Jim Donaldson checks out Ricky Williams’ website. The Globe and Herald trot out their second-string Patriot writers for the day. Michael Vega looks at Damien Woody’s injured ankle and how important he is to the Patriot’s line. Rich Thompson has Matt Light trying to figure out how to contain Jason Taylor. Paul Kenyon looks at Miami’s defense. George Kimball says the Dolphins are going to run Ricky Williams. A lot. But wouldn’t it be a shock if the Dolphins, knowing full well that the Patriots have likely spent all week trying to fix the run defense, and have focused so much on that aspect of the game, came out throwing the ball all over the field? Or has Bill Belichick thought of this and prepared accordingly? Such a chess game behind the scenes in figuring out game plans…Michael Smith has Bill Belichick heaping praise on Jay Fiedler in his Globe notebook. Paul Kenyon notes that Deion Branch is on a pace to break Terry Glenn’s NFL rookie receiving mark. Alan Greenberg has a feature on Robert Edwards. Thompson’s notebook looks at the kickers. Leigh Montville makes his weekly picks.
Back from his excursion across the pond, Bob Ryan gives us his explanation of the disappointing Red Sox. There’s some criticism of Nomar in there, and praise of Manny. Jeff Horrigan has speculation on the Sox GM search. Rumor has Billy Beane as the top choice, and nothing being done until they at least talk to him. Some other possibilities are brought up, Gerry Hunsicker, Jim Bowden and Sandy Alderson are mentioned. Bob Hohler bewails the fact that the Sox didn’t get a shot at J.P. Ricciardi, and reports on Sox interest in a Cuban defector. Peter Gammons on WEEI yesterday dismissed Brian Sabean of the Giants as a candidate, saying he wouldn’t want to have to pass all his decisons by Lucchino, and also had Beane as the choice. John Tomase wonders about Grady Little’s future.
Dan Shaughnessy turns in a pedestrian effort about the Angels. Yes, I could’ve done better. To make it interesting to the locals here, why not make a bunch of Patriot ties…up until this year, neither team had ever won a championship. (Angel’s still might not) But if I’m not mistaken the Patriots were the franchise that went the longest after its inception without winning a championship. (1960-2002) Now the Angels are longest running expansion team without a title. (1961) Both teams have players that might’ve been considered underachievers in the past, and have suddenly turned it around with good coaching, and hustle. Both teams got off to terrible starts in their breakthrough seasons after finishing way back in the standings the previous year. (Pats 0-2, 1-3, Angels 6-14) Also, both teams lost their “star” leaders of the previous bad season. (Bledsoe and Vaughn)
Jim O’Brien tells Steve Bulpett that the Celtics want to run more this year, and Peter May that defensive stops come first. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the replacement for Rodney Rogers in the offense…Bruno Sundov.
Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the waiver draft, with eight ex-Bruins out there available. Speaking of the Bruins, did someone high up tell their employee Dale Arnold (NESN) to go easy on the team’s management on his WEEI midday show? It sure sounded like it yesterday. Arnold was a strong apologist for the team and the owner, while partner Bob Neumeier took a stronger stance and blasted the team.
Joe Murphy bounces around the sports scene. Bob Halloran writes about the curses affecting the Red Sox and Browns. Jim Baker looks at Tim McCarver’s playoff coverage, and Bill Griffith listens to Phil Simms chatter and gives us the ESPN NBA announcers for the upcoming season.
ABC Family has A’s/Twins at 4:00. Fox has Yankees/Angels at 8:00. ESPN has Colorado State/Fresno State college football at 8:00.