Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Thank you San Diego
October 25, 2010

Everyone loves to visit San Diego, for its weather, for its hospitality, but yesterday it’s football team went overboard. The Chargers handed the ball over to the Patriots 4 times in the 1st half and that would be enough to send the Patriots back to New England with a win.

And to make matters worse (for Chargers fans) is that the 4 San Diego turnovers were just your run of the mill turnovers. There was a brain lock turnover fumble or 2, like laying the ball down on the ground after a Charger fell but was not touched/tackled which means it was a free ball and the Patriots James Sanders Alertly jumped on it. There was also a controversial lateral (which really could have been ruled as a forward incomplete pass)  that the Chargers didn’t fall on, and for that matter neither did the Patriots initially until some vociferous coaching resulting in a 63 yard return by Rob Ninkovich setting up a field goal.

The bottom line is that the Chargers outgained the Patriots offensively and outplayed them defensively. But the turnovers, the Chargers gifts to Patriots  to go along with the perfect weather sent New Englanders home happy and anxious to return to one of the best cities in the world.

-MD

 

College Football Schedule For 10/9
October 6, 2010

Saturday College Football schedule on WCVB Ch 5:

Noon SYRACUSE at South Florida

3:30 Michigan State at Michigan

8:00 Florida State at Miami

Randy Moss-Gone
October 5, 2010

Once the news of Randy Moss trade talks leaked out (SportsCenter 5 learned about it at 6:40pm) Moss could begin packing his bags because there is no way he would put on a Patriots uniform again. He would be a distraction that Bill Belichick would not put up with.

I don’t necessarily agree with trading Moss because I don’t know who the Patriots will get in return from the Minnesota Vikings when the deal is finalized. In all likelihood the Patriots will receive a draft choice, probably about a 3rd round choice. That I don’t like. If the Patriots could get a wide receiver from the Vikings like a Greg Camarillo, you might be able to convince me that it is a good move but I think that is still not enough.

There are very few receivers who pose the kind of deep threat that Moss is so they will not be able to replace that. Now the Patriots were not going to re-sign Moss so like Richard Seymour last year, the Patriots wanted to get something for him rather than letting him go for nothing.

Do the Patriots possibly think the speedy Brandon Tate is ready to take Moss’s place ? I think that must be the case. Tate has certainly displayed his speed on his 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns but transferring that to be a consistent deep threat is a big leap of faith on behalf of the Patriots.

Interesting move by Belichick who must be feeling pretty confident about his team after Monday night’s 41-14 win, a win accomplished with Moss not having one single pass reception.

-MD

Randy Moss Goes Off After The Game
September 12, 2010

Here are Randy Moss’s comments from after the Patriots 38-24 victory over the Bengals. This transcription was provided by the Patriots Media Team and as best I can tell, has not been edited for content.

RM: Before I get to questions, I’d like to say something. I’ve been here for three years. This is my fourth season. I understand the business and the nature and I understand that you all have a job to do. When it comes to football, I take my job seriously, I say [that] time and time again. But I think there is, I don’t really want to say here in the organization, but I think around here in the New England area, a lot of people don’t want to see me do good. And the reason why, I don’t know. I really don’t care. But I just want to let you all know, you all [are] the ones that are doing all the writing, all the pen, the pad and ink. I don’t have any. So, anything that I may say will get blown out of proportion. Earlier in the week, I got asked a question about me being here and me being unhappy. And me being unhappy doesn’t have anything to do with me toning my game down. I’m here, and I understand my role. My role is to take the ball deep and take the top off the defense. I think earlier in the week, a lot of people were coming at me wrong about me being unhappy. That’s like, for instance, if you worked for somebody, everybody in here you work for somebody, unless you are independent, and if you’re boss comes to you, sometimes you want your boss to tell you you’re doing a good job. That’s every man or woman who works for somebody. You want your boss to come through and be able to say he read your column last night or this morning. He liked your column. And that’s just the way [it is] with football. If you do a good job and think that you’re doing a good job, you want to be appreciated. I really don’t think that, me personally, that I’m appreciated. I don’t want you all to take anything out of context that I’m saying because I am a man and this is a job. I take my job very seriously, to heart. I want to let you all now and I want to let the fans, the real fans of the New England Patriots know, I’m not here to start any trouble. I’m here to play my last year out of my contract. And I’ve said time and time again, before I signed my first contract here, I want to be here in New England. There’s a great group of guys here. Well coached group here. And I never said that I wanted to leave New England. But I think that a lot of things that have been written or been said are looking at me in a negative light. And I don’t want it to be in a negative light. I just want everybody to understand, you can print it. I don’t care how you put it on your ink, I want to be here as a Patriot. I love being here. But I just think from a business standpoint, this probably will be my last year here as a Patriot. And I’m not retiring. I’m still going to play some football. I just want to get that off my chest and let you all understand that this is a business. Now I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: Why do you think that people don’t want to see you succeed?

RM: I’ve got a long history. My history has nothing to do with anything too, too bad. Everybody has a certain mystique about them. I guess that people just don’t like the way that I carry myself. If that’s what it is, then that’s what it is.

Q: What people are you talking about?

RM: I don’t know. I read. You might not be one. You could be one. But I’m not pointing fingers at any man or woman. I’m just telling you straight up. We’re football players. Everybody’s not going to write in their column today everything’s going to be positive. There’s going to be some negatives. I’m just thinking that the journey that I’ve taken to get to where I’m at, 13 years, I don’t really feel that I’m very liked. And I’m not saying from you all. I don’t really give a damn if you like me to be honest with you.

Q: Do you mean the fans?

RM: Listen here, what I’m trying to say is, I get a lot of negative publicity on any word that I say. For instance, the word that I used this week was ‘unhappy.’ And I don’t know who took it, but word got back to me that that started a domino [effect] about me being unhappy. But then I just told you all about you working for somebody and you having a boss, you would like to feel appreciated. I’m not saying that I’m not appreciated here. But I would like to feel that sometimes. This is the last year of my contract. Nothing has been discussed. There’s not been anything said. Not a letter. Nothing. I’m not saying that I want to stay here, but I love playing here. If the future of my job let’s me go to another team, then that’s what it’s going to be. But for right now, I’m still in a contract for the New England Patriots, and I have a job to do. So I’m going to play my year out and do the best of my ability.

Q: Do you understand how bad this looks after a 38-24 win to stand up here and talk about the contract?

RM: I can honestly say this, ‘I don’t really talk much.’ And I don’t want to take away from the win. But I think that before this season gets started, I don’t want it to be week 10, week 11, week 12, and we’re sitting here talking about a contract. What I want to let you all know is, I know this is the last year of my contract and I’m here to play it out. And I want to play some damn good football. That’s basically what I’m trying to tell you. I don’t want to wait until week 12 or 13. Every week is not going to be good for me. I have two and three guys on me sometimes. I don’t wait until week 9, 10 or 11 that I have a bad game, and now the tables turn on me. ‘Oh he doesn’t want to be here.’ That’s what I don’t want to happen. I’m not disrespecting the organization. I’m not disrespecting my teammates for the victory that we had today against the Cincinnati Bengals. But I think that this is my first time talking this year, and I want to get it out there. I’m definitely not being disgruntled or disrespectful. Like I said, this is my first time talking.

Q: But it’s going to get spun that way.

RM: Somebody’s going to spin it. Anything that I say is going to get spun around. I’m not trying to take away from the victory that we had today. It’s been a long offseason for us. Bill [Belichick] put us through a lot of hard work. From a physical standpoint, I’m paying for it. The victory today that we had against the Cincinnati Bengals was definitely well deserved because we prepared for it. By me ramping off for me as an individual, like I said, I don’t want to take away from what we did. I just want to get it off my chest because this is my first time talking this year. You’re not going to hear much from me this year. That’s basically what I’m trying to tell you. So I’m getting it out of the way now.

Q: So if the organization comes to you and offers you a contract extension, would you sign it?

RM: I don’t want to talk about contracts. I just want to let you all know that I’m here to play my last season out. If an opportunity later on in the season presents itself for me to be a New England Patriot, I will accept that. But if it doesn’t, I must move on. That’s basically what I’m trying to tell you. Like I say, week 9, 10 or 11 down the road, I don’t want things to fall back on my lap. This is week one, so I’m trying to get it out there right now. Everybody can print it however you copy it.

Q: What if that opportunity presents itself this offseason?

RM: This offseason? I don’t really want to get to that. I’m 33 years old. I think that when you’re brought into this league earlier, you’re played off what you’re capable of doing. I’ve already showed that I can play still at a high level at age 33. For me to be offered a contract after this season is over, I think that would be a smack in my face. So I don’t even really want to get into that.

Q: So do you think it’s time to go somewhere else?

RM: Regardless of what I’m sitting here saying, you all are going to write what you want to write. All I’m saying is I’m not here to start any trouble. I’m going to play my year out to the best of my ability and try to play some damn good football. That’s what I trained myself to do this offseason to play some damn good football and help this team win. And that’s what I want to do.

Q: What did you mean that this offseason Bill Belichick put you through a lot and you’re paying for it physically?

RM: He never let up. We started out from OTAs. You local writers know that [in the past] Bill has given me maybe a day here or there off. I haven’t [had] any. From a physical standpoint, I’m kind of feeling [it]. It’s nothing bad, it’s just old age, I guess.

Q: What part of your old age body is feeling it?

RM: Probably legs. Low back, legs. That’s nothing that a massage and a cold tub won’t cure. I’m not young. I’m old. For us to go out and play on this grass and pound on this turf, doesn’t really feel good. I’m happy to be in this position. I’m very blessed, as I say time and time again. I just want to make the best of this. I don’t want this to be a negative. I want this to be a positive. Win or lose, I still want to come out and play some good football.

Q: Tom Brady has gone out of his way to say that he wants you and he appreciates you. How much does that mean?

RM: It means a lot coming from Tom. He’s the face and the leader of this team. We do a lot of talking daily. Tom knows how I feel about this being my last year. Bill might call me into his office tomorrow, but then again, you all know that this is my first time talking this season. I’m not going to be up here talking every week. And you’re not going to find me in the locker room. Well you’re going to find me, but you’re not going to get me to talk because I’m not here to talk. I’m here to play. It’s definitely very, very helpful for Tom to come to my defense saying that he wants me here because I love playing here. I don’t want to leave here. I don’t. But the business aspect of it, I’ve got to look out for me and my family. So that’s where I’m coming from.

Q: Do you feel like you were misunderstood after the team charity event when you had headphones on?

RM: I really don’t want to get into it. That’s more in-house. So we just take it. Whoever wrote what they wanted to write, and my music was playing whatever I wanted to listen to.

Q: From our perspective, it looks like you just came off your best camp in New England. Would you agree with that?

RM: Since I’ve been here, yes. And that’s why I’m very excited about this season. The Cincinnati Bengals are a good football team. They won their division. They’re a playoff team. So for us to be able to come out and play some good football, we can hang our hats on today. But we have a great task next week with the Jets. Hopefully, Baltimore will beat them up pretty good. Or beat each other up Monday. So we can get a good game on Sunday. I’ve definitely been up and down just because I don’t know what to except. The only thing I can do is take care of me. And that’s to go out here and prepare each day, work hard, and do whatever I can to help this team win.

Q: Are you excited to see Darrelle Revis next week?

RM: Am I excited to see Revis? I think I am because there was a lot of talk last year. And I’m not taking anything from him. He did do some good things last year to be the shutdown corner that he is. And I’m not scared to say this—I prided my offseason on Revis. Like I said, I take pride in what I do, but what he did last year was something that even opened my eyes up as a wide receiver; that there’s a cornerback out here that I really have to be on my A game. So I prided my offseason on staying off of Revis Island.

Q: If you would talk more frequently, do you think you could resolve some of the issues and misconceptions about what people write about you?

RM: If I honestly cared about what you all write, I think I would be up here talking to you every day, every single day. I probably [would] have a couple of [your] phone numbers in my phone and vice versa. But I really don’t care.

Q: You seem upset.

RM: I’m not upset. No, I’m not upset. This is my 13th year. This isn’t my 2nd or 3rd year. You know what I’m saying. My 13th year in the league, anything that I might say might most of the time get blown out of context or get blown out of proportion. By the word that I used, me being ‘unhappy,’ it’s not that I’m mad or trying to be disgruntled. I’m hurt. You give me a word.

Q: You said not being wanted.

RM: That’s a good way to put it. I don’t want anything negative to come out of this like it usually does. You know what I’m talking about. I don’t really care about a lot of the extracurricular stuff that you write. I know me. I know what I’m here for. I’m definitely excited about this season. I don’t want people to take away from that. So that’s why I said I wanted to get it out week one and not wait to week 11, 12 or 13 down the road to get it out.

Q: Do you expect to get called into Bill Belichick’s office tomorrow?

RM: If I do, then I’m just going to have to explain to Bill how I feel. Put it like this: it’s already going to be headlines anyway about me talking about my contract. Then again, I really don’t care. It’s a job. This is a business. If you understand the business, then you’ll understand where I’m coming from. But if you don’t understand the business, this is not football. Football leaves you in college and high school. This is a job. If you understand the nature of this job, then you understand where I’m coming from. That’s all I’m saying. I’m old. I’m not ready to leave the league yet, but I still have a family to provide for. All I’m saying is, if I’m wanted here, I want to be here. If I’m not going to be here, then that’s it. It’s as simple as that. That’s all I’m saying.

Q: Do you have a good relationship with Robert Kraft?

RM: It’s fair. Mr. Kraft is a busy man, and he’s not seen around here a lot during the week. But on the weekends, he’s here. We have a relationship. Is it where I want to be or where he wants it to be? I don’t know. I really don’t know how busy his schedule is, but as a owner, we have a fair relationship.

Patriots-Bengals Postgame: Tom Brady
September 12, 2010

Transcription provided by the Patriots Media Relations team.

Q: Did you get a new ride yet?

TB: I did. I did. I just wanted to get the 2011, so I had to crash the 2010.

Q: The week you had, obviously you capped it off with a win today, but what a week.

TB: It was a fun day today, I’ll tell you that. The celebration after the game is what it’s all about. We have a lot of new faces in here, and we’ve been working pretty hard for the entire offseason. Coach said a lot of really meaningful things last night and one of them [was], ‘You know guys, this is when we start keeping score. All of the work we’ve put in, this is what it’s all about.’ So it was good to come out. We started really fast. The defense made some really big plays: two returns for touchdowns, which really sparked us. And then throwing it to Wes [Welker] and scoring a couple touchdowns was good, too. Everyone contributed; I think that was the good part about today.

Q: What does it mean for Wes Welker to score that first touchdown?

TB: It was awesome. I spent a lot of time with him this offseason and the determination that he has is pretty remarkable. [He’s an] extremely mentally tough person. I knew in February, as a matter of fact, or March, that he was going to be back out on the field opening day. It just shows what his mind is all about. He’s really overcome a lot in his career and this thing is only going to make him better.

Q: Can you tell us anything about his emotions on the sidelines after scoring?

TB: Wes is pretty cool. There are times when he gets pretty excited, but I think this was…He’s out there still feeling it out probably a little bit, so everything was a little bit tame. I’m sure he’s going to be pretty excited tonight. It was good contribution for everybody: Aaron Hernandez made a bunch of big plays on touchdown drives. Freddy [Taylor] ran the ball great. The offensive line protected awesome. It was really a good day for us out there.

Q: What does the versatility of the tight ends do for you guys?

TB: All three of those guys – Alge [Crumpler] made a big catch coming out [in] the second half there on third down that got called back from a penalty. And Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] made catches on the touchdown. Not only can they block, but they’re all able to catch the ball, too. It creates different mismatches out there. Sometimes they have tough times getting lined up with the formations. It looks like that’s what happened with the one there to Aaron late in the game. He’s open and he makes a big run after catch.

Q: We haven’t talked to you since Thursday. Can you walk us through the emotions of the day with the accident and then signing your contract later in the day?

TB: Well, it’s unfortunate what happened Thursday morning. I’m sure a lot of people have been involved in accidents, but it’s a scary thing. But fortunately I was okay. Hopefully the people in the other car are recovering quickly and well. But it was a scary thing for both of us – for both people involved. But of course, I’ve got to come down and get ready for the game and I knew that. I had to be here for my teammates. I called and said I’d be a little bit late and then went out to practice and prepared. It was good. It was good. It was a good week. It was a good week. I’m glad it’s over, but it was a good week.

Q: Were you aware of all the misinformation out there about the accident? Did you get calls from your family concerned about things that weren’t true?

TB: No, I got a lot of calls. They just hear you’re in an accident, and it’s 3:30 in the morning where my family lives when it happened, so they wake up to a bunch of text messages. I called my dad pretty quick and just said ‘Dad, I’m fine.’ It wasn’t too much other than that.

Q: Protection was pretty good today. The hardest hit you took was maybe Thursday?

TB: They played great, the offensive line. They really handled…that’s a good front, too, with [Robert] Geathers and [Antwan] Odom and the blitz packages they run. I thought we did a good job handling the blitz and I think what happened was we hit some big plays on the blitz early so it slowed them down a little bit, but it’s a great offensive line. Those two tackles are special players and Steve [Neal], Dan Connolly – the way he stepped in. And [Dan] Koppen has been a rock there for a long time. It’s as good an offensive line as we’ve ever had. We’re going to need it all year. I’ll tell you, that’s what we’re going to need.

Q: Would you say Thursday morning’s accident is the hardest hit you took all week?

TB: That was a big one, but I’ll tell you, they’re all pretty similar out here. I said that to a few people. You get jolted pretty good like that. It’s kind of what it feels like. I don’t want to experience that too often.

Q: Did Peyton Manning call you and say thank you very much for signing?

TB: No, no. Peyton, I don’t know – it looked like they were losing today. I don’t know if they ended up losing, but I mean, he’s a great player. His time will come.

Q: How happy are you about your new contract?

TB: I’m more excited about the win, to tell you the truth. That’s really what it comes down to. Contracts always take care of themselves, and I think what I was most excited about was talking about football. That’s what’s most important to me and winning games and celebrating with my teammates and watching their determination and watching the hard work that they put in like Fred Taylor and Randy [Moss]. I see those guys work every day, so when we get a victory like this, it feels pretty good for all of us.

Q: Knowing that the contract is behind, what do your teammates think?

TB: I love being here. I really do. I love playing for this organization. It’s the only organization I’ve ever known, but I know a lot of people come from different places. Randy, who is one of my best friends on the team, always tells me how different this place is than other places that he’s been. That means a lot to me because those guys, I value their opinion so much. It’s a great place. If you like winning games, it’s a great place.

Q: When you can put all of that aside and concentrate on football, is that just part of your character or is that something you have developed?

TB: It’s my job, you know? It’s my job. That’s what my teammates expect me to do. They expect me to come out and do my job.

Opening Day! Bengals at Patriots
September 12, 2010

The Patriots just released today’s inactive players…

Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Terrence Wheatley, Laurence Maroney, Dane Fletcher, Steve Maneri, Brandon Deaderick, and Nick Kaczur

Edelman is out, but more importantly perhaps, Wes Welker is IN. Not that it’s a great surprise, but it is quite the accomplishment considering he underwent major reconstructive knee surgery a little more than 7 months ago.

For live updates from Gillette, check us out on Twitter.

Red Sox done, Patriots ready? Celtics #1?
September 6, 2010

The Red Sox being done is not exactly new (or news). I know they are not mathematically eliminated at 7 1/2 games back with 25 games left including 3 with the Tampa Rays beginning tonight. It would be like the Red Sox to sweep the Rays just to tease us a little longer. Don’t hold your breath. This half Red Sox, half Pawtucket team couldn’t sweep any team…..and is anybody else getting tired of Jonathon Papelbon’s act? Maybe he should close his mouth instead of that supposed intimidating facial expression. It ISN’T working.

Now to the Patriots, who should score a lot of points and be pretty exciting offensively. Unfortunately, so should most of their opponents. That is going to be very frustrating. You’ll have a chance to get used to this on opening day-this Sunday when the Pats host the Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and the Cincinnati Bengals. This may be Bill Belichick’s biggest test to see if he can make  a playmaker out of all of these young defensive players. Bill, you’d better try to keep the opposing offenses guessing with a lot of different looks because Bruschi, Vrabel, and Harrison are not walking thru that door, at least not to play.

The Celtics report to training Camp later this month and could they possibly return as the #1 attraction in town? Their games may be must see events like the Red Sox had Manny and Pedro. Shaq is not the Shaq of a few years ago but who doesn’t want to see him perform in a Celtics uniform? It is going to be fun, real fun.

And don’t forget the Bruins who also start their training camp in just a few weeks. They are going to be good. Let’s hope they can also be entertaining. Their new rookie Taylor Seguin will attract alot of fans. Hopefully his game will do the same.

-MD

Red Sox and Wes Welker
August 12, 2010

In reverse order. Do not expected Wes Welker to play in tonight’s pre-season opener vs the Saints. In fact I don’t expect him to play in the 2nd pre-season game vs Atlanta and I only expect him to play a couple of series in the 3rd pre-season game. And you know by now that hardly any starters play in the meaningless 4th pre-season game so he definitely won’t play in that one.

Now having said all of that, Wes Welker’s return from surgery is not your normal case/player. But knowing Belichick, and how he treats the pre-season, c’mon, do you honestly think he will put Welker (one of 3 or 4 main keys to a successful season) at risk in an exhibition game?

Now to the Red Sox. The biggest question concerning their hopes for a playoff spot is can Tampa continue to fold?

The Red Sox will continue to play good baseball as their pitching is finally beginning to come around and with Dustin Pedroia returning next Tuesday there is legitimate hope (tho what is with Bill Hall? Hope he can play left field).

Let’s reassess after this week-ends series in Texas against the 1st place Rangers

-MD

C’mon Kraft, just pay Brady
August 1, 2010

Patriots Training Camp is now 4 days old and while Logan Mankins is still holding out, Wes Welker is in camp and practicing, tho no contact drills yet.

Tom Brady is in camp, but somewhat like Mankins, is not signed, for next season anyway. So what is taking so long? Oh yah, money, and LOTS of it.

Busisnessman Tom is looking to break the bank and his bargaining power will never be better. He turns 33 on Tuesday and so this will be his last big contract, and he wants to make sure it is indeed big, with lots of money up front in a signing money. How much? How does 20-30 million sound? Considering Brady’s accomplishments and how much rookie quarterbacks are getting (Sam Bradford- 80 million-50 of that guaranteed, over 6 years), that figure is not unreasonable.

I know Kraft can’t write a blank check, but considering Brady took a bit of a hometown discount in his last contract negotiations (60 Million over 6 years) and he restructured that contract to help sign Randy Moss,  it is now time to really cash in, especially now that he’s married to that business tycoon Giselle who settles for No discounts whatsoever. Even if Brady gets what he is asking he still won’t be the biggest money winner in his house.

Brady, on Friday, would not criticize these stalled negotiations or say anything negative about his owner saying that  “expressing personal feelings doesn’t do any good, doesn’t help anybody including the team”, also saying that he “is not going to play games”. The message was clear.

Brady was also asked if he’s like to end his career with the Patriots responding, “that’s what Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown wanted…”. Yes, Brady would like to stay, but he is much more of a businessman now and he wants to be paid and if he has to go elsewhere to get that money, make no mistake about it, Brady would do exactly that.

C’mon Mr. Kraft, forget about the bath your Patriot Place is taking and pay up or your team will suffer just as mightily.

-MD

Patriots Name All-Decade Team: 2000’s Edition
March 16, 2010

From the official team press release:

“The team consists of 11 offensive, 11 defensive, four special teams players and one head coach. Four of the 27 members were also members of the 1990s All-Decade Team. Willie McGinest was named to the 1990s All-Decade Team as a defensive end and to the 2000s All-Decade Team as an outside linebacker. He joins cornerback Ty Law, safety Lawyer Milloy and kicker Adam Vinatieri as the four players with the distinction of being on both teams.”

OFFENSE
Pos Name
OT Nick Kaczur
OT Matt Light
G Joe Andruzzi
G Logan Mankins
C Dan Koppen
TE Daniel Graham
WR Troy Brown
WR Randy Moss
WR Wes Welker
QB Tom Brady
RB Corey Dillon

DEFENSE
Pos Name
DE Richard Seymour
DE Ty Warren
NT Vince Wilfork
OLB Willie McGinest
OLB Mike Vrabel
ILB Tedy Bruschi
ILB Roman Phifer
CB Ty Law
CB Asante Samuel
S Rodney Harrison
S Lawyer Milloy

SPECIAL TEAMS
Pos Name
K Adam Vinatieri
P Josh Miller
Ret Kevin Faulk
SpT Larry Izzo

Head Coach Bill Belichick