Friday Afternoon Patriots Notes – NFL Mandating Fantasy Stats at Stadiums, Solder Says He’s Ready, and More
By: Ian Logue
A Video Preview to tonight’s “Patriots All Access” courtesy of the Patriots PR Department.
Among the highlights for tonight’s episode:
– Coach Belichick explains his reasoning behind some recent roster moves as the Patriots get ready for their week one contest on Monday Night Football in Miami. He also breaks down the Dolphins on the Belestrator.
– Sights and sounds from an eventful Patriots preseason.
– Steve Burton sits down with Patrick Chung, now the longest-tenured safety on the Patriots.
– All Access follows Leigh Bodden’s “Path to the NFL.”
– A look back at the ten year anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 through the eyes of Patriots past and present, including owner Robert Kraft, Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Joe Andruzzi.
– Patriots Football Weekly’s Paul Perillo and ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss share their opinion and analysis of the Dolphins matchup.
Meanwhile, the Patriots may be on the road to open the season on Monday night, but it appears that when fans from New England finally file into Gillette Stadium in the coming months – if you’re a fantasy football player – there are some changes coming that may make you happy.
According to published reports this afternoon the NFL is mandating that all 32 teams display real-time fantasy statistics at all home games for the 2011 season.
That means you’ll be able to find out just how your fantasy team is performing from the comfort of your seats in real time while you’re enjoying the game. It’s pretty clear that this business has grown to a point where the league knows it’s in their best interest to accommodate those who take part in this activity. So now, you’ll be able to root for opposing players while you’re also sitting there rooting for the home team.
In a down economy, obviously the ability to enjoy the game from the comfort of your own couch with your computer in one hand, along with food and beverage in the other, is causing the league to try and to do some things to enhance the fan experience for the people who come out to enjoy the games.
It’s a good first step, but obviously it’s still going to be a challenge to try and do some further things to make it even better. There was talk quite a while back about having screens and interactive devices at the seats for fans, although that has yet to come to fruition. One would believe either that plan – or something like it – is just around the corner.
Needless to say this is just one of what likely be more changes that will be done to try and make sure there are as few empty seats as possible on game days. And while you’re keeping track all your fantasy stats, Tweets, and Facebook friends, try and do the team a favor and make a little noise while you’re at it.
Anyway, moving on – here are some additional notes from this afternoon.
– Technology beating out an actual NFL ticket for overall experience – On a similar note, Monte Poole of The San Jose Mercury News has an interesting article this afternoon on the fact that technology seems to be giving fans in the Bay area far too many reasons – like safety, among others – to stay homeinstead of buying a ticket.
– Wright Feeling Good – Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wright told NESN’s Jeff Howe on Friday that he’s feeling good, and looking forward to hopefully getting out there and playing against Miami Monday night. “I feel good,” Wright said Friday. “I’m excited to get out there and get in a real [game]. I got out there in that last preseason game, but I’m excited to get in the regular season and start working.”
– Jason Taylor still has plenty of respect for Tom Brady – Fans may have heard about the fact that Tom Brady tried to get Bill Belichick to bring Jason Taylor to Foxboro, and it just didn’t work out. Now as the two get set to battle Monday night, you can clearly see there’s plenty of respect between the two. “He’s the best in the game, period,” Taylor told the Palm Beach Post. “(But) if you pressure him you can force him into things he doesn’t want to do, get him off his (game) a little bit, so to speak, and make him throw the ball out of rhythm, underthrow some balls, overthrow some balls.”
– Solder Says He’s Ready – With Sebastian Vollmer still sidelined with a back injury, It appears to have opened the door for Nate Solder to make his first NFL start at right tackle Monday night. Solder told ESPN he’s ready. “I’m absolutely ready to go,” said Solder, who is the only other pure tackle on the depth chart. “Whatever situation I’m put in, it’s because the coaches have confidence in me to be in there. … It’s just a building process for me. I’m just one cog of this wheel.” He’ll likely be tested by Cameron Wake, who usually lines up on his side of the field.
– ESPN Files their predictions – And finally, the gang from ESPN posted their predicitons for Monday night, but the main reason I’ve included this is because Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak also took part and you can read them in this entry. Most of them are picking the Patriots, although Reiss made the same prediction I made this morning via Twitter and agrees that it will be tougher than expected. Since both teams have the benefit of the unknown since there haven’t been any meaningful games left, I’m guessing Miami will probably have a few surprises to make it interesting.