The Patriots kick off their preseason schedule tonight with a game in Philadelphia against the Eagles. The game, though not all the significant on the field, marks a transition for both the radio and preseason TV booth.

Up in the radio booth, this marks the first game for play-by-play voice Bob Socci alongside analyst Scott Zolak.

On the TV side, we’ll see the first production of the new “talk radio” format with Dan Roche leading an in-game discussion of the team. Click here for a review of the format and the TV affiliate listing.

If you miss tonight’s broadcast, set your DVR for the NFL Network, which will replay the game on Monday at 4pm and Thursday at 1pm. (If you’re outside of New England, the NFL Network is also showing this game live tonight.)

Patriots debut new voices and styles – Chad Finn also previews the new voices to check out tonight.

The game will give all a first glimpse of the new receiving corps for the Patriots (by the way, did you notice that the Broncos are ALREADY phasing out Wes Welker??? Manning didn’t target him ONCE last night!!!) – a group that will be under scrutiny by all observers.

While reports from the beat reporters have been positive thus far, those same reports are mocked by the likes of Mike Felger, Tony Massarotti and Eric Wilbur. You can probably count on one finger the amount of actual practices those guys have seen – combined. Felger confessed that he had to be at his first practice in over three years recently, and only because CSNNE was doing a live set. He also said he hated every minute of it.

It reminds of when the Patriots drafted Gronkowski and Hernandez, and the same people said they would be busts because the Patriots had never successfully drafted tight ends. When good reports come from practice of those two, it was mockingly dismissed in the exact same tone.

Of course, all camp reports should come with a grain of salt. I enjoyed this difference of opinion from earlier this week:

Even better is Curran’s follow-up to someone who said it was reported elsewhere that Talib looked bad. “yeah, I’d be skeptical of whoever told you that from here on out.

I don’t know whether Talib looked good or bad. You can understand though, why there is a split opinion on many things. People go to the reporter they trust and go with that.

A few other notes from the week behind and ahead:

Glickman Debuts Aug. 26, Exclusively On HBO – This bio of the famed announcer Marty Glickman promises to be interesting. Glickman was a mentor of the late Celtics announcer Johnny Most, and Red Auerbach also had Tom Heinsohn serve an apprenticeship with Glickman before he did Celtics games on TV.

Bleacher Report Hires Veteran Sports Journalist Mike Freeman – The former NFL writer is the latest to join B/R.

USGA & FOX Sports Announce 12-Year Landmark Partnership – It was announced this week that the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open will be broadcast on FOX starting in 2015.

Broadcast Teams Announced For Landmark 20th NFL on FOX Season – FOX also announced their 2013 NFL broadcast teams.


10 thoughts on “The Bob Socci Era Begins Tonight

  1. It seems to me that with Lucchino’s luke warm comments that Sox ownership does not hate the Patriots (a comment almost immediately refuted by almost everyone who has commented on it) I think that a dominant story line over the next few years will be how the Globe coverage of the Patriots differs from everyone else. We already know the bias of their commentators. I don’t think Volin is as clueless as his Talib observation appears to make him, therefore Curran’s comments are more than condemning.


    1. If you want to know how paranoid the Red Sox are about the Patriots, just go back and watch the Red Sox 04 World Championship dvd (or it could be on City of Champions I forget, been a while since I watched either one.) There’s John Henry going out of his way to point out that the Patriots were on their way to the Super Bowl and “all anyone wanted to talk about was the Red Sox.” I always thought that was an odd thing to say, especially from an owner. I got to be honest, if it were the other way around I think Robert Kraft would simply say something about the amount of success the local teams were having. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t see Kraft being that petty about it. Reason number 508 why Kraft is better than Henry.


      1. All you have to read is Luchino’s pathetic letter to season ticket holders actually praising the stiffs out o=n the feild during the last year and a half’s embarrasment and his call to the lemmings to come early and buy beer, chicken and bricks, to get a sense of what Patriot coverage will be like . My sense is that Patriot sponsors will not stand for it.


  2. Seems to me that Curran’s observation is more subjective, while Volin cited three specific examples of Jackson beating Talib, including for a long TD. I don’t know much about these one-on-one drills – maybe getting beat three times isn’t a big deal – but I would lean toward Volin here.


  3. Funniest thing from the professional trolls, Felger & Mazz, this week was Felger BEGGING Tom Curran for something negative about Zack Sudfeld…


    1. Why don’t Felgie and the parrot go to camp and evaluate players themselves? Oh, that’s right, they would be out of their depth.


  4. somewhat early in the game. but haven’t been impressed with Volin so far. Plus there’s the fact he seems a little obsessed with the Pats 3rd string QB


    1. Different take on Volin:

      I thought he was having fun with the Tebow stuff. He knows it gets clicks but he wasn’t doing a Skip Bayless/ESPN “obsessed”.

      On one of his Sunday Notes columns, I emailed him about addressing the HGH issue (the testing is bogus yet the NFL/media won’t talk about it) and had a nice convo. He’s one of the only guys in the mainstream, save a few, who would actually address this, while most are just screaming for HGH testing.

      Otherwise, I thought he’s done a good job so far but we gotta wait for the season, right?


  5. Great observation Bruce. When Felgie was criticizing the great reports about Sudfeld, how many practices had he attended. That would require doing your homework, something that Felger has never been good at as witnessed by the pedestrian columns he shaged while typing at the Herald. Do you remember how superficial and uninformed his report cards were? Always good for a laugh on Tuesday.


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