There were some interesting stories this morning as the team gets set to head out to Cleveland today to take on the Browns tomorrow, so here are today’s headlines.
The Boston Globe reported on Saturday that linebacker Gary Guyton and defensive lineman Myron Pryor were each fined $7,500 for their hits on Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre during the Patriots’ 28-18 win over the Vikings last Sunday. Guyton’s fine came on a helmet-to-helmet contact play that lead to a roughing the passer penalty, while Pryor’s appeared to be incidental after his helmet slid up and struck Favre in the chin. Pryor’s agent, Brian Levy, told the newspaper via e-mail last night that they plan to appeal the fine and “trust that the system will offer [Pryor] a fair hearing.”
Mike Reiss has this week’s “football journey”, with this edition focusing on linebacker Jermaine Cunningham.
Monique Walker of the Boston Globe has an article on rookie Brandon Deaderick, who is getting plenty of insight from veterans Gerard Warren and Vince Wilfork.
“A lot of times, it’s kind of like an overload of information because you’ve got to take a little bit at a time,’’ Deaderick said. “Together they have about 17 or 18 years, including Mike Wright, too, that’s a lot of vet knowledge. Any level you play at, you’re a lot wiser, so you hear, ‘If I knew then what I know now,’ so I try to get that from them and they help a lot. They have a lot to teach.’’
Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com has an article on Brandon Tate, who Wes Welker feels can do a good job taking over New England’s deep threat role in place of Randy Moss.
“I think so,” Welker said. “He’s doing a good job out there. I think there are a lot of things that a lot of us can clean up. He’s in his second year, and really it’s almost like his rookie year because he didn’t play much last year.”
Jeff Howe of NESN.com has a good article this morning on head coach Bill Belichick, who was asked to give his thoughts on the NFL Network’s Top 100 players. Belichick didn’t see the series, but offered some great comments on the subject.
Shalise Manza Young takes at the fact that the team has been among the best in the NFL at ball security. She points out that through seven games, the Pats have just six give-aways, on four interceptions and two lost fumbles. That is the second-fewest in the NFL, behind only the surprising Chiefs, who have four (three INTs, one fumble).
Michael Hurley of NESN.com has an article on BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who is looking to improve on his 112 yard performance last weekend against Cleveland’s 19th ranked rushing defense.
WEEI had Sports Illustrated’s Peter King on the Dale & Holley show on Friday, and there is a transcription available that had a lot of interesting topics. King feels that at the end of the day, head coach Bill Belichick was probably the only guy who could keep the veteran receiver in line.
“To me, there’s only one coach in the NFL that can handle this guy right now. And that’s Bill Belichick. He’s the only one,” said King in the interview. “But, Jeff Fisher has as good a chance as anybody else. And I believe when Moss walks in, whatever day that is, that Jeff is going to say to him, in essence, ‘You have a clean slate. I’m only judging you on what I see.’ But I think he’s going to find some way to say, ‘You’ve got to leave your selfish hat checked in the coat room, man’.”
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has a good piece this morning on Belichick’s reflection back on his years as head coach in Cleveland. Belichick lead the team to an 11-5 season in 1994 and a playoff appearance, before Art Modell announced the club was moving to Baltimore the following year. The wheels came off at that point and the club floundered that season amid all the chaos, and it cost Belichick his job.
“We didn’t have a very good team when we got there,” Belichick said. “We had a real good team by ’94, 1995 was a bad year, but I don’t think it was a bad team. I accept that. Could it have been better? Sure. Did I learn a lot? Yeah, I learned something every year.”
And finally, an interesting story this morning on LarryBrownSports.com on Bill Belichick, with Brown pointing out that Belichick did a good job irritating Browns coach Eric Mangini this week with some of his comments from his press conference regarding the Browns offense.