Patriots, Chiefs On Monday Night Stage Tonight

The Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs on ESPN’s Monday Night Football tonight.

With a win, New England will tie Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Houston with the best record in the AFC. This news is apparently a revelation to both sports radio stations this morning, who I guess had no idea this was possible.

Some quick links to get us going this Monday morning:

The legend of Scott Pioli: Separating myth from reality – This Kirk Minihane column appears to be a response to the talk around town that Bill Belichick’s drafting and personnel acquisition has gone downhill since Pioli’s departure. Yesterday Karen Guregian had Pioli defending Belichick.

Bill Belichick’s steady hand calms Pats – Chris Forsberg has the coach and team keeping focused despite the panic of fans and media.

Always the last word: Belichick has final say on play calls – Paul Kenyon is shocked the Belichick voluntarily gave up information this week.

Pull of a guard – Shalise Manza Young has a look at the impact Brian Waters has had on the Patriots.

Tackle Sebastian Vollmer all right following injury – The Herald notebook has the offensive lineman finally feeling like himself. The Globe Patriots Notebook has Wes Welker dealing with bumps and bruises.

Larry Lucchino has firm hold of the reins – Michael Silverman says that contrary to appearances, Lucchino has always been in charge of baseball operations.

No matter who it might be, this has to be Ben Cherington’s manager – Rob Bradford says that the GM has to be the one to pick the manager.


Joe Sullivan Shows Who He Really Is

Since the Bill Belichick era began, coverage from the Boston Globe has been pretty consistent.

With the exception of Mike Reiss and Greg Bedard, (who I’ve disagreed with a couple of time, but overall I think is excellent, and very objective in his coverage.) the coverage of the Patriots coming out of Morrissey Blvd has been routinely negative.

It doesn’t matter the writer, whether it is Nick Cafardo, Ron Borges, Jerome Solomon, Michael Smith (though he was OK) Chris Gasper, Albert Breer or Shalise Manza Young, the tone and attitude towards the team have remained the same. There are complaints about the access given to reporters, there are shots taken at the fans who they insist believe that Bill Belichick can do no wrong.

Where does this come from? As the saying goes, the fish rots from the head down. In this case, it is sports editor Joe Sullivan, who has been the constant among all the comings and goings on the Patriots beat in the last 10 years. It is Sullivan who sets the tone for his staff when it comes to covering the team.

A Tweet from Sullivan yesterday confirmed how he fans about Patriots fans.

The line about Patriots fans in the article that Sullivan disagrees with so much he felt the need to Tweet about?

I don’t know a New England Patriots or New York Jets fan who argues that Bill Belichick or Rex Ryan is the greatest man walking the earth, almost incapable of sin.

It was a throwaway line in the column, which is focused on the adulation of college coaches, but Sullivan jumped on the line and clearly wanted his views on the matter out there.

The “In Bill We Trust” line gets thrown out there quite bit, usually attempted as an insult to those who think that Belichick might actually know what he’s doing most of the time. However, the records speak for themselves.

In speaking behind the scenes, I can confirm that there is a general attitude within the Globe that hostile towards the Patriots. The coverage also speaks for itself. It doesn’t always manifest itself in the actual game coverage within the newspaper. But follow them on Twitter, read their chats, they always manage to find a way to get their shots in. No other outlet does this.

Where does it stem from? It’s from access. Sullivan and Globe feel a huge sense of entitlement. They demand access. Sullivan has complained to league about their access to the Patriots on multiple occasions. (That information has also been confirmed separately.) There is resentment there, and it comes through in the attitude of the paper and its personnel.

Yesterday, Shalise Manza Young held her weekly Patriots chat, and things got ugly. To her credit, she attempted to answer some of the harder-edged questions that came in, but was not successful.

Here’s an example:

Comment From Blinded
Shalise, with respect, I think you and the rest of the media really fail to put any sort of context on the Patriots drafting and personnel moves. Do other teams such as the Steelers, Packers, Jets, etc hit on everyone of their picks? Not even close. For the Patriots to be continually painted as gigantic failures in the draft and free agency really exposes the lack of perspective around here.

shalise manza young:
Blinded – Again, no one expects them to hit on 100 percent of their picks. I still have the game notes from the Giants, so right now in the time we have I can only look at them. But of the 75 players they have either on the 53-man, IR or practice squad, 33 were guys that they drafted. 19 of those 33 were drafted from 2006-2010, the same time frame I used for the Pats.

OK, so she attempts to actually provide some context and give an example. However, if you do the same breakdown with the Patriots, you find that of the players currently on the 53-man, IR or practice squad, 32 were guys that they drafted, and 16 of those were drafted from 2006-2010.

Huge difference, huh? Before you jump on me, she chose to compare them to the Giants.

Young ended her chat with a typical, childish response:

Comment From TiredofTheMedia
As usual, you miss the point. A guy who’s in over his head can’t lead his team to a 14-2 record. You think he’s in over his head because he lost a playoff game to the Jets. It’s a pretty absurd thing to think.

shalise manza young:
I think your handle says it all. Nothing I could say short of “all is right in Patriots world, this team is perfect, they’ll win the Super Bowl by three touchdowns” would appease you.

Talk about hyperbole. No one expects nor wants that type of comment or analysis. It is childish.

Before the Patriots/Belichick haters start lining up in the comments section, let me state this:

This Patriots team has very visible flaws, and some of their moves and decisions are certainly open to criticsm.

The problem I have is when reporters who really have no idea themselves what goes into decisions and what discussions are held behind closed doors or really have no more knowledge about the game than the average fan start suggesting that Bill Belichick is in over his head, it’s time to call them on it.

Moreover, when an entire sports department is guided by a hand that holds a clear grudge, and makes sure that that grudge is conveyed in the final product, and whose personal feelings are allowed to impact the product that goes out to the customers, and who delights in tweaking and annoying those same customers, is it any wonder that the Globe has struggled so much in recent years, during which Sullivan has overseen the demise of what was once the greatest sports section in the country?

Maybe it is Joe Sullivan who is in over his head.

Sports Media Musings: Watney Out, “Felger & Mazz” Simulcast Debut, Links

I missed last week…No excuses, but if you want one, we were working on the new site.

So without further adieu…Time for an Infomercial…big time..

Check out the new diggs. It is still EXTREMELY naked, and has plenty of bugs to be worked out.

The site is basically a place for me to react (500 words at a time) to petty stuff like Gary Tanguay doing Gary Tanguay things and the Andy Gresh/Glenn Ordway tiff.

Normally, I won’t link up stuff of that nature here — unless it’s really warranted.

However I will, occasionally, write in the longer form such as my media “Winners & Losers” column in the PSU scandal — which I will direct readers of Sports Media Musings to.

Lastly, I had a great chat with Greg Bedard from the Globe on my podcast. Really liked his straightforward attitude towards covering the team and takes on new media.

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

Heidi Watney leaving NESN is something I’ve been writing about for months — it was a terribly kept secret, but you don’t care about that. You care about what it means. Unfortunately, beyond what may be remembered as a salacious stint as a NESN side line reporter, the answer is not much.

Watney’s exit to stage left (literally, she’s reportedly moving to LaLa Land to cover the LakeShow) was covered like an actual trade of a player (you know? the subjects she covers). And why? This wasn’t Bob Ryan leaving the Globe. She was here for four years. It was Adalius Thomas leaving the Patriots.

Does the local media feel as though they owe it to her, because – you know as well as I do – they most likely talked trash about her lack of objectivity (coming from NESN) and, moreover, the alleged Jason Varitek affair?

The coverage reminded me of euphemisms society feels obligated to convey when a celebrity dies (a la, Michael Jackson or Al Davis), even though we mocked or criticized said-celebrity while they were alive.

Give it time.

Personally, I had no issues with Watney. I wouldn’t call her a hardened journalist. Nor does she try to operate under that pretense.

Beyond the obvious aesthetics, Heidi wasn’t bringing much to the table. Marc Bertrand never led a headline with, “Heidi Watney is reporting at this hour that…”

Watney never wanted to be Michelle Tafoya. In the same light, Watney knew well enough to not be Lisa Guerrero.

I’ll give her this, she mattered in a job mostly perceived as thankless. Though, let’s be honest, no one with this avatar on Twitter (looks like a modeling headshot) really cares about being an arduous reporter.

(Cue the “Ryan, you’re wearing a sombrero in the header of your new site” joke)

As far as the actual move, Watney in Hollywood is like Jack Nicholson doing a Cialis commercial: For both parties (Nicholson & Cialis) it makes so much sense, but you feel bad for Nicholson.

And I’ll feel bad for Watney when either: A.) Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest — that’s always fun typing) scares the sh!t out of her — OR — B.) Her first story-arc on Days of Our Lives flops.


I’ve already written at length about that after Jade & Katie Tapps left. 

Without a Hitch

The “Felger & Mazz” simulcast debuted on CSNNE this week. I got to say, I was looking for holes and, ultimately, didn’t find much to complain about. The studio was modern looking and visually appealing. Additionally, CSNNE producers used solid graphics and appropriate highlights when necessary.

Michael Felger’s “Two Year’s of Abuse In Two Minutes” segment was done in the same vein and light as I painted him while first writing about his mantra.

Quick refresher from the piece —

Felger’s success is only matched by the perceived disdain that he himself perpetuates, although that statement is somewhat equivocal. For example, a sound byte often played by 98.5 The Sports Hub is Felger bemoaning “No one likes me enough to give me privileged information”; only he’ll oft say things like, “I have on good word, Brad Marchand was told to simmer down on the partying.”

Felger is our own Skip Bayless. We love to hate him and feel like we need to shower when we agree with him, yet the difference is – unlike Bayless – we respect his opinion. This is probably due to Felger’s own admission of miscalculated pretenses in the past.

I still stand by those remarks, even though Felger seems agenda-driven now more than ever (see my PSU “Winners & Losers” Column for more on that).

One other thing, Jermaine Wiggins wearing a “Wiggy Wear” t-shirt is high comedy because of the obvious self-promotion. Though, not as funny as Wiggy and his buddies getting together and someone saying, “You know what? We should do a clothing line!”

Would have loved to be in that room.

Two Other CSNNE Thoughts

Really looking forward to the “Thanksgiving” edition of Sports Tonight. If you missed it in previous years (because you have a life), producers put Tanguay and Felger with two other talking heads at a dinner table full of all the fixins’!

It’s predictably awkward and (I’m pretty sure) last year Dan Shaughnessy wanted out after the first segment.


I’ve now watched CSNNE’s re-broadcast of the Michael Jordan-63 point playoff game in ’86 twice. I really miss the Celtics, and CSNNE should come up something better to suffice.

Watney Officially Out At NESN, Sox Still Searching…

While Sean McAdam and Chad Finn reported yesterday that Heidi Watney would not be returning to NESN, the network officially confirmed the news this morning by issuing a statement from NESN President and CEO Sean McGrail:

“Heidi Watney will not be returning to NESN next year. She is pursuing other opportunities that would bring her closer to her family on the west coast. We respect Heidi’s decision and would like to thank her for everything that she has brought to NESN over the past 4 years and wish her the very best.”

Watney was a popular topic this morning, as several outlets wrote about her departure.

Heidi Watney heads back to California – The Boston Herald tells of a humiliating encounter with a rude Bill Murray a few years back.

NESN reporter latest to leave Fenway – Mike Fine has Watney as the latest in a long line of exits from Fenway Park this offseason.

Heidi Watney trading Red Sox beat to cover Los Angeles Lakers – Vernon Hill reports for the Springfield Republican.

Heidi Watney Leaving NESN to Head West & Cover the Lakers – Ryan Durling has Watney urging followers just the other day not to jump to conclusions.

Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney is leaving NESN – Brian Rabuffetti on cites rumors of Watney’s personal life.

Say it ain’t so! Heidi Watney leaves Red Sox for Lakers gig – The Yahoo! Sports baseball blog notes that Watney worked hard to improve her game over her four seasons here.

The Red Sox may have lost out on their top managerial candidate, as Dale Sveum has emerged as the favorite to be hired by Theo Epstein to manage the Cubs in 2012.

Cubs want Dale Sveum; Sox search goes on – Scott Lauber has the Cubs offering Sveum the job. Sean McAdam says that it’s likely that Sveum will take the job. In the Globe, Peter Abraham says that this may force the Red Sox to re-open their search for a new manager.

Sox hoping slow, steady wins race – Michael Silverman notes that in the three weeks since Ben Cherington took over, the Red Sox have yet to make a single significant decision.

Sox want the goods from Cubs – Nick Cafardo reports that the Red Sox are still insisting on “significant” compensation from the Cubs for Epstein.

Sox could bring on Minaya to baseball ops staff – Maureen Mullen reports that the Sox might be considering the former Mets GM for a front office role here.

Down in Foxborough yesterday, Rob Ninkovich was one of the centers of attention, following his two pick night (one of which, Steve Burton noted after the game, was an interception!) in New York on Sunday.

Handy man – Julian Benbow as a look at Ninkovich once again proving himself on a national stage. Mark Farinella wonders if Ninkovich, in addition to taking his number #50, might fill Mike Vrabel’s old role as a goal-line tight end at some point. Rich Garven has the linebacker rising up with the rest of the no-name defense. Jeff Howe looks at how far Ninkovich has come from being an overwhelmed Saints rookie in 2006. Paul Kenyon has Ninkovich becoming an overnight sensation – in six years.

Andre Carter, Brian Waters make Bill look good – Following the theme of my PD column yesterday, Karen Guregian notes that not every move this year has been a Haynesworth-sized disaster.

Tyler Palko, not Matt Cassel, next up on Pats’ slate – Ian Rapoport has Cassel’s homecoming getting canceled because of injury.

Cannon practices for first time as member of Pats’ active roster – Glen Farley’s notebook has the fifth round pick going through his first practice. The Herald notebook has more on Cannon. The Patriots Journal has Bill Belichick talking about Tyler Palko. The Globe notebook from Julian Benbow and Monique Walker has more on Chiefs QB.

With no end in sight to the NBA lockout, we’ve got a pair of Celtics writers doing features on the Bruins this morning:

Peter’s Principles: How the Bruins’ architect built the Cup champions – Paul Flannery has a feature on the Bruins GM.

Chara: The journey, sacrifices, and Stanley Cup – Jessica Camerato has a feature on the Bruins captain.

Bruins putting it all together in win streak – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins hitting their stride.

Don Orsillo Returns To NESN Through 2015; Heidi Watney Reportedly Out

Just breaking now, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has tweeted that Don Orsillo will return to NESN as Red Sox voice through 2015. He had reported back in May that Turner Sports was making a run at Orsillo. However, with the latest news, Orsillo will remain as voice for the next four seasons.

Yesterday in a throwaway line in his column, Dan Shaughnessy reported “through sources” that reporter Heidi Watney would not return after four years with NESN.

Six In A Row For Bruins

After their horrific start to the season, the Bruins have gotten red-hot, winning their last six games, and averaging just under six goals a game during that stretch. The Bruins got a OT  third period goal from Benoit Pouliot to beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 at the Garden last night.

Bruins score three in third, beat Devils, 4-3 – The game story from Joe Haggerty and Jessica Camerato has the details of the win. More game stories from Steve Conroy | Mike Loftus | Douglas Flynn | Bud Barth | Fluto Shinzawa | DJ Bean

Five things we learned from Tuesday’s Bruins win over Devils – Mick Colageo has some things to take away from last night.

Staring down the bull’s-eye – Joe McDonald has the Bruins skating fine line between physical and dirty, which is resulting in wins for them. Stephen Harris has the Bruins style get the attention of opposing GM’s.

Decision on Milan Lucic no surprise to Claude Julien – The Herald notebook has the Bruins coach not surprised that his forward was not suspended by the league. The Patriot Ledger notebook has Daniel Paille eager to get back to action. The Globe Bruins notebook has Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller raising questions.

10 Crucial Things the New England Patriots Have Done Right in 2011 – Regardless of what you may hear and read on a daily basis, the Patriots have actually made a few good decisions this season.

For the most part, a job done right – Greg A Bedard reviews the Patriots win over the Jets.

Go to Rob Gronkowski in red zone – Karen Guregian looks at how big a weapon the tight end has become in the red zone.

An AFC scout gives five-point plan of attack for Patriots against the Chiefs – Christopher Price has an early look at the Chiefs game.

Unwelcome recognition? – Chris Forsberg says that these two teams know each other a lot more than their history would indicate.

Key player – Stand Grossfeld looks at Andre Carter’s love of the piano.

The secrets behind Belichick’s success – The Globe reviews Michael Holley’s new book –War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team

Rookie Cannon activated – The Globe notebook looks at the fifth round pick being activated yesterday. The Herald notebook has more on Carter. The Patriots Journal has ex-Chief Brian Waters looking forward to facing his old team. The Enterprise notebook from Glen Farley has more on Cannon.

Be sure to check out NFL Turning Point tonight on VERSUS at 10:00pm, as the Patriots/Jets game will be heavily featured. The program uses great footage and sound from NFL Films and is a treat to watch.

Not an unopposed election? – Gordon Edes has Ben Cherington insisting that Dale Sveum is not the only managerial candidate. Scott Lauber says that both the Red Sox and Cubs have their eyes on Sveum.

Sox search for short-term, short-money closer – Sean McAdam looks at what the Sox may do to replace Jonathan Papelbon.

A look at how the baseball world is viewing David Ortiz Rob Bradford has opposing GM’s talking about the Red Sox DH.

Mark Farinella reports the following this morning:

– As if losing Terry Francona and Jonathan Papelbon wasn’t maddening enough, I have it on good authority that Heidi Watney will not be returning to her on-field reporting duties for NESN’s Red Sox broadcasts next year. Can’t reveal my source, but it’s a good one …

Was his source Dan Shaughnessy, who wrote this yesterday?

Tito, Theo, Papel-Gone. Don’t be surprised if Miss Heidi is next. That’s right, Heidi Watney might be the next member of the 2011 Red Sox cast to depart. Heidi’s contract is up at the end of the month and a person with knowledge of NESN’s upper management says Watney is done after four years as the Sox in-game reporter.

Sadly, indications seem strong that we’ve seen the last of Heidi Watney on the Red Sox telecasts. That’s a shame.

What A Difference A Week Makes In Report Cards

After flunking out in most areas last week, the Patriots bounced back with a strong performance Sunday night, earning high marks from the resident football professors.

Making The Grades – Patriots at Jets – Jeremy Gottlieb grades out a win that the Patriots needed as badly as any in a long time. Ron Borges says that it is a long time to finals, but the Patriots aced the midterms. Kirk Minihane says that “the red pen gets a break and the ol’ written lap dance returns this week” as he grades the team. Jeff Howe hands out his first set of passing grades since before the bye week. Hector Longo has high praise for Bill O’Brien this week. The ESPNBoston report card has the coaches taking the high marks for the week. Add your own grades on the Patriots report card.

For all their free-agent misses, Patriots’ Carter has been big hit – Tim Britton has a look at the impact the free agent signee has made on the Patriots defense. More on Carter from Mary Paoletti.

Patriots must maintain focus – Chris Forsberg says that the Patriots biggest obstacle the rest of the way may be themselves.

A cast of characters – Tom E Curran thinks that the fans need to tap the brakes on their optimism for this team. Shalise Manza Young shares those sentiments.

Sack attack unleashed – Ian Rapoport looks at the pass rush generated on Sunday night.

Arrival in silence – Rapoport’s notebook has linebacker Jeff Tarpinian keeping his increased role a secret last week. The Patriots Journal looks at a few of the lesser-known defensive contributors. The Globe notebook has the Chiefs preparing for life without Matt Cassel on Monday night. The Enterprise notebook from Glen Farley has more on Cassel.

Jonathan Papelbon has no regrets – John Tomase has the former Sox closer not looking back at his time with in Boston.

Dan Duquette’s shot at redemption – Chad Finn wonders what the former Red Sox GM has learned in the last 10 years.

Sveum brings a lot to table – Nick Cafardo looks at the Red Sox managerial search.

Red Sox boss a busy man – Mike Fine looks at the to-do list for Ben Cherington.

Lucic, Bruins should embrace villains role – Joe Haggerty thinks that the Bruins should welcome the image as the NHL’s bad boys.

Milan Lucic not backing down – Joe McDonald says that the Bruins forward won’t change his style.

NBA fans — maybe C’s — lose the most – Peter May thinks that the Celtics may be the biggest losers of the NBA lockout. A. Sherrod Blakely agrees.

Patriots Beasts Of The East For Another Week

You’d be hard-pressed to find a lot of people who felt real good about the Patriots chances heading into last night’s game with the New York Jets. The Patriots were scuffling, the Jets were soaring, and the AFC East lead was on the line.

Playing a cast of unknowns on defense, the Patriots rocked the Jets 37-16 at MetLife Stadium, to sweep the season series with the Jets and jump ahead of them in the standings.

Patriots seize top spot in AFC East – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots with a statement game after two weeks of struggles. Shalise Manza Young says that after “a week in which Bill Belichick was questioned like never before by fans, he was able to leave the Meadowlands with a satisfying win.” Fans. Yeah. Paul Kenyon notes that the entire team was filled with guys who had special nights. Art Martone says that “the defense played well by any standard and VERY well by its own.” Jeff Howe says that the Patriots revealed a lot of character last night. Nick Underhill has the defense led by Andre Carter and Rob Ninkovich leading the way.

Throwback effort for Pats defense – Mike Reiss says that unexpected performances from fill-in players evoked championship memories last night. Ron Borges has the Patriots unknown defense putting itself on the map and overcoming the general manager’s many missteps of the past several seasons.

Ten Things We Learned Sunday Night: Patriots win a throwback game – Christopher Price has the takeaways from last night’s statement win. Dan Duggan and Mary Paoletti have the best and worst from last night.

Happening right on schedule – Greg A Bedard says that this victory should put worries about the team “in the back of the minds of most fans, until the Patriots’ inevitable loss in the postseason.”Karen Guregian says that the Patriots responded in the right way last night.

Patriots show their grit, guts, sweat – Jackie MacMullan, who predicted that this game would result in “the darkest hours of both Belichick and Brady’s career in New England” says that for this week anyway, the Patriots were “a mix of grit and gristle and sweat” but that next week is anyone’s guess. Bob Ryan says that this win had to be sweet for Belichick and company. Jim Donaldson says that it wasn’t talent that won this game. It was tenacity. It was guts. It was character. Bill Burt has the Patriots again answering their critics and skeptics.

Chung sits; McCourty hurts shoulder – The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker has the Patriots playing without Chung for all of last night and without McCourty for most of the night. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport looks at a record night for Andre Carter.

Big holes to stitch up in these Sox – John Tomase has the Red Sox with a lot of work to do. Nick Cafardo looks at some of the big issues Ben Cherington will have to deal with in the coming days.

Leigh Bodden Suddenly Needs Surgery, and Media Links

Last night on Twitter, Alvin Keels, the agent for Leigh Bodden tweeted the following:

[blackbirdpie id=”134775938784296960″]

He then added:

[blackbirdpie id=”134776637924442112″]

Contrast that with the statement Keels put out when the Patriots released Bodden:

“He’s enjoyed this time in New England, but after meeting with coach (Bill) Belichick this morning, both parties agreed it was time to move on. Leigh still has a strong desire to play football and welcomes his next opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl. Leigh is totally healthy and can contribute right away.”

At the time of the release, there was a lot of hand-wringing over the move, especially on sports radio. Some said Bodden had an attitude problem, others just blasted the move based on the lack of depth in the secondary. (Some print reporters, like Greg A Bedard astutely insisted that something was wrong with Bodden, noting his total lack of speed, especially when contrasted to training camp.) Will those who blasted the release revisit their comments now that this injury has been revealed?

Moreover, do any of them feel misled by the agent and/or Bodden?

Ian Rapoport talked to Bodden last night, (After getting cut, Leigh Bodden needed surgery) and the CB says he nearly signed with the Chiefs before he “came clean” about his health. Bodden also says that the Patriots didn’t believe he was hurt, but that even he didn’t really know how bad it was.

Just kind of a strange situation all around, and one that should be a lesson about blindly lapping up whatever an agent says.

The media links:

ESPN caught out of position – Chad Finn is critical of ESPN for being slow to cover the events at Penn State.

NBA lockout costing broadcasters – Johnny Diaz looks at stations impacted by the cancelled NBA games, such as CSNNE, WEEI and WCVB.

Media Roundup – My SB Nation Boston media column is a look at Penn State talk on local radio, as well as Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy previewing Patriots/Jets.


Jets Week An Afterthought

The Patriots and Jets renew their intense rivalry this Sunday night, but with the Penn State scandal (which just seems to be getting worse and worse every day) and the release of Albert Haynesworth, the game has been pretty much an afterthought when it comes to sports talk this week.

Patriots articles this morning pretty much fall into three camps – rehashing Bill Belichick’s failed personnel moves, Tom Brady’s recent struggles, and getting to know Kyle Love, who seems to be the biggest beneficiary of the Haynesworth release.

Bill Belichick strayed from principles – Mike Reiss says that Belichick should take a lesson from the Haynesworth experiment. Karen Guregian says that Belichick hasn’t made the necessary moves to beat the Jets. Shalise Manza Young has Belichick not wanting to discuss Haynesworth any more. Christopher Price looks at the low production from Shaun Ellis thus far. Tim Whelan Jr. says that Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco are linked as failures of this season.

Brady looks at why his interceptions are on rise – Tom E Curran has Brady talking about his struggles, which have him on pace for a career-high in interceptions. Chris Forsberg says that the jersey is still number 12, but there is something not right about Brady right now. Ian R. Rapoport says that Brady is more frustrated than anyone over his performance.

Patriots are getting a lot of Love on defensive front – Paul Kenyon has the undrafted second-year player making an impact with the Patriots. Mark Farinella has Love looking forward to an increased opportunity. Jeff Howe has Love crediting an offseason boxing routine with keeping him in shape. Mary Paoletti has Love growing out of the “underrated” tag. Guregian notes that even Rex Ryan loves him.

Waivin’ goodbye – Rapoport’s notebook has Belichick giving his final thoughts on Haynesworth. The Patriots Journal notes that in a reversal, it is Brady, not Mark Sanchez, who is struggling coming into this game. The Globe notebook from Michael Vega has more on Brady. The Enterprise notebook from Glen Farley has more on Haynesworth.

For Red Sox, dugout search goes well beyond the manager – For those of you scratching your heads over the likes of Gene Lamont being interviewed with the Red Sox, Tony Massarotti explains that the team is actually interviewing for an entire staff. Yesterday, towards the end of their show, Felger and Mazz took a break from the Penn State and Belichick-fail talk and dedicated about five minutes to just Red Sox-related issues. It was the best five minutes of the show, with Massarotti actually showing some insight and some of his old baseball reporting knowledge. A lot of that discussion is in this column.

What we’ve learned and what remains in the Red Sox managerial search – Alex Speier has more on the managerial search. Peter Abraham has Sandy Alomar Jr interviewing yesterday and Scott Lauber says that Alomar made a great first impression with Ben Cherington. Not yesterday, but in 1998. Brian MacPherson says that while Alomar may lack experience, he has all the tools to be a successful manager.

Sox keep in touch with Ortiz, Papelbon – Mike Fine’s notebook has the Sox keeping tabs on their free agents.

Michael Cuddyer’s Leadership and Grit Similar to Trot Nixon’s, Making Him Perfect Fit for Red Sox – Ricky Doyle thinks that the Twins outfielder should be a top priority for the Red Sox.

BC’s Spaziani affected from afar by Penn State scandal – Eric Avadon talks to the Boston College head coach, who played for Joe Paterno at Penn State and crossed paths with Jerry Sandusky, though he says he doesn’t know him.