By: Ian Logue
Patriots owner Robert Kraft claims Bill Belichick wouldn’t mind multiple Thursday night games. (USA TODAY Images)
Here are some news and notes on this Friday:
KRAFT SAYS BELICHICK ENJOYS THURSDAY NIGHT GAMES:
Despite the belief by some that the addition of a Thursday night game is bad for players since they have to play another game only four days after having previously played another, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spent Thursday talking about the fact the league experienced a “slight decrease” in injury rates.
According to Goodell, who was on hand for CBS’s Thursday Night Football event in Beverly Hills, California, many players have praised the scheduling during the most recent negotiations over the league’s collective bargaining agreement and he believes there isn’t an issue.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was also on hand for the event, agreed and even said that Bill Belichick “likes the Thursday night games and would be happy to have more than one in a season,” and argued that short weeks reward the league’s well-prepared teams while giving the players an extended break on the other side.
The team last experienced a Thursday night game in Week 2 of last season at home against the Jets. Coming off their week one win over the Bills, Belichick talked about the fact that they needed to adapt to fit everything in.
“There’s going to have to be some days combined,” Belichick said via the Boston Herald following their opening day victory. “Today is definitely a finish-up-the-Bills day. That’s part of Monday, and skip Tuesday, so you definitely get into Wednesday today. Start our scouting reports, turn the page and get into the Jets. Tuesday and Wednesday will be some combination of Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
They ended up winning a tough 13-10 win in a game that wasn’t pretty offensively. Quarterback Tom Brady finished 19-of-39 for 185 yards and one touchdown but was just 6-of-15 on third down.
But coming off the long layoff, the Patriots played well in a 23-3 win over the Buccaneers. Brady was 25-of-36 passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns, including a better performance on third down after finishing 7-of-9. The running backs also had a good outing, piling up 156 yards on 33 carries.
They have one game scheduled on Thursday night this season, which will again be against the Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 16th. From there they’ll have 10 days before they follow it up with another home game against the Bears on October 26th.
FOOTBALL IN 3-D NOT COMING TO THE NFL:
With Thursday night football coming to CBS in the fall, the network apparently isn’t interested in offering these games in 3-D.
According to CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, the reception for the technology has been lukewarm and he doesn’t expect anyone to pursue it, although he believes the new 4K, super high-definition is likely the next step networks will focus on and he said CBS is already planning for it.
“All the networks looked really seriously at 3-D…it looked brilliant for about 15 minutes,” said McManus via Entertainment Weekly. “What we found out was, it’s really not a very good way to watch a sporting event, with the camera moving back and forth quickly. The reception that we got was very lukewarm. ESPN made the decision not to pursue it. We made the decision…not to pursue it. I don’t think you’ll see anybody in the near future or perhaps the distant future really pursuing 3-D coverage.”
“What we’re all pursuing now is 4K, which is super high-definition,” said McManus. “The camera… suspended over the field will indeed be a 4K camera, for the first time ever.”
KRAFT BELIEVES NFL NEEDS TEAMS IN LONDON AND L.A.:
The idea of an NFL Franchise in London continues to be discussed and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was on hand for the Thursday Night Football panel at the Beverly Hilton in California, told NFL.com he believes a team will be there before the decade is out.
“I can see the kind of reception we got there,” said Kraft, referencing New England’s visit to London back in 2012. “… I would not be disappointed, and I would also believe that we should work hard to try and have a franchise in London before the decade was out.”
Kraft also believes that the league needs to make a move to get one or more teams into Los Angeles, as it’s a market he believes is being hurt by the fact that an entire generation of fans aren’t branded to a team.
“In the end, we want young people here branded to a team,” Kraft said. “I know that Roger and I and a number of the owners who care about the long-term health of the NFL feel it’s very important for our future to have at least one — if not two teams — in downtown L.A.”
WR’S JOHNSON AND WIGGINS RELEASED:
The team made a couple of roster moves on Thursday, releasing receivers Jeremy Johnson and Reese Wiggins. That lightens a group that had eleven receivers heading into training camp, which now drops that number down to nine. With the retirement of Armond Armstead this week, the team’s roster went from 90 to 87 players, although in all likelihood they’ll bring in some additional guys before the team hits the field next Thursday.
Patriots can provide jolt, rescue summer – Christopher Gasper: Gasper writes that the Patriots represent hope on the horizon for Boston fans who have seen the Red Sox fall into last place in the American League East.
Danny Aiken Has Competition For Long-Snapping Duties – Erik Frenz: Frenz takes a closer look at special teams and writes that Aiken could be in a battle with Tyler Ott, who has a lower cap number.
Snapshot: 2014 Patriots media guide cover – Mike Reiss: Reiss takes a look at the team’s media guide and highlights some of the features from this year’s edition.
Picked-up Patriots pieces around Web – Mike Reiss: Reiss has some additional Patriots-related links from around the web in this entry.
Weekly Patriots Chat Recap – Mike Reiss: Reiss also held his weekly chat and as usual it contained some interesting bits of information.
Camp Preview: New England Patriots – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a brief entry with some thoughts heading into training camp as part of ESPN’s NFL Nation.
Countdown to Camp: Quarterback – Christopher Price: Price continues his series looking at each position, with today’s entry focusing on the quarterback spot.
Patriots Secondary Preview: Darrelle Revis Can Completely Reshape Passing Defense – Michael Hurley: Hurley spotlights the Patriots secondary and writes that the Patriots finally have a game-changer in Darrelle Revis.
Nearly two dozen Patriots are playing for their next contract – Mark Daniels: Daniels has a good article on the fact there are quite a few players who are counting on a good season to help get their deals extended.
FIRST-AND-TEN: Patriots’ hands hope to be helping more than hurting in 2014 – Glen Farley: Farley takes a closer look at the wide receiver position, which was badly riddled with injuries from top to bottom in 2013.
SOUTH COAST TODAY:
Is Brady ready to act his age? – Glen Farley: Farley writes that for years we couldn’t help but wonder if the Patriots were even aware of Tom Brady’s football mortality, while now it’s clear after the drafting of Jimmy Garoppolo they are.
Goodell, Kraft talk possibility of teams in L.A., London – Marc Sessler: Sessler has an article on the fact that the NFL feels it’s in their best interest to get teams into both Los Angeles and London,