By: Bob George/
October 20, 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

Bobby Howfield was from an era in Jet history that was as forgettable as it gets. Still stuck in the post-Super Bowl III letdown, Howfield kicked for the Jets in a time when Joe Namath and his knees were getting clobbered on a regular basis. All the Jets had back then was stud back John Riggins, ageless Randy Rasmussen, and the unforgettable Chris Farasopoulos. This Jet team wasn't as bad as the Rich Kotite bozos, they were merely forgettable. Howfield booms one deep and we're under way.

Charlestown's Howie Long came home this weekend. He took in the Sad Sack Sox on Saturday night at Fenway, then did the Fox pregame show at Gillette on Sunday. People around here would love this guy if he had gone anywhere except the Raiders.

During the Pittsburgh-Dallas tilt, CBS's Jim Nantz was recalling Super Bowl XIII (also a Pittsburgh-Dallas matchup), a 35-31 win by the Steelers. He mentioned the only catch in the career of Dallas' Percy Howard, which he caught in that game for a touchdown. He said to Phil Simms, "Boy, I'm sure about that one!”

Sorry, Jim. Said catch was made in Super Bowl X. Go look it up.

Boston-New York. Sox-Yankees. The climax is finally at hand on Wednesday.

Ugh. Until next weekend. In comes the 5-0 New York Jets, who will be obsessed with stopping our streak.

And untying the tie at the top of the AFC East.

Bethel Johnson showed everyone how to exit a doghouse.

How high and mighty does Cincinnati feel now? The 1-5 Bengals peaked in a preseason game against New England which counts zippo towards a Super Bowl berth.

Geek of the week: Seattle's Darrell Jackson guaranteed that his team would beat the Patriots. Sigh. Will they never learn?

Pam Oliver and Bonnie Bernstein are both good lookin' and good talkin'.

No, Chad Pennington will not throw five picks this time.

Corey Dillon was hurt for the Seattle game? Yeah. My foot.

Jeff Garcia hit Andre Davis for a 99-yard touchdown. They don't make ‘em any longer than that.

Ben Roethlisberger is good. Now we know he's tough. Terry who?

It's always interesting when Houston plays Tennessee. And when Baltimore plays Cleveland. Do you think it was accidental that these team couplets were placed in the same division?

Did you see a Fox announcer in the broadcast booth, waving silver and blue pompons and wearing a "Seahawk” sweater? That was Cris Collinsworth. He was practically pleading for Seattle to win the game.

Have you ever known when Miami and Buffalo were a combined 0-9 going into a game?

By the way, Miami's now 0-6.

And either Charlie Weis or Romeo Crennel could be their head coach next year.

When will Joe Gibbs finally realize that maybe, just maybe, this coming back idea wasn't too hot an idea?

Will Curtis Martin be up for next week's game?

Back to school: If Bill Belichick had been coaching Boston College on Saturday, they beat Pittsburgh in regulation.

We're still trying to figure out why Kansas City got rid of Morten Andersen.

The laughing you hear emanating from Oakland is Mike Shanahan, sticking it to the team that scorned him once upon a time.

Oh, about those Broncos: Now it's Reuben Droughns rushing for over a hundred? If Sedrick Shaw played for Denver, you have to figure that even he could come away with a Ben Franklin at some time.

Don't look now, but that wrestler from Cal State-Bakersfield has himself a starting gig in the NFL. Stephen Neal is loved by Roadrunner fans everywhere.

How far the mighty have fallen: Jake Delhomme's line at Philadelphia was 24 of 42, 205 yards, four picks, a rating of 38.4. Last time Delhomme was in Philly, he won a conference title.

Does Michael Vick have to prove anything to any announcer?

The Fox pregame show blows CBS's out of the water. But watch it next week just to be sure. Any pregame show held outside Gillette Stadium will make you smile.

That said, howcum Jillian Barberie stayed home? Maybe because she would have had to wear a jacket instead of this week's low bodice special.

The next three Patriot opponents are a combined 13-3. Hold off on those 16-0 predictions for now, folks.

If Tom Brady is the next Joe Montana and Ben Roethlisberger is the next Dan Marino, Chicago's Jonathan Quinn is the next whom?

Remember him: You don't remember Gregg Robinson, a Jet defensive lineman of the late 1970s (and not the defensive coordinator of the same name). Trust me. But Falcon faithful all over western Massachusetts remember Gregg Robinson '74, defensive tackle at Minnechaug Regional of Wilbraham. He missed playing under current Houston GM Charlie Casserly by two years, who took over as head coach of the Falcons for Paul Deslauriers in 1975.

Personal note: That's really something. A guy who used to coach at my high school is the general manager of a quarterback whose mother-in-law is my oldest daughter's music teacher. Small world.

Honk if you shrieked when Dan Klecko caught that pass.

What would Bill Belichick say to Terry Francona? Probably to shut the (censored) up and quit being so nice to the media.

What would Francona say to Belichick? I'm five wins away from knowing how you feel every February.

Patriots make history. So do the Red Sox. There is no greater time to be a sports fan in this area.