The new preseason television format rolled out by the Patriots on Friday night was overall, not bad. It was nice to get some different voices in there, I don’t think anyone was left pining for the days of Don Criqui and Randy Cross.

Dan Roche had a few hiccups – “Ben” Vareen – a call in which he was actually trying to correct himself for first getting #34 Shane Vareen confused with #84 Quentin Sims. He also later described Will Svitek as a “rookie from Rutgers” – which I guess is a safe gamble to make on this team when you don’t know who a guy is – but Svitek is actually a 8-year veteran from Stanford. Calling the Eagles first touchdown “disturbing” was a bit much too.

But again, overall Roche was pretty solid, playing his role of “traffic cop” in trying to incorporate everyone into the broadcast. He may have talked a little too much himself, but it’s the first they have tried this.

One move I would make immediately is swap the roles of Christian Fauria and Matt Chatham. Both are solid and insightful, but it seems to me that Chatham is a bit more insightful and entertaining with his analysis, and was assertive in his role as sideline reporter, and would benefit from being in the booth and have a freer rein to talk. Fauria can fill a word count, and does make some good points, but I’d rather have him to the side.

The PFW guys, Paul Perillo and Andy Hart were pretty much what you’d expect if you’re familiar with them at all. They’re solid, though I don’t know that their segments added a whole lot to the broadcast.

It seems like the idea of the format is an attempt to keep the casual fan tuned into the broadcast. They know the diehard is going to stick with it to see the fringe players and look for development. They’re hoping the casual fan will stick to be entertained by the “sports radio” type of format. I don’t know how successful it will ultimately be.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t get to hear any of the radio broadcast with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak – I need to make that a priority soon. Anyone have any thoughts on that pairing? I did hear some of the pregame, which from the parts I heard, was exactly what it has been in the past – a negative, sky-is-falling, worst-case-scenario gabfest led by Gary Tanguay.


These are all from the same guy. Anyone seeing a theme here:


CB Aqib Talib: Was absolutely destroyed by WR DeSean Jackson in one-on-one drills, getting beaten on a buttonhook, a slant, and then burned badly on a double move for a touchdown.

Desean Jackson is abusing Aqib Talib in 1 on 1 drills. Caught a button hook, slant and deep post for a TD



Talib was burned by Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson all week in practice, and couldn’t keep up with him on Friday night on Jackson’s 47-yard touchdown catch, in which Talib gave him a free release to the inside.

Volin was also on CSNNE over the weekend saying this same thing.

OK, you win. We believe you. It just seems odd that he feels the need to pound this in, day after day, even when other reporters (and the coach) hint and say otherwise.


Randy Moss to FOX? Yes please, though I have a bit of a hard time seeing how he’d actually fit in. Moss was one of my all-time favorite interviews – when he spoke – but I’m not sure about how he’d fit into a structured broadcast. While you’re on TATB, check out the new Sunday Mail column.


From the weekend:

Curt Schilling has a new lease on life – The former ace had a heart attack he doesn’t want you to know about back in 2011. Oh, he told you anyway? OK.

Don’t ever change, Nick Cafardo:

3. I think throwing programs are really long and unnecessary.

Kevin Paul Dupont is a big advocate of the “newspapers are necessary” movement. I know I sure couldn’t have gotten by yesterday without his ground-breaking investigative piece on perfume in baseball.

(I’m eagerly awaiting the “blogger” putdown from KPD. Or is that Lou Merloni’s side of the street? I can’t keep it straight.)

Dewey sees ‘special presence’ in Xander – Scott Lauber had a nice column with Dwight Evans talking about his own September callup to a pennant race in 1972 and what he sees in Bogaerts.


13 thoughts on “Wrapping Up The Weekend

  1. Ahhh…Bruce….one column and yet some many points that beg comments:

    – On the TV broadcast. All I want is down and distance. After that it is all filler. Roche sucked at Down and Distance…I think by design. That needs to change. As for the rest of the format…I actually a three man booth with Fauria, Chatham and Roche for the 4 preseason games is the proper solution. Put Hart and Perillo on the sidelines and have them talk during half time. The forced cutaways to get their takes were pretty useless. When they are in the studio it seemed to me that they were not “part of” the game. It was a work in progress…it is still better than Randy Cross and Don Criqui butit still needs fine tuning.

    – Ben Volin has quickly replaced Burt Breer as the most useless person on the Pats beat which is pretty amazing considering Shalise Manza Young is still on it and she works for the same paper as Volin. At this point I don’t know why the Globe doesn’t just close the Pats desk, use AP pool coverage for its reports and continue to ignore the Pats all together.

    – Shilling blames his heart attack on 38 Studios fiasco. In the story I read Shonda Schilling is quoted as saying “an investment I was against from the beginning”. I wonder if that contributed to the heart issue. Also I really am glad Kurt did not publicize it when it happened and use his fame to draw attention to heart disease and stress. We would not want something like that to happen.

    – I have zero interest in hearing Randy moss’ analysis. Its not that I don’t think he is intelligent, or that he does not know football…its that I think he is incapable of disassociating the story from himself. I hope I am wrong but we will see.

    – Lastly, the new Fox Sports 1 launches this saturday…I know I missed Regis Philbin and his pithy sports takes. Now I get to bask in them. Whoever thought having an octogenarian anchoring a hip new sports show should be demoted to Honey Boo Boo’s personal assistant.


    1. Yesterday, Sunday Sports at the Globe. In the heart of Patriot’s preseason. Sox game story, of course. Utterly unneccsesry and boring story on Curt Schilling, the man that Rhode Island wants its millions back from. Then the creatively challenged Gasper with a front page opinion piece on Johnny Manziel, as if college football mattered here in a town, where pro sports obliterate everything else. And finally, the PGA, another sport that is a faint blip on the Boston TV ratings. That was the front page of the sports section. Somebody tell Joe Sullivan the Pro football season has started. Patriots, buried on page 6, where Joe Sullivan hopes you miss the Sunday Notes, like Joe did 2 years ago, when he failed to run them twice in the middle of the season. Sooner or later top sponsors, like Gillette will catch on and take their advertising elsewhere.


  2. Sochi has a very high pitched voice..almost Geffner-esque. Seemed to paint a better picture formation wise(3 wide, strong, weakside, etc). The lack of Gil’s deep voice will take some adjustment from the fan base. We will see how it goes when the real games start or when there is a gamechanging play.


  3. The broadcast was disjointed at best. Considering the years of suffering we went through Criqui & Cross, I am happy they tried something different and reticent to be too critical. Like most, I thought Chatham was the best, by a mile.
    While I like the idea, in theory, of Roche leading a ‘conversation’ more than a play-by-play broadcast, I found the questions to be more like an episode of ‘Jeopardy’. It was just that incessant.
    The Andy/Paul piece needs to go. I like the idea that someone else had, of them coming in at the half. Perhaps doing a 5min segment where they go over highlights and discuss the roster ramifications of what they highlight, and/or the schematic things we see relating to personnel or roster make-up, etc. The 2 of them sitting in the corner of a room, likely in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, seemed out of place.
    One last thing… someone needs to clue in John Dennis… he was tweeting again about the guy swearing ‘Pats polos’ during the broadcast and how they show the non “objectivity” of it. Ummm… they’re working for the Patriots on a Patriots pre-season telecast. Their mission is NOT to be objective for the most part. They can provide frank commentary on players and coaching decisions, but this isn’t a CBS/Fox broadcast where neutrality is paramount. He just can’t get over it, I guess. Geez.


  4. For Andy Hart to actually something any football coach would laugh at was surprising, to wit: After his 62 yard run, Andy said that Ridley has to learn to finish his runs and he said it with a straight face and scolding demeanor. Now the facts: Ridley was caught from behind by a defensive back who runs the 40 in 4.45, while Ridley is not quite 4.65. The d back had a great angle, Ridley could not have seen him coming and actuall veered toward him at the end of the run to avoid traffic on his right. I never, repeat never worked along side any football coach who used finish in that way. Stricly amateur hour.


  5. “If Tebow throws a hail mary, look for one of the receivers to leap up and try to make a catch”—actual quote from Dan Roche.

    ……Nuff said……………….


  6. Journalism is the only industry where the customer is not only always wrong, but is incessantly browbeaten about it daily. And hacks like KPD wonder why sites like this exist and why ‘careers’ like his are always mocked.


    1. Just go see his comments ‘bloggers’ because they (new media) were the only thing that could threaten his job security.


  7. From reading the comments here and elsewhere, it seems like a majority positive for Chatham. I’ll say again that I wish he had a regular gig somewhere (hello WEEI? you have him on Sundays 9-12 already). Not only is he honest with Patriots stuff but he does discuss the league and other teams. He’s great on the radio when he’s got more than a 30-second window for responses.


  8. How old is Dan Roache that he makes a Ben Vereen reference? Although i do remember him from a “Webster” episode.


  9. My 2 cents. Matt Chatham is great. He obviously knows his stuff and I like his delivery. I kept an open mind on Ben (rhymes with stolen) Volin but it quickly closed. What’s the big deal with this guy? I think he’s pretty weak. Dan Roche was fine and I’m sure he’ll get better as time goes on. There were too many voices, especially with Fauria who’d still be yakking if he could. Even with the early warts it’s a better format than enduring Cross and Criqui.


  10. Chatham taking on the “media narrative” of Felger and friends is already a breath of fresh air. More please!


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