In appreciation of Patriots RB Kevin Faulk, who officially retired today

Today, in a ceremony at the Patriots Hall of Fame, RB Kevin Faulk officially retired. It was no surprise. The 36-year-old former second-round draft pick of the Patriots wasn’t on a roster and contributed only in the role of elder statesman last year. And so, in what sounded like a fantastically classy ceremony, Faulk announced his career was over. The only player to precede Bill Belichick was calling it quits. Considering how many people were in attendance (as in, most of the organization), Faulk didn’t get the last word. ”It’s truly been an honor to have the opportunity to coach you and to be on the team with you,” Belichick told Faulk, according to the Boston Herald. ”He’s the ultimate team […]

Looking the Patriots and Titans and why running the football still matters…

Well, it was a Week 1 for the ages. An offensive explosion like we’ve never seen. But it wasn’t all passing. In fact, after watching the Patriots beat down the Titans — and after writing this Rap Sheet Rundown for yesterday — it made me realize there’s this other important thing. Running the ball. Still important. Still essential. And something that, when you’re good on offense, can make you great. Why did the Patriots beat the Titans? A lot of reasons. But a main one was simple and old-school. They ran the ball and stopped the run. Maniacal runner Stevan Ridley gained 125 yards on 21 carries… which a TON of carries for a passing team. Aerial assassin Tom Brady? […]

Bandaged nose and all, Patriots QB Tom Brady says, “I never mind a little blood”

First things first. Patriots QB Tom Brady suffered a bloody nose when Titans pass-rusher Kamerion Wimbley sacked him early in the 34-13 beat-down here at LP Field. But I’m told that, upon first examination, that Brady did not break his nose. He’ll be reassessed tomorrow. But still, there he was (left) with a bandage on it during his post-game after an efficient 23 of 31 performance for 236 yards and two TDs. Brady quipped to me, “Guess it’s not the preseason anymore. That didn’t happen in the preseason.” He’s right. What I loved, though was his reaction. Lots of jokes… and some seriousness. Brady said, “I never mind a little blood.” The image he has is one thing, and he […]

Why the McCourty twins are cracking me up this week (even if they’re really serious)

The NFL season opens for the Patriots and Titans Sunday and both teams will have a lot going on when they hit the field. But one kinda cool storyline that shouldn’t be overlooked is that the McCourty twins get to play against each other. No, not on the field at the same time — both play defense. But on opposite sidelines. The Patriots have their McCourty, Devin, the starting CB. The Titans have their McCourty, Jason, the starting CB. And the dudes who look very much alike will have an interesting week. (Shoot, it’s been interesting for me in the Titans locker room. Every time I see Jason, I have to remind myself I’m not talking to Devin.) The word […]

Why did the Patriots cut backup QB Brian Hoyer? Well…

A quick explanation during a busy cut-down day on one interesting move… The Patriots pulled off a mild surprise when they released backup QB Brian Hoyer earlier today. That means 2011 third-round pick and uber-talented Ryan Mallett is the backup to QB Tom Brady. (I wrote all about him here in this blog series) So, why did this happen? A few things… Mallett had begun taking the No. 2 reps before the Patriots played the Eagles in preseason, a sure sign he was progressing. While he started the fourth preseason game, I’m told the original plan was to start Hoyer to showcase him for teams that were interested. In case teams faced QB injuries, the Patriots wanted Hoyer to get […]

Weighing in on the two issues of yesterday before yesterday becomes two days ago…

It was a busy morning, as I spent most of it flying to Chicago and chillin’ in Soldier Field. The plan was to rehearse for one of our new shows on NFL Network from there, so that’s exactly what we did. Now, I’m at Halas Hall waiting for interviews with a few dudes… but before that, I wanted to take the chance to weigh in on some issues from yesterday. Why? Because yesterday is almost two days ago and then it’ll be too late. So, want an opinion on the new, 5-year, $37.5 million contract extension for TE Aaron Hernandez and the trade of Jets T Wayne Hunter for Rams T Jason Smith? Cool… — The Patriots and Hernandez’s reps […]

Live from Tahoe: Ex-hockey star Jeremy Roenick says Gronk is “the next best thing to Jesus Christ”

You never know who you’re going to run into when you walk around celebrity golf tournaments… I’m here in South Lake Tahoe, and I found ex-hockey star Jeremy Roenick on the putting green. Before he teed off, he stopped to chat for a few minutes, and it turns out, he’s a huge football fan. The Massachusetts native and ex-Thayer Academy player loves him some Patriots. And he didn’t mind saying how much. You’ll love this… “I’m a Patriots fan,” Roenick told me. “I grew up in Boston. I’m a big Patriots fan, a big Wes Welker fan, a big Tom Brady fan. So, being from that area, the Gronk is the next best thing to Jesus Christ, in my opinion. […]

The Giants learned that all’s fair in love and cutting dudes to put them on IR

Well, that was awkward yesterday, wasn’t it? The Giants had cut injured TE Jake Ballard, who tore his ACL during the Super Bowl. Their goal was to put him on Injured Reserve after he cleared waivers, then have him for 2013. Yeah… that didn’t happen. As you know, wily Bill Belichick claimed Ballard, and now he’s a member of the Patriots. He won’t play this year, likely, but he’ll be around for 2013. It’s easy to see why there is interest. The well-schooled Ballard had four catches for 67 yards and a TD against the Pats during the regular season, tearing them up. But it’s the whole issue of claiming a guy another team wants to put on IR that […]

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