by Scott Benson
If recent history is any indication, discarded Oakland Raider Lamont Jordan is about to set the NFL’s single season rushing record for the Patriots.
This story and more as we pull the curtain back on the first Sunday Links of the new season. Let’s get started.
In the Globe notebook, Christopher Gasper has Jordan hooking up with the Pats yesterday after being released by the confused Raiders on Friday. My recollection is that Jordan got fat and lost his way with the Raiders after showing early promise as a Jet, but he’s an experienced back who’s produced as a pro. It’s not surprising that the Patriots have added a runner as they have seemed to make the position a post-June 1 priority. You have to wonder how the Pats will handle their final roster building if Jordan fits in AND Sammy Morris makes a complete comeback from the chest injury that ended his first season in New England.
The Jordan signing was entirely in keeping with the theme for yesterday; RUNNING GAME! Gasper chats with the Pats offensive line, who seem intent on rebounding from their disasterous Super Bowl by working towards a more balanced attack in 2008. Am I dreaming? If you guys are just putting me on with all this running game stuff, I will totally be so pissed. Gasper points out that the Pats did, in fact, rush for more than four yards a carry in 07, but the decision to pass 57% of the time seemed to set the offensive tone that was so severely rebuked in the Super Bowl.
In the Football Notes, the unmatched Mike Reiss catches up with former Pat David Patten, who put up a nice season for the disappointing 07 Saints. Patten is something else – one of those guys that fans are always looking to upgrade from, yet on he goes. By the way, don’t you think Reiss’s Pieces had a spectacular first week of camp?
Over in the Herald, Karen Guregian has a confidant and talkative Laurence Maroney, who can fill up dozens of notebooks when he gets going. In more recent developments, he can also carry a team when he gets going – a recent NFL Network replay of last year’s Jacksonville playoff game had me out of my seat. No doubt to Maroney’s delight, Guregian also hits the Super Bowl Hangover/RUNNING GAME! storyline with her look at the contrite yet determined offensive line. KG also files a Jordan story before ending her busy day.
Elsewhere, Douglas Flynn of the MetroWest Daily News has a healthy and optimistic Richard Seymour. Flynn offers a second piece on yesterday’s player movement, which included the retirement of veteran center-guard Gene Mruczkowski.
They say the buzzword for this year’s team is FINISH. So I will. See you next week.