On Patriots Daily this morning, we’re serving up a special Patriots Roundtable, Tournament Edition.
The Patriots are front and center of the Boston Globe this morning, as John Powers looks at the Patriots pursuit of perfection…with the whole country watching, and NFL Films there every step of the way. Wet blanket Michael Felger says that the Patriots might be unbeaten, but they’re certainly not invincible, and they’re not dominant defensively, which he says makes them “something less than a sure thing.” Congratulations. The transformation into Ron Borges is now complete. Still wish I understood why Felger has has chosen this career path for himself. After all, it worked out so well for Borges…
(For clarification, I’m not upset that Felger says that the Patriots are not invincible.They’re not. They could lose this week. If they win tomorrow, they could certainly lose to the Colts next week. But Felger’s subtle insinuation is that all brain-dead Patriots fans think that the team is invincible. Borges made his bones just as much by insulting New England fans as he did their football team, and Felger is doing the same. Who is saying the Patriots are invincible? I don’t know anyone. Where are these people? Sports talk radio callers? Yeah, that’s an accurate barometer of public sentiment.)
Jackie MacMullan has a feature on Richard Seymour this morning, as the Patriots defensive lineman endures what he calls the toughest season of his career. He reveals that he has been injured for over two years now, and his personal trainer Ken Taylor says that: “I’m sure Richard wouldn’t say this, and the Patriots would probably rather not hear it, but those goal line situations they put him in on offense were what started all this.” Seymour is feeling a little better now, though not 100% and promises that his best days are still ahead of him. Jennifer Toland has Seymour getting back in the groove just in time for the postseason.
Jeff Jacobs looks at a number of myths which have been proven false about these Patriots. Dan Shaughnessy examines the advantages and success that the Patriots enjoy when playing at home in Gillette Stadium. Tony Massarotti has a look at All-Pro left tackle Matt Light, who has been very good at his job of keeping Tom Brady protected. David Heuschkel also profiles Light, who isn’t the biggest, or most athletic left tackle, but manages to get the job done and then some. Dan Pires says that we’re into Jabar Gaffney’s time of year, as the Patriots wideout hopes to duplicate his postseason success.
John Tomase compares the two teams position by position, and gives the Jaguars the advantage only at running back. Karen Guregian examines whether the Patriots aging defense, especially at the linebacker position, has enough left in the tank to slow down the Jacksonville running game. Michael Vega has the Patriots defense talking about the Jaguars running game, knowing that they’re got their work cut out for them if they hope to contain them. Rich Garven has rookie Brandon Meriweather working his way up the depth chart on the Patriots defense. Garven also looks at the difference that Randy Moss has made on this team.
Mark Farinella has Canadian Nick Kaczur trading in his skates at an early age. Jeff Horrigan has Josh McDaniels feeling comfortable here in New England, and how that weighed into his decision not to interview elsewhere. Lenny Megliola has McDaniels’ stock rising at a young age. Robert Lee has Junior Seau hoping to end his career on top. David Brown says that Seau’s post-graduate work with the Patriots has proved to be an education. Massarotti looks at the benefit of the bye week for the Patriots. Douglas Flynn says that staying healthy has been vital for the Patriots this season. Megliola says that it is time for the Patriots to prove themselves all over again.
Vega’s notebook has Josh McDaniels explaining why he took himself out of the running for the head coaching jobs of the Ravens and Falcons. Guregian’s notebook has Asante Samuel visualizing success against the Jaguars as a way to focus for the game. Shalise Manza Young’s notebook has more on McDaniels. Farinella’s notebook has Ty Warren explaining the dip in his personal stats this season. Garven’s notebook has more on McDaniels standing pat for now.
Jim McCabe has a feature on the Jaguars dynamic bowling ball of a running back, the five foot seven Maurice Jones-Drew. Shalise Manza Young looks at the Jaguars who should play a big role tomorrow night. Eric McHugh says that David Garrard is going to have to come up huge if the Jaguars hope to join the ranks of Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson, Villanova over Georgetown or The Miracle on Ice. Chris Kennedy has the Patriots noting that the Jaguars can hurt you in a lot of different ways.
Jennifer Toland has a look at the Jaguars 1-2 punch at running back.
McCabe’s notebook has a look at the Jaguars coaching staff, which features a number of ex-head coaches.
McCabe has his playoff picks for the weekend. Powers has a look at the Colts, who are glad to be out of the spotlight this postseason with all the attention on the Patriots. In the Herald, Double D has the Pro Picks for the weekend. I.M. Bettor goes by the numbers.
David Scott weighs in with a special Patriots playoff edition of Scott’s Shots, including the 16 Oh No’s of Patriots Postseason coverage. Kevin Henkin has some Quotable Quotes about the Celtics as of late.
Bill Doyle says that the Patriots pursuit of perfection has the nation curious. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has former Northeastern assistant hockey coach Brendon Walsh doing some college hockey analysis for NESN.
The Patriots are really the story this morning, but the Bruins were in action last night (5-2 loss to Montreal) and the Celtics play tonight against New Jersey. The Red Sox also appear to be bringing Doug Mirabelli back for another year as Jason Varitek’s backup. Check the headlines on the constantly-updated link sites: