September 20, 2017

No News is Good News

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

The Patriots were off on Sunday, so there’s little in the way of news as the third week of the pre-season schedule begins today.

That’s good news in and of itself, considering how the injuries piled up across the league this weekend. AFC rival Denver took a couple of big hits, losing end Ebenezer Ekuban (for the season) and tough guy back Travis Henry (for at least a little while). No news certainly has to be considered good news for the Patriots this morning.

Anyway, there are more post-mortems on Friday night’s troublesome performance by the Pats offense, and the energized play of the Patriots defense. Who’s Michael Felger, by the way? New kid on the Herald staff? He has to be a new guy to claim that David Givens, Deion Branch, Asante Samuel and Daniel Graham would all still be on the team if the Patriots had just treated them like they did Ty Warren. It must have killed him to leave Adam Vinatieri out of that group. Old Black and White Felger, with analysis as deep as a kiddie pool.

Mike Reiss of the Globe has our Feature of the Day on new Pats punter Danny (My Name Is Erle) Baugher, who had an impressive turn against the Titans and appears ready to grab the ‘vacant’ punting job for New England.

For the rest of your morning news, hit

I knew I missed something on that Patriots goal-line stand on Friday night, and I did: the play of rookie end Kareem Brown, who was among the players who knocked Vince Young back away from the end zone on the fourth down stop that was credited to Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel. We’ll see how Brown progresses from here, but right now it looks like the Patriots will have unprecedented depth along the defensive front this season.

Josh Miller stops by the Herald long enough to lay the smack down on former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher. According to Josh, being in New England taught him that coaches can win you up to three games every season; this of course reminded him of several near misses in the Steel City. Maybe Josh was thinking of a certain AFC Championship game from a few years back.

I know, I know….when it comes to Cowher, I need to be more specific.

No comments, however, is never good news. 


  1. I’ve heard Miller kill Cowher on Felger’s show and it is highly entertaining. Yet cowher’s got a hell of a track record, particularly if you factor in the qb’s leading his offense. So what’s the deal? Was his talent just that good that it could overcome his weaknesses (Switzer-like) or is it the case that his own strengths did? Or are there many different ways to coach winning football?

  2. Deion Branch – not worth what he wanted.

    I haven’t seen David Givens do much of ANYTHING since leaving.

    Daniel Graham gets to play for his dad’s old team, a championship caliber team, in his home state. I don’t think they did him a disservice.

    Ass-ante Samuel can play this season and make more than anyone else in the NFL.

    Clearly, Ty Warren was willing to negotiate.

  3. Box Score says:

    Regarding the Felger thing: it’s simplistic and lazy. He posits the argument in such a way that it would be possible to offer every player with any level of success, regardless of how replaceable the position they play may be for a cheaper option, a long term deal early in their rookie deal. The basic principles of a salary cap prevent this. It’s typical hindsight 20-20 bullsht. Of all the players used in his column, only Branch has some merit. Even then, though, there are other variables effecting the situation that he conveniently leaves out.

  4. What Felger and most of knights of the buffet table don’t get is that the Patriots do make an aggressive effort to sign players. Seymour, Brady, Warren, Koppen, Light, Stephen Neal, Jarvis Green, and Vrabel all got extensions before they hit free agency. Adalius Thomas got a big money deal. So what’s the difference? Everyone Felger cited as not being negotiated with early is a perimeter skill player(we could debate Graham). Everyone they targeted to extend is a core interior player. It’s not rocket science to figure out how they’re approaching this.

  5. InThisTown #1 NEM ptooie says:

    Is Miller planning on retiring? Sure the Patriots gag order is off once he got cut, but badmouthing a coach is not going to sit well with the other coaches around the league .. even if they think Cowher is an idiot.

  6. You can add Bruschi to Mark’s list of interior guys they locked up early. And the policy isn’t to lock up EVERY interior guy (old friends Chad Eaton and and Damien Woody, among others, say hello). It’s to lock up a core group of high performing ones. Anyone want lay odds on whether Logan Mankins is locked up before he hits free agency?

    And Box Score is right. Signing all of these players to early deals would be impossible under the cap. Mike Reiss accurately pointed out last week that the team is taking a big injury risk on a player when they lock him up early. It may be that they are more willing to take that risk on interior guys than on fragile exterior guys (Branch being exhibit A).

  7. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    I disagree with Felger more often than not and, except for Graham, I don’t think the loss of any of those players he gripes about represents a mortal wound for the Patriots.

  8. Box Score says:

    Here is another peculiarity from Felger:

    “We say just because Richard Seymour [stats]’s 2006 extension gave him $24 million in guarantees, and Warren, 26, is more than a year younger and was a full notch better than Seymour last season. That’s good value.”

    I’ll pass on trying to quantify “a full notch” (I didn’t know that half notches were now acceptable forms of measurement), but the claim that Warren, who had a great year last year, was clearly better than Seymour is debatable at best.

  9. InThisTown #1 NEM ptooie says:

    There is a bit of Pats news, Maroney is finally rid of the red jersey

  10. larry mollin says:

    thanks, scott. do you think all this silence is good on the samuel front? that is something that should be coming to as head if he is to be ready to start the season. without him we will be okay but thin at elite cover.

    and here’s to #37 playing a full season. that would be great to see.

    take care. i now don’t have to go to sports bars in the middle of the moscow night as direct tv just announced SUPERFAN extension of sunday ticjet. watch games form anywhere in the world on computer. yeah. go pats!

  11. Kinda random, but it seems no one is really talking about a very sad situation in New England. Is it time to say Tedy Bruschi is DONE? I trust pretty much anything Mike Reiss says, and on several occasions he stated more or less that good old Tedy looked pretty bad in practice. I think it is entirely realistic that Seau and Adalius could end up being the best middle linebackers on the team. Seau actually did a decent job covering tight ends last year (think week 1 against Buffalo on Ty Warren safety), and we know Adalius can cover. Tedy might be a 2 down player, or not even in the mix. Love to hear some thoughts.

  12. You might notice that I’ve done some editing of the comments this afternoon. Apologies to those affected; I tried to keep any substantive comments in. I’m new at the ‘moderation’ thing (in more ways than one) so I hope I didn’t drop anything inadvertently. If so, again apologies. However, I do want to make it clear that ‘analysis as deep as a kiddie pool’ is about as personal as I’d like to see us get here. Thanks.

  13. InThisTown #1 NEM ptooie says:

    C-Note, I hope not, Tedy did look slower last year, but now he doesn’t have the TE coverage responsibilities playing the weakside, so I’m hoping that helps him out.

  14. Look, I love the guy. Much respect to Teddy, but I really am not confident. What made him great is his ability to step it up and make the big play when needed. He isnt, and wont ever be some big run stuffer or intimidator etc. That isn’t what made him good. He looses two steps and that great anticipation doesnt make as much of a factor anymore.

  15. Box Score says:

    Bruschi was never fast though. I think this is one where the real games need to be played to really judge.

    Good work by Breer getting Schwartz and Fisher to comment on Samuel’s holdout. It’s a pretty simple take, but not one I have seen locally. To summarize, they basically said with the NE front four the Patriots won’t need a shutdown corner because the opposing offense will not have much time to allow long passing plays to develop.

    It makes some sense.

  16. It goes both ways with a shutdown corner and a great front 7. More pressure protects the corner, but allowing single coverage allows for more blitzers and more time to get to QB. Per, Football Outsiders, our sack rank was 9th in league last year. Good, but not overpowering.

  17. To my Moscow comrade: good to hear you’re fully hooked in for the upcoming season, Larry. I was wondering how you were getting along.

    I guess I’m assuming that (to continue my theme from this morning) no news is good news on the Samuel front. At least he isn’t howling in the papers every day, digging the trench deeper. I guess my expectation is that at some point in the next week or so he’ll come back. If he’s going to come back at all (at least if he’s coming back before week ten) it would have to be within that time frame somewhere, if he plans to play week one. Caveat: I have nothing to base any of this on. Just guessing.

  18. david clemeno says:

    In keeping with the Felger angle of this thread, he just informed us all on FSNE that Tom Brady is having a bad training camp because of the impending birth of his baby. I feel much smarter now; I do, I really do. You just can’t get this type of incisive football analysis in other cities. I suppose I was being naive when I thought that a substantially revamped WR corps might contribute to some initial difficulty.

    Ah misere, I get sooo tired of this look-at-me schtick. Felger’s certainly not alone, but it’s worse from him because a while back I thought he was one of the guys who gets it. He definitely crossed over to the dark side.

  19. Could not agree more, Dave….For years I used to enjoy reading all the Sports pages and watching the Sports shows, listening to WEEI etc….but things have really started to go downhill the last few years. There are just WAY TOO MANY of these Boston Sports Media Clowns, so they all try to out-do one another with their rantings in order to try and stand out. I don’t think THEY even believe what they are saying. They are like “actors” now.

  20. Drew–might I mention a site that you may enjoy:

    We have fun skewering the local media and the game threads are not to be missed!

    “Statue of Limitations” is still available for a screen name and it would definitely buy you points with some of the local clientèle. 🙂

  21. The one thing to note is that week 10 is a Patriots bye, so if he did come back for the 10th game Samuel would have two weeks to get ready. Other than reducing his possibility of injury there’s little to no other upside for Samuel holding out that long.
    He’ll have been away from competition for 9 months if he goes that route. More importantly, he won’t be getting paid. Let’s face it: it’s just silly to walk away from nearly $8 million guaranteed. A long term deal that doesn’t account for the franchise tag offer he holds out on is a loss for Samuel.

    Plus, there’s no guarantee that the Patriots even activate him, further weakening his bargaining position. His best bet is to sign the tender and play out the year. At a certain point it becomes proibitive for the Patriots to franchise him again, so they will make a move at some point. If they did elect to franchise him for 2008, his two year guarantee is roughly $16 million. The cap will continue to escalate over those two years. By contrast, Nate Clements got $22 million in guaranteed money. That’s not a huge spread with the rate of inflation for NFL salaries.

  22. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    A few things — Scott, the edits were definitely warranted (and mine was one of them). ‘Nuff said on that.

    Second, Bruschi’s numbers last year were on par, or better, than pretty much every year except, I think, 2002. (I’m weathering an occasional bout of insomnia this morning — I work on the wrong side of the clock — and I don’t have the energy at this moment to look up … if I’m wrong about the Bruschi numbers thing, I’m ready to be set straight, however. Will Tedy finish the team tops in tackles? — to quote the Bob’s Discount Furniture Guy: I doubt it — but I don’t think that means Bruschi’s anywhere near done.

    Finally, yes, last year was a breakout year for Samuel, but can we agree he had pretty much underachieved the previous years? Don’t get me wrong — I’d like to see him back and I think any thoughts of the Pats not needing a shutdown corner amount to whistling past the graveyard. But let’s not mistake Samuel — even last year’s Samuel — for Champ Bailey or Ed Reed just yet.

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