Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dougie Hamilton Prospect Report, Courtesy Of Bruins.com


DOUGIE HAMILTON
Niagara IceDogs (OHL) Defense 6’5” ... 194 lbs. ... Age 18 Acquired: 2011 Entry Draft (1st pick/9th overall)

Dougie Hamilton was selected 9th overall by the Bruins in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The second defenseman taken off the board, Hamilton was asked to describe his own play on the blueline.

“I’m big, I can skate, I’m physical and can do offensive stuff as well,” said the confident, well- spoken 18-year-old. "So pretty complete."

Hamilton proved to be a very well-rounded defenseman to his future teammates and coaching staff when he came to Boston a few months later for Boston Bruins Development, rookie and training camps.

“We’re excited from what we saw from this young player,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien of Hamilton's time with the Black & Gold. “His skating is very strong. I thought he moved the puck well. He’s also a guy that took the ice that was given to him.

"A good heads-up type of player, he has great hockey sense and all the tools to become a real solid NHL defenseman."

Long before he put on an actual spoked-B, Hamilton was asked what it would be like to skate next to veteran Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

“You kind of look up to guys like that - the captain of the team, one of the all-stars in the league,” he said. "Definitely, when I get out there beside him it will be a little surreal."

The eventual reality was that Hamilton was Chara’s defensive partner for several practices and exhibition games during the 2011 preseason.

“I got to watch him for the week and learn from him and see how he acts in practice and what kinds of things he does,” said Hamilton of the B’s captain.

After returning to his junior team, the Niagara IceDogs, the young blueliner said he continues to recall his experiences with Chara and use them to improve his own game.

“I try to bring that back here and play the same way; just try to do all the little things and help the team win and do the right things off the ice as well,” he explained.

Obviously, Hamilton benefited from skating with the defending Stanley Cup Champions as he is off to a great start in the OHL, leading all of the league’s defensemen in goals (9), assists (19) and points (28) through 19 games.

Thanks to his solid performance and scoring success in the beginning of his 2011-2012 campaign, he was also named OHL Defenseman of the Month for October as he registered 20 points (7-13=20) in just 12 contests.

Still only 18-years-old, Hamilton has proven that he is not only a complete player, but is also a well- focused individual and last season Hamilton was chosen as the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year, which is awarded to the individual who excels the most both on the ice and in the classroom.

The first rounder continued to show his leadership qualities and was named alternate captain of the IceDogs this season and was selected to be captain of “Team OHL” that recently competed against “Team Russia” during the 2011 Subway Super Series.

“Not only is he a quality player, he's a quality person as well,” explained Coach Julien during training camp. "Anybody who's taken the time to talk to him has seen that he's a pretty grounded individual."

However, being grounded doesn't mean that Hamilton is satisfied and this talented young defenseman has his sights set on a future in "The Show."

“You’ve got to raise your game,” said Hamilton. "You've got to try and get better every day and work hard to be able to become an NHL player."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yankees Reportedly Not Interested In Ortiz.


Recently at a charity event, Yankee GM Brian Cashman said the following
“Our biggest priority now is pitching,” he reiterated. “We’ll see how the rest of the winter goes, how our conversations shake out with other clubs, trade stuff, but as of right now, our focus is on pitching.”
Those comments have lead many to beleive that The Yankees are not in the market for David Ortiz.

Yesterday Cherrington chimed in on how David Ortiz's status effects the Red Sox outlook on their vacancy in right field...
“There are some interesting guys out there who could factor in to our right field mix,” Cherington said. “A lot of that depends on David. If David’s here, we’re going to go in a certain direction with the outfield. If he’s not here, it sort of opens it up a little bit. There are alternatives, both in free agency and in a trade market for guys that can play right field.”

I beleive that the Boston Red Sox currently have the best 1-2-3 in baseball with Ellsbury, Pedroia, Gonzalez. That lineup doesn't work quite as well if there isn't a powerful bat behind Gonzo for protection. Over the past few years Kevin Youkilis' has become a bit of an injury concern, along with the fact that he's not quite the third baseman everyone thought he would be. Simply put the Boston Red Sox need David Ortiz back and not as a Jason Varitek type backup roll... as a serious contender to this lineup.

Here's Adrian and David's thoughts on playing with each other.

Adrian Gonzalez
i can tell you that i tried DH'ing in Texas. They tried making me the DH. It's not easy, you can't just put anybody in there. What he does for this team is incredible, I'd like to have him around for a while.

Ortiz on Adrian's effect on his approach:
"I've been getting 200% better results than i used to. It's because he always looks for the place where a pitcher likes to go. As a hitter you always want to analyze the place where YOU can hit the ball. He analyzes where the PITCHER likes to go, and if you ready for that you're going to get what you're looking for."

Ben Cherrington needs to sign Ortiz to a 2 Year deal for a substantial amount. Boston needs a happy productive Big Papi in order for the offense to repeat and improve the success of last season.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tyler Seguin -Beginnings Of An NHL Superstar- Mix

So Long To The Greatest Closer In Red Sox History.


On July 31st, 2005 Jonathan Papelbon made his first appearance in a Boston Red Sox uniform. The game was at home against the Minnesota Twins. Papelbon started the game against Brad Radke. He allowed 2 runs through 5.1 innings and struck out 7. The Sox would take the lead on a Manny Ramirez hit in the bottom of the 8th, he was pinch hitting in the game. Curt Schilling would close the door for a 4-3 Boston win.

Papelbon started 2 more games that season, and appeared in 14 more. The Red Sox were swept in three games by The Chicago White Sox, who would go on to win the World Series.

In 2006 Boston as a whole had a step back season, despite many of the top players having career years. David Ortiz hit 54 home runs. Kevin Youkilis took over as the teams full time starting first baseman. Jonathan Papelbon, 25 years old, had 35 saves and an ERA of 0.91. The Red Sox were out of the Playoffs, but they were excited about the progress their young players had mad... and more importantly the progress they would make within the next season.

2007 would mark the year of Red Sox dominance. The team was now rebuilt from the World Series team of only 2 years earlier. While Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz still struck fear in the eyes of every pitcher in baseball, young gun Dustin Pedroia took the league by storm. Jon Lester had survived cancer and was a full time major leaguer. Jacoby Ellsbury had all the fans begging for him to earn the starting Playoff job after only 33 regular season games. Then there was Papelbon... 37 saves, 13 strikeouts per 9 innings, and an ERA of 1.85, and that wasn't even the half of it.

Those 2007 Playoffs were Papelbon's swan song. At the end of it he had a World Series title, and through 14.2 career playoff innings had yet to give up a single earned run. He was flat out dominant, not to mention entertaining.

Over the next 4 years the Red Sox and Papelbon would fail to live up to the lofty expectations, but Papelbon was hardly the fatal flaw. He obviously fell short of the insane bar set by himself. After the 2007 WS victory Jonathan pitched in 12.1 Playoff innings. In those games he allowed 3 earned runs, stuck out 14, and had an ERA of 2.19. Papelbon was unable to duplicate his early postseason success, but he was still consistently one of the league's top closers.

Papelbon leaves Boston as the Red Sox' career saves leader with 219, only Bob Stanley and Tim Wakefield have pitched in more games, and 4 of his 5 consecutive 30+ save seasons rank in the top 10 for most saves in a single year.

Jonathan Papelbon may have been a partying, loud-mouthed, money-hungry, psycho... but he was THE greatest closer this town has ever, and possibly will ever see.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jesse Dampolo's NFL Midseason All-Pro Selections.





Seems like everyone is coming up with their own All-Pro squads, so here's mine:

Offense:

QB- Aaron Rogers (GB)

RB- Adrian Peterson (MIN)

RB- LeSean McCoy (PHI)

WR- Calvin Johnson (DET)

WR- Wes Welker (NE)

WR- Steve Smith (CAR)

TE- Rob Gronkowski (NE)

T- Demetrius Bell (BUF)

G- Stefen Wisniewski (OAK)

C- Scott Wells (GB)

G- Brian Waters (NE)

T- Eric Winston (HOU)


Defense:


DE- Jared Allen (MIN)

DT- Ndamukong Suh (DET)

DT- Vince Wilfork (NE)

DE- Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG)

OLB- Demarcus Ware (DAL)

MLB- Desmond Bishop (GB)

OLB- LaMarr Woodley (PIT)

CB- Derrelle Revis (NYJ)

S- Ed Reed (BAL)

S- Eric Weddle (SD)

CB- Brandon Flowers (KAN)

Special:

KR- Devin Hester (CHI)

PR- Patrick Peterson (ARI)

P- Donnie Jones (STL)

K- Dan Bailey (DAL)


Put that team on the field for 16 games? You'd go 16-0, lead the league in scoring, passing yards, and rushing yards. Plus your defense would lead the league in sacks, interception, and not allow a single 100+ yard rusher.

Some players may play their way on or off this list, but either way this is another excellent year from the NFL.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Red Sox Dilemma: Cespedes, Beltran, or Neither?


Yoennis Cespedes is a 26 year old defected Cuban outfielder who released a now notorious Youtube video of him performing a mix of Baseball and NFL Combine drills.

On Monday Yoennis was granted free agency by Major League Baseball. As expected, the Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, and Nationals are all on the list. But also in the hunt are the Florida Marlins. The Marlins could really take a step out of the basement with Cespedes. Miami has a huge Cuban population and Florida feels that the acquiring of Yoennis could have a "Pedro-Like" affect on the city.

Boston also could be a serious contender as well. Up until the past couple days The Red Sox only options in right field seemed to be Carlos Bentran, who was productive last season but is on the wrong side of 35, or their in house prospects. While Reddick opened eyes last year, he's not exactly what you dream about in a big market city like Boston. Yoennis Cespedes could be a superstar, of course he could also just be a dud... but with the money he has available, Ben Cherrington could make a serious run at the kid.

In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, while playing for Cuba Yoennis hit .458 with a .480 OBP, an OPS of 1.000 with a double, 3 triples, 2 home runs, 5 runs and 5 RBI in six games.

Here's the insane youtube vid:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Red Sox Interested In Grady Sizemore.


The Indians declined their $9 million option on the 29-year-old Sizemore yesterday, and still have a couple of days to negotiate exclusively with Grady before can accept offers from other teams.

It is widely rumored that The Boston Red Sox will be one of those teams. With JD Drew likely to retire, or at least go elsewhere, they will be in the market for a new right fielder. With Grady's recent injury history it's safe to say that he is willing to move from center field to a less strenuous job on one of the corners.

In 2008 Grady Sizemore was widely considered as the best center fielder in Major League Baseball, it was to the point where Ellsbury was considered a "poor man's Sizemore". Ironically Jacoby was also considered a soft, injury prone, lesser version of Carl Crawford in 2010. If Ellsbury can have such a historic turnaround inspired by doubters... why can't Grady? This could be one of those low cost, high reward signings that everybody loves around here.

With Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish expected to compete for the right field spot, a signing of Sizemore would provide incredible outfield depth. Worst case scenario is that Grady just gets hurt again and hardly contribute... best case scenario is that he plays like Grady Sizemore.

I expect a good season out of Carl Crawford next season. He was a leader-type player alienated by a horrible locker room. After taking slack from the owner, having a lackluster performance, and being part of the most disgusting September collapse of all-time... Carl Crawford is too hard of a worker to repeat that .255, 18 steal season.

If the stars can align with Sizemore, Crawford, and Ellsbury it could easily be the Billion Dollar Outfield. I dare a baseball to drop in that outfield.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Patriots: A Look At The Road Ahead.


Well the bye week is over. New England has had time off, but at the same time have had extra time to look at The Pittsburgh Steelers. Roethlisberger and his crew are sitting at 5-2 but aren't actually as good as their record indicates. As of right now I'd put Baltimore, New England, and Houston ahead of them as AFC heavyweights to win it all. That being said, things could change drastically with a win over The Patriots.

That's exactly what Brady & Belichick will be looking to avoid. This New England teams has seemingly figured out the Pittsburgh puzzle over the past few seasons and I wouldn't expect anything to change for the '11-12 season. Especially not coming out of the bye week.

Since 2005 New England is 47-15 coming out of the bye. That record includes a 9-4 "post-bye" record in 2008 with Matt Cassel as QB. In that same time span The Patriots are also 3-0 against Pittsburgh when Tom Brady is playing. Brady passed for over 1,100 yards in those three games.

Many experts are forcasting failure for the Patriots inexperienced defensive backs, but I think as a whole the entire defense will take a giant step forward against the Steelers. Coming out of the lockout teams didn't have their usual off-season mini camps. Across the board NFL teams struggled to defend the pass, and NFL offenses put up gaudy numbers at their expense. After a couple wild weeks everything has fallen back down to Earth. Analysts still get caught up in The Patriot defense's large amount of yards given up, but if you really analyze the games you'll see that New England has done a tremendous job of buckling down within their own Red Zone. Belichick's defense is living by the term "bend don't break".

Tom Brady and the offense have been scoring so fast and efficiently that their breaking a common misconception in football, "win the time of possession and you win the game". With points flying up on the board at will it's almost like opposing teams run down the clock on themselves with long drives that ultimately either end up resulting in only a field goal.. sometimes a turnover.

Against Dallas The Patriots allowed 317 passing yards, but because they only allowed one TD all game Tom Brady was able to orchestrate a comeback drive to win the game. That game, in my mind, was a blueprint for how this defense needs to play in order to complete the final goal.

After The Steelers New England will have it's chance at home for revenge against The New York Giants. The G-Men will most likely win this week against Miami to sit at 5-2 coming into Foxboro. Much like the Steelers I beleive that the Giants are somewhat of a wolf in sheeps clothing.

In two weeks Tom Brady and the Pats will face their biggest challenge of the year. They travel to The Meadowlands to battle The New York Jets, this game will ultimately determine the AFC East Champion. Miami is a stepping stone, and Buffalo will never come to Foxboro and win on the road... hell they couldn't even win in Cincinnati.

The next three games will be a good test for this Patriots squad, but it's a test they should pass with flying colors. Tom Brady will win another Super Bowl ring before he's done, it's just a matter of whether or not it's this year.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

San Diego Tops Short List Of Destinations For John Lackey.


The San Diego Padres are reportedly interested in acquiring John Lacky, aka The Worst Red Sox Starter Of All Time. Why would they want to do that? Here's a few reasons:

With all the negative media in Boston surrounding Lackey, it's not hard to tell that he's on his way out. Add that to his horrible contract, San Diego's trouble holding on to top notch players, and Boston's bottomless wallet... you essentially get a former All-Star pitcher locked up for a couple year at Boston's expense. It really does make alot of sense for San Diego.

Another reason for this hookup? The Padres' Manager, Bud Black, used to be Lackey's pitching coach with the Angels. Black was alongside while John had his most productive seasons. Embarrassed and reunited with old friends, Lackey has his best chance at turning things around.

Petco park is also one of the largest parks in all of Major League Baseball. It give new meaning to the term "Pitcher's Ballpark". It makes it even easier to pitch in once you eliminate the designated hitter and cold weather... boy does pitching in the NL West sound fun.

According to Peter Abraham The Red Sox would have to pick up most of the remaining $45.75 million on his contract. Lackey’s deal also calls for a $500,000 payment if he is traded.

(plus Lackey could also wear those great camo uniforms. I guarantee

he loves those)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mayne Event: Wes Welker & Jared Allen

MVP Candidacy: Tracking Welker's Season.


I've said it before, but now i'll make it official. I believe that Wes Welker has a chance to become the first wide receiver to win the NFL AP Most Valuable Player Award. In 1987 Jerry Rice won the Pro Football Writers of America MVP Award, and he's actually the only WR to win the award, but the AP MVP is the award that is most commonly referred to as "THE MVP".

Let's take a look at this. In 1987 Jerry Rice set the record for TD's in a season with 22. Despite dominating the league with TD's, this wasn't actually Jerry Rice's best season. In 1995 Jerry set career highs in receptions and receiving yards with 122 for 1,848 yards. Through 5 games Wes Welker is on pace to shatter both of those marks.

Here are the NFL receiving records, and where Wes Welker stands as of Week 5:

Most Receptions in a season:
Marvin Harrison (2002)- 143
Wes Welker (2009)- 123
Herman Moore (1995)- 123

Wes Welker as of Week 5 (2011)- 51.
(on pace for 163)


Most Yards in a season:
Jerry Rice (1995)- 1,848
Isaac Bruce (1995)- 1,781
Charley Hennigan (1961)- 1,746

Wes Welker as of Week 5 (2011)- 785
(on pace for 2,512)


Most Touchdowns in a season:
Randy Moss (2007)- 25
Jerry Rice (1987)- 24
Mark Clayton (1984)- 18

Wes Welker as of Week 5 (2011)- 6
(on pace for 19)


Wes Welker is on pace to shatter 2 of the 3 most important receiving records. Not to mention that he's on pace to finish 3rd on the single season TD list.

Not bad for a short, undrafted, special teams guy. Huh?

(check back for weekly updates on where Welker stands.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wes Welker Talks With Michael Irvin.



Seguin & Thomas Save Boston In Shootout.



Down 2-1 in the third, Nathan Horton forced OT on slap shot from Johnny Boychuk and Tyler Seguin. After coming up with nothing through the extra period, both teams were awarded a point with a 2nd to be earned in the shootout. Tyler Seguin scored for Boston and Tim Thomas stopped shots from Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.

The Boston Bruins stand at 2-3, they will face Carolina for the 2nd time this Tuesday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Detroit vs.Texas A.L.C.S. SHOULD Make Boston Feel Sick.


2 Years ago The Red Sox whole team was devastated by injuries, the field was packed with backups and no names, but while all that was going on Adrian Beltre stood alone. Beltre and Boston missed the playoffs but individually he would finish Top 10 in MVP Voting, be selected as an All-Star, and win the Silver Slugger Award as the best hitting 3rd Baseman.

In the off-season Theo Epstein acquired MVP Caliber 1st Baseman Adrian Gonzalez. With former All-Star Kevin Youkilis capable of playing both corners, it seemed like it was time for Boston to cut ties with Adrian Beltre. The supporters were claiming that Beltre was just playing for a contract, that he couldn't repeat his high caliber performance over an entire contract. Kevin Youkilis on the other hand was Boston's dirt dog 1B/3B/Superhero, he could do no wrong, Youk would never struggle over at third... it was a no-brainer.

Then there's Victor Martinez. After being traded to Boston for Justin Masterson in '09, Victor was what he always was: A Double Machine. V-Mart looked to be the answer for Jason Varitek's inability to hit. Victor could catch, play first, or DH in spots. Martinez finished the 2010 Season hitting .302 with 20 HR's, 32 doubles, and 79 RBI's, all were Top 5 on the team.

Like Beltre, Victor Martinez was on his way out of town last off-season. The only problem with this is who pushed him out. Boston elected for Youkilis and Gonzalez over Beltre. Fine, but they elected for Saltalamacchia and Varitek over V-Mart. They can say that Martinez doesn't project to be a full time Catcher, but neither does Varitek.

Let's now flash forward a year. The 2011 Red Sox have missed the Playoffs, The Yankees and Rays have been eliminated, and former Red Sox Victor Martinez & Adrian Beltre are playing each other in the A.L.C.S. for the right to play in the World Series.

Obviously hindsight is 20-20, but The Red Sox should have kept at least one, maybe both, of these guys. Supporters will tell you that Boston's pitching is what killed their season, but look a little closer to see the truth. While The Red Sox lineup scored a ton of runs all season they were FAR from consistent. They may have scored over 5 runs a game but they didn't come close to actually putting up around 5 a game. One night they'd score 12, the next night they'd score 2... you can't win games like that. You especially can't win if you lost by 2 when you score and when you don't.

The top part of the 2011 lineup was dominant. Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez will all get MVP votes... but the bottom half was a problem. JD Drew was hurt for half of the year and invisible the other. Carl Crawford struggled but was the 7th hitter when it was going right. Saltalamacchia provided power but provided even more strikeouts. Jed Lowrie is constantly recovering from injuries no one can remember. When The Red Sox won in 2007, 8 of the 9 primary starters had OBP's over .300. The bottom half of the lineup could set the table for top half, they'd extend innings, run up pitch counts. On the 2011 version only 6 out of the nine. An offense needs consistency to win.

Next season Boston will come into the year with players who have the "right attitude". The funny thing is that the perfect players needed to get over this historic collapse, could be the same players they let walk a year earlier. Kevin Youkilis isn't the 3rd Baseman everyone thought he'd be. Jason Varitek is most likely gone, meaning some no name catcher will be backing up for Jared Saltalamacchia... ironic isn't it?


.

Does Bruins Shakey Start Mean No Repeat In Titletown?




Last night The Boston Bruins lost their first game in their quest to retain The Stanley Cup Championship. Nobody is panicking as of now, but should they be? Let's take a look at how many teams have lost Game 1 of their title defense season but still went on to win back to back Cups.

'97 Detroit Red Wings- 3-1 Win on The Road.

'91 Pittsburgh Penguins- 5-4 Win at Home

'87 Edmonton Oilers- 4-1 Loss at Home

'84 Edmonton Oilers- 2-2 Tie on The Road.

'80 New York Islanders- 5-2 Win on The Road.

'68 Montreal Canadiens- 1-1 Tie at Home.

'65 Montreal Canadiens- 8-1 Win at Home.

'62 Toronto Maple Leafs- 3-1 Win At Home.

In the past 50 seasons 8 teams have won back to back Championships, a few have also won more than 2 in a row but that's not part of this discussion. Since 1962 teams that have won a Championship, and would go on to repeat, were 5-1-2 in their opening games of the 2nd season.

Ladies and gentleman, Boston could repeat Champions and no one would be surprised, or they could fall short without being faulted. The result of game 1 is no indication of how successful or unsuccessful a title defense will be.




.

Monday, October 3, 2011

In Case You Didn't Know... Wes Welker Is Good.


Everybody knows about Tom Brady. Everybody knows about his gaudy stats and MVP's. But it's also a potentially record breaking season developing for the 5'9" superstar. The undrafted wide receiver is averaging 154 yards per game, and on pace to finish with 2,400 yards. Jerry Rice's record is 1,848.

Welker is also average 10 receptions a game, on pace for 160 grabs. The current receptions record is 143 set by Marvin Harrison in '02. If I had to choose which record would be broken by Wes this season, i'd choose this one. Once Aaron Hernandez returns to the Pats Wes will lose some yardage, but there's no way Welker won't grab 100 balls in the next 12 games.

Even if Welker falls short of these otherwordly projections he'll still make giant leaps on the All-Time receiving lists. Welker will rank in the Top 50 for receptions by the season's end. He'll also jump from 150th to around 80 on the All-Time receiving yard list.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Patriots And Raiders: The Keys To Success.



Raiders

#1. Richard Seymour- Seymour is Oakland's defensive leader, not only in the locker room but on the field. Despite what you were told about Richard he's still a dominant force, he will be fired up for this game. In order for Oakland to get to Brady, Richard will have to command double teams and beat single teams. No defense in the NFL can stop The Patriots offense, but to slow it down you need to have an excellent pass rush combined with lock down DBs. If Richard can't be dominant Tom Brady will.

#2. Control Gronkowski- Gronkowski is averaging 5 grabs, for 93 yards per game, with 5 TDs in 3 games. I don't know who's going cover him, but if they can't stop Gronk they aren't winning this game. Buffalo intercepted a would-be Gronk TD in the 4th quarter that WOULD have locked up a New England win. If Oakland let's Gronk dominate them they have no chance.

#3. Denarius Moore- The rookie 5th round Wideout didn't start in Week 1. In the 2 weeks since he has 9 receptions for 180 yards. The Raiders can't lean on McFadden alone, when New England puts all their attention on the running backs some one has to step up in the passing game. In the past 2 weeks that person has been Denarius Moore. If he can convert some 3rd & Long's he'll greatly increase Oakland's chances.

Patriots:

#1. Controlling McFadden Oakland Raider Running Backs are combining for an average of 185 rushing yards per game. On the other side The Patriots defense is allowing 91.6 rushing yards per game, not to shabby, but they aren't really shutting down running backs. Opposing teams are averaging 10 receptions a game from the running backs alone. Darren McFadden will stack up the numbers this weekend against the Patriots, but if New England can contain him in the running game they'll be able to keep Oakland honest with play action. Hell, Darren can have 20 receptions, but if they stop him from running up the middle it'll be okay.

#2. Get Pressure On Campbell- Andre Carter, and Shaun Ellis will have their hands full. They have to not only contain McFadden, but once Tom Brady posts some points, they'll then have to lower their ears and apply that pressure. If you get Oakland into 3rd and long situations they'll shoot themselves. Jason Campbell is not capable of making the plays Ryan Fitzpatrick did a week ago.

#3. Tom Brady- If Tom Brady is Tom Brady... New England's offense will be fine.



.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chung's Absence On Defense Is Pats' Fatal Flaw.


Last year when Meriweather struggled it was Chung who picked up the extra snaps. It's Chung who finished 2nd on the team in tackles, passes deflected, and interceptions. Patrick Chung may only be in his 3rd year, but he is the one who covers up the mistakes in this Patriots defense, and there are a lot. Going into this season New England showed that they would be more aggressive out of their new 4-3 look, more blitzing linebackers, more blitzing safeties. This is supposed to be #25's breakout year.

Chung had surgery on his hand to have a screw place inside it. This surgery happened before last weeks Buffalo game. Despite missing the game, Pat practiced almost immediately after the surgery in a hard cast. Chung is once again questionable this weekend in Oakland.

With their "veteran" safety absent in Buffalo, The Patriots struggled. They struggled against the pass. They struggled against the run. No one is saying that they were lock down the 2 weeks previous, but The Pat's Defense seemed hopeless against Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson. Sergio Brown was side stepped and steamrolled continuously, linebackers failed to cover anyone, and overall the defensive backs looked lost and confused.

If The Patriots are going to grow into a halfway decent defense by the Playoffs they'll need Patrick Chung to be a major part of it. Mayo is the All-Pro, tackle machine. Vince is the giant hole stuffer. Then, Chung is the guy that knocks balls loose across the middle, he crashes the line of scrimmage to help on the run, and he's the only safety on the squad who isn't a career special teams player.

If Chung isn't back on Sunday The Raiders will run all over New England.

Milan Lucic: Man on a Mission

The Big Bad Bruins Are Back



With The Red Sox eliminated it's time to turn attention toward the Boston Bruins, and for the first time in too long... they're the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Take it in Boston.

Video from "Dafoomie"

Boston Red Sox: Back To The Drawing Board.



There is a long list of players on this Red Sox team who won't be back. Some won't be back because their contract are up, some will be gone because they just don't belong here. Tim Wakefield's career is over. John Lackey is horrible. Josh Beckett is an out of shape diva. JD Drew is done, but has had a better Red Sox career than people want to give credit. Erik Bedard never should have came here in the first place.

On the other hand there are some players who were looked over, but in the end they were the only ones there. Marco Scutaro was originally a player signed to bridge the gap to Jose Iglesias, he has now become a grinder, I want him back. Afredo Aceves deserves to be back in Boston, and most likely should take over Wakefield's role.

One guy that definitely has to come back though, is David Ortiz. Big Papi, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, was one of the only guys to play consistently all year. He was there by himself if May, then he was still fighting in September. Ortiz' protection to Adrian Gonzalez is partially responsible for A-Gon's great statistical season, and Ortiz's presence could help Carl Crawford comeback from his lackluster freshman year in Boston.

Ladies and gentlemen... your parents Boston Red Sox are back. "The Curse" didn't let the ball go between his legs, Buckner did. But even after that Buckner didn't blow that series... The Red Sox made it an excuse after the entire team blew it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Red Sox Looking At Bruce Chen For One Game Playoff.


The Red Sox are reportedly looking for a potential starter in case they cannot secure a Playoff birth tonight. If The Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays both win or lose tonight they will meet tomorrow in Tampa for a 1 Game Playoff. Bruce Chen could be the starter for that game.

Chen, who has pitched with the Royals this season, has actually had a decent season. He's gone 12-8 with a 3.98 ERA but has not faced The Tampa Bay Rays. This could go two ways, he can pitch well against hitters who haven't seen him his season, or he can get rocked because he hasn't seen them either.

If The Red Sox season comes down to Bruce Chen... the "Fen-Way Too Faithful" might even take a step toward the edge.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What Could Have Saved The Patriots In Buffalo?


Obviously New England would have won if not for Tom Brady's four interceptions. But teams all QB's will have games like that once in a while. A Super Bowl TEAM should be able to win even if their best player is off.

The absence of Patrick Chung severely hurt the Patriots secondary. Chung is one of the best safeties in the league when it comes to crashing down to prevent big plays in the rushing game, there were multiple times where Sergio Brown was either steamrolled, or just completely avoided by Fred Jackson. Don't even get me started on the pass interference.

Even more than the absence of Chung was the absence of Devin McCourty, who as of now it looking like a one year wonder. "D-Mac" was beat regularly be Buffalo's nameless wide receivers, putting to rest the idea that it was just Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson who could beat the 2nd year corner. Apparently it's everyone.

This secondary was supposed to take that step from inexperienced to reliable. Leigh Bodden was going to take the side opposite McCourty, Kyle Arrington would take the slot receivers, and with New England new 4-3 front they'd finally get the pressure needed to cover up mistakes. As of right now only Arrington is playing good up to his billing.

It's beginning to look like the salary dump of veteran safety James Sanders could be the downfall of this team. In week 3, with an injury to their top guy Patrick Chung, the Patriots would have to roll out Josh Barrett and Sergio Brown, and neither showed that they were worthy of that honor. Both special-teamers were ran over due to poor tackling, in one instance one screwed the other out of an interception, and very well may have screwed the Patriots out of what would have been a easy victory... despite Tom Terrific's INT's.


You tell me, would a win in Buffalo have been worth the 2.8 base salary that James Sanders was set to earn this year? Or are you happy saving the cash with Brown & Barrett in the regular rotation?




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Shawn Thornton VS Alex Henry.



Preseason.

Video from "Dafoomie".

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Patriots And Bills: The Keys To Success.


Bills:

#1. Someone Other Than Jackson- Fred Jackson is no doubt Buffalo's best offensive player. Bill Belichick is known for taking away the opposing team's security blanket. While Fred may still make plays regardless, The Bills have to find another player who can step up his game to counteract that. It doesn't matter if it's David Nelson, Steve Johnson, or Donald Jones... somebody has to step up.

#2. Dareus & Williams- Buffalo's defensive front has grown quickly. Kyle Williams has become their prototypical Nose Tackle. Him, and 3rd Overall pick Marcell Dareus have become their run stuffers as well as their pocket crushers. The Bills will need quite a bit of both against New England. If Tom Brady has all day to throw it'll be a long day for Buffalo's defense, obviously. But an additional problem will be Benjarvus Green-Ellis. Before the Law Firm was a 1,000 Yard Back, he was an undrafted back. There was a time when Benny had only one 100 yard game in 2 seasons, that one game was against Buffalo. 3 out of his 5 top performances have come against The Bills. Dareus and Williams can't let that happen today.

#3. Time Of Possession- If The Bills can sustain long drives that end in TD's, they'll not only post points, but they'll keep Brady and The Patriots offense off the field. It needs to be both though, long field goal drives won't do it. Brady passed for 500+ yards in a game where the other team lead the game in Time Of Possession.

Patriots:

#1. Control Fred Jackson-- Fred Jackson is like the human Swiss Army Knife. He can run between the tackles, catch out of the backfield, lineup as a receiver, and he's incredibly dependable in blitz pickup. Somehow Jackson is one of the most underrated running backs in the game, but this season he's the key to The Bills' early success. Take away Jackson and New England wins big.

#2. Rob Gronkowski- With Aaron Hernandez out, New England looses their two headed machine but they still have Rob Gronkowski. In 2 career games against his "Hometown Team", Rob has 7 Rec for 3 TDs. I wouldn't be surprised if Gronk puts up those numbers today alone. While Brady needs to find Hernandez' temporary replacement for the first 80 yards, once New England gets into the Red Zone they'll lean on Gronk.

#3. Make Fitzpatrick Unfomfortable- With The Pats' secondary hurting, the defensive front will have to pick them up. Shaun Ellis has 8 career sacks against the Bills, him and Andre Carter will have to make Fitzpatrick feel the pressure. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't exactly a deep ball receiver, he throws mostly in's and slant's. If McCourty and Bodden can cover up the quick stuff, and the D-Line can get pressure, Fitzpatrick will make mistakes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

MVP Candidacy: Tracking Brady's Season.


This article will update every week to compare Tom Brady's 2011 statistics to his '07 and '10 MVP seasons.

Through 5 Games.


2007: 117-158, 1,383 yards, 16 TD, 2 INT, 128.7 Rating, 74.1%

2010: 112-166, 1,203 yards, 10 TD, 4 INT, 98.5 Rating, 67.5%

2011: 160-237, 2,163 yards, 16 TD, 8 INT, 104.8 Rating, 67.5%
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Patriots And Chargers: The Keys To Success.



Chargers:

#1. Antonio Gates- If The Chargers's Offense is going to keep up with Tom Brady and his crew, Gates is going to have to have a big game. New England's defense gave up 5 receptions and 82 yards to Miami's Anthony Fasano... who's not exactly Gates. Of course Belichick is well aware of Gates and what he can do, The Hall of Fame tight end with be under the spotlight in Foxboro.

#2. Mike Tolbert- In a career week 1 performance, Tolbert grabbed 9 receptions, rushed for 35 yards, and had 3 Touchdowns. The Patriots had one of the worst third down defenses last season, if Tolbert is continuously moving the chains on third down The Chargers will have success.

#3. Special Teams- San Diego's special teams unit was one of the worst in The NFL last season, this problem has seemingly been fixed by the new kickoff rule. But that doesn't account for punts. Last week New England's Julien Edelman was effective as a punt returner averaging just under 12 yards per return with a long of 17. If The Chargers can tighten up on their kick coverage it'll be a big help. Every extra yard that you can push Brady back is a big help.

Patriots:

#1. Gronkowski & Hernandez- These 2nd year TE's have become the focal point of this high powered offense. Against two smaller safeties like Eric Weddle and Bob Sanders the Gronknandez could have big production. If the duo can be effective as expected The Pats will be in good shape.

#2. Patrick Chung- With James Sanders in Atlanta and Brandon Meriweather in Chicago, Chung now takes over as the veteran safety. Despite only being in his third season he's a consistent force who can come up and make tackles near the line, and is also a big time hitter over the middle (legal hits). Patrick had a big sack last week but against a much better QB in Phillip Rivers they might need to keep him back to protect Sergio Brown and Josh Barrett at the other safety spot. If Chung plays big in the secondary The Patriots will be able to counter Jackson and Floyd.

#3. Albert Haynesworth Big Al was effective in Miami, he had 2 tackles and drew 2 big holding calls against Incognito which ended drives. Haynesworth has recently spoken on how he wishes he came to New England sooner, how he feels the Patriots have saved his career. I expect Haynesworth to come out with a fire inside him. "“I like the place, too. It makes a huge difference when you come in and feel good about coming in the doors." If Haynesworth can build on his week 1 performance and get consistent pressure on Rivers he could be the driving force for the Pats in week 2.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Boston Bruins: Let's Talk Lines.


During their Playoff run to the 2011 Stanley Cut The Boston Bruins basically stuck with the same 4 line combinations. Obviously injuries to Bergeron and Horton forced some changes, then there was some changes on the PP, but for the most part Julien stayed consistent with his 4 lines.

Line 1: Lucic / Krejci / Horton

Line 2: Marchand / Bergeron / Recchi

Line 3: Peverley / Kelly / Ryder

Line 4: Thornton/ Campbell / Paille

After Seguin showed his skill in Bergeron's absence he became a permanent fixture in the lineup for the rest of the Playoffs. Up until Horton's injury this meant that Shawn Thornton was a healthy scratch.

Going into this season The Bruins roster has suffered a few losses. Many would agree that the increased minutes of young talent, Tyler Seguin, should easily makeup for the absence of Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi. Where Recchi was esspecially valuable was his Stanley Cup experience and leadership, but now the team has a whole roster of Stanley Cup Champions. Shawn Thornton can now take over as that veteran looking for his 3rd Ring.

Let's take a look at possible new combinations.

Line 1: Lucic / Krejci / Horton

This line will stay intact. The top trio combined for 177 points in 2011.

Line 2: Marchand / Bergeron / Seguin

The 2nd line will have the biggest adjustment going into their Stanley Cup defense. Marchand and Bergeron will go from playing with a 42 year old, slow, but smart winger in Mark Recchi... to playing alongside a 20 year old, speedy, goal scorer with big play ability. Young Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand may struggle in their 2nd years, but who better to pair them with then 26 year old, 7 year veteran, Patrice Bergeron?

Line 3: Peverley / Kelly / Paille

Peverley and Kelly both arrived at the same time last season and seemed to develop a nice feel for each other. Michael Ryder was the third guy for the most part, with him gone I expect Paille to step up a line. Daniel Paille has had a 20 goal season with Buffalo, he has 50 career goals, now in Boston he's shown the ability to play smart defensive hockey. He'll step up and live up to some of the potential he showed with the Sabres.

Line 4: Thornton / Campbell / Pouliot

Boston's 4th line played 11 minutes in the Game 7 victory over Vancouver, Thornton and Campbell will stay put along with new addition Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot was the 4th overall selection back in the 2005 NHL Draft. Boston is hoping that Benoit can live up to potential and maybe find his game with the Bruins, if that happens he could move up, if not he'll make his way as a crusher on the 4th line.

Boston Bruins Lock Up The Nose.


Brad Marchand has been locked up on a 2 year deal worth 5 Million dollars.

Last season Brad Marchand netted 21 goals with 20 assists in the regular season, then finished 2nd on the team in the Playoffs with 11 Goals.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Congratulations To Tim Wakefield On His 200th.

Is Tom Brady The G.O.A.T.?


Tom Brady has 2 Super Bowl MVP's, 2 NFL MVP's, the single-season TD record, most pass attempts without an interception, the best winning percentage in the Super Bowl Era, and has won 16+ regular season games in a row... twice.

Very few people believe it now, but at one time Bret Favre was considered one of the Top 5 QB's in NFL history. Let's break down that match up. There's no doubt about Favre's durability, but what does come into question is his decision making. Both Tom and Bret have lead the league in TD's 3 times, the difference is the interceptions. The Mississippi Gunslinger has thrown 20+ interceptions in 6 of his 16 Year career. Tom Brady has never thrown more than 14. Combine all that with Tom Brady's 3 Rings vs Brett's One? Edge to #12.

Up next is the man who has been right there with Brady for his entire career, Peyton Manning. Peyton has the edge in most career numbers mainly due to the fact that he came in the league earlier, Brady didn't start right away, and Brady missed an entire season because of a devastating knee injury. Up next will be individual statistics: Both have lead the NFL in TD's 3 times. Peyton has 4 MVP's compared to Tom's 2, but with Manning's neck injury that gap could very-well close. There's no doubt that The Manning vs. Brady debate is one that will be discussed forever but for me it comes down to the head to head match up.

  • In '03 and '04 Manning won league MVP only to lose in Foxboro, then watch Brady raise the Lombardi Trophy.

  • In '06 Manning lead an amazing comeback against The Patriots and went on to win his first Championship.

  • 2007 was Brady's undefeated season, where he marched all the way to The Super Bowl, only to be defeated by Michael Strahan's inescapable pass rush. Manning's Colt's were knocked out by The San Diego Chargers in the first round.

  • In '09 Brady lost in the first round while Peyton returned to the Super Bowl, Manning would go on to lose again New Orleans and Drew Brees.

  • In 2010 Brady had the first unanimously decided NFL MVP in league history. The Patriots would suffer a nightmare upset at home against the Jets, who had defeated Manning's Colts a week prior.

If your counting that's 2-1 record for Brady in the Postseason VS Manning. In my opinion Tom Brady ultimately outplayed Manning in '03 and '04 by winning the head to head Playoff games, and finishing it with a Super Bowl victory. Both have lost in The Superbowl, but Brady won it three times before losing.

My last comparison is between #12 and his childhood hero Joe Montana. This is the only Great QB who actually has the individual awards and team awards to beat out Tom Brady. Joe won his first Championship at 25, Tom at 24. Montana got his 2nd at 28, Brady got it at 26. Joe's Niners won their third when he was 32. Brady and the Pats win their third while he was only 27. But at 33 Joe Montana played in his 4th Super Bowl and crushed The Broncos 55-10, The 30 year old Tom Brady lead his undefeated Patriots to a 17-14 loss to The Giants. As of right now Joe Montana still holds the title as greatest quarterback of all time, that's because he didn't lose the biggest game of his career.

Brady opened up his 2011 season with a bang, passing for 517 Yards against the Dolphins. He also tied the record for longest TD ever with a 99 Yard seam to Wes Welker. The Patriots are coming into this season with a chip on their shoulder. Brady said he'll never forget last season's loss to The Jets, and he shouldn't. If #12 wants to become THE greatest QB of all time, as opposed to ONE of the greatest QB's, he'll have to get back to The Super Bowl and win it. This season is as good of a time as any. With Peyton Manning's injury keeping him sidelined, Indianapolis sure would be a nice place for Tom to win his 4th. Of course they'll have to win a couple playoff games to get there.

Ty Law On New England's Win In Miami.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Champ Is Here! Bruins Speak.

Bergeron



Lucic



Horton



Marchand

Patriots And Dolpins: The Keys To Success.


Dolphins:

#1. Daniel Thomas- When the Dolphins acquired Reggie Bush in the offseason they planned on having him split carries with their rookie RB. Thomas has great upside and the duo are clearly an upgrade speed-wise over Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. The only problem is that Thomas already has a hamstring injury, and possibly a case of the Lawrence Maroney (that would be tip toeing in the backfield before ultimately going nowhere). With Bush's injury problems clearly documented, and the Dolphin's 3rd RB being 31 year old Larry Johnson... let's just say the Dolphins need the rookie to bring his A-Game.

#2. Cameron Wake- Last season Wake had 14 Sacks (3rd in NFL). He's the leader of what The Dolphins think is a Top 5 Defense, and he's been doing some talking about "The Golden Boy" Tom Brady. Cameron says the key to beating New England is to make Brady uncomfortable with pressure, and hide the scheme's true intentions as long as possible, then hope he makes a mistake. Obviously that's a bit easier said then done.

#3. Chad Henne- Let's get it straight with Henne, The Dolphins don't need him to be Dan Marino, they just need him to be Chad Pennington with a decent arm. If Miami has a "Top 5 Defense" then all they'll need to do is move the ball without having stupid turnovers. The only Dolphin QB to throw more than 19 INT's is Dan Marino... the only difference is that Dan was throwing 44 and 30 TD's, Chad is only throwing 15. Rumor has it that this new Dolphin squad will be looking to throw the ball, less ground and pound. I'm afraid if that's the case, then Chad Henne has some serious problems.

Patriots:

#1. New England's New Defensive Front- Outside of Jake Long, Miami's O-Lin will be having nightmares with new Pat's additions Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter, and Albert Haynesworth. Miami allowed 38 sacks last season which was right about the league average, but the right side of their line looked awful in the pre-season, especially former Cowboy Tackle Marc Colombo. If The Patriots can get consistent pressure from all 4 of their D-Lineman I'd expect to see some pressure in the backfield, whether it be from them or blitzing linebackers. Chad Henne is no Tom Brady, hell... he's no Mark Sanchez.

#2. Nate Solder- With Sebastian Vollmer out, the rookie tackle could be getting his first NFL Start in his first NFL week. Solder will need to add a few pounds before fulfilling his potential, but New England doesn't need a Pro-Bowler over on the right side, they just need him to get the job done. In the preseason he showed some nice technique, but then again he wasn't facing Miami's tough outside rushers. Veteran guard Brian Waters, if ready, could help out the rookie if he has some trouble. If the trouble is too much they could always throw a tight end over there to help him out.

#3. Jerod Mayo- Jerod Mayo will be turned lose in the Patriot's new 4-3 Defense. As the weak side LB Jerod will make more plays, he'll be more free to roam. In his first 3 seasons Mayo has been a tackle machine, but hasn't exactly loaded up on sacks or interceptions. This week against Miami he could be a huge factor, not only with QB pressure, but also for busting up screens to Reggie Bush. Behind his wall of Defensive Tackles Jerod Mayo will be and All-Pro. Expect the captain to bring his A-Game in Miami.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Haynesworth: "Time To Awaken The Sleeping Giant"

"I think it's time for me, The Sleeping Giant, to awaken. To go back out there on my field and play football again. I read what you guys wrote, nothing personal. But i didn't do much in DC, the scheme didn't fit me. Now I can go out there and play and get back to what i used to do. When i play that's what i want to do, I want to dominate."

Albert Haynesworth spoke yesterday on what it means to be in New England, and more importantly what it means to be out of Washington. Haynesworth then gave a little insight to some things that might have affected him in Washington. When asked to categorized the leadership on this Patriot team, Albert reponded:
"I think it's great but it's not like..., the last few years were a little different, your captains or whatever were almost above the team, here with Mayo and Vince you can go up and talk to those guys. I'm not saying you couldn't do that in DC but here it's really like a family in the locker room. Everybody's there for you no matter what. One guy does something and it doesn't matter, everybody's there for you, and they're not going to pass judgment."

On his excitement about seeing what his defensive unit can do:
"Yea we're excited, so excited that we can't tell anything about it. But we're really excited to go out there and show what we can do as a defense. It's been amazing (playing beside Vince Wilfork, Andre Carter, and Shaun Ellis). I played alongside Andre in Washington for two years, I played with Shaun in college, and i played with Vince in the Pro-Bowl, But i never could have dreamed or imagined that we'd all be on the same team and be out there chasing the quarterback, looking to kill the quarterback."

On how New England's environment fits him better:
"Yea, i like the plays too. It makes it a huge difference when you can come in and feel good about coming through the doors. You're not coming in the doors looking behind your back and all that stuff. It's like any of you (reporters), if you go into work hating your job you won't perform at your best, but if you enjoy coming to work and you enjoy being around the people that you work with then you give it your all.

On Pepper Johnson:
"He's been awesome. Pepper's a great coach. We have a good rapport so far and i think that will continue. He's a former player, he knows a lot, he knows the linebackers, the safeties, he knows what the defensive line supposed to do, so he's instilling the knowledge onto me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Patriots Name Six Captains.




DL Vince Wilfork, LB Jerod Mayo, WR Matt Slater, OL Logan Mankins and CB Devin McCourty.

The Patriots have announced six captains today, two more than last years squad.

Tom Brady (QB)
Vince Wilfork (DL)
Logan Mankins (OL)
Jerod Mayo (LB)
Matthew Slater (WR/ST)
Devin McCourty (CB)

This group of captains is just another step in Bill Belichick's mission to make this team younger. With younger players continuing to replenish the leadership role's that were left open by the great Patriots of the past, this team is finally moving out of it's own shadow.

Brady, Wilfork, and Mankins are all seasoned veterans and were part of the teams previous success. Mayo, McCourty, and Slater are all part of Belichick's past 4 years of drafting, none of them have played in a Super Bowl, none of them have even won a Playoff game.

Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison are gone, so is Randy Moss. With younger players starting to enter their prime, and older players still at the end of it, now is the perfect time to push for another Super Bowl. Just like back in 2001 this team consists of two things, other teams cast offs, and young unproven talent who has only potential. Only this team isn't going to catch anyone off guard.







Videos from @Trags

Gronkowski Mania In Full Effect!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Patriots Release Darius Butler. Sign Dan Gronkowski.


The Patriots have released 3rd year Cornerback Darius Butler. After being selected in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft Darius never quite developed into the player they thought he would. This cut shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, most believed he would be released last weekend.

New England will use Butler's roster spot to sign Tight End Dan Gronkowski, brother of Rob Gronkowski. Dan was originally drafted by the Lions in 2009, then played 2010 in Denver. The older Gronk has 9 career receptions for 69 yards, and could fill in nicely as the third TE with The Patriots.

In other news, Chris Gronkowski, the fullback Gronk was picked up by Indianapolis.

Here We Go Again.


On WEEI's "Dennis & Callahan Show", Tom Brady was asked about the possibility of Randy Moss coming out of retirement. More specifically if he would be surprised by it.

Brady:
"You never know in the NFL", said Brady, "I talked to Randy right before training camp started. I love Randy, he's one of the greatest receivers in the history of the game, one of the greatest players i've ever played with, and i love the guy. Unfortunately I don't make personnel decisions. I'd still have all my friends here, Troy would still be here, Deion would have never left, I've seen so many guys move on over the years, and guys come back, who knows?" I can't get into his brain at all. I love the guy. If he ever did have the opportunity to come back I'd welcome him with open arms.

With Chad Ochocinco still apparently struggling, with Deion's mileage getting higher, and with New Englands' lack of that big time "deep threat", Randy could be of use. The problem is whether or not Moss will accept the new role. If You're open you get the ball, if you're not then it get's dumped underneath to whoever is open. Ir Randy could accept that without demanding the ball, or pouting... his return could be a great move.

Mankins, Belichick On Waters Signing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Patriots Sign Pro-Bowl Guard, Brian Waters.




The Patriots have signed 34 year old, Pro-Bowl, former All-Pro Guard, Brian Waters.

For those who aren't familiar with Waters, here's Takeo Spikes to inform you.



With Logan Mankins and now Brian Waters, New England has gone from having a questionable offensive line to one of the best in the NFL. Waters isn't the player he once was, but with Dante Scarnecchia coaching, and Brian only playing 30-40 snaps per game...

Light, Mankins, Koppen, Waters, Vollmer. The Patriots have to be happy with that.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Brandon Meriweather Cut By Patriots.



Despite being named to two Pro-Bowls, Brandon Meriweather never lived up to the expectations of his 1st Round selections. He was supposed to be the Patriots big play safety, he was supposed to be the next Ed Reed coming out of Miami.

But instead he was too much of a freelancer, caring too much about big hits, and not enough about execution.

This shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone, the Patriots have been bringing in safeties all camp and most starting safeties don't play in the 2nd half of the 4th Preseason Game.

With James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather gone, that makes Patrick Chung the new veteran of the defense. If no one else is brought in i'd expect Sergio Bown to start alongside the third year Safety.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Watching The Pats Defense: Preseason Game 4


Possession 1:
1st Down- 4-3 Look with Ellis, Wilfork, Haynesworth, and Carter as the DT, forced fumble by Ninkovich, recovery by Chung.

Possession 2:
1st Down- 4-3 look. Short run tackle by Wilfork.

2nd Down- 4-3 run to the left tackle by Chung.

3rd Down- Nickle. Delayed toss to the left, tackle by Chung.

1st Down- 4-3 with Chung up with tight coverage on the TE. Short run, tackle by Chung.

2nd Down- 4-3 pass right, interception by Devin McCourty.

Possession 3:

1st Down- 4-3 pass right, incomplete pass broken up by McCourty.

2nd Down- Missed this play because of Keegan Bradley interview.

1st Down- 4-3 Run right, tackle by Chung

2nd Down- 4-3 Short pass right, tackle by McCourty

1st Down- 4-3 Short run middle, tackle by Gerard Warren and Gary Guyton..

2nd Down- 4-3 Run Right, tackle by Albert Haynesworth.

3rd Down- Nickle. Short run, fumble, recovered by Giants.

Possession 4:

1st Down- 4-3 look. Bootleg, pass long. Complete. Tackle by Dowling.

1st Down- 4-3. Blitz by Dowling. Incomplete pass.

2nd Down- 4-3. Run up the middle, tackle by Guyton and Chung.

3rd Down- Nickle. Blitz by Guyton, comes clean. Sack.

Possession 5:

1st Down- 4-3. Run right. Tackled immediately.

2nd Down- 4-3. Run up the middle, tackled by Josh Barrett.

1st Down- 4-3. Pressure by Mike Wright, QB escapes for a 1st Down.

1st Down- 4-3. Short run, tackle by Kyle Love.

2nd Down- 4-3. Play action, complete across the middle. Tackle by Barrett.

1st Down- 4-3. Run to the right, tackle by Dowling.

1st Down- 4-3. Run outside to the left, HOLDING

1st Down- 4-3. Pressure by Shaun Ellis, QB throws it away.

2nd Down- 4-3. Delayed handoff, tackle by Butler and Barrett.

1st Down- 4-3. Short Run, Tackle by Haynesworth.

2nd Down- 4-3. Short Run, tackle by Barrett.

3rd Down- 4-3. Short run, tackle by Brown.

1st Down- Goal Line. QB escapes right, tackle by Mike Wright.

1st Down- Goal Line. Fumbled Snap, ball recovered by Andre Carter.





Wednesday, August 31, 2011

David Ortiz Needs A Contract. Now.


Yesterday on NESN's Jimmy Fund Telethon, Ortiz and Adrian were asked about the importance each of them have to the other. After complimenting each other back and forth the conversation turned to Papi's contract.
David Ortiz
All i can control is what i do on the field and off the field. People already know what my feelings are so i don't have to explain anymore.
Adrian Gonzalez
i can tell you that i tried DH'ing in Texas. They tried making me the DH. It's not easy, you can't just put anybody in there. What he does for this team is incredible, I'd like to have him around for a while.

It's clear that the arrival of Gonzalez has reinvigorated David Ortiz. They've talked about hitting approaches, they've talked about how to use the ball park, and they've clearly helped each other.

Ortiz on Adrian's effect on his approach:
"I've been getting 200% better results than i used to. It's because he always looks for the place where a pitcher likes to go. As a hitter you always want to analyze the place where YOU can hit the ball. He analyzes where the PITCHER likes to go, and if you ready for that you're going to get what you're looking for."

Red Sox fans should be screaming from the rooftops to keeps Ortiz here and hitting in the 5 hole until he can no longer do it. At season's end Adrian and Ortiz will have combined for over 60 HR's and 220 RBI's. They are hitting .341 and .313 respectably. And marketing wise they are two of the biggest names in Baseball. It's a no brainer.

I'm having a hard time understanding what the problem is. Every season the Red Sox are either overpaying someone to sit on the bench, or even paying someone to play for another team. So what if you get caught paying for Ortiz when he's past his prime? He's given the team essentially 8 seasons of 35 HR 110 RBI baseball from the DH spot, a spot which on other teams is filled by over the hill position players who can no longer field. Ortiz is one of the best in the game at what he does, and has shown no signs of slowing down.

Despite having slow starts last season and the year before, David has still averaged just below 30/100, and that's including an incomplete 2011 campaign where he got right off to a quick start.

David Ortiz is one of those guys who's number will be hung up above right field. Those are the guys that you overpay to keep in town, if they can waste money on JD Drew and Julio Lugo, they can give Ortiz a 2 Year deal instead insulting him with another 1 year offer.

Savard Out For 2011-12, Most Likely Beyond.


Peter Chiarelli discussed the future of Marc Savard:
“Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I’m told, it’s very unlikely Marc will play again,” said the Bruins' GM. “Now, knowing the uncertainty of this injury, there’s always a chance. But based on what I’m told, it’s very unlikely he will play. As an employer, I support him and hope he gets back to living a healthy life.”

This just confirms what most of us have expected for some time now, but it doesn't make it any less sad. Marc Savard was an speedy, exciting player who was all smiles. Savard was that 30 year old veteran who still had the face of a 20 year old. He had the perfect mix of veteran savvy and youthful exuberance.

Let it go down in the history books that it wasn't just the signing of Zdeno Chara that turned this franchise around. It was the fact that they looked to make a commitment to offense as well. The Bruins signed both Savard and Chara on July 1st 2006, the first day of free agency, and since then this team has been on the fast track to the NHL's elite. Marc Savard was an All-Star player who regularly finished Top 5 in Assists, he was that top of the line passer who could make lesser talent appear to be at his level.

Savard, along with Chara and young forward Patrice Bergeron, would become The Bruin's identity. They were the hope for the future. Before Krejci, Lucic, and Horton could come to Boston and have their success, Savard, Bergeron, and Chara laid down the foundation. They provided hope to a franchise that was desperate for success, and a fan base that was beginning to lose hope.

Marc Savard may not have played a single playoff game for the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, but make no mistake about it, The Bruins don't win this Cup without Savard helping to turn this franchise around.


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Future Of Brandon Tate.


If the new NFL Kickoff rule is going to make it look more like a punt return, Julien Edelman will clearly inherit the return duties. Then, if Brandon Tate can't develop into a more skilled wide receiver, his job will (if it hasn't already) be handed to Taylor Price... who is basically a red shirt freshman.

Price preseason TD.


Edelman punt returns.

Patriots Plan Release Of Veteran Safety James Sanders.


Sanders' agent was told today that New England plans on releasing the 27 year old starting Safety.

Drafted in the 4th round of the 2005 NFL Draft, James Sanders would go on to be an extremely solid Safety. Sanders will never be a Pro-Bowler, but at the end of the day you'd never complain about him being back there. He was the elder statesman in a secondary now filled with serious youth. In 6 seasons Sanders started 50 games at both the free and strong safety spots. Big Game James played along side Bruschi, Vrabel, Seymour, Law, Harrison, Samuel... all of course have moved on as well.


Good luck James, I look forward to seeing you play against New England... just not in a New York uniform.

Rajon Rondo 2011 All-Star Mix

Rajon Rondo 2011 All-Star Mix

Friday, August 26, 2011

Red Sox Bring The Power Against The Rangers.


Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, and Jarred Saltalamacchia all homered against Texas. Gonzalez, who actually homered twice, now has 5 home runs in the past three games after having zero in the month of August.

On the other side of the ball Andrew Miller dominated. The big lefty pitched 6 plus innings with zero earned runs, 6 strikeouts, and 3 walks.

The former Ranger, Saltalamacchia, had a web gem when he chased a pop foul about halfway up the 1B line. Salty continues to impress in his first full season with Boston.

Both Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia went hitless, but for the most part it went unnoticed. Adrian Gonzalez and Ortiz and back in a big way.

Youkilis And Biz Markie Appear In Commercial.

It's not often that I get to post Hip-Hop related stuff... so without any adieu, i give you Kevin Youkilis and Biz Markie.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Papi Returns Tonight In Texas.


After getting back Jacoby Ellsbury last night, Boston get's another one of their big bats tonight.

David Ortiz will be in the lineup for the first time since August 16th because of Bursitis is his right heel.

Big Papi is hitting .300 with 24 HRs and 79 RBIs.

Ellsbury and Ortiz returning, and Adrian Gonzalez rediscovering his power... it looks like this Red Sox lineup could finally pull forward in this chase for The AL East title.



On a more individual note; David Ortiz is 6 HRs and 21 RBI away from his 7th 30/100 season in a Red Sox uniform. That's 7 out of 9 years.

Today's Video: Rob Gronkowski Official Rookie Mix

Would New England Want Asante Back?


When Nnamdi Asomugha chose The Eagles over the Jets, it could have helped New England in more ways than one. Not only would New York not have their dream duo of Revis and Nnamdi, but with Philadelphia already having Samuel and the newly acquired Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie, they could afford to move one of their superstar Corner Backs.

ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that The Eagles asking price for Samuel is either a 1st rounder or two 2nd rounders.

New England has an extra 1st rounder from New Orleans. They also have two 2nd rounders in this years draft.

Samuel has been named to the Pro-Bowl for 4 straight seasons, but hasn't been an All-Pro since his contract year with the Pats. He's missed only 6 games in 3 years in Philadelphia, and has picked off 20 balls over that same time span.

The only problem is that Asante has a reputation of being a free lancer. In a young defense who's being taught the value of "doing it right", would a risk taking, big personality, really be the right player to add?

But then again, he is a Top 10 corner in the league, who paired with Devin McCourty could make some serious plays...especially with this revamped attacking New England D-Line.

DISCUSS HERE!




video by @spikes37

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breaking Down The Pats: Wide Receivers.


Chad Ochocinco is the most obvious addition to this WR Corp, but I don't think he's necessarily the only upgrade to this offense.

Wes Welker now has a full season under his belt after his knee injury. Despite having a Pro Bowl season with over 800 yards and 7 TDs, Wes was clearly not 100%. There were times where he'd catch a pass underneath and immediately be brought down and you'd say, "boy he would have broke that for 30 yards last season." Well this year he'll be back to there. I'd say Welker is a lock for 100 rec, 1,000 yards.

Deion Branch returned to New England before week 5, and after having a couple hiccups, quickly picked up where he left off. The #84 Deion may not be as athletic as the #83 version, but he's still a very skilled route runner with good hands, and a TON of experience in this offense. Branch could take a step back statistically with all the other options, but his importance will stay put.

Last season Rob Gronkowki set a rookie record for Touchdowns. This year Gronk has been tearing up the preseason, everybody's reporting the dominance from down in Foxborough. I don't know if Rob will put up another 10 TD's but if he added to that total it wouldn't surprise me. #87 will be a Pro-Bowler, and will once again lead the Patriots in Touchdowns. He's this teams Red Zone bread and butter.

Gronk isn't the only 2nd year tight end to look out for. Aaron Hernandez's rookie season would have been the talk of the town in any other city, the only problem is that him and Gronk came in the same season. While Aaron isn't the same type of TE Rob is, in some ways he may be even more effective. At 6'2", 250 pounds, Hernandez is still as fast as a wide receiver. He posted 45 receptions for 563 yards and 6 touchdown as the youngest player in the league. Expect some huge plays from the new #81.

Then there's the elephant in the room, Chad Ochocinco. Everybody knows that Chad is a 6x All-Pro wideout, with great hands, excellent route running ability, and a HOF level compete level. The only problem here is that he seems to be struggling with the offense. Ocho has been in New England for the entire training camp, but still seems to be over thinking on the field. I expect #85 to get it figured out eventually. If him and Tom Brady can get on the same page he could easily take the best offense in football and kick it into an even higher gear... but that's a big if.

Taylor Price is a 2nd Year WR, and another member of Belichick's now legendary 2010 Draft class. Here's what CBSSports had to say on Price:
"The 2009 Bobcats ranked just 106th in the nation in total offense (310.14 yards per game), and 82nd in passing (198.14 yards per game), but Price has still managed to produce 28.26 percent of the team's passing yards. He is a strong, physical runner with excellent field vision and a team-first work ethic making him an inviting prospect."
Price will most likely take over that 4th WR role behind Ocho, Wes, and Deion. In his first Preseason Game, Taylor looked dominant while playing alongside backup QBs Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer.

Up next are Lee Smith and Will Yeatman, who are both rookie Tight Ends.

Smith is a rookie out of Marshall who is considered the best blocking TE in the draft. In camp Smith has shown unexpectedly soft hands, and has been seen some serious time. Standing at 6'6" and 268 pounds, Lee has some serious size. Smith will most likely fill the on-the-field role left open by Alge Crumpler, but will obviously obviously fall short of Alge when it comes to leadership.

Will Yeatman was signed as an Undrafted FA on July 27th. Will played College Football and Lacrosse at both Notre Dame and The University of Maryland. After being suspended twice because of problems regarding alcohol, Yeatman left Notre Dame in January 2009 (after his Sophmore season). Will played Lacrosse both years at Maryland, then returned to football his Senior Year. The 6'5" 268 pound rookie has shown that he's a force in the blocking game, as well as a capable receiver. In 2 preseason games he has 4 receptions for 23 yards.

One WR who I think is going to take a step back is Brandon Tate. With the arrival of 2nd year Wideout Taylor Price, and the new rules on kickoff return, i think Tate's value has dropped tremendously. Brandon is an excellent kick returner, and an average 4th receiver. If he can show improvement this preseason then he can keep his spot as the 4th option, but Tate has been injured most of training camp and has missed the first 2 preseason games. Meanwhile Taylor Price has been turning heads. With The Patriots most likely keeping extra Tight Ends and Running Backs, If I was Tate I may be concerned.

Depth Chart:

WR:
Chad Ochocinco
Wes Welker
Deion Branch
Taylor Price
Brandon Tate

TE:
Rob Gronkowki
Aaron Hernandez
Lee Smith

Mayo, Ellis, Mankins, McCourty & Ninkovich Speak.


Video by @Trags.