Tom Brady and the Patriots got their 2011 season off to a rousing start last night in South Florida as the Patriots QB set personal, franchise and Monday Night Football records with his 517 passing yards in the Patriots 38-24 opening win over the Miami Dolphins.

Get all of the coverage from last night’s game over at PatriotsLinks.com.

Ten Things We Learned Monday: Tom Brady never ceases to amaze – Christopher Price looks at what we can take away from last night’s game. Karen Guregian and Mary Paoletti have some of the best and worst from last night.

Tom Brady does number on Dolphins – Mike Reiss has the Patriots showing what a pressure offense is all about. Tom E. Curran has the Patriots QB doing a shock and awe number last night.

QB easily passed muster – Bob Ryan says that it is reassuring to know that Brady still has it.

Defense working on progress – Greg A Bedard looks at the defense, which is still shuffling pieces, but had their moments last night. Chris Forsberg says that while there is certainly room for improvement on defense, there were a few silver linings last night. Karen Guregian says that we didn’t see enough from the defense last night to say that it has improved over last year.

Changing times always seem to fit the Bill – Ron Borges notes that Bill Belichick has made adjustments to his defense to keep in sync with offensive tendency changes.

Two-Minute Drill – Hector Longo runs down the ups and downs from last night.

Gronkowski, Hernandez make Miami ill – Chris Perkins has the second year tight ends doing a number on the Dolphins last night. Zuri Berry has more on the pair. Paul Kenyon says that the best may be yet to come from his duo.

Spikes a surprise scratch – The Globe notebook suggests that Brandon Spikes might be out of shape to start the season. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has Dan Koppen suffering a broken ankle last night. The Patriots Journal has Matthew Slater gathering his first regular season catch.

Ron Jaworski apologizes for on-air gaffe – Yes, the ESPN analyst did use a four-letter word on the air last night.

Can the Rays’ Surge Top the Red Sox Collapse? – On Grantland, NH resident (and Tampa fan) Jonah Keri looks at whether the Red Sox can really miss out on the playoffs this season. (Glenn Ordway is convinced that the Red Sox will miss the playoffs)

Red Sox need a remedy and quick – Mike Fine looks at whether the Red Sox can turn things around.

Listening to the Patriots pregame show on 98.5 yesterday afternoon, one of the segments featured NFL Films director Ken Rodgers, who directed the two-part film on the Patriots head coach which debuts this week and next.

Rodgers was asked what surprised him about his time following the Patriots for an entire season. Rodgers noted that the perception that the Patriots are a mysterious organization is inaccurate, and cited his film and books such as the one by David Halberstam on Belichick. Gary Tanguay countered by saying that Belichick respects NFL Films and that he respected the intellect of Halberstam and thus allowed them greater access than anyone around here would get.

Rodgers disagreed, saying that he was very surprised at how open Belichick actually was in press conferences when intelligent football questions were asked. He noted how the coach would go on for minutes, even a half hour on almost any football history or strategy or position question that he found interesting. Tanguay scoffed and said “Well, we can’t ask him about Albert Haynesworth, we know nothing was coming out of that…” unintentionally making Rodgers very point in the process.

If the rumors are true that Tanguay is already in line to replace Gil Santos in the booth someday, I’ll be very disappointed. On the other hand, the decision to bring Scott Zolak into the broadcasts right now, as a sideline reporter/third man is a great decision for the here and now.

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38 thoughts on “The “Aging Quarterback” Might Have Something Left, After All

  1. The side note on Tanguay was dead on. I heard the interview with Ken Rodgers and that exchange definitely made Tanguay come off as condescending. I immediately rolled my eyes when he interrupted Rodgers with a "whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa" as if Ken Rodgers had no idea what he was talking about, and then went on to actually make Ken's point.

    I also thought the opening to the interview was rude too. Tanguay introduced Ken Rodgers and his credentials followed by about fifteen seconds of a sponsors' pitch before launching directly into a qustion and not even saying hello. I loved that Rodgers interrupted the question with "Hi, how are you?" …. Gary, there's nothing wrong with a little civility. How hard would it have been to say hello before diving into the questions?

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  2. Bruce:

    I hope your feeling that Tanguay is being groomed to replace Gil Santos in the booth is wrong. As I have argued several times on this website he is completely vapid. He has no ideas. He is Ted Baxter…all voice no talent. I would much prefer to see them throw a boatload of Money at Dave O'Brien who does football for Westward One's Monday night broadcasts and did Jets games. At least he understands the game! As for Bringing Zolak in even though I think he is a yahoo…he seems to be growing up. His work on the football broadcast is much better than his work with Gresh. If they are looking to eventually replace Gino with Zolak that might not suck.

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  3. GOOD GOD, that just shows everybody HOW STUPID Tanguay is. What the HELL is so HARD TO UNDERSTAND?….Belichick is not going to give anything away about injuries, or why a player is practicing or not or any in house personal stuff but he will talk at length if ASKED, " intelligent football questions"……I've said it a thousand times, todays media ONLY CARES ABOUT THE SOAP OPERA stuff

    I know alot of people say Gill and Gino have lost their fastball but I would rather listen to them until their both 100 FREEKING YEARS OLD, than have that little twit Tanguay in the booth…..We should start a petition and send it to Kraft right now. KEEP TANGUAY OUT OF THE G.D. PLAY BY PLAY BOOTH!!!!

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  4. "…when intelligent football questions were asked…" Ha!

    I too hope you're wrong Bruce about Tanguay – Gil is still the MAN and I can think of a dozen better people to replace him anyway. The thing about Santos is, he's easy to listen to and doesn't come across as being in love with the sound of his voice (unlike Tanguay, PhD – Football Follies).

    Tanguay is the type of reporter who asks BB about an injury knowing it won't be answered but "it's a question that has to be asked." Patriots fans deserve better.

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  5. Bruce, I'm surprised to see that you didn't rip Bob Ryan apart for using the word "still" in his article. He had the gall to use the phrase 'brady still has it" …inferring that he might be getting older and losing his touch….yes… even after Brady's unaminous MVP season. Why did you not find that offensive and doom and gloom?

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    1. JohnnyApps, you're a good commentor for the most part, and I've enjoyed your comments over the last couple years. That said, you're straying into "troll" territory.

      I explained the "doom and gloom" already. It seems like you're just coming here to cause problems at this point, which is not appreciated.

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    2. Now I am just starting to think you are obtuse. Ryan was countering people who looked at the preseason and were saying Brady was not as good as he was last year. He was DEFENDING Brady from the Doom and Gloomers. Did you even read the article?

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    3. So you accuse Bruce of loyally defending the Pats and not attacking Ryan for doo and gloom. Doing this, you proved Bruce's point. He will point out silly or unjust criticism on a case by case basis. This means that jackie m's column was based on slanted ground. However Ryan's piece was not in the same context. You seem to want an all or nothing scenario Johnny Apps. You seem to worry too much about the people generalize the coverage saying, "they" are always bad or "they" are always correct. Each article, interview, story, soliloquoy, or should be judged on its own merit. We can then determine using FACTS AND OPINIONS whether we agree with the principle. In this particular market, many "media" personalities have a schtick that they do not break from.

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  6. I live out of market now and it's funny to hear my friends back home complain about Gil and Gino being senile old men akin to Statlor and Waldorff. But as soon as I say, "OK, who would you rather have? Meterperel? Tanguay? Mutnanski?" They have got nothing.

    Does anyone else remember when Gino was out a few years back dealing with heart issues and Pete Brock stepped in? (This was before he contracted a terrible case of the stupid by sitting next to Meter in the BC booth) I thought Brock was actually really solid next to Gil. Dave O'Brien and Pete Brock? That wouldn't be terrible. Or what about Sean McDonough? Did that guy burn every bridge in town or what?

    Unfortunately, as WEEI has proven to us over the past three months, we should never trust suits to make sound — and OBVIOUS — radio/airwaves decisions. Let's just hope that they steer clear of Tanguay and go with anything — ANYONE — else.

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    1. I'm a big proponent of taking shots at WEEI – they certainly deserve them – but the Pats games are broadcast on the Sports Hub. Hopefully the powers that be over there (and in Foxboro) do not move forward with Tanguay. There was a reason he was fired from the 10-2 slot.

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  7. This just reminded me of the funniest bit Toucher and Rich ever did, when they sent Crash to the Celtics media day and had him shadow Tanguay around, mocking him the entire time while Fred was doing his Tanguay impersonation in the background – "MY PRESTIEGE!!!!" Putting him in the booth would be a disaster.

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  8. Tanguay thinks diversity is an old, old wooden ship. Listening to Gino has gotten to be a *little* bit painful over the last couple of years, but Gil is the man, he is going to be a tough act to follow. God help us all if it somehow ends up being the Tanger…

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  9. There have been a select few media types I have wanted to physically attack over the years…Ron Borges and the entire Andelman family top the list. However, Tanguay has now leapfrogged to the top of that list. I heard the exchange with the NFL Films guy while driving home and I ended up screaming at my radio. It's almost as if he's trying to impress that boob Gresh with his tough guy act. Condesending, smug, arrogant, are just a few of the words that come to mind regarding his on air "character." If he conducted himself in that fashion in the real world he'd get his ass handed to him about two seconds. The exclamation point for me was coming out of breaks, he refers to himself by his last name…"Tanguay here with Gresh on the Patriots pre-game, blah, blah, blah….Just a tools tool!!!

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  10. It frightens me to the core to think that Gary Tanguay is even being rumored as a potential candidate for the Patriots booth. Please don't ruin our football Mr. Kraft, I beg of you, please don't do it.

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  11. Well, the bright side is that if Tanguay gets the play by play gig we wouldn't have to suffer through 8 hours of pre and post game with him as host.

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    1. But Alex, it's much easier to ignore the pre and postgame shows than the game broadcast. I sometimes like muting the TV and listening to the radio call.

      Seriously, I wonder if there's any way we could start some kind of online petition of names to be sent to Jonathan Kraft or Mike Thomas, or both? I think someone in authority needs to understand that a great play-by-play caller has to be more than just a good set of pipes. I heard that that pregame interview with the NFL Films guy and was absolutely appalled by Tanguay's lack of professionalism and condescension. Between him and Gresh, it's sad that these guys get rewarded to act the way on the radio (and TV).

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  12. Hmmm what happened to the "Does Manning still have it" articles? Oh right, there were none because he's "the High King of Football" as Greeeeeeeegggg Easterbrook dimly puts in the 1st paragraph of his latest trash bin opus.

    Factually speaking, Manning has been in decline for roughly 2 seasons and now has a very serious back/neck injury that may force him to retire. But no one seems to want to talk about that….just about the unanimous MVP somehow being "on the decline."

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  13. During my travels last night, I was able to catch some of the pregame, in-game and post-game coverage of the Patriots vs. Dolphins on 98.5. It was bad on all three counts. Let's breakdown each part of the broadcast.

    Pregame – Bruce brought up a great example of Gary Tanguay being completely clueless during his interview with Ken Rodgers of NFL Films. He also had a tiff with Paul Perillo of Patriots Football Weekly. Unfortunately, I can't remember the topic but Perillo disagreed with Tanguay. Tanguay would not even let Perillo finish a sentence before cutting him off. Gresh, on the other hand, must have or believe you need a tin can and string and really loud yelling to get his point across. It was awful.

    In-game – I wish I did not have to be so critical here because I have such respect for Gil Santos and Geno Cappaletti, but you cannot look the other way at how bad their broadcast has become, especially Santos. I do not know if Gil and Geno have a spotter but if they do not they need one badly. Santos is having a terrible time getting players correct. On the 99 yard touchdown by Welker, Santos said it was Rob Gronkowski all the way until the twenty when Geno corrected him and said it was Welker. Both guys had trouble telling if a play was an incompleted pass, a fumble, yardage was a problem and they were confused on penalties. It was sad. Scott Zolak did a good job on the sidelines. I do agree with AOB, I would take Gil and Geno at the age of 137 before I would take Gary Tanguay at any time or any age.

    Post-Game – This was a microcosm of all that is wrong with sports talk radio. The first caller on the post-game went after Gresh for jinxing Dan Koppen. Why is this person even allowed to be put on the air? It just goes to show you how out of touch show producers are. You would think that the producer would tell the call screener to not put any blockheads on the air. But no, their belief is to put Simple Simon on because it's what listeners want. It's unbelievable. What is equally as unbelievable(well maybe not) was how Gresh handled the call. He went off on Simple Simon for five minutes telling him he is acting like a seven year old child. Of course, by having a five minute temper tantrum Gresh is acting just like that same seven year old.

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    1. You're a better man than I for actually exposing your eardrums to the not-so-dulcet tones of the Pats postgame show, mandb. It's also blatantly obvious both the producer and call-screener know that blockheads attract other blockheads to call in. I think almost all of the intelligent/rational fans stopped listening to this dreck a long time ago.

      In a related note pertaining to postgame shows, I caught a minute of Butch Stearns and Fred Smerlas on EEI…nothing to hear here. Also surprised while flipping around the dial that NESN was attempting to do a Pats postgame with host Randy Scott (at the moment their lone NESN Daily anchor) along with 98.5's Mike Flynn and I believe former Pat LB Matt Chatham…the couple of minutes I heard weren't bad but a bit dry (at least there was no yelling or idiocy).

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      1. Jason it took about an hour for my ears to stop bleeding after the fifteen minutes of listening to the post-game. As far as WEEI goes, if there has ever been a case of be careful what you wish for, the new Real Post-game show is a great example. Last year there was a lot of criticism about Bob Neumeier and Joe Andruzzi doing the show. Well Jason Wolfe has listened to your complaints and decided to make it worse. Mr Wolfe needs to know changing to FM was only a small reason why people do not listen to WEEI. The continuing carousel of bad on-air talent is the big reason.

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    2. Regarding your critique of the game broadcast, I sadly have to agree with most of your comments. Zolak wasn't bad in the Tony Siragusa sideline role, but it's obviously going to take some time to figure out when he's supposed to chime in so as not to talk over Gino. At some points it almost sounded like Gil was addressing Scott directly and a producer may have told Gino to stay quiet for a moment. Of course that's an issue with every three-man booth, but it's even more difficult when all three guys aren't in the booth together.

      I think between Gil's aging eyes and the broadcasters sitting so high up or far away from the field at most stadiums, a spotter is an absolute must. I have a feeling there's been a spotter available for the last few years, but in real time I don't think the info always gets to Gil in time before he tries to guess who the actual player is. I listened to about 3/4 of Gil & Gino but actually missed the 99-yard TD call – did get to hear several other missed players and a Gostkowski missed FG that was several yards wide right yet hit the upright according to Gil (cont).

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      1. There was a spotter credited (I remember this because I was taking a walk and didn't want to bother changing the station), so I have to assume that real-time spotting is a difficult proposition. (IMs would be effective, I bet, if they had a computer screen nearby.)

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        1. I wasn't sure how the spotter would work. I was trying to think of a way Gil and Gino could have an easier time of spotting numbers. Thanks for the info.

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    3. (cont.) As for Gino…ugh. Unfortunately he is now aging exponentially in the booth, thus forcing 98.5 to go with the Zolak Sideline Experiment. I'll be curious to see if Gino can make it through the entire season before Zolak winds up in the booth.

      I wonder what radio broadcasts are more awkward these days – Gil/Gino/Zolak or Joe Castiglione with Dale Arnold? Have to think there is bigtime unspoken tension occurring in both instances.

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    4. Gil and Geno are legends, and rightfully so, but the Pats radio broadcast is possibly the worst professional sports broadcast in the country.

      — Constant mistakes about their own team….. (As an aside, most booths use spotters to ID the opponent quickly, as it's expected that home announcers will have their own players' numbers committed to memory. That's the case even all the way down to Div III football, which is the last place I did any radio broadcasting.)

      — Gil CONSTANTLY saying "direct snap to Brady" — which is completely and utterly incorrect. A "direct snap" in football is a snap to anyone other than the quarterback. You cannot have a direct snap to the QB — it's an oxymoron. A snap directly to the QB, whether under center or in the shotgun, has a specific term that should be used: "snap". This grates on me every time I hear it. Its baseball equivalent would be Joe Castiglione referring to pitches as "throw to first to the catcher".

      — The stumbles and generalized confusion that make it pointedly clear that it's two old men doing the broadcast.

      I'm all for respecting my elders and giving them their just due for their achievements and skills — but Gil and Geno simply cannot do their job anymore. It's frankly embarassing to the team that this is their prime radio team, although Gil and Geno are so respected that nobody (other than jerks like me) would ever say that out loud. But it's 100% true.

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      1. Dave…you are neither a Jerk or not accurate. I have made similar comments about them. They have had a great run, 5 superbowl calls, 3 SB wins, countless playoff games, and a storied place in most Pats fans hearts. The problem today is…Age has caught up with them. You illustrated some of the problems. I can give you some more…Gino's speech is no longer as clear as it used to be..he does not enunciate as he used to. It sounds like Johnny Most towards the end in some ways. I think after this season the Pats and WBZ should have a quiet ceremony and retire the guys. Give them a pregame 5 -10 minute segment where they talk about their views (in a 4 hour pregame room can be made) and then about a month later announce that Dave O'Brien and Tedy Bruschi are the new broadcast team.

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        1. Yeah, I used to like Gil and Gino but last year (after not listening to them the previous season) I turned them on and there were chunks of dead air or Gino going "Ohh" or "Hmm" instead of making an interesting point as the color guy. I like Gil's voice but it seems like he has a hard time picking out certain players especially on the other team.

          It's time for some fresh blood on the radio broadcast. Put Gino and Gil in the Pats HoF if you want but get them off the radio.

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  14. I would like to comment on those who say that this is a Patriots "fanboy" site and that any criticism of the Patriots is not welcome. This is simply baloney. What we expect is fair criticism. Last year many of the media harped on the Patriots lack of ability to get off the field on third downs. It was true, the Patriots were last in this category. But, the Patriots had an incredible +28 in turnover ratio, a stat that is usually the most important in telling you who is going to win a game. The Patriots of 2010 lost the turnover battle only four times last season. They went 1-3 in those games including both loses to the Jets and the debacle in Cleveland. The only win was the hard fought, come from behind victory against the Ravens. A game that the Patriots were outplayed. People like Michael Felger and Hector Longo will avoid this stat because it kills them to have to rethink their argument and their constant contrarian viewpoint. I guarantee you that if the Patriots had a less than stellar turnover ratio but a great third down defense we would never hear about the third down defense.

    Finally, the Patriots took a tremendous beating on this site after their loss to the Jets. People were flabbergasted that Belichick could be completely outcoached by Ryan. Brady looked completely confused and had a terrible game. Players like Branch and Mankins lost their cool. The defense looked just like it did in week 2 against the Jets, bad. I don't think I need to go over the botched fake punt. Everybody was critical and everybody was correct in their criticism. I think the only arguments were, what part of the team was the worst.

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    1. And to expand of that point, if we were to see articles written about last nights game stating that the defense was not great and needs improvement, that would be completely fair. The DEF struggled getting off the field in critical 3rd down situations, something that you mentioned above plagued them last year. They were outcoached on the Henne qb sneak. These are things a team cannot allow if it wants to be a serious contender. These are articles that are legit. However, articles or discussion about the Jets not being in cap jail that are repeated constantly are just silly. People like that cannot analyze the present situation and harp on old themes.

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        1. By the way Winning I'm sure you put Felger at the top of the salary cap talk. That's why i have the previous statement. Felger continues the mantra of "the cap is crap". Here is why he and others like him are silly. There is no question the Jets are able to keep their core players. Every team should be able to do it. The cap comes into play as the season progresses and attrition starts to kick in. Did the jets keep the best possible players or are they hoping that less skilled players can be adequate? The cap is crap is straw man argument 735 for Felger who may only trail Ordway in this category.

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      1. Winning…the Dolphins were 2-14 in third down conversions. The Pats defense played a pretty good game. Other than the first drive the Dolphins were not efficient or really a threat. They racked up 416 yards passing because Reggie Bush cannot run between the tackles and therefore Miami had no running game. Several Miami players made highlight reel catches (Marshall over McCorty 1st drive) Fasano had 2 of those catches) and the Pats gave ground in the 4th Q to kill clock. If some media person had lead with an article all doom and gloom about the Pats because of the defensive effort I probably would have jumped on it. Its clear the Pats did what they wanted to do…take Reggie Bush out of the game and dare Henne to beat them. The fact that Henne had his best game evah by a long shot still did not result in any more than 24 points at home coming off all preseason to game plan. As an aside…with all the cramping that happened with the Miami players, coupled with the lousy defensive game plan…I am actually surprised Sparano (the Parcells Hire) has a job this morning.

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        1. I stand corrected, I mustve been thinking of the fourth down conversions, for which they were 4/5. The Defense looked shaky early, giving up the standard chunks of large plays. My point wasn't to attack the DEF, just showing avenues writers could take "attacking" the Pats and not see repercussions on my eyes. Now this would have to be based on facts, situations, not just bold proclamations.

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          1. You know…it was just an odd game. Its not every day a there are 900+ yards of passing offense and 1100+ yards total offense in a game that is not really that close. Its a shame this was the first game of the year because it is all the media will have to look at for 6 days. I just read through a few report cards and Jeff Howe's 20 points. The guys who cover the team regularly seem to be seeing what I saw..that other than that one drive and some sloppiness late in the 4th quarter when the game was over the defense played well. Your point about ways writers could attack the Pats performance was a good one. I just think if they are going to attack this performance then they have to have an agenda. The story should be about the positives…Brady, the TE's, Haynesworth and the play of the OL.

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    2. As long as sportsradio hosts keep repeating their points louder and louder, I guess we'll just have to keep pound our keyboards harder and harder trying to shoot these mediots down. Unfortunately don't expect much to change. Best that we can hope for is that some of the commenters here to call in and try to engage in a debate, or at least make the hosts sound even more clueless than they already are.

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  15. To reiterate some here, I really hope the GT rumors of being in-line for the Pats call are false. He's bad enough on Pats pregame which I've given up on. He seems to be more "aggressive" with the points made (what points?) on the radio instead of his normal "Eeyore" role on Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight.

    One post above analyzed the pre/game/post and was spot on. I did keep the radio on for the pre-game where Gary seemed to do a "whatever" from the producer/NFL Films guy–gotta wonder if they'll ever talk with him again. I think most fans have come to really respect the work NFL films does and even with the problems NLFN has made for it.

    The NESN postgame, which I wound up seeing after looked like they held some meeting that day with whatever and just rushed through it. It looked like some cable access show you see, but another kneejerk attempt to catch up with CSNNE eclipsing NESN on almost everything; it could also be the pretty face but I kinda miss Jade now.

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