A quiet Sunday here in New England as the Patriots don’t have a game today, and neither to the New York Jets – who New England will face off against one week from tomorrow. The timing of the contest was well conceived by the league, and it will give us over a week of hype heading into this match-up.
It’s already started. The New York papers are eating up every one of Rex Ryan’s comments, and as usual he’s talking up a big game. His team already beat the Patriots earlier this year in their first meeting, and now they’re going for the sweep – with Gary Myers of the Daily News writing this morning that now is the time for the Jets to prove there is a new order in the AFC East.
“We beat them. So it’s 1-0. I think the pressure is on them,” said Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis, the most senior member of the team in his 11th season. “We’re going up there to win. We’re going to be relaxed and go in there, play our game and see what happens. In the end, they got to beat us. For years, we’ve been going up there trying to get revenge.”
Jeff Howe of NESN.com has an article on the fact that Ryan’s trash talking has definitely made this match-up ‘intoxicating’ over the past couple of seasons, and he referenced some comments from this week that should definitely have the players – and fans – fired up for this one.
“I don’t care what people believe. I know what I believe,” Ryan told the Herald. “Our football team believes that we can beat anybody. They’ve won 25 straight at home, we’ve won eight straight on the road, so we plan on making it nine. I know it’s going to be tough, but we’re just the men for the job.”
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has her NFL Notes column for this morning, and recently spoke to Fox Sports NFL Analyst Brian Baldinger, who made some interesting observations on the evolution of New England’s offense. Baldinger says that the trade of Moss helped them develop an offense which eliminated the lower percentage throws and makes them better suited at beating the Jets. He feels this current personnel group allows them a better chance to accomplish that.
“I think (the Jets) have much better luck against guys like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco and Andre Johnson than they do against Wes Welker and Deion Branch and Danny Woodhead,” Baldinger said. “I think those matchups are much tougher. If you look, they’ve already benched their safety Brodney Pool, and started Eric Smith (against Cincinnati) because they haven’t covered tight ends well. The middle of the field has been a problem.”
Speaking of Moss, Steve Buckley of the Herald writes that the receiver’s “hasty business plans” blew up in his face, as he’s already been traded twice this season and is now with yet another team that appears to be imploding.
Meanwhile Mike Reiss has his “Quick-hit thoughts” for this morning, and it’s definitely a great read. Reiss gives his thoughts on the videotaping incident surrounding the Broncos, as well as how he feels about former Patriots assisatant Josh McDaniels’ future in Denver.
Speaking of McDaniels, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has an article this morning on the situation out in Denver, which is bizarre to say the least. Video operation director Steve Scarnecchia, the son of Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, reportedly videotaped the walkthrough of the 49ers before their meeting out in London. According to the report McDaniels refused to watch the video when it was presented to him, and as a result of the violation Scarnecchia took the fall and was fired. The team was subsequently fined by the league $50,000, and McDaniels was also slapped with a $50,000 penalty.
In other news, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe has an article this morning with some comments from owner Robert Kraft on the current labor situation. Kraft is focused on getting a deal done and feels more confident now than he did six weeks ago that they’ll work things out and ensure there’s football in 2011.
“I want to assure our fans and everyone else that I’m doing everything within my power to try to help to see if there isn’t a way we can’t have labor peace before the season ends,’’ Kraft said. “In my mind, it’s possible and actually something that should happen.
“Knowing what I know now — and I’m privileged to see a lot of what’s going on — there’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone associated with the NFL to grow together.
“I came out right away after our last [labor] meeting and said I believe [a deal will happen]. And I believe it even more now six weeks later.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com has an article on defensive back Kyle Arrington, who surprised everyone – including the Colts – when he was lined up in a three point stance and spent the majority of the game chasing quarterback Peyton Manning out of the pocket.
Dan Shaughnessy has a must-read column this morning on the effect that some of our own pro athletes recently had while visiting sick kids at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. It’s an absolutely fantastic read, so be sure and check it out.
And finally a great story out of Florida by Boston Globe writer Stan Grossfield, who writes that Fred Taylor recently had his number retired at his old high school, and then watched his son – a sophmore in high school – rush for 265 yards, including four first-half touchdowns, a 93-yard run from scrimmage, and an 80-yard kick return. Hopefully we’ll get to see his dad put on a few final performances here in New England in the coming weeks that will allow him to finish his career strong, and maybe if all goes well he’ll leave with some jewelry to go along with it.
That’s it for this morning. Hope everyone has a great Sunday and we’ll see you tomorrow.