by Scott Benson, Patriots Daily Staff
August 28, 2009
Friends, tonight we welcome the CBS NFL broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms back into our homes for another exciting season. What a moment!
Here are a few final thoughts;
- Staying on the media for a minute, it was bit of a shock at first to learn that the highly valued Mike Reiss was leaving the Boston Globe, boston.com and Reiss’s Pieces to join the new ESPN Boston multimedia venture as its Patriots correspondent.
- It’s understandable in times of change that our first instinct be “who in f**k moved our cheese?” But as a message board friend so aptly asked earlier, what difference should this make to those of us who access all this from the Internet? So the most profound impact on us is that we’ll have to make a new bookmark or something. I don’t think I’m being impolite to say that 100% of my clicks to boston.com over the last few years have been because of Mike Reiss, and not boston.com, so I’ll just click somewhere else now.
- I’ll let Bruce and the others who watch the media to take it from there. I’ll simply chalk this up to good things happening to good people.
- So I’m figuring Nantz and Simms are going heavy on the Brady tonight.
- I don’t know much about the Redskins beyond the cursory (I don’t like Jason Campbell as a quarterback, Clinton Portis may be a flake but he’s very hard to tackle, and Albert Haynesworth is their latest free agent prize) but I saw a pre-season replay on NFLN the other night, and rookie Brian Orakpo can really collapse a pocket. He never quite got there, but he was all around it.
- I realize this is just the third practice game, but is Larry Maroney going to do something soon? In terms of pre-season production, the running back position still appears muddled. Fred Taylor was just okay last week, Maroney’s been stalled, and now Sammy Morris – their most consistent ball carrier, by the way – may be hurt. Kevin Faulk is solid, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the leading pre-season rusher, but it hasn’t come together yet.
- What’s with the Patriots run defense? The opponents are averaging almost 5 yards an attempt. I was going to point this out as an issue until I realized the Pats D is also giving up 250 yards a game through the air. This is the point where I’m supposed to say something like “that’s something to watch tonight” but seriously, you won’t have to watch for it. You’ll know.
- So what do you do with the starters tonight, especially Brady? Do you play it like a typical third pre-season game, like a regular season dress rehearsal? A full half, followed by a drive or two in the third? We’ve talked before about the importance of Brady playing through as much mental and physical scar tissue as he can while the games still don’t count. We wonder if that may mean a 35-40 minute workout tonight and a more-than-a-cameo appearance next week.
- The injury report is out and no Welker OR Edelman, no Crable, no Springs, no Pryor or Brace, and no Faulk or Morris tonight. BJGE’s big break? Greg Lewis’s? Big Steve Williams will no doubt factor in as well. I have to assume that Pryor and Brace have practiced and played their way on the team already, so their absence tonight won’t have any impact on the final roster. How about Crable, though?
- I also wanted to mention Rob Ninkovich, who didn’t look like much at first but last week he crossed our radar. He’s the team’s leading tackler in the pre-season, and if he makes the kind of progression he did last week, he may find a few people to take up his cause.
- Hey, Bruce had a good exchange with a Redskins blogger earlier today. Hats off to the Boss for developing another entertaining new weekly feature.
E-mail Scott Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org