The NFL season kicks off tonight with the Steelers taking on the Titans on NBC.
First stop this morning is over at Patriots Daily, where Dan Snapp looks at the media’s ridiculous fixation on “loyalty” when it comes to Belichick and the Patriots.
Mike Reiss notes that when a legendary coach and a star quarterback come together, the result is usually championships. Luckman/Halas, Brown/Graham, Lombardi/Starr, Landry/Staubach, Noll/Bradshaw, Walsh/Montana…and Belichick/Brady.
Gerry Callahan has Belichick and the Patriots fleecing Al Davis and the Raiders yet again. Rich Tenorio says that maybe if Scott Pioli were still here, Belichick would have someone to bounce ideas off of before pulling the trigger on dumb trades – like the Seymour one. Kerry Byrne says that Patriots fans shouldn’t be worried about life after Richard Seymour. Ron Borges says Seymour will be missed.
Christopher L. Gasper examines whether Tom Brady will really be back to his old self this season. Ian R. Rapoport had Brady eager to get back out on the field Monday night. Mark Farinella has Brady expecting the Patriots offensive success to continue with the new additions. Buddy Thomas says that the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning debate is still no contest…in Manning’s favor. Karen Guregian has Brady determined to return to glory this season.
Ron Borges admits his error from earlier this week, sort of:
Several readers, as well as a representative of the Patriots, quite rightly pointed out that while writing about the contract status of Vince Wilfork Tuesday, I mistakenly wrote that as a result of a CBA extension in 2006 rookies drafted beyond the first 16 spots could not be signed to contracts longer than four years.
Of course, that’s not exactly what he claimed. This is:
Now rookies can sign for no more than four years, leaving them with a reasonable chance to maximize their career earnings in a league where the average career remains less than four years.
The real rule is that players taken in the first 16 picks can sign for six years, while the rest of the first round can sign for five years. He claimed that no rookies could sign for more than four years. Ron Borges, wrong again. His “admission” this morning is nothing more than trying to spin things to make it look like he wasn’t as wrong as he really was.
With so many contract expiring after this season, Borges says that there will be a price to pay for the Patriots.
Gasper has a look at rookie Brian Hoyer, who at the moment is the only backup behind Tom Brady at QB. Guregian has Shawn Springs gearing up for another battle with Terrell Owens. Brian MacPherson says that the Patriots have no interest in talking about Richard Seymour. Rich Garven has the Patriots making big changes on defense this offseason. Christopher Price has the Patriots rookies getting set for their first taste of NFL action. Rapoport has Jerod Mayo looking to be more of a playmaker this season.
Steve Buckley says that the Patriots have a good mix of old and young. Kirk Minihane has a Patriots-heavy mailbag. Rapoport runs down the AFC East competition. Guregian looks at Bill O’Brien stepping into the play calling role. Rapoport has Brady looking forward to reconnecting with Randy Moss this season. Guregian wants to know who takes the leadership baton this season. Rapoport says that love for the game is what drives Bill Belichick.
Chad Finn has Dan Marino giving some perspective on Tom Brady’s injury.
Reiss has a look at Matt Cassel starting over in Kansas City and looking back at his time in New England. Karen Guregian has Terrell Owens eager to prove himself all over again. Andy Vogt says that T.O.’s play can match his mouth. Price has Owens with some Verbal Volleys at the Patriots. John Powers says that Mark Sanchez and the Jets are looking good together in the early going. Shalise Manza Young has Dick Jauron already feeling the heat in Buffalo.
Walker’s notebook has Terrell Owens unable to resist tweaking Belichick and the Patriots. Rapoport’s notebook has Seymour still a no-show in Oakland. Vogt’s notebook has the Patriots looking forward to the first game of the season. Farinella’s notebook has T.O. getting in the spirit of the Patriots/Bills rivalry. Young’s Patriots journal has T.O. promising to bring his ‘spy camera’ to Foxborough. Garven’s notebook has T.O. OK with the no-huddle in Buffalo.
With the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions nearing, the Springfield Republican has a look at the inductees:
Michael Jordan – by Jeff Thomas
David Robinson – by Ron Chimelis
John Stockton – by Thomas
Jerry Sloan – by Thomas
C. Vivian Stringer – by Chimelis.
In addition, Thomas writes that Jordan’s induction should give a big boost to Western Mass.