By: Bob George/
September 15, 2009

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

Our weekly potpourri article returns for its eighth season. It will appear about midweek, usually either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Nick Lowery began his career with the Patriots with a brief cup of coffee in 1978. He then went on to kick for 14 years for the Chiefs. But he finished his career with a three-year stint with the Jets. He hit just under 80 percent of his Jet field goal attempts, right around his career average. He is eighth all-time in career field goals made with 383. Oh, by the way, he kicked in only two games for the 1978 Patriots and missed his only field goal attempt in a fill-in role for the injured John Smith. He booms one about one yard deep into the end zone and the kick returner takes a knee, unlike other kick returners we know.

The most amazing thing about Brandon Stokely's touchdown catch against Cincinnati wasn't that the defense wasn't properly covering the goal line, that the ball took the most fortuitous deflection since Franco Harris in 1972, or that it simply just happened.

No. The most amazing thing was that Stokely had the presence of mind to run parallel to the goal line to burn off more seconds before entering the end zone. He got the clock down to 11 seconds and could have burned perhaps even more time.

When you see stupid plays like a delay of game two yards away from a touchdown, clock mismanagement inside two minutes or losing your composure and drawing a personal foul, it is refreshing to see players like Stokely who have that ability to think on their feet.

Troy Polamalu. Brian Urlacher. Jerod Mayo. Already off to a bad start for defensive studs around the league.

Mark Sanchez, on the other hand, is off to a good start. He'll keep Bill Belichick up late this week.

Geek of the week: Down the ball in the end zone next time, Leodis McKelvin. A two point safety and you guys still lead.

Four wildcat plays, three yards. Nice job, Falcons. Back to the drawing board, Dolphins.

If you have any Native American friends, ask them if they object to Washington's nickname. Betcha they say no. Some groups just need to sit down and shut up and let the Supreme Court deal with more important stuff.

Jay Leno opened his new show on Monday night with this little gem: "I set my TiVo to record The Biggest Loser and got the Lions game!"

Ah, yes, right up there with original Tampa Bay coach John McKay. During the Buccaneers' 0-22 franchise beginning in 1976-77, he was asked "Could you comment on the execution of your offense?" He replied "I'm highly in favor of it!"

Come on. Matthew Stafford has to be worth at least one win somewhere along the line.

Brett Favre scored big this week. No, not at Cleveland, but at his favorite appliance store. He's still thinking about that flat screen, folks. Self deprecation at its finest, but he should have stayed retired a long time ago.

Drew Brees will throw more touchdown passes than Tom Brady. Go get 'em, Drew. As long as Brady leads the league in team wins, Brees can have all the scoring tosses he can get.

Except against the Patriots.

Back to school: Lots of exciting games during Week 1, but we'll just bet you never saw this score from the Deep South: Stephen F. Austin squeaked by Texas College, 92-0.

These things do happen. About 40 years ago, Houston beat Tulsa, 100-6.

Jay Cutler versus Kyle Orton. Orton's team got the W. Cutler's team got the L. Looks like Josh McDaniels is an unqualified genius. Pulled off that deer in the headlights look to perfection at those pressers, didn't he?

Give Richard Seymour credit for playing hard in his first game as a Raider. But his team got an L, and his old team got a W. Sorry, Big Sey, but that's just the way things go.

And we aren't kidding. That's 12 in a row for the Patriots over the Bills, and the same for the Chargers over the Raiders. It's like the losers probably thought it was illegal for them to actually beat these nemeses.

That was no small win by the 49ers. They go to Arizona, watch the home team raise their first NFC title banner, and they pull out a win in the fourth quarter.

Of course, don't forget that Arizona was the first 9-7 Super Bowl team in 30 years.

Jeff Feagles is still punting after all these years. Yes, you did remember that he began his 22-year career as a Patriot in 1988.

News item: The Rams' contract with the city of St. Louis expires in 2014. They are being rumoured for possible relocation, once again.

To London. Boy, that will shut up Seattle players when they complain about long plane flights.

Speaking of London, your Patriots will be there about midseason. Bob Kraft will make all sorts of new British business mates, while his team has to deal with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Not real fair, what?

Remember him: Nick Toon caught a key touchdown pass for Wisconsin in its overtime win over Fresno State. The crowd at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison yelled "Toooooooon!" Just like they used to do at the Meadowlands for his dad, former Jet receiver Al Toon. Dad Toon, who was a Badger like his son, played eight seasons for only the Jets in his NFL career. Alongside the great Wesley Walker, Toon was one half of a potent pass receiving combo with quarterback Ken O'Brien at the helm. Toon led the NFL with 93 catches in 1988, and was a three-time Pro Bowler and a First Team All-Pro in 1986. His career was cut short in 1992 thanks to multiple concussions suffered during his career. He was only 29 years old when he had to call it quits. But for how little time he was around, Jet fans will never forget "Tooooooooooon!"

Job one at Foxborough this week: Catch the ball.

Job two: Get on the phone and see if the captain of the all-time Patriot defensive team wants to reconsider retirement.

Philip Rivers needs to grow up. That taunting penalty is further proof that Rivers is still a child out there most of the time, despite his awesome ability.

Sooner or later, JaMarcus Russell will get it.

It's not football, but all Patriot fans who also like hockey must pause and reflect on one of the most famous and recognizable sports voices over the years, Fred Cusick, who died on Tuesday at age 90. The iconic voice of Bruins hockey on both radio and television was part of a lot of folks' growing up in these parts. When you think of the word "Scoooooore!", Cusick certainly did that in New England with his vast audience. His voice was unmistakably brilliant, his love for hockey undeniable.