It’s been an interesting year for the Patriots linebacking corps. Mike Vrabel was traded in the offseason, Derrick Burgess was acquired via trade, Tedy Bruschi retired in preseason. Jerod Mayo was injured in the season opener, leaving Gary Guyton as the main contributor on that unit. Mayo returned, and then Junior Seau was re-signed. On Sunday, Adalius Thomas, a free agent prize of 2007 was left inactive for the game against the Titans, leaving his future with the club up in the air. Then last night, Tully Banta-Cain, re-signed during the offseason, was released, though it appears he may be coming right back.
So what’s next?
Monique Walker writes in the Globe today that the mystery around Thomas didn’t get any clearer yesterday. Bill Burt says that Bill Belichick is serving Thomas (and himself) some humble pie. Karen Guregian says that it was the right move to bench Thomas.
Ian R. Rapoport has Belichick with little to say about the benching of Thomas. Christopher Price has Belichick saying that he believes Thomas will help the team at some point this season. Rich Garven wonders if something might be up on the trade front for the Patriots. Glen Farley looks at another Patriots linebacker, Rob Ninkovich, who will be playing a game in London for the second time in his career.
Tim Weisberg has Laurence Maroney giving us another glimpse of what he can be. Robert Lee has Maroney finally turning in the big game we’ve been waiting for. Jeff Howe wonders if Brandon Tate is going to shake up the depth chart at wide receiver. Brian MacPherson has a look at Sebastian Vollmer, who filled in ably for Matt Light on Sunday. Mike Reiss wonders if the Patriots could be interested in Deion Branch.
Rapoport’s notebook also suggests that Banta-Cain may be back. The Globe notebook has no such suggestion. Farley’s notebook says that there will be some new faces on the practice field this week for the Patriots. Lee’s Patriots Journal has more on the benching of Thomas.
Steve Bulpett has the “Other Two” Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins assuming a greater role with the Celtics. Frank Dell’Apa says that Marquis Daniels will bring a lot to the second unit for the Celtics. Jim Fenton has the Celtics closing out the preseason with back-to-back road games the next two nights.
Dan Duggan has the Celtics lauding the benefits of Kinesio wrapping tape.
Gary Washburn has former UMass star Tony Gaffney with a chance to make the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Mike Loftus has the Bruins hoping for a burst of energy from their recent roster shakeup. Rich Thompson has Patrice Bergeron waiting for a new right winger for his line. Brendan Hall says that the trade of Chuck Kobasew wa a result of the Bruins slow start.
Jon Couture says that success in 2010 for the Red Sox depends on how well they do in the trade market this winter.
Lenny Megliola has a number of assorted thoughts.
I’d like to send out a “get well soon” to my friend and Patriots Daily co-founder Scott Benson, who is recovering from a heart attack suffered Sunday night. He’s going to be OK, but will be in the hospital for a few days and likely be out of commission for a little while after that. We’ll do our best to keep PD running in the meantime…
If you’d like to send Scott well-wishes, they can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.