by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
September 2, 2009

New England’s final warm-up against the New York Giants Thursday night should be as ugly and desperate as the promos the networks run during football broadcasts. When a play-by-play guy says in his pseudo-excited voice, “Look who’s on a new sitcom!” it means, “Someone who should have stayed retired is trying a comeback.”

Speaking of which: hey, Tedy Bruschi? Thank you for bowing out gracefully. Some people understand what their fans want. Others just get a new set of fans, apparently.

Anyway, on to this week’s concerns…

Of Power And Mike: With Bruschi gone, who’s the primary backup at middle (aka Mike) linebacker? I suppose Jerod Mayo won’t get much rest, but right now no one looks ready to step in if needed. Neither Eric Alexander nor Gary Guyton has shown he can battle linemen, while Paris Lenon has been up and down (literally, when he took flight on Jason Campbell’s pump fake). Looking forward to Rob Ninkovich converting to middle linebacker.

Come on, relax. I’m kidding.

Up Against The Walter: Let’s hope Tom Brady sits so Andrew Walter can prove his value as the second QB. The ol’ waive goodbye to Kevin O’Connell came as a surprise (he’s now in Detroit, God love him), though we have some hope for Brian Hoyer. Not a lot, just some.

(Doesn’t Walter look a lot like actor Colin Hanks? Weird.)

Been Running BenJarvus: Will BenJarvus Green-Ellis get most of the carries Thursday? Will Sammy Morris demonstrate his injuries have gone? Who’s the odd man out for the running backs? (Let’s leave Laurence Maroney alone, as his contract is almost wholly guaranteed.)

Thrown Around: Will New England’s defense – especially their pass defense – hold up against New York? Most of this week’s schemes should look about as vanilla as Madagascar’s main export (see, we all learned something today). This will allow plenty of man coverage, providing the last opportunity to watch some fringe guys in action.

Email Chris Warner at chris.warner@patriotsdaily.com