The Patriots get to the midpoint of the season at 6-2. Who is the first media member to point out that the last time the team started 6-2, they finished 2-6 and out of the playoffs? Of course, Pete Carroll was the coach and Drew Bledsoe the QB at that time. Things are likely different this time around. Game stories for yesterday’s 9-3 Patriots win are filed by Michael Smith, Tom Curran, Michael Felger, Christopher Price and Alan Greenberg. As far as the columnists go, Ron Borges loves the players on this team. The toughness and grit they show are something he can appreciate. Kevin Mannix says a win like yesterday is one of the essentials in any team’s quest for the playoffs and championships. Bob Ryan wasn’t entertained by yesterdays game, but he recognizes the importance of each win. Jim Donaldson says there is never anything boring about winning, even you don’t look good doing it. Lenny Megliola says while the win wasn’t pretty, defense coaches love games like yesterday. Dan Pires says the old Patriots defense has finally returned. Mike Reiss has a Cleveland player showing respect for Belichick and the Patriot defense. Michael Parente says statistics lie when it comes to this Patriot team.
Daniel Graham showed some of his potential yesterday in breaking through with a career game. Nick Cafardo, Karen Guregian, Michael Parente, Paul Kenyon Tim Weisberg and Alan Greenberg look at the seven catch, 110 yard performance from the second year tight end. Mike Vrabel, in his first game back since breaking his right arm, was a huge disruptive force on defense, racking up three sacks. Carolyn Thornton and Michael O’Connor have a look at the effort of the Patriots linebacker. Kevin Faulk was another big contributor, Ian M. Clark, Tony Chamberlain, Rich Thompson and Paul Kenyon have more on the 96-yard performance by Faulk. O’Connor looks at the day of Adam Vinatieri, who had three field goals. Thornton also has a look at the Pats kicker, who had some difficulty with footing on the field. No, not because the Evil Belichick had a dispute with the Michael Vick of groundskeepers, but because there was an MLS soccer game on the field on Saturday. Christopher Price looks at the optimism surrounding this team and the inevitable comparisons to the 2001 team. Mannix has Christian Fauria expressing disappointment in his team’s offense. Hector Longo looks at the emergence of Richard Seymour as a team leader. Jim Baker looks at a pair of chop-block calls on the Patriots offensive linemen. Michael Smith looks at the release of Kenyatta Jones. Steve Buckley has a pay column looking at the Patriots hoping to ease the pain of the Red Sox end to the season. Michael Gee’s pay column is a look at the injuries suffered by the Browns yesterday, while George Kimball has a pay column on Ty Law, hobbled by his injury, but able to keep up with the speedy Kevin Johnson on the Brown’s last play of the game and intercept the ball, sealing the win for the Patriots.
Felger’s notebook looks at the release of Jones. The Standard-Times notebook also looks at Jones and a number of other items. Parente’s notebook also looks at the release of Jones. Smith’s notebook looks at the importance of Special Teams field position in the game. Curran’s notebook looks at a very good game by Ken Walter.
The Grady watch continues. Can we just get a resolution here? Even some of the media guys are tiring of talking about it on the air. Not all, just some. Bob Hohler says the end for Little may come as soon as today. Michael Silverman says Jerry Remy is on the list of candidates to replace Little. Steven Krasner looks at the sudden turn of events for Little over the last two weeks. Tony Massarotti, to the bitter end in Grady’s corner, thinks the Sox will have a hard time finding anyone to manage for them after the shoddy way they treated Little. Silverman also says letting Grady go will be a severe mistake. Gordon Edes looks at possible candidates to be Grady’s replacement. John Tomase looks at who will likely stay and go among the players. I liked Ed Cossette’s edition of Bambino’s Curse today, which takes aim at the media siding with Grady and making the Red Sox organization out to be some…dare we say, evil entity in this whole scenario. Don’t be misled by the title of his site, Cossette doesn’t believe in a Curse, he uses his site and writing to treat the subject tongue in cheek, and oftentimes to dismiss the idea altogether.
Shira Springer takes a look at the reading and work Paul Pierce is doing to establish himself as a leader. Steve Bulpett looks at the fast friendship between Eric Williams and Raef LaFrentz, which goes back to their Denver days and a shared injury. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the green picking up the fourth year option on Kedrick Brown.
John Molori returns with a Media Blitz article on the Grady Little overkill on the airwaves.
ABC has Chargers/Dolphins (from Phoenix) at 9:00.