Ron Borges has his scouting report for tomorrow night’s game, and he says that injuries on defense could prove to be Jacksonville’s downfall. Jim Lazar and Jim McCabe make their picks for the weekend. I.M. Bettor outlines where his action is going this weekend as well. The BSMW Patriots Game Day page also has a preview of the game.
Karen Guregian asserts that while past experience won’t guarantee them any victories this postseason, the Patriots veterans do know what it takes to win these games. Amalie Benjamin looks at some of the role players on the Patriots, who might not grab all the headlines and media attention in the locker room, but who are just as important to the club’s success as the stars. Tim Weisberg has a look at Artrell Hawkins, who is seeing the first playoff action of his career. Rob Bradford looks at Mr Clutch for the Patriots, Adam Vinatieri, who is the only kicker with field goals in four Super Bowls.
Ian Clark reports on Corey Dillon’s session with the print media yesterday, which seemed to grow a bit confrontational after Dillon was pressed about his struggles this season. John Tomase (Who it was said on WEEI yesterday was the cause of the incident, and who was later on ESPN Boston to talk about it.) says Dillon takes personally the suggestions that the Patriots won’t be able to run on the Jaguars tomorrow night. Christopher Price also reports on the incident, which is also mentioned in nearly all of the notebook articles below.
Jerome Solomon has an article on Tom Brady’s favorite receiver. The open one. Tomase looks at Brady finishing third in the MVP voting. Chris Kennedy looks at some key members of the offensive line whose job it will be to keep Brady out of harm’s way and ensure that he has the time to find that open receiver. After Matt Cassel got his first TD pass since high school last week, Steve Buckley talked to six quarterbacks, three from the Patriots, two from Boston College, and one from UNH, to have them described their last high school touchdown.
Tony Massarotti and Tom E Curran look at Tedy Bruschi sharing the comeback player of the year award with Carolina’s Steve Smith. Michael Parente has Bruschi saying that he had to give it a shot at football, otherwise he would’ve regretted it down the road and always wondered about it. Chris Kennedy has more on the award for the Patriots linebacker and Alan Greenberg also reports on the honor for Bruschi.
A lot of attention has been given to the Jacksonville front seven this week. Massarotti has Richard Seymour reminding people that the Patriots group isn’t half bad themselves. Steve Britt writes that the Patriots are taking the physical Jaguars very seriously. Eric McHugh notes that because the Patriots defensive backs can’t grow overnight, they’re going to have to settle for playing big when trying to matchup up with the tall receivers of Jacksonville. Jim Donaldson is sick of the “disrespect theme. I’m tired of the media making a huge deal about it. If they use it for motivation, good for them…it seems to have worked pretty well thus far. Why the outrage?
Tomase’s notebook has Jack Del Rio and Byron Leftwich being ok with Tom Brady playing the disrespect card earlier in the week. Solomon’s notebook has more on Brady finishing third in the MVP balloting. Curran’s notebook has more on Dillon’s session with the media yesterday afternoon. Dan Pires’ notebook also looks at the Dillon incident, and has a couple of other items of note. Parente’s notebook reports that the Patriots will be on the lookout for versatile Jaguars rookie Matt Jones. McHugh’s notebook explores how much the Patriots postseason experience can help them.
Nick Cafardo looks at how Jacksonville management has attempted to build a tough, smart team, and how they’ve succeeded thus far. Albert Breer notes that size does matter for the Jaguars, who are big, strong and tough. Alan Greenberg looks at Leftwich, who believes there is no advantage for the Patriots in playing in the cold. He says he played in snow and cold quite often during his college years at Marshall. Mark Long of the AP says that the Jags hope to get to Tom Brady and rattle him a bit. Cafardo’s notebook reports on Leftwich finishing up a week of practice without any setbacks. Get more coverage from Jacksonsville.com
Michael Silverman reports that Manny might be resigned to staying with the Red Sox, after making statements to an ESPN Deportes reporter yesterday. Sean McAdam says that the window of opportunity to trade Ramirez could be closing. Gordon Edes, meanwhile, reports that David Ortiz could be closing in on a contract extension with the Red Sox. Also in that article, Edes talks to Manny’s agent who says that Ramirez denies making the comments about staying in Boston…
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Steve Conroy and Joe McDonald report on the Bruins toppling the mighty Senators for the second time this season, 4-2. Check out another very good edition of the BSMW Power Play for some thoughts on last night’s game. Douglas Flynn says that this could be a huge win for Bruins, despite the Senators not being in peak form. The news wasn’t all good for the Bruins last night as Hannu Toivonen went down with an apparent ankle injury. Mick Colageo reports on Andrew Raycroft stepping in and playing well in Toivonen’s place. Conroy has more on Raycroft stepping in.
Kevin Paul Dupont ponders whether Alexander Mogilny could be a good fit for the Bruins. Mike Loftus notes that the Bruins defense has been picking up as of late. Flynn looks at Hal Gill throwing his size around a little bit on the ice last night, to the enjoyment of the Bruins fans. Conroy’s notebook looks at Brad Boyes getting the game winner for the Bruins last night, an indication that his luck may have changed a bit. Burrell’s notebook looks at Raycroft stepping into the game last night. McDonald’s notebook and Flynn’s notebook each look at some injured Bruins making progress.
Mark Murphy has Doc Rivers stressing that his team needs to cut down on their turnovers. Marvin Pave also looks at this needed area of improvement for the Celtics. Mike Fine notes that the Celtics seem to be doing all they can these days to toss away games. Scott Souza notes that the Celtics can count themselves fortunate that they’re coming off a win Wednesday night. Murphy has Rivers lobbying Paul Pierce’s case for the All Star team. Murphy’s notebook reports that the Celtics likely won’t be signing any players to 10 day contracts soon.
Check back later for another edition of BSMW SporTView…