The Daily Blog 9/3/09

Ian Logue
September 03, 2009 at 10:25am ET

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower returning to practice field an encouraging sign
Why was Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy doing pushups at a bowling alley?
Patriots owner Robert Kraft owns no concerns that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are missing OTAs
New NFL policy lets players who don’t want to stand for anthem stay in locker room
Former Patriots rip NFL’s new anthem policy

Raise your hand if you think this has been the longest preseason in recent memory.

Good – hopefully I’m not alone with this one.

Don't get me wrong, like everyone else I spend plenty of my free time in the days leading up to the start of training camp trying to guess which new draft choice or undrafted free agent I think will be this year’s biggest surprise. I try and guess which veteran will be the guy who may be leaving us, or who may even retire. It’s part of the fun and it signals the start of another football season – which is certainly a time of year I enjoy. I look forward to it from the time the draft ends, from the time mini camp breaks, all the way up until the practice session schedule is finally posted.

Normally it’s a fun experience, but for some reason this year it just seems like it's gone on way too long.

Thankfully we have just one more exhibition game left. So far the Patriots are 2-1 through the “who cares?” portion of the 2009 campaign, which isn’t bad if you’re actually keeping score. Unfortunately until anything changes August is still not as important as September, and it’s no secret that the league is already trying to change that. With one more preseason game to go, this one is generally the worst. Let’s face it, this game likely won’t include any of the starters and will be a curtain call for many players whose names will be forgotten days (even hours) after it ends. When the dust clears after this week, only then can we finally play for real.

I have to say the season just feels like it’s starting so much later this year. Upon further review it appears I’m not completely crazy. This year’s Patriots’kickoff date is the latest start so far this decade, by almost an entire week:

The only good thing coming from the late start to 2009 is the extra time off will give Tom Brady's shoulder time to heal. (File Photo)
2000 – September 3rd
2001 – September 9th
2002 – September 9th
2003 – September 7th
2004 – September 9th
2005 – September 8th
2006 – September 10th
2007 – September 9th
2008 – September 7th
2009 – September 14th

If the league is trying to beat fans into submission and make them feel like moving the season up and going to 18 games is a good idea, they almost have me. It’s bad enough this last game against the New York Giants Thursday night will carry a bunch of meaningless hype about a rematch that is non-existent. The networks can try all they want to insult our intelligence and make it seem like there could possibly be any redemption that could come from this game, but that’s just ridiculous. The Patriots don’t even play the NFC East this year, and honestly the only way that could happen would be if they meet again in February with an undefeated record. Until then, frankly I don’t care if our scrubs are better than their scrubs.

I’ll just be glad when it’s over and the games count for real, because for the first time that I can remember, I just really don’t think I can take any more meaningless football games. Making us wait until the 14th of September (halfway through the month no less) for New England’s first game of the season is a bit much. It's just insane. I guess looking on the bright side it gives quarterback Tom Brady’s shoulder extra time to heal so he's ready to go by week one, but otherwise all it’s doing is keeping my Sundays free to do house chores and yard work.

Needless to say enough already – let’s get this season started.

'Belichick Speak' Getting More Irritating

So what would you rather have had - Belichick being a straightforward guy who is forthcoming in every aspect of what goes on behind closed doors, or a team that has won three championships and is a perrenial contender?

If your answer was the latter, you're in a group that obviously understands and is willing to get over the fact we'll never know how hurt a player is. It's been 9-years, we get it, so we're over it.

Unfortunately there seems to be some who just can't move on from this, and that was apparent with CBS's Pete Prisco - who was less than thrilled when reporters asked Belichick about Brady's injury after last week's game.

Here are the Tweets he fired off during Belichick's press conference:

"Belichick drives me nuts with riddle-speak about Brady's injury. Say something dammit. There isn't a game that matters for real this week"

"Just say something definitive. You know what it is. The fans have a right to know. They're the reason he can afford all the things he can."

"If not for the fans, Belichick and his bretheran would be teaching PE in high school and coaching 170-pound kids. Oh, the arrogance."

"Say something, dammit"

It's a bit strange he would get that irritated and felt the need to share this with the world, but I guess after looking further and reading most of his other "tweets", he seems to just be angry in general.

As former Patriots coaches move on to head coaching positions, this policy is continuing, with Josh McDaniels earning the ire on Sunday night with NBC Broadcaster Al Michaels. Although McDaniels took it to a new level when he said that Kyle Orton had an injury to an "upper extremity". Since anyone with eyes saw that Orton injured his finger, that report was a bit of a stretch.

Michaels thought so too, saying, "As the years go on, it's like getting Afghani election results from everybody," in reference to injury reports. He should know, he's been at it for well over three decades so I'm sure he's heard it all.

Although he gets the quote of the night. He had the honor of calling a game that certainly didn't feel like a preseason contest, as former Bronco Jay Cutler returned to Invesco Field and was met with a crowd that was so hostile, Michaels said, "The crowd is like one, collective spurned lover right now." They didn't get to go home happy either - as Cutler finished the night completing 15-of-21 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown and Chicago won 27-17.

Random Thought of the Day

As I was sitting with my wife and watching some TV after a long day at work Wednesday night, I saw a Radio Shack commercial that made me laugh. They ran a commercial which stated they have "more expertise than a truckload of Einsteins". That's definitely the impression I was left with when I was in there last week. There was an 18-year old who was busy flirting with some girl who was buying a cellphone while his coworker was playing solitaire on the computer and didn't even acknowledge we were in there. Needless to say they didn't leave me with that impression. Fan Mailbag

I've had a lot of e-mails and PM's (private messages for the non-message board/forum people) over the years with people asking different questions about the website. They've asked some interesting questions about some of the "behind the scenes" workings of the site, along with some other inquiries about different topics relating to the history of the website, etc. For some reason - people really seem to be interested about this stuff. So I'll open up the opportunity for anyone who really cares and actually has a question to go ahead and submit it to mailbag(at)
Obviously replace (at) with the @ symbol.

To answer the obvious first question, ie: why don't you put the real e-mail address? Well, that's because putting real e-mail addresses in blog posts (or anywhere on a site for that matter) is suicide because every spammer on the planet will fill that e-mail box with advertisements for Viagra, Cialis, and any other type of male enhancement product. So hopefully that answers that.

In the meantime that's it for this morning. Check back throughout the day for updates, and you'll see another "daily entry" tomorrow morning.