Archive for December, 2009

What Bill Belichick is thinking
December 30, 2009

On Monday Bill Belichick said, in response to the question who will play this week, “we will do what we think is best for the team”. If Belichick would answer questions more specifically, his answer would have been “Are you kidding with  that question?”

Belichick’s response would have been in the form of a question because the answer seems to be so easy. After 15 games and a couple of pre-season games, if Belichick can give some of his key players rest with no real negative connotations, it is a no brainer. (Yes, Last sunday night on OT  I did think that Brady might play a half, but I must have been listening to Belichick a little too long that day and mesmerized into believing him because since then I have come to my senses).

Brady has been fighting some minor ailments and since Sundays game  means virtually nothing (a #3 seed or a #4 seed, does it really matter?, only in hindsight to the 2nd guessers who will say “well if Belcihcik would have played that Houston game to win then he would have played this other team and the Patriots would have won the Super Bowl ” blah, blah, blah). So do not cancel your Sunday plans unless you really want to watch Brian Hoyer throw passes to Julian Endelman because that’s exactly what you’re going to see, along with about 16 carries by Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis. This is going to look like the 4th pre-season game, you know that game when you are reminded you have been taken to the cleaners by the Krafts who include this worthless game that no marquee player plays as part of their season ticket package.

This is all very good news for the Houston Texans who are fighting for a playoff spot and will be playing against most of the Patriots 2nd stringers and NOT Tom Brady who watches this one from sideline along side Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Lawrence Maroney (then again, the coach just might extend his punishment on Maroney for fumbling last week and play him a little).

Now Brady might play a quarter, but doubtful. Just hope that at the end of Sunday that the Patriots end up with a 1st round playoff opponent from cities other than Baltimore or Pittsburgh.

-MD

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Belickick speaks
December 28, 2009

Patriots Players were given a very uncharacteristic day off today. So today’s only source of info in Foxboro was Bill Belichick (now that is an oxymoron)

“I’m doing good.”  Those were Bill’s 1st comments today. He complemented the whole team on yesterday’s performance from their practices and preparation all last week to executing it yesterday.

When asked if he had thought about how much he would play Tom Brady and the rest of his starters this week Belichick said he hadn’t thought about it.  ? When asked specifically how much they would play, Belichick said he would do what he thought was best for the team. Really? Are you sure about that Bill?

We will not know until the offense takes the field on Sunday in Houston. And we will not know (if Brady plays) how much Brady will play until each time the offense takes the field. That’s the way it has always been under Belichick and the way it will always be.

I mean really, if Belichick is going to play Brian Hoyer at quarterback he doesn’t want to tip his hand, you know so Houston can prepare for Hoyer since there is so much available video out there on Hoyer who has thrown a total of 15 passes this year.

-MD

To Play Brady or not
December 28, 2009

Bill Belichick will not tip his hand all week long though we will let you know exactly (does he ever say anything exactly?) what he says at this mornings press conference as soon as it happens. But we will not really know how much Tom Brady will play this week, if at all,  until the Patriots offense takes the field next Sunday. So should Brady play, and if so-how much?

I feel Brady should definitely play at least a half, probably 3/4’s. It’s not like this team has everything working perfectly with a 1st round bye secured. Now what do I think will happen? It would not surprise me if Brady did not play at all but I think he will play, a half anyway. He did look pretty sharp yesterday completing 23 of 26 passes.

Brady wants to play this week. We’ll see if he gets his wish and if Belichick gives anything away later this morning.

-MD

Patriots Biggest Challenge
December 27, 2009

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been known to wilt in the cold of the Northeast (0-5 in Foxboro). But they are a desperate team fighting for their playoff lives AND an unusual warmth of near 50 degrees is greeting the Jags as they come onto the field at Gillette Stadium. Will those 2 factors be enough for the Jags to be a serious challenge to Tom Brady’s 22 game home winning streak?

Vince Wilfork is again out this week which will not help the Pats hopes of slowing down Jacksonville mighty-mite 5’7″ running back  Maurice Jones-Drew. No other surprises or notables on the sideline for the Patriots-Darius Butler, Nick Kaczur, Tyrone Wheatley are also on the inactive list.  Wide Receivers Julian Edelman and Sam Aiken are active.

Tho the field has been covered so the turf should not be too slippery, conditions could still be tricky.

More updates to come.

-MD

UFC Reserves Date At TD Garden
December 19, 2009

Heard from the folks at the Ultimate Fighting Championship today – confirming what every fight fan in town has been waiting for. The UFC has reserved August 28, 2010 as the date for its first ever card in Massachusetts. The event at the TD Garden won’t be officially announced for a few months, but just the reservation is enough to get mixed martial arts junkies buzzing.

This was all made possible when Governor Patrick signed legislation last month regulating mixed martial arts in Massachusetts. The UFC will not run in any state that does not have a regulatory commission or similar rules. That left smaller groups featuring up and coming fighters, like the WCF (which runs the Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington – worth checking out) as the only options for fans.

So who’s going to be on this card? UFC President Dana White is promising a HUGE card. Heavyweight contender Frank Mir (now training with Mark DellaGrotte, who runs SitYodTong in Somerville) should be due to fight around that time, but whether he faces nemesis (and heavyweight champ) Brock Lesnar remains to be seen. Lesnar is still recovering from a serious intestinal illness and may never fight again.

Dover native and lightweight star Kenny Florian will definitely be on that card. We’ve done several features on Kenny in the past (you can watch the interviews here) and he’s made no secret that it would fulfill a lifelong dream to fight in front of the hometown crowd. It would also bring a huge publicity boost to the Florian Martial Arts Center in Brookline, run by Kenny and his brother/coach Keith.

Other local fighters who will likely find their way onto the card: Maine’s Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis, Joe Lauzon of East Bridgewater, Gabriel Gonzaga, a big Brazilian who trains in Ludlow, and Jorge “El Conquistador” Rivera of Milford. With all of the MMA centers popping up all over New England, this list may very well grow by the time August rolls around.

Pats win ugly
December 13, 2009

I know it doesn’t matter how pretty it is as long as you win so the Pats will take this 20-10 win over a very mediocre carolina team and go home. And hope that they can play better next week in Buffalo against a 5-8 Bills team, the same record as the Panthers.

More injuries for the Pats- lineman Nick Kaszur, Ty Warren and Vince Willfork all of whom left todays game.

-MD

Signs of Life in Foxboro
December 13, 2009

A 13 play 96 yard drive for a touchdown? Yes, Pats lead 14-7 with 1:06 to go in the 3rd quarter.

Brady finally decided to throw to welker and that accounted for 64 of the 96 yards. Nobody can guard him- throw him the darn ball.

-MD

Patriots Booed
December 13, 2009

Randy Moss had better be saving a couple of big plays because right now he is the goat of this game. he looks disinterested not going all out on a Brady pass that was intercepted and then fumbling another completion. Those plays along with another bad play or 2 have solicited boos from the Patriots faithful.

Hey Belichick, you’d better get some life in that team of yours because right now there isn’t alot going on. The Fox announcers have called this the deadest game they have ever done. Ouch.

Oh Yah, Pats trail 7-0 late in 2nd quarter as Brady is an unimpressive 7-14 for 52 yards and 1 interception. There have been 4 or 5 dropped passes.

-MD

Patriots inactives for Carolina
December 13, 2009

Joining Adalius Thomas on the sideline for todays game against Carolina

-RB Fred Taylor who was out early this morning testing his surgerically repaired ankle, OL Steve Neal, WR Sam Aiken, DL Ron Brace, DL Myron Pryor, DB Terrence Wheatley, OL Rich Ohrnberger

And the Panthers will start their young quarterback Matt Moore as Jaked Delhomme is inactive.

-MD

Patriot arrested
December 13, 2009

I know it was just “Pat Patriot” who was arrested in a prostitute sting operation in Providence (you just can not make this stuff up) but that pretty much shows you how this week has gone for the Patriots, a week that should be the most memorable of weeks for Tom Brady and his wife Giselle who gave birth to the couple’s 1st child on Tuesday.

Now, what about the Patriots on the field, which is exactly where Adalius Thomas will not be after publicly expressing his dismay at being sent home on Wednesday for being late. Around Foxboro, expressing surprise at anything Bill Belichick does is flat-out insubordination and so Thomas will not play or even dress for todays game as his name is on today’s 7 player inactive list. Now Thomas has not exactly been dominant this season, but could the team use his help- I think so, but Belichick has sent his message. Belichick has no one to blame but himself as he signed Thomas as a free agent guaranteeing Thomas 20 million dollars.

So what about the game? What about who is going to play? Like Tom Brady. He is not 100%, but he’s fine. He’ll play but I expect Lawrence Maroney to be a big factor in today’s game which will be a close one. The Panthers are not bad and because the Patriots are not great- this is going to be a close one.

More coming up closer to game time.

-MD