John Cockrell Friday Out-Takes: Backpacking through Europe 2010 tour!
Listen, kudos on the annual regular season game played in front of jam-packed Wembley Stadium crowds but, Roger [Goodell], methinks you may be a little too focused on "selling out." A game here and there is, I suppose, fine. (Certainly not in the same league of foolish ideas as, say, spreading the draft over four days and kicking it off on a Thursday opposite "Lost.") But when word leaks that the NFL has quietly assured the London Mayor's office that they'll be exporting the biggest sporting event in America, a quasi-national holiday, to the UK in 2014...that's a different kettle o' fish.
Mike Reiss concludes LB Gary Guyton is the Patriots' answer to Jets talented RB Leon Washington.
I counted four different times in which Guyton was locked on Washington man-to-man in which he either batted down a pass or had tight coverage. The most impressive play came in overtime, in open space across the middle on second-and-15 when he maintained tight coverage on Washington and knocked down a pass.
Steve Wyche (NFL.com) Stars are back, but will they be better than ever?
The Patriots won 11 games without Brady but failed to make the playoffs. They're seemingly more confident not just in him, but that his surgically repaired knee (follow-up procedures were needed to clear out infection) is healthy enough to push them back to the Super Bowl. Besides dealing Cassel, the Pats are rolling the dice with inexperienced backups Matt Gutierrez, Kevin O'Connell and rookie Brian Hoyer, which shows they feel extra comfortable with the status of Brady's knee -- and his arm.
More Shots after the jump.
- Christopher Gasper reports Patriots TE Alex Smith has been receiving nothing but the good word about his new team from friend and former Pat, Daniel Graham.
- Jeff Howe looks at Belichick's options at OLB in the wake of the Jason Taylor signing.
- Shalise Manza Young lists the Patriots options at OLB and notes Miami is good at playing possum.
- Mike Reiss says the uncertainty at OLB is on the important questions-to-be-answered list.
- Christopher Price notes TE Alex Smith will be wearing number 80, acknowledging that he's no Troy Brown but will try to make his own mark on the team. Here is the full Q & A transcript.
- Michael Hurley predicts what the team will look like when it takes the field against the Bills to open the season on Monday Night Football on Sept. 14.
- Mike Reiss breaks down the 92 players currently on the Patriots Roster. Part V: Cornerback and Safety.
- Mike Reiss participates in his weekly online chat. Great insight here as usual.
Jim Donaldson says Belichick will be caught flat-footed without Jason Taylor or his equivalent on the team. (Or so Donaldson hopes.)
- RealScouts (Sporting News) Quarterback rankings: Intangibles make the best leaders. Ranks Tom at number 2... behind Peyton.
- RealScouts (Sporting News) Position rankings: OT, G (Mankins at no. 9), C, TE (Watson at no. 11), WR (Moss at no. 5).
- Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports) With no Jason Taylor, what do the Patriots do for a pass rush?
- NFL.com No Taylor means Pats to look in-house to fill LB void.
- Benjamin Altsher (Bleacher Report) La Cosa Nostra de Patriota (The Patriot Mafia).
- Jarrett Bell (USA Today) Altered pension plans could gut NFL coaching staffs.
- Mike Chappell (Indy Star) Colts coaches Tom Moore (Offensive Coordinator) and Howard Mudd (O-Line coach) officially retire. May be due to the recent changes to NFL pension plan, and they could possibly return as "consultants".
- Mike Celizik (NBC Sports) NFL wrong to oppose state's move for gambling.
- Bryn Swartz (Cold Hard Football Facts) The ten greatest RB seasons.