Patriots Mailbag ‘The Barth Bag’ Week 1

Alex Barth answers Patriots related questions in the first installment of this weekly feature.

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Welcome to the first of a weekly Patriots series this year called the Barth Bag (my dad is less than pleased with that name, but we move on). Each week I’ll be taking your questions on Twitter using the #BarthBag, and on Friday pick my favorites and give my answers. It’ll mostly be about the Patriots, but if there are other major goings-on in football you want to ask about, feel free! If you ask a question, make sure to check back here every Friday to see if it made the cut.

Anyways, here we go with week 1…

Had to start with a Brady question. For those of you who don’t know, part of Tom Brady’s TB12 lifestyle includes waking up daily at 5:30AM, and going to bed at 8:30PM (which if you ask me may be a tougher commitment to stick to than the diet). He’s said in the past though that in weeks leading up to primetime games, he slowly adjusts his sleep schedule to line up with the game, similar to a runner building up distance while training for a marathon. That plus the adrenaline rush of playing in an NFL game keeps him going.

There are a few right answers to this question, but I’m going to go with Jamie Collins. When he signed, people were doubtful he’d even be able to make the team, but once camp hit he put his head down and quickly impressed. He improved to quickly in fact, that after a few days of camp the coverage of him got relatively quiet. I think an under-the-radar Collins is a good thing for the Patriots, and the way they’ve talked about him, it sounds like they have a big role in store for him. I think he’ll be a feature on this defense this season.

One fact about captains I recently learned…they have the power to accept or decline penalties. That role is still almost always held by coaches so I’m not sure where this would apply, but perhaps if a coach got tossed from a game, it would be up to the captains to handle this. Also, teams used to pick captains weekly, so they would change throughout the season. After the Jets went to permanent captains last season, the Bears are the only remaining team that uses such a system. Will Mitch Trubisky be voted a captain for week 2?

Good question Evan. I’m probably slightly more concerned that most people are, and it comes down to leadership, like you mentioned. In terms of pre-snap communications and setting assignments, Andrews has been a staple. To lose that days before the season is tough. However, the Patriots are very lucky to have a backup as experienced in the system as Ted Karras. Karras could probably start on a handful of NFL teams, and the fact he’ll be working in the middle of a group he’s familiar with (he’s been with the Patriots since 2016) is key. It’s still unfortunate to lose Andrews, but having Karras ready to go makes it a loss the Patriots can handle.

Thanks to everybody for their questions! Looking forward to answering them all season long. Remember to submit them on Twitter with the hashtag #BarthBag, and follow me at @RealAlexBarth.