Mike Reiss talks to Gino Cappelletti and Bills kicker Rian Lindell about the early struggles of Patriots rookie kicker Stephen Gostkowski, and gets their advice for him and the team in dealing with him. Michael Felger reports that the team worked out Vinny Testaverde yesterday, and also examines the defense’s problems on third down and in forcing turnovers. The Projo offers up a She Said/He Said between Shalise Manza Young and Joe McDonald. Subjects are Tom Brady and John Madden. Ian Clark has a report card for Sunday night’s game against the Broncos. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots came out of Sunday night very unsatisfied.
John Tomase gives us a good look at Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees and the path that he has taken to the NFL and the position he currently holds. Michael Parente looks at the Bengals, who are no longer the NFL doormat that they were for so long. Christopher Price has a look at the Patriots’ struggles in forcing turnovers, something that was a mainstay of the title years. Reiss’ notebook says that Matt Cassel and the Patriots won’t be getting any advance help this week from Cassel’s college teammate Carson Palmer. McHugh’s notebook has Belichick passing on questions about the team’s trip to China next summer.
Curt Schilling picked up his 15th win of the season and David Ortiz hit his 54th home run as the Red Sox defeated the Devil Rays 5-1 last night at Fenway Park.
Karen Guregian has Schilling suggesting with a single word that last night could’ve been his final big league appearance. Amalie Benjamin has Schilling ending his season on a high note. Jeff Goldberg has more on Schilling getting his 15th win of the season. David Borges looks at Schilling capping a difficult season with a win.
Michael Silverman reports on the sudden surgery to Matt Clement, which will likely keep him out all of next season, ending his Red Sox career. Rob Bradford has Terry Francona passing the test of the tough times as Red Sox manager. Steven Krasner has a look at the Red Sox stellar infield defense this season. Bill Ballou says that among the Red Sox biggest flaws this season was weak hitting in the clutch.
Lenny Megliola has a nice look at Johnny Pesky, who turns 87 today. Guregian also has David Ortiz trying to discourage any talk of trading Manny in the offseason. Alex Speier notes that Josh Beckett has made a lot of improvements since hitting rock bottom against the Yankees in August, with changes that bode well for the future. Joe Haggerty has Bronson Arroyo still missing Boston.
Silverman’s notebook has Alex Gonzalez hoping that he can sign a three or four year contact with the Red Sox, though the two sides have not spoken yet. Benjamin’s notebook has more on Clement’s “extensive” shoulder injury and surgery. Krasner’s notebook looks at David Ortiz continuing to come through for the Sox. Ballou’s notebook has more on Big Papi continuing to erase the Red Sox record book. Borges’ notebook looks at the strong Rhode Island contingent in the major leagues.
Fluto Shinzawa has a look at Bruins defenseman Paul Mara, who is back at home in Boston and looking forward to being a big contributor to the team. Steve Conroy has UNH product Mark Mowers hoping that he’s found a home with the Bruins. Bud Barth looks at Jeff Hoggan, hoping to stick with the Bruins. Mick Colageo has a look at the Bruins huge defensive corps. Shinzawa’s notebook also looks at Hoggan.
NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Phillies/Nationals at 7:00.