(Morning Links provided by David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here.)
“Eric…..nice game…..that was awesome”
That’s it? No walking directly off of the field, no chocking out cameramen? All we have to look back at is a simple few words with a happy grin. For all the buildup that was “CameraGate”, “SpyGate”, “HateBowl”, whatever you can come up with, Sunday culminated in the most boring game of the season. There was no “RunningupthescoreGate” to discuss. Robert Kraft and Co. didn’t have to install a NBA scoreboard in order to hold the three-digit score, Vegas didn’t break any records, ultimately the Patriots did what they always do, win, no matter how pretty. Let’s face it, Sunday was not pretty but we’ll take it. 14-0 and getting ready to welcome in the surging Dolphins on Sunday, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Michael Felger has the Patriots Report Card. Everyone made the Honor Roll except Tom Brady and the wide receivers. Felger sites Brady’s insistence on getting Moss the ball, even in coverage as the reason for his average grade. Brady admitted that he sometimes locks in on Moss even when he’s double covered. Felger even has a strange name in the “Back of the Pack”. Over in the New York Post Mark Cannizzaro has the Jets’ Report Card. Brady and Co. should not fret about their passing grade because the Jets’ QB’s will be heading to summer school. While option-QB Brad Smith had marginal success, he was just a small part of the “man-genius” surprises the Jets cooked up for the Patriots.
Over at Patriots Daily, Christopher Price has his weekly “Inside Gillette” segment. Chris looks at the Patriots clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and Belichick’s success at home.
Christopher Gaspar has the elements, as well as, opponents playing a role in the offense going from superhuman to just superb. With Sunday’s win the Patriots clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, although based on history this does not always guarantee success. There’s good news for Patriots’ fans though.
It was just last week that Seymour told reporters that his knee was not 100% but Sunday’s game versus the Jets showed otherwise, Bill Belichick discusses the continued progress of Richard Seymour, who coming off of surgery has slowly began to make an impact. Shalise Manza Young has Randy Moss describing how it felt to lineup as a fullback for a play.
Peter King checks in with his Monday Morning Quarterback. Peter puts down his latte and goes for a walk with former Giants safety George Martin. Martin is walking from the George Washington Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge to raise awareness for the 9/11 First Responders, who are now facing severe health issues related to the tower collapses. Peter speaks with Pats RB Lawrence Maroney in the Fine Fifteen.
In Michael Silver’s Morning Rush, he has the Dolphins feeling like they just won the Super Bowl after their comeback overtime victory over the Ravens. Patriots fans came out in full force in Silver’s mailbag, or as he so eloquently puts it “Trippin on E(Mail)”, voicing their displeasure with Silver’s “Hate-riots” article from last week. In case you missed it, Silver sat down with Nancy Brady, Tom’s sister, and detailed for her “Six reasons why almost everyone hates the Patriots.”
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has his weekly 10-Pack, Florio takes a page out of Ted Sarandasis’ book on stadium construction, giving Robert Kraft some construction advice. While the statement may be tongue-in-cheek, the notion that the Patriots cannot play in cold weather is rather baffling. This assumption is based on what?
Don Banks has Bill Belichick treating the last two games of the season like all the rest.
Awful Announcing was not impressed with Joe Buck’s performance on Sunday.
Over on Full Court Press, Kevin Henkin is placing the C’s on a microscope slide and as you’ll see, no degree of minutia escapes his lens. He’s discovering what every Patriots journalist knows: that the rules of examination must intensify when your subject approaches perfection.
Detroit Pistons coach Flip Saunders is impressed with the early success of the Celtics. He even wishes his former player Kevin Garnett success in the playoffs, with a small stipulation. Mark Spears looks at James Posey who coming to Boston via trade this offseason, expected this team to be a powerhouse on offense. Yet, the defense has provided the firepower for the best record in the NBA. Steve Bulpett sits down with Tommy Heinsohn to discuss the similarities between this Celtics team and the 1963-1964 team Heinsohn was a part of.
Boston Sportz has a look at what the Celtics might look like as members of the hit TV show “The Office”.
“I’m not talking to y’all about it”
If you were waiting for Roger Clemens to come out and give a pre-meditated statement to the press, ripe with apologies and gut wrenching stories of tough decisions, don’t hold your breath. The brief statement above is all the “Rocket” could muster yesterday outside his palatial mansion as he continues to refuse to speak about the Mitchell Report. The fact that McNamee signed a proffer agreement with federal prosecutors last summer only serves to add credibility to McNamee’s testimony. The New York Times explains the punishment McNamee would face if he lied to investigators.
Gerry Callahan has the world crumbling around the fraud that is Roger Clemens. With Andy Pettitte coming out and confirming Brian McNamee’s claims, Clemens is now cornered like a “sewer rat”. Callahan now has Clemens and Bonds together as “the bookend bums of baseball.” Clemens teammate Mariano Rivera says he “admires Pettitte for coming out and saying he did it.” Is that a direct shot at Clemens? Who knows, but Roger is already losing out on speaking engagements. Jayson Stark somehow tries to make the case that Clemens and Bonds are different. Curt Schilling has some advice for Clemens on how he should handle this.
On the non-steroid front, Gordon Edes reminds us that the Red Sox have done some of their best work after the holidays. Explaining that the Sox are still in the running to acquire the services of Johan Santana, adding that the Red Sox are in a position of strength, not desperation.