October 21, 2008
Grogan's Grade: Week 6
BY: With Steve Grogan & R.R. Marshall
MB: Good Morning Mr. Grogan. Who would have thought we'd be having this conversation we're about to have! Holy Smoke! What team showed up last night in Denver?
SG: Yes, this team just continues to surprise. They play poorly when you expect them to play well and they play well when you expect them to play poorly. I thought it was a very nice effort last night and they played well on both sides of the ball and they got ahead early, so alot of people could go to bed earlier than they planned and everything worked out great.
MB: Yes, everyone needed a break after the Red Sox. We still have some injuries though. Sammy Morris left the game and so did Harrison. Lamont Jordan's out, Lawrence Maroney's out as well as Morris. How deep are we?
SG: We're not very deep at runningback anymore. I haven't heard yet how bad Morris is but it looks like Harrison's done for the season and that's going to hurt them because that secondary is young and inexperienced to begin with anyway. I tell people, you can always find a running back. There are a million of them out there that can get holes and pick up yardage for you, so that shouldn't be a major problem. But finding someone to take Rodney Harrison's place could be.
MB: I want to ask about Randy Moss. He caught two touchdown passes last night. There was a lot of talk about the chemistry, or lack of chemistry between him and Matt Cassel. My question is, how much chemistry do you need Steve? Here's the pattern, run it and I'll throw it. Is it possible to not have chemistry and still succeed?
SG: You have to have some feel for each other and from what I understand the way this offense is run, there are a lot of options by the receiver depending on coverage, so you have to be seeing the same things they're seeing. It could take a while to develop a chemistry, but what they did offensivly last night is the perfect thing to do for a young inexperienced quarterback to make him feel comfortable. They ran the ball well, and they played great defense. You see when they do that the kid has a great game.
MB: Belichick gave Cassel a nice stamp of approval after the game. How important was that for him and where Matt Cassel is in his head?
SG: I think that's huge for his confidence, and you can see him getting more and more confident each week. Really my only problem with their offense last night was that they gave up six sacks, and those were not Cassel's fault. For the most part they were just offensive linemen getting beat right off the ball. That's something they have to be a little concerned about because against a better team, that could cause some problems.
MB: Talking about the sack Steve, Ron Jaworski kept talking about Matt Casell and if the first receiver's not there, he needs to be identifying the second receiver quickly or more quickly than he's doing. Is that leading to some of these sacks as well and as a quarterback is that something you're looking at too?
SG: I think a couple of them could be attributed to that, but I thought four of them, at least by the time he set his back foot to throw, there was a guy in his face and that's the offensive line not getting their job done. I don't think you can blame him for that.
MB: There was an article in the Herald this moring talking about how Belichick is pretty famous for sessions he has right before a game, I think we've all seen the Super Bowl film where he talks about the parade route for the other team, I guess Sunday night, the night before he showed a bit of film showing some clips of great cuts that players had made and the point that he was making by showing it to the players was, "Look you guys, they're having fun out there". It's where to me that at that level of professional football, they're still hammering the same things they do at youth levels.
SG: Football's like any other job. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, you're not going to be as productive at it as you can be. I hadn't heard that, but I think it's a great point of his. The whole team in general has been uptight since Brady got hurt. Everybody's still wondering if Matt Cassel can get the job done. They're all pressing a bit, maybe trying to do a little more than they need to because Tom Brady's not out there. So if that's what he said to them Sunday night, it paid off because it looked like they were having fun out there.
MB:I was reading another article about kickers and how it's the lonliest position in the NFL. Are all kickers wierd Steve? Do they have to be a different kind of breed to be a professional NFL kicker?
SG: I don't think they have to be, but it is a lonley position. You're not one of the regular guys, although I think Adam Vinatieri was a regular guy and it looks like the kid they've got now, Gostkowski, is a pretty regular guy. Really the punter and the kicker are the only two guys that don't practice all the time during the day and they're not on the field all the time during the game. Those two guys, the punter and the kicker, usually hang out a lot together and are not a large part of what the other players are doing.
MB: Now that Tom Brady's had his surgeries and its pretty much about healing and the rehab process, will he be showing up on the sidelines soon?
SG: I don't know. I think it would be good for him to be there just to support Cassel, and to be there for him to bounce questions off of, but I can't answer that question. The game is different now. When I was playing, if you were hurt you were there every week no matter what, and now they put them in a box or tell them to stay away sometimes.
MB: I think it may be a distraction, certainly for the media but he's so big I think it might be a distraction for the players. Getting back to what Belichick did, showing films and telling the team to have fun, in your career what coach did that better than others?
SG: That would have to be Raymond Berry, I think Raymond had a knack for telling stories the night before the game and it kind of got you motivated.
MB: Not a whole lot to complain about other than the injuries, a far cry from what we did last week. I think last week might have been our lowest grades in years for the Patriots. So given what we had to work with I'm going to say an A thats my prediction. So Steve, Grogans grade for last nights 41 -7 win over Denver game?
SG: I think an A- is a fair grade for last nights game. The sacks worried me on offense and defensively they still gave up 100 yards rushing and I thought they got pushed around a little bit in the front. But overall it was an A proformance with just a little taken off for those two things. It was fun to se them playing well again.
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