The Patriots looked good last night, pounding the Atlanta Falcons 28-10 in the second preseason game. It’s ridiculously early, but this already seems like a different team than last year. Get all the Patriots coverage at

Nice to see Joe Buck in midseason form last night, complaining We wanted to talk to some Patriots, but they won’t allow it. He talked about trying to “piece together” who was going to play and who wasn’t. Apparently the folks at FOX don’t have access to the internet and can’t look at the local media outlets, who reported who didn’t come on the trip, and who practiced and didn’t practice.

Sure, blame Belichick for your inability to find information that is out there if you’re just willing to look for it.

i’m told that tom brady bailed on the media for the second straight game. come on, tom. stay classy.Fri Aug 20 03:32:38 via web

Ten Things We Learned Thursday: Hernandez is something special – Christopher Price looks at what we can take away from last night’s game.

Patriots 28, Falcons 10: Five things to remember – Tom E Curran has a few things to remember as well.

Wes Welker returns to Pats in no time – Mike Reiss looks at the return of 83.

Patriots strike a fine balance – Shalise Manza Young has the first unit looking sharp and efficient.

Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris run wild – Ian Rapoport has the “old guys” still getting the job done.

Two-minute drill – Looking for negatives? Hector Longo has plenty.

Support felt from Ron Brace – Rapoport’s notebook has the second year D-Lineman making his presence felt with a forced fumble.

Josh Beckett was lit up for six earned runs between the sixth and seventh innings as the Red Sox lost to the Angels 7-2at Fenway Park last night. Get all the coverage at

For Beckett, 2010 remains an unsolved riddle – Alex Speier looks at a lost season for Beckett.

Middlebrooks turning the corner at third base – Peter Abraham’s minor league notebook has a look at Single A third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who has impressed this season. He also has updates on Casey Kelly and others.

Doubront’s long journey from Lowell to Boston – Jessica Camerato has a feature on Felix Doubront.

Another day, another on DL – Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has Jarrod Saltalamacchia the latest to be sidelined.

Gresh is a heat-resistant host – Chad Finn talks to Andy Gresh about his Tweet about Jacoby Ellsbury over the weekend.

Media Roundup: Yeah, More Critical – That’s Exactly What We Need – My SB Nation Boston column looks at Chris Casper’s premise that we need to be more critical of the Patriots and less critical of the Red Sox.

A glance at this weekend’s Red Sox/BlueJays series at Fenway from a ticket perspective.


26 thoughts on “Patriots Look Strong In Win Over Falcons

  1. Bruce, I understand you're going to defend the coach no matter what he does but how is that 31 other coaches can talk to the TV crews yet Bill cant give anything. They are trying to get information that will help the broadcast and therefore, help me experience the game. They are not looking for national defense secrets or items that will ultimately undermine the game or the season. Im sure the comeback will be that, what does it help the Patriots to talk to anyone – Brady included – I just want an answer why every other team can and this one cant. Did this policy help vs Batlimore in the playoffs last year? Or get the team into the playoffs the year before? Its sports, not national security or decisions on economic policy and with those real issues, the President cant say, it is what it is, so provide the information.
    As for how the team looks, last preseason they started with 2 TDs from Brady in week 1 and defense only allowing 7 points in week 2. That told us nothing but I hope your right as at least the energy and athleticism seems better.


    1. Curtis – thanks for the comment.

      I guess I don’t understand how a random player saying “we need to keep getting better” is going to help the broadcast? That’s pretty much all Matt Ryan said. I did learn that Tony Gonzalez only eats free-range chicken and grass-fed beef. I could’ve gone without either interview. Neither enhanced my game experience.

      I certainly didn’t “defend” the coach after the Baltimore game, but I fail to see how cooperating with the media would’ve made a difference, as you seem to imply. They have policies, and they stick to them. They have reasons for them. It doesn’t impact my experience of watching and following the team one iorta.

      The Patriots aren’t the only ones with tight media policies. Talk to Philadelphia media about Andy Reid and how he runs things. Miami runs a pretty tight ship under Parcells guidance – and Parcells had most of the same policies while here in New England, only the media didn’t complain because Parcells could keep the media on their toes in press conferences, and occasionally fed them some colorful quotes.

      Kansas City writers complain about the Chiefs under Pioli. There are other similar situations around the league. Not all teams have Rex Ryan at the helm.

      I just don’t get the big deal. As you point out, it’s not national security or economic policy. Why is it such a big deal then whether they talk or not?

      I take exception to the snide comments and cheap shots made by media people who simply want their job made easier for them.


    2. Your attitude on Belichick vs other coaches is nothing more than the same drivel that local reporters used for years after Parcells and Bledsoe were gone.

      Why should he spend his time rehashing the same information that is already publicly available? Belichick is there to coach the team, not spoon-feed stories to the mediots. Most everything they are crying about are questions that the Patriot PR office could have answered…. assuming the "reporters" weren't too lazy to actually pick up a phone.


    3. Curtis,
      You clearly don't watch the NFL. In that case, you would know Andy Reid, Jim Caldwell, Mike Shanahan, Sean Payton all operate the same way. The problem is, gullible fools like yourself buy everything the media is selling. "Bill Belichick is a jerk?" Of course, it MUST be true….


  2. Bruce I couldn't agree more.

    This IS going to be a better year than last season. I know it's 2 pre-season games but the direction of this team is clear and these younger players are going to make a contribution — perhaps many of them. The tight ends are undoubtedly going to be superior to Ben Watson and company, and people seem to forget how many games were lost last year on the OFFENSE stalling out and being unable to finish at times. The defense may not be any better, or might only be negligibly better, but you can just see Brady having more weapons this season, plus the benefit of another year off the injury. That's not something to underestimate, given how close the team was to winning tight games they eventually lost a year ago.

    Either way, I can't wait to hear the "this team can't draft!" believers as we go through this year…especially that Felger/Borges/Gasper trio on Sunday night!

    PS – -Watching Felger eat crow, even after the 2nd pre-season game, was sweet indeed. Let's hope it's the first of many occasions this season.


    1. I was thinking the same thing about the "they can't draft!!" crowd.

      Not every draft is going to produce a roster of starters and all pros; it's just not possible.
      And there will be "dry" periods where the drafts for a few years running won't be terribly productive. But as long as you hit on your first rounders (which BB and the Pats usually have) and also sprinkle in a few surprises, you'll still remain competitive.

      History tends to blur our memories sometimes, but I compiled some facts about the draft histories of the last few dynasties in the NFL (not including the Patriots of the 2000s). It's too long for one post, so I'll make multiples:


  3. Continued:

    1–Dallas under Jimmy Johnson had one oustanding draft (1991), one very good one (1992) and also hit on some key picks in other drafts, like Aikman (1st overall) in '89, and Emmitt Smith (mid-first round) in 1990. The rest of their drafts during those few years were just about the "industry average," if you will, for key players or starters acquired, etc. In fact, you also can't look at those Dallas teams without recognizing the fact that Tom Landry is the guy who drafted one of the three "triplets," Michael Irvin, in 1988, and that key players like Tuinei, Nate Newton, Bill Bates and pass rusher extraordinaire Jim Jeffcoat were all drafted or acquired by the previous regime. They also used some of the picks acquired in the big Herschel Walker deal to acquire Charles Haley, who solidified their pass rush and took their defense to championship level prior to the '92 season.


  4. Continued:

    2–San Francisco under Bill Walsh had two outstanding drafts (1981 and 1986), and, like Johnson's Cowboys, merely hit it big on a few picks here in there in other drafts, like Montana in the 3rd round in '79, Roger Craig in the 2nd round in '83, Rice and Harris Barton in the first round ('85 and '87) and Bill Romanowski in the 3rd round in '88. They also used picks in '87 to acquire Steve Young from Tampa Bay.

    3–The Steelers under Chuck Noll nailed their first rounders in '69 (Greene), '70 (Bradshaw) and '72 (Harris), and then, of course, had the four-hall-of-famers draft in '74 with Swann, Stallworth, Lambert and Webster. And as with the other dynasties on this list, they hit with odd picks here and there, like Jack Ham in the 2nd round in 1971, Robin Cole (a key defensive guy on their last two Super Bowl teams in the 70s) in the 1st round in '77, etc.


  5. Continued:

    As for Belichick's Patriots, they had a good draft in 2001 (Seymourk, Light); a good draft in 2002 (Branch, Givens, Jarvis Green); a very good draft in 2003 (Ty Warren, Samuel, Koppen); and a solid draft in 2005 (Mankins, Kaczur, Hobbs, Sanders).

    They hit on Brady in the 6th round in 2000; Gostkowski in the 4th round in 2006; Merriweather and Mayo in the first rounds of 2007-2008; and traded a 4th rounder for Ted Washington in 2003; a 2nd rounder for Corey Dillon in 2004; and a 2nd, 4th and 7th for Welker and Moss in 2007.

    We don't yet know how the rest of the 2008 through 2010 draft classes are going to fare, but these critics of their drafting since they won their last Super Bowl need to get a historical clue.

    No dynasty in the history of the game has constistently drafted well. In fact, this admittedly rudimentary list that I've compiled seems to suggest that a team can "live off" one oustanding draft for several years as long as they "hit" on just one pick in each of their remaining drafts over the next few cycles.


  6. Am I in the minority that I really enjoy that fact that BB, Brady, and Moss love to let the press twist in the wind? I find it truly amusing.

    What, like they owe it the Felgers and Tomases of the world to make their jobs easier so that they can sell ad space… puh-lease.

    I love it when he says stuff like " I can't wait to publish our injury report…", it honestly cracks me up. As if they should reveal someone's fractured foot just so that some Albert Haynesworth bozo can go stomp on it. How does that benefit any true fan of the Patriots who delights in the advantage gained by withholding info to [our] competitiors?

    The Patriots and Krafts put a great and winning product on the field and screen for their fans. Unlike the the Bengals, Steelers and Jets deliquents, they have pretty decent group of guys and I am proud to support them. I don't see too many people wearing Felger or Borges jerseys and they can all go screw for that matter. I have no sympathy for the media.

    "Grass fed beef",? LOL… that was funny.


    1. I certainly enjoy it. It separates the wheat (Reiss/Rappoport) from the chaff (Breer and his buddies).

      But, like most of the others, what I like by far more than anything is the actual games. I don't tune in for the announcers, cheerleaders, fireworks etc. It's a great organization with a great coach and support staff. We're very lucky. Certainly there's a higher percentage of whiners in the local press but hey, I don't read or listen to them.


  7. PS: and you KNOW, or you should know, that all they want to do is ask Brady about his contract that he is dealing with privately. How can you not predict that question and the answer? How does that help the Patriots prepare to win games? It surely doesn't.

    Go Pats!


  8. Bruce, I am going to disagree with you on your assessment of what Joe Buck said last night. In my opinion he did not seem to be whining or complaining about the Patriots not allowing a player to talk. He seemed to stating a simple fact. Now that being said I am going to do what Chris Gasper says NEVER happens, I am going to criticize the Patriots. (May God have mercy on my soul.) I feel that networks like FOX, ESPN, NBC and CBS who spend billions of dollars to cover the NFL should have the opportunity to speak to one player during the preseason. If it is a case where the network wants to dictate who that player is then all bets are off. The player should be at the teams discretion. Also, I know there are plenty of ways for Fox to dig up some info on players playing but I frankly do not think they should need to for a preseason game. I do not understand why Belichick can't just give a sheet with the line-ups. In this case he seems a little petty. I know others are strict like the Eagles but I do not agree with them as well and I am talking specifically about the networks who pay to cover the games.

    I did read Chad Finn's interview with Andy Gresh. What Gresh does not understand is that we have no problem with you being critical of Jacoby Ellsbury. It is how you said it in your tweet. Gresh comes off as a classless slob. Francona is upset that for some reason Gresh decided to make a personal attack on Ellsbury. Outspoken is one thing, being a grade A jerk is another, Gresh unfortunately fits the latter. I also love how Mike Thomas, the programming director of 98.5, comes to Gresh's defense saying it is nothing different then what he has said before. Really? How many times has Gresh thrown out the P word to describe Ellsbury before his tweet. I can't seem to remember any. If G&Z's ratings were the same as when Tanguay hosted you can bet your bottom dollar Gresh would have been at best suspended at worst fired.

    One more thing about Gresh. On today's show a caller asked Gresh who his allegiance is with in the NFL. Gresh basically said who cares, which is where he should have left it but he wound up saying with the Steelers because that is where he is from. Later on, Gresh said that even though what Roethlisberger did was deplorable he would have a beer with him. A caller called him out for it as well as the CMSB blog. Gresh had spent the next fifteen minutes saying he was kidding and mocking those who felt he was serious. Sorry Andy but I heard it and it was hard to tell if you were kidding. In fact, I think you are saying it because you are getting hammered.


    1. From what I understand, FOX had the opportunity to visit the Patriots down there for pre-production meetings and declined to do so.

      Their complaining about lack of access seems quite disingenuous when that is factored in.

      At that meeting, they likely would've been informed about things like who made the trip, who might be playing in the game, little things like that. The stuff they were complaining that they didn't have access to.

      It gets even more silly when you consider that the Patriots and Falcons held two OPEN practices that anyone could attend. This wasn’t like the regular season, where the media can only see the first 10 minutes or whatever it is, they could watch the whole practice. They knew who was there and who wasn’t.


      1. Like Bruce said, apparently Fox hasn't discovered the internet. How is it I knew who was playing days before the game and Joe Bucktooth didn't?


        1. I'm going to bet it was because Joe was trying out new pontifications ("Children should learn how to read!") rather than waste his time on a preseason game with many players who won't be in the league in a month.

          Note, it's preseason for announcers too and while Buck amazes with his consistent mediocrity, they're still figuring out their new systems too. I'm sure Joe will eventually discover the internet has more than just porn.


    2. Gresh claims he ‘says things that other people think but are afraid to actually say.’ No he doesn’t. He says a lot of stupid things. Things that people with half a brain wouldn’t say. He may want to be Boston sports radio’s Shock Jock, but he is not even remotely clever enough to pull it off. A “Poor Man’s Pete Shepperd” is the best that he can do.


    3. I side with BB on this. If he wants to play close-to-the-vest with the media and not let much out, that is fine by me. Media hacks are amoebas and they aren't 'privileged' by any means. That they THINK they are is another matter entirely. But the Patriots have 16 games to make or break a season whereas the Red Sox have over 100. That means 'any given Sunday' could spell disaster for the Pats if an opponent were able to properly game-plan against them. Of course, BB wants to make sure opponents can't do that. So if he disses the media, I'm more than fine with it. I'd rather go 12-4 with that approach than 8-8 with BB being honest and forthright. Being honest and forthright means opponents can game-plan better during the week & the season.


  9. Gresh claims he ‘says things that other people think but are afraid to actually say.’ No he doesn’t. He says a lot of stupid things. Things that people with half a brain wouldn’t say. He may want to be Boston sports radio’s Shock Jock, but he is not even remotely clever enough to pull it off. A “Poor Man’s Pete Shepperd” is the best that he can do.


    1. Great call, Guy. That self-aggrandizing BS was probably more offensive than calling Ellsbury a pussy in the first place. And to evoke the great Mac while doing it? Horrific.


  10. I listened to Gresh and Zolak for the first time yesterday. That show is beyond horrible. It makes Mustard and Johnson seem like a first class production. Didn't these two crash and burn on some RI station? These two have jobs and Pete Sheppard is unemployed?


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