Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Up the latter

Veteran CB Tyrone Poole was assured of remaining in the mix in 2005 two weeks ago when he received his offseason roster bonus. Now the question is whether he will be able to return to form after missing most of last year with a knee injury. Poole, 33, is at the age when corners generally trend downward, but when you consider that he sat out the entire 2001 season for personal reasons and played in just two full games last year, Poole has actually taken less pounding than other players his age. Poole is a good cover-guy who has the versatility to play man-to-man and zone schemes equally well. He also has the requisite ball skills, as his six interceptions and 21 passes defended in 2003 would attest. Although Poole isn't very physical and is only a marginal run-defender, he still projects as the starting outside corner opposite the newly acquired Duane Starks. If Poole falters or can't stay on the field, surprising 2004 rookie free agent Randall Gay will be there to step in. . . .

This will be an important offseason for second-year S Gus Scott, who missed his entire rookie year with an ACL injury. Scott showed good instincts and a physical nature during his brief stint in the preseason, but no one knows at what level he will return. Unfortunately for Scott, he'll have to start over by proving himself on special teams before he can earn a regular role on defense.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Who wants to Catch?

The hard push the Pats put on free agent WR Derrick Mason, who ultimately signed in Baltimore, is proof that the Pats are not resting on their laurels. The Pats typically don't reach deep into their pockets during free agency, but they will spend what it takes for the right player. The Mason pursuit also indicates the Pats could be in the market for a receiver with David Patten departed in free agency, Troy Brown still unsigned and David Givens a candidate to receive a restricted free agent offer sheet.