By: With Steve Grogan & R.R. Marshall
September 17, 2008

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Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates
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MB: Good Morning Steve. We have a special guest in the studio today. It's someone I'm sure you're aquainted with, Lenny Clarke is sitting in with us this morning.

SG: Oh no kidding, Hey Lenny!

LC: Hi Steve, how are ya pal!

SG: I'm good thank you.

MB: I have to start Steve by saying how excited I am. I got critizied on Friday because I said I was probably more excited to watch this weeks Patriots game than I have been in awhile because for the first time in awhile, we had been underdogs. I wanted to see if we could do it and low and behold, it wasn't pretty but we got it done.

SG: Yeah, there was a sense of the unknown. I think coming into this weekend everybody kind of wondered how Matt Casell was going to handle things. Would the guys around him rally, would the defense play better. It was kind of a fun way to prepare for the game, as a fan, because we just weren't sure what to expect and I thought Matt Casell did a heck of a job playing within himself, doing everything the coaches asked him to do. The defense stepped up good against a good quarterback and they came out of there with a good victory.

MB: Did it seem to you that the Jets just seememd a little discombobulated?

SG: A little bit at times. I think Brett Favre is still trying to learn the offense, and learn the guys. You have to remember he wasn't in much of a training camp with these guys, so its going to take a while for them to feel comfortable with what he's doing there. They've got some talent on that team, they are still not one of the upper eschlan teams in the NFL though.

LC: Hey Steve, speaking of Brett Favre, a great quarterback, we all know that. But Green Bay offered him 20 million dollars to retire....that tells me that this man is delusional! {laughing}

SG: They certainly didn't offer me that to leave the patriots, I wish they had.

LC: I wish they'd offer you that to come back! You were the toughest damn quarterback we ever had in the history of that orginization!!

SG: Thank you.

MB: Its true and I think most people in New England feel that way.

SG: I think Brett Favre thought he could still play, which he can. I think he's still a good quarterback and I think that 20 million dollars they offered him was to be around the stadium shaking hands and patting people on the back and I don't think he wanted to do that.

MB: The bottom line is the man's a professional athlete, and there aren't a lot of professional athletes that want to do that if they still think they can play because that's all they know and that's all they want to do!

SG: Exactly.

MB: The schedule I think has kind of done the Patriots and Cassel a favor. We have the hapless Dolphins coming in and then another week off, and Cassel can kind of get his legs under him. Do think that works out just perfect for Pats?

SG: I think that's going to be a huge help to him. He's not having to play anyone of any real talent until later in the season after the bye, so it gives him time to sort of get comfortable. It's not only getting comfortable with what he's doing on the field, it's because he's been doing that in practice for the last four years. But it's also getting comfortable with the press conferences after practices, the press conferences after games, the call in radio things that he has to do before and after practice. People don't understand once you step into that quarterback role theres a lot more responsibility off the field than really on the field. That's where he's going to have to learn to adjust his time and make everything fit into the same day.

LC: We've got to get him a supermodel!

SG: He's got a lovely wife, I've met her, so I think he's all set

LC: Well, maybe she could use a break!


MB: That's Lenny Clarke siting in with us and Steve Grogan. But Steve really given the position the Patriots are in let's take Cassel out of the mix. Let's talk about the rest of the team. This from a coach's perspective is what Belichick thrives on. Even when we weren't the underdogs, he made them feel like they were underdogs and they had something to prove. Doesn't this kind of play right into his stratagy?

SG: I think it probably does. They got back to basics for yesterday's game and it was fun for me to watch because it was a controlled passing game, they ran the ball effectively. Defensively they bent, and bent, and bent, but they never really broke. That's the way he likes to play football, so I think this team's going to go a lot farther than a lot of the national media were giving them credit for when Tom Brady went down. This is a talented football team and he knows how to coach and they are going to play well throughout the season.

MB: What about the scare when he went down and they thought he had a knee injury too? When he went down and grabbed his knee I was freaked out of my mind! Who is coming in to replace him if he goes down?

LC: O'Connell?

MB: Lenny


SG: Actually, I reached for my phone, I was going to make the call but I didn't have the number.

LC: Steve you had [John] Hannah and a couple other great offensive linemen on one side, the other side I can't really remember, and for recievers I don't think you ever had weapons like these guys have got.

SG: You know, I wouldn't trade Stanley Morgan and Harold Jackson in for anybody they have there right now. I had two good ones and they have two really good ones right now. They have to find a way to get Randy Moss more involed in the offense. I think he only had two catches yesterday and when they showed his face on the sidelines he kind of looked like he wasn't into the game because he wasn't part of the offense. So they're going to have to find a way to get him involved.

MB: So how does it work for a guy like Cassel coming in? Obviously he's playing in practice with the guys and maybe throwing a little bit to Moss or whatever, but do they have to develop a relationship? Does there have to be a connection between the two, other than calling the play and executing the play?

SG: There is some connection because he has worked with these guys in practice but not as much as he's going to get to over the course of the season now, so they'll get more comfortable with each other as each week goes by. He'll get a feel for them, they'll get a better feel for him, and they should continue to improve.

MB: Well I was pleasantly surprised, the defense played well, a couple of throws were either underthrown or grossley overthrown but I think hopefully thats going to work itself out. I'm looking forward to it and I'm excited! I don't care what anybody says!

SG: I think you should be...

LC: We've got the undefeated Patriots!!

MB: Don't start that, that's scary, I'll tell you! So what we do here Lenny is Steve gives us his grade for the week, he grades the preformance of the Patriots, (It's called Grogan's Grade), and we try to predict what he's going to say I think its an A- because there is room to improve, what do you think Lenny?

LC: I think its an A because room to improve would be an A+ when we crush the filthy dolphins!


SG: I hate to disagree with Lenny but I have to go with an A- because I do think there is room for improvement on both sides of the ball But they did play well and got the job done. So A-. Now Lenny will never speak to me again right...

LC: You will always be my favorite patriot!

Grogan's Grade For Week 2

Offense: B+
Defense: A-
Special Teams: A
Overall: A-

More From Steve on the grades:

On the Offense: I thought the start of second half looked awful, and the Patriots offense really needed to convert and score touchdowns in the Red Zone. Otherwise they did a good job controlling the football and keeping Favre off the field.

On the Defense: The Patriots defense played well. They gave up a couple of big plays that could have been prevented, and I thought the goal line stand was terrific.

On the Special Teams: Stephen Gostkowski's kickoffs into the end zone made the Jets have a 'long field' on nearly all of their possessions. Kevin Faulk had a couple of nice put returns to give the Pats a 'short field', which pays off in points.

On the Overall Performance: It was a solid game for the Patriots, but there is room for improvement on both offense and defense.