The Patriots and Saints didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard at Gillette Stadium last night, as the Patriots took a 7-6 win in their preseason opener. Rookie Chandler Jones seems to be the takeaway story from this one, as the first round pick was impressive in his time on the field, showing the pass rush that fans and media have been clamoring for in recent years.
Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com, but here are a few of the top stories:
Debut of top pick Jones is a show of strength – Greg A Bedard says that Mr. Jones has arrived.
Ten Things We Learned Thursday: Quite an opening act for Jones, Hightower – Christopher Price says that both first round picks looked good, and that Bill Belichick should be expecting a note from the league office.
A little good, a lot bad, mostly ugly – Mike Reiss says that this one was predictably sloppy.
Patriots defense came ready to play – Tom E Curran says that the Patriots got some good returns from the unit on its first time out.
One thing I keep hearing and reading over and over this preseason is how either Deion Branch or Donte Stallworth will be cut, as the Patriots can’t keep both.
The consensus seems to be that Walker and Lloyd are locks as the top two, Gaffney as the third receiver, and then Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater are both indispensable for the other things they do for the team, leaving only one spot available between Branch and Stallworth. In 2007, the Patriots carried 7 receivers for a good part of the season – Moss, Welker, Gaffney, Stallworth, Kelley Washington, Chad Jackson and Troy Brown. Both Jackson and Brown were PUP’d to start the season, but were later activated and carried on the 53-man for the rest of the season. The Patriots also carried three tight ends and four running backs for most of that season.
All I’m saying is that I don’t think it’s impossible that the Patriots carry 7 receivers. They’re going to need them all at some point.
The Red Sox season to nowhere continued in Cleveland last night with a 5-3 loss to the Indians.
After the game, Joe Haggerty tweeted:
He then followed up with a column today:
This provided plenty of fodder for the talk shows this morning, and on Twitter, with plenty expressing outrage that Lackey had beer after the Red Sox had supposedly banned all beer in the clubhouse.
Dale Arnold and John Dennis noted that no one else had reported what Haggerty said about Lackey and the beer, and Rob Bradford called in to say why – the ban on beer was only ever about their own Fenway clubhouse. Beer has been allowed in visiting clubhouses all season. Bradford then noted that this was the first time Haggerty had been on the road with the Red Sox this season, so he must not have been aware.
Meanwhile, Hardball Times issued a rebuttal to Haggerty’s premise about the Red Sox:
Is Lackey tone-deaf ? Yes. Do I want him gone? Absolutely. Is this another media-created tempest in a teapot? Definitely.
Interesting that other media types have jumped on the clarification bandwagon, probably to explain why they didn’t report what Haggerty did.
This Boston.com headline though, cracks me up:
You’ve got your sensational bold headline with “Double Fisted” and the underneath it, in much smaller type, why it’s not a big deal AND the suggestion that the person who reported it didn’t know the score.
At 55-58, Red Sox facing a new reality – I approve of Peter Abraham’s plan.
A couple of media columns to wrap up Friday:
Mike Gorman tries his hand at calling a different sport – Chad Finn talks to the Celtics announcer about calling Olympic handball for NBC this summer. Interestingly Gorman is not in London, he’s called all the games remotely from New York.
Golf Channel Hopes For Big Weekend With PGA Championship – My SB Nation Boston media column. Golf Channel is on an incredible run, and this weekends PGA Championship (On TNT and CBS) could be one for the ages.