By: Bob George/
December 11, 2007

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

Boy, John Hall had quite a leg. He kicked his first six seasons in the NFL for the Jets, and was known for his long field goals. His 55-yarder in his rookie season of 1997 was his career long. He was 13 of 28 in his career from 50 yards or more. He has toiled for the last four seasons with the Washington Redskins. Hall booms one way out of the end zone for a touchback.

Detroit is better, for sure. But they cannot keep gagging up wins. They had Dallas, and to quote Dennis Green, they "let 'em off the hook".

If the playoffs began next week, you would likely be looking at either Jacksonville or San Diego to come to Foxborough. After a week off, of course.

You watched the Ravens Sunday night and perhaps thought, "Where was that bad defense last week?"

Three to go for Moss to catch Rice.

Four to go for Brady to catch Manning.

What do they think about that? Six to go. Another Vince.

Meanwhile, San Francisco is 3-10, and the Patriots are thinking "number two pick".

After which Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli think "trade down".

Geek of the week: "We've played against better safeties than this guy," quoth Bill Belichick. That sums up Anthony Smith's career pretty well.

If Cleveland makes the playoffs, Romeo Crennel should get a ton of consideration for Coach of the Year.

Watch out for that last game. The Giants are now 9-4.

How's this for sentimentality: The Raiders still have the two Snow Bowl kickers, Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler.

Unfortunately, they also need JaMarcus Russell in there too.

That was one nice rebound job by Washington on Thursday night. They got the funeral out of the way, then they were finally able to let Sean Taylor lift them up.

Opening line at the Las Vegas Hilton: Patriots by 25 ½ over the Jets.

Whether Jeff Fisher actually had a bounty out there for Shawne Merriman or not, do you really feel sorry for the truculent Charger linebacker?

Michael Vick is thrown away in the slammer for two years, so Bobby Petrino resigns as Falcon head coach. If you took that job thinking you had Vick as your quarterback, would you also do the same?

With hardly anyone noticing, Seattle has won four straight NFC West titles.

Is it really all Brett Favre in Green Bay? It sure seems it.

Back to school: That'll be some Division I-AA (to heck with whatever they call this division now) final in Chattanooga, Delaware and Appalachian State. For UMass grads, this is the classical "who do you root for" deal, with perennial UMass killer Delaware going against the team that won the title against them last year.

Betcha everyone in Ann Arbor is rooting for the Blue Hens.

It might snow on Sunday. But the Patriots are 9-0 at home in snow. Sorry, Eric.

Can you believe that there are those who believe Cam Cameron will not be fired in Miami? Peter King of Sports Illustrated said on NBC that Dolphin owner Wayne Huizenga has never fired anyone in the past, and doesn't think he will fire Cameron. Wow.

The Patriots may go 16-0, but don't assume 19-0 too quickly. Especially if you happen to be in the state of Indiana at the time.

You can't blame Jon Gruden for being cranky. A chance to wrap up the division title, and they get spanked by Houston.

By the way, 6-7 is not bad right now for the Texans, all things considered.

If Jacksonville could only bottle how they ran against Indianapolis last year, they'd be the ones in the driver's seat in the AFC South.

You're right, the Gillette Stadium crowd is rather silent. Except when they say things like "Guarantee!"

It's okay if you're silently rooting for San Diego to win the AFC West and keep Denver out of the playoffs.

Remember him: Aaah, the legend of the great Browning Nagle. This guy came up with more hype and anticipation than Daisuke Matsuzaka. He was groomed to be the replacement for aging Ken O'Brien, and he got his chance in 1992. But all he got out of that season was a 4-12 record, completing just under 50 percent of his passes for 2,280 yards, seven touchdowns and 17 interceptions. His passer rating was only 55.7. Nagle was so poor that the Jets had to bring in aging veteran Boomer Esiason the following year. So, instead of replacing O'Brien with Nagle, they replaced O'Brien with Boomer Esiason. The only thing anyone remembers Nagle for was all that hype surrounding his debut in 1992. He is perhaps the poster boy for the word "potential", and that's about all he had in his brief five-year NFL career.

Who was that guy who led New Orleans Monday night with nine catches for 122 yards? Gosh, why can't the Patriots get class acts like David Patten?

Hey, the Patriots won three Super Bowls with him and none without him.

Okay, Eric Mangini, get ready for possibly the defining moment of your NFL coaching career.

It's really too bad. Mangini was beloved when he was here. Now he is a pariah of the highest order.

And it may turn out that Mangini may be like Anthony Smith. To quote Bill Engvall, they both "shoulda shut up".