By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
May 23, 2004

No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski not at the start of the team's OTA's today
NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates

One of the things that has become increasingly clear to me after doing these columns on a regular basis is that in the depths of the off season, often times there isn't a darn thing worth dedicating 800 words towards. (Mr. Rousseau's got a little inside tip for you kids out there: Longer word counts aren't always better.)

So without further ado, humor me as I rip off one of these "Emptying the Desk Drawer of the Mind"-style columns that the Pros resort to when they are in a similar slump.

Hey, give me some credit. At least I'm being honest with you when I admit that I'm at a loss. Think you're gonna get that type of hard-hitting honesty from a site that you actually have to pay for? After all, here at, we have taken pride over the years of being able to lower the bar.

Don't believe me?

What about when Ian wrote that Patrick Pass was coming into his own only to see him get cut three days later?

Or how about this gem from yours truly last season: "Go ahead. Try and convince me that Jeff Garcia isn't right up there with Joe Montana and Steve Young."

Or if the Sox are your passion, how about Bob George (and myself, thank you very much) drinking the Kool Aid last October and declaring that the Red Sox were going to win it all because the Patriots had settled all past-due invoices with the Karma Gods?

Then again, if I wrote for, I could easily bang out 800 words on newcomer Clinton Portis's desire to obtain jersey No. 26 from safety Ifeanyi Ohalete. Ohalete, unfazed by the $50 million contract Portis inked with the team, has so far refused. Portis has challenged Ohalete to a boxing match to settle it. Great way to win over your new teammates, eh?

Or if the Eagles were my thing, I might be able to write a column about this quote from Andy Reid in a recent issue of Eagles Digest regarding how he'll get along with Terrell Owens: "I think he's got a big heart and he's a good person…If you understand the whole picture, you understand what you're getting with Terrell. I understand him. I know what we're bringing here."

We'll see…..

In the Canadian Corner this week: Colts kicker and Canadian native Mike Vanderjagt recently stated that his team will refrain from their pre-kickoff dance number this season. Perhaps they should have spent less time practicing their routine and more time worrying about how to tackle Bethel Johnson.

I've found him. The man who has the longest commute of any Patriots season ticket holder: Monsieur Vincent Raymond of Montreal, Québec. So the next time you think that lonely Sunday night drive back to Albany gave you bragging rights, imagine what it's like to drive through Magog around midnight and wonder "How did Vinatieri miss that "botté de placement?"" Je me souviens

A classic O-T-I-S quote from the recent story in Patriots Football Weekly: "Intelligence isn't one of my problems. Whatever system is in or what they are doing right now, I just have to adjust to it and catch back up with it." Give My Man credit for knowing his limitations. It's great to have this Bernie Carbo-esque figure back in our mists.

Okay, it's quiz time. Who is more overexposed on television right now: Curt Schilling or the "lovable" couple of Bernie & Phyl? Incidentally, a pleading to the latter: You're giving all of us with even the slightest trace of a Boston accent a reputation for obnoxiousness.

Proving again that I need a healthy hobby, I recently signed up for the Giants and Redskins season ticket waiting lists. The wait for tickets for each of these teams, like the Patriots, is about 10-20 years. The difference is that these two franchises don't stick it to loyal fans by charging them a one-time fee like your Super Bowl champions do. Sure, this fee is refundable once they get down to your name; but the interest they accumulate on your money sure isn't.

Say what you want about Ken Walter, but he saved the Patriots bacon a few times on holds during the Super Bowl; including the winning one. Who knows? Maybe he'll come back and become the first full-time holder in Patriots history?

Give Charlie Weis his money.

USA Today's John Czarnecki reports that the Cowboys, Broncos, and Ravens all have interest in signing old friend Antowain Smith.

Soon to be former-Browns quarterback Tim Couch is going to be the one without a horse when the June 1 quarterback carousel comes to an end.

Even if you can't top Montreal, I'd love to hear from you. I'm at [email protected].

P.S. 800 words. Right on the nose!