September 25, 2017

In My Mind I’m Goin’ To Carolina

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling with these Friday night games.

I think it’s the ‘go to work for 8-10 hours first, THEN come home and watch the game’ thing that’s getting me. I like my job fine, but come on – I’ve got my priorities.

I guess if anything, this is our training camp for those two Monday night games the Patriots have scheduled later this fall. Push through the pain and drudgery now, and you’ll be ready to execute when the time comes.

Still sucks though. Here’s a few things I’ll be thinking about while pretending to pay attention in meetings today:

*What are we to make of these reports that say Asante Samuel is ready to end his holdout and rejoin the Patriots next week? I’ll use the most dreaded phrase in the English language here – “makes sense.” Samuel has staged his protest, and now he’ll return to the field, where presumably he can best position himself for another dash for the cash next spring (though there are no reports that the Patriots have conceded future franchise tags). I got to admit – out of all the posible resolutions here, I least expected Samuel to select the “makes sense” option. You know how these contract jihadists can be. Anyway, does he go right from Florida to the Pats starting lineup? Should he? I might suggest that he first watch the guys (Randall Gay) that have been putting the work in, at least for a few days, until he earns his way back out there. I can be a little jihadist myself.

*Will Laurence Maroney get a few touches against the Panthers tonight, and will we get a glimpse of the possibilities in the Pats new zone blocking schemes? Sammy Morris has shown promise as a solid backup so far, but there’s a lot of work still to be done with the New England offense, and finding a niche for the running game in and amongst all the spread formations would have to rank near the top of the offensive ‘to do’ list.

*Will the Patriots offensive line manage to get a finger in the dike tonight, or will they further bedevil Tom Brady with the missed assignments that plagued them last week? For that matter, will Brady even be in attendance? The man’s got a family to think of now. I hope he shows – I’m not sure my heart will stand Matt Cassel against the Carolina regulars. By the way, the Herald’s John Tomase has our Feature of the Day, an expansive piece on Brady’s prime years that features expert commentary from Roger Staubach, Ron Jaworski and Joe Theisman. For other news, as always, you can check

*Will the Patriots defense continue their dominance from last week, and further assert itself as the true strength of the team? Will Rodney Harrison and Gay continue their impressive comebacks? Will Adalius Thomas step from the shadows into the spotlight? Will LeKevin Smith and Kareen Brown extend their push towards the final roster, giving the defensive line unprecedented depth?

*Will Danny Baugher continue to hammer the ball and nail down the punting job? Will Stephen Gostkowski smooth out the rough edges of the last two weeks? Will someone step forward as the primary returner?

You got me – that’s why we watch the games. But first, I’ve got to go to work. Groan.

Work avoidance issues? Tell me about it.


  1. Solid read from Tomase. It’s always fun when rocking-chair QB’s (Staubach) chime in, but the ‘I didn’t become a starter until 29 and Tom’s only 30 so he’s in for even greater football’ logic wears a bit thin. Certainly playing nearly 6 full seasons in the same offense is a boon for Brady, but for that same period of time he’s also been a Jason Taylor/Aaron Schobel/Dwight Freeney hood ornament while tossing 3000+ passes on an arm that’s so tenuous it makes weekly appearances on the injury report (albeit as probable). Hopefully Theismann is right and Brady stays lucky.

  2. I agree that its a different game than when Staubach played (too bad, by the way) but I would disagree with the hood ornament angle. Over his career he’s been protected as well as any quarterback in the league this side of Manning. That’s not to diminish wear and tear but let’s be truthful – there’s more than just luck involved in his continuing health and well being. He’s got a pretty well coached offensive line in front of him. And I think we all know that it wasn’t a tenuous arm that put him on the injury list every week for a couple of years.

  3. Box Score says:

    You ain’t kidding about the Friday games. Due to the start time I went to a local watering hole to see the action. Too many pints later I awoke in my garage to a screaming wife, ripped shorts, and no shirt on. I’ve been blaming the play of the offensive line since.

  4. “Where is the car, by the way?”

  5. Not that I don’t appreciate all the posts, but is there going to be a roundtable today? I particularly enjoy those.

  6. No one questions Tom’s toughness or the effort and preparedness of the OL and it’s coaches. But since you brought up Manning let’s compare the two: Brady has played three full regular seasons fewer than Manning but has been sacked and certainly hit and hurried a Helluva lot more (the fact that Indy devotes 70% of its cap to offense helps explain why Peyton is so well-protected). That kind of punishment takes its toll and cannot be dismissed as mere wear and tear. We take for granted that Brady has avoided the major injuries that have plagued the McNabbs and Palmers, and has come close on a couple occasions (Chad Scott’s cheap shot in the ’01 AFC Championship, spearing by Jacksonville last year).

    If I drive the same truck for 6 years sure I know what it’s capable of. Chances are though I’ve hit plenty of potholes along the way and there are fewer days ahead then there are behind.

  7. The ’01 shot was Lee Flowers, I think.

  8. Krispy Kareem says:

    Kareem Brown was supposedly on the outs with the coaching staff just a few weeks ago. Just another reason to not pay too much attention to the ‘conventional wisdom’

  9. HopkintonPatsFan says:

    Yup, the ’01 shot was Lee Flowers, which was why it was so enjoyable when a rookie receiver out of Louisville f’in leveled Flowers w/a block in the ’02 season opener…

  10. Can I get some Jeremiah Trotter talk? Not even a whiff anywhere, no?

  11. I’m not sure what your point is here Tyler, but whatever it is, the hyperbole about hood ornaments and tenuous arms hasn’t done much to support it. I think anybody with an ounce of common sense knows that any 30 year old player has less tread on his tires than when he started. Somehow, that doesn’t feel like the only point you’re trying to make here. It seems you’re suggesting that Brady has taken more abuse than most (and consequently, I suppose, that’s he’s an ‘old’ thirty), which is simply not in any way supported by the facts.

  12. I think if Trotter had been available at this time last year, Ben, you would have heard a lot more about it. I thnk people generally have more confidence in that spot this year, given Thomas’s arrival, as well as Seau’s play prior to his injury last year. Of course, Trotter would probably be best fit for the spot Bruschi is playing now, and he is coming off a 100 tackle season. I guess that would also play a factor in not hearing much about Trotter’s release around here. I know there are concerns about Tedy, but its hard to imagine a groundswell of people calling for him to be replaced.

  13. Ben Watson would be the greatest tight end in flag football history.

  14. This is a pretty dominating performance so far.

    For all the abuse WCVB has taken for their broadcasts, CBS isn’t doing much better as a national broadcaster. First they claimed Corey Dillon played for the Pats from 2003-2005, with his 1,600 yard season coming in 2003 (in reality it was 2004-2006) and now they claimed Marcellus Rivers last TD was a 23 yard TD (even having a graphic claiming such) when it clearly came inside the 10 yard line.


  15. As long as the audio and visual are synched up, they’re beating WCVB. I’m guessing we won’t get a Patriot Place ad at halftime, either.

    Is Dierdorf in love with the Patriots or what?

  16. Could someone who has TIVO break down that breakdown? Seemed like the corner got beat and through bad luck and good wr blocking there was no one who could get a good line to the runner. Interested in how many d-backs were on the field during the play. Saw wilson, gay, harrison. Who got beat?

  17. Think I saw Richardson as the main guy who lost track of the receiver. I’d have to see it more though to be sure.


  18. With Merriweather it is important to remember ‘Gene Wilson playing corner through the pre-season last year.

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