaplan> 9: he actually could play OLB if needed
<adamcaplan> talking to some scouts
<Guest9> I concur, he is a very quick.
<adamcaplan> he's smart enough to start at ILB as a rookie
<adamcaplan> which is saying something, AT struggled last season
<adamcaplan> inside
<Guest0> how good is shaun crabble [Shawn Crable]
<adamcaplan> 0: Crabble is a long-armed OLB who some scouts thought was a little tight in the hips.
<adamcaplan> He has to get used to playing outside
<adamcaplan> standing up
<adamcaplan> as he did at the senior bowl
<JSinCT> Do you see Crable seeing the field?
<JSinCT> much this year?
<adamcaplan> JS: 15-20 plays if he can handle it
<adamcaplan> AT staying outside more
<adamcaplan> with Mayo playing inside
<Guest9> Realisticly, after looking at the patriots personal and their rather easy schedule, what do you predict their record to be?
<Guest22> what are your thoughts on the pats schedule
<adamcaplan> 9: I really don't get into schedules much but just based on the way the opponents look this year (I disregard last year totally because of free agency/draft/coaching changes). 13-3 seems reasonable
<adamcaplan> they shouldn't lose a game in the division
<adamcaplan> the one game that will test them for sure is at SD
<Guest9> Do you see them beating the Colts in the playoffs?
<JSinCT> Adam, I got an email from a friend of the network who wanted me to ask your thoughts on the decisoin to draft O'Connell. Do you think Cassel is on the block? or Gutierrez.
<ff247> Will you comment on the OL depth?
<adamcaplan> 9: Yes, they're better than the Colts

<adamcaplan> JS: As noted in my pre-draft notes, O'Connell surprisingly had a third-round grade from a few teams
<adamcaplan> NE was one of them
<adamcaplan> they want to develop a QB
<adamcaplan> who could start in 3 years
<adamcaplan> Brady will be 34 then
<adamcaplan> Cassel is the odd man out
<adamcaplan> I know the players I talked to think Gutierrez looked better than Cassel in practice last season

<Guest22> what do you know about calvin pace, is he a someone to be concerned about?
<adamcaplan> 22: Strictly a 3-4 OLB
<adamcaplan> who can rush the passer
<adamcaplan> was a complete waste of a player before 2007
<adamcaplan> found his niche scheme in the 3-4
<adamcaplan> NYJ D will be better
<adamcaplan> secondary still is a problem
<adamcaplan> there
<adamcaplan> as is run defenes
<adamcaplan> their OL will be better

<ff247> what aboutT.Jones?
<JSinCT> What's your take on the Patriots OL

<adamcaplan> 247: They could use another OL veteran
<adamcaplan> for depth
<adamcaplan> all, that's all the time I have, see you next time

<ff247> thanks Adam!
<ff247> thanks JSin
<Guest13> Thanks Adam
<Guest0> thanks all

Adam Caplan will return to PatriotsInsider.com for another chat later this offseason. Be sure to check for announcements of other special guests as we host more chats for fans.

Adam Caplan is Scout.com's national NFL reporter. He is also a host/analyst on Sirius NFL Radio. Caplan specializes in free agency, player signings, and the NFL draft and has broken several stories on the network for several years. You can read more of his articles on the Scout.com NFL Experts site here: ( Link )


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