October 19, 2017

Final Thoughts, September 14, 2009

by Scott Benson, Patriots Daily Staff
September 14, 2009

The banner at the top of NFL.com on Sunday morning read, “You’ve waited eight months for this.”

Eight months and a day for us, I guess. Some final thoughts as the Pats’ 2009 season finally arrives…

  • So, Boston Patriots, huh? It’s nostalgic, sure, but as I recall it, the City of Boston had one hand out while flipping the bird with the other when it came to “the Boston Patriots”. So screw that. It’s the New England Patriots.
  • The book on Richard Seymour is closed, apparently, with the late night press conference on Saturday. I’m happy the Pats will get that first round pick with no further trouble, but I’m still caught a little short over seeing the end of times for Seymour in New England. It’s probably just the aforementioned nostalgia; it’s certainly not that I buy the talk radio shtick that they’ll come up just short without him. That’s a ridiculous, hysterical assumption to make before they’ve even played a down.
  • I suppose he won’t be at tonight’s introduction of the 50th Anniversary team then. I’m assuming those of us watching at home will get a glimpse of ESPN’s own Tedy Bruschi as he returns to the Gillette Stadium field for the first time since his retirement.
  • That DIRECTV free Sunday Ticket promotion was intense. I’ve always wanted it though I never pulled the trigger, but after yesterday, I’m okay with not having it. I can’t watch eight fucking games at once. I ended up missing them all. I would have been better off sticking with the new Red Zone channel, which I would promote further if I could understand it. Can I get this channel or not?
  • Here is what I did see: both the Dolphins and the Jets seem to have very active, physical front sevens, and they both generate a pretty noticeable pass rush. Now, they’re going to have to back it up downfield, but it was evident to me that the Pats will have some formidable fronts to game plan for. Two words: that sucks.
  • I’m all in on Mark Sanchez. First, he throws the shit out of the ball. Second, very nimble in the pocket. He’s no runner; rather, he’s true to the pocket and moves to stay with it. Third, the basic fundamentals – so far, the ball fakes are all carried out with focus (believe me, there are “franchise quarterbacks” who don’t see this as part of the job requirements). He’s got the presence and competitiveness. He’s undoubtedly going to look like a bum against somebody (hopefully soon) but in the long run there’s no way he isn’t a top quarterback in the league.
  • I’m happy to report that the Dolphins offense seems to be comprised entirely of a series of trick plays that may or may not contain a live chicken. They didn’t come across as exactly confident in their ability to score. And this was against the Falcons!
  • So tonight, we see the rest of the AFC East. I’ve got the typical opening day jitters – as the day goes along, I’ll grow ever more concerned about Lee Evans, Terrell (friend Al suggests “there is no team in me” for a nickname) Owens, even Josh Reed and Roscoe Parrish. This is a pretty nice group of receivers for a team that couldn’t get through camp without firing their offensive coordinator.
  • I’m just saying – until we see an improved Pats rush playing in concert with the rehabbed secondary, we won’t know if New England can stop the pass any better than they did last year. I suspect most eyes will be on the comebacking Tom Brady and the Pats offense tonight (speaking of concerned – if they’re going to run any of those slip screens to the edge to knock the pass rush back and set up second and shorts, Welker and Edelman will be needed), but I’d argue the best barometer for this game – and the ones ahead – will be whether New England defense can get off the field consistently. Even with Buffalo’s variant of the no-huddle, which will make precise substitutions a challenge, this is an opponent that is (to be charitable) struggling mightily on offense, especially along the offensive line. The last thing we want is for them to be made suddenly respectable by what is supposed to be (what needs to be) a revitalized defense. There’s a real chance here for the Pats D to build some momentum – but they have to close the deal.
  • Also – nice matchup for new special teams coach Scott O’Brien, drawing Bobby April for his first game. I’m thinking if O’Brien and New England can win the field position battle here, it will be a big leg up for a defense that may need it.
  • Hey, ESPNBoston has launched. And right here are the first blog entries by our pal Mike Reiss.

E-mail Scott Benson at [email protected]


  1. Chris Warner says:

    Scott – nice piece. I’m thinking the 3-4 has Tully in it, making an easy conversion to 4-3. I’m nervous, too, but I’m hoping that the team we see tonight will improve as the weeks go on.

    Plus: old school unis! Funny how I like them now when they used to represent futility.

    • Of all the rookies, Brace will likely see the most PT, and will probably be platooned like Wilfork was (with Traylor) back in ’04. Besides Bodden, Springs (if healthy) and Burgess, all of the projected starters and most of the top non-rookie backups have at least a year of experience in the system. So ‘veteran leadership’ shouldn’t be a problem, and oh yeah, they’re younger and faster!

      The defense will be much better than most everyone is predicting.

  2. I’ll be honest, when I saw the words “Pats rush” and “in concert” I expected some discussion about Tom Sawyer or Neil Pert’s absurd drumming abilities.

    and you captured yesterday’s walk into Sunday Ticket for me as well. I spent more time trying to find which channel each game was on than I did watching an individual game. Forget it. Give me the Giants for, seemingly, the 50th time this season on Fox up here.

  3. It’s always fun to read someone who can’t seem to figure out switching channels on Direct TV trying to break down the Pats defense. In the event Direct TV provides another freebee (and I’m guessing they will about 3/4 into the season when the sucky economy is killing them on full subscriptions), you simply use your remote to move to a particular game and then hit select or enter (according to your remote) and voila, you’re watching the game. Hit return or previous on your remote and you’re back at the buffet table to choose another game. It’s actually pretty fun and easy to use. For $250 you can practice every Sunday.

  4. Believe it or not, changing the channel wasn’t the problem. It was knowing when to change the channel. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough on that.

  5. With Verizon, RedZone costs an extra $50 – I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, yesterday I was happy enough just to have football on. Next week since the Pats are on at 1, I won’t be missing RedZone as long as there are only the traditional 3 games being played at 4.

    It will be those weeks where the Pats are on at 4, SNF or MNF and Redzone is showing all 10-11 of the 1pm games that I’ll want to get it

    • Usually 4 4 o’clock games not 3, that leaves 9 1 o’clock games per week

      Week 5 is the first time the RedZone channel will be really tempting – Pats game isn’t until 4pm. After that the Pats have a lot of non 1:00 games and may end up with more once flex scheduling hits.

      Hopefully they’ll drop the price after the first few weeks

  6. first glimpse of the throwbacks – not bowled over like I’d hoped (like Buffalo’s). They’ll have to grow on me.

    Keyshawn just brought up 19-0 in relation to Brady’s ‘mission’ for 2009. Yeesh.

  7. Changing of the Pats guard a big ESPN pre-game theme tonight.

  8. Great bit from Bruschi “talking” to Mayo as he warmed up. He got a little revved up, which was greeted by much hooting by ESPN colleagues. Tedy looks pretty comfortable for a guy just starting out.

  9. Tyler Carter says:

    No Edelman or Slater, so it looks like the vets will be returning punts.

  10. Weird hearing Gruden and Tirico talking over the anthem. I guess after Hank Jr. sings it’ll be okay to kickoff.

  11. Tyler Carter says:

    Quick, cut Maroney before Felger and Tanguay pass out.

  12. Great to see them going again. Great opener for Maroney.

    I thought for sure a QB sneak on 4th and 1, over a handoff 5 yards in the backfield.

    • Tyler Carter says:

      My first ‘WTF’ moment of the season. In years past Brady would goose Koppen and sneak it across on the quick count.

  13. not a great start for the d. they had people open on 3rd down.

  14. they’re not executing on those short yardage plays, obviously. Gostkowski follows suit.

  15. Mayo down – knee. Unbelievable.

  16. may be all right.

    that was a mess of lousy defense right there.

  17. Whale of a bad first quarter – extremely surprising. The offense may look worse than the defense.

  18. Tyler Carter says:

    I smell a long bomb to Moss or a PI call coming up…

  19. they haven’t really stopped them yet – its been dropped passes by the Bills.

  20. what a sensational throw and catch to Welker inside the 5. At least they’re even again, but the defense has done nothing and Mayo is questionable to return.

  21. Brutal performance here in the first half. They really seem taken aback by everything Buffalo is doing. They can get any momentum. The pass rush is killing them on both ends; they can’t stop the Bills rush and they can’t get anything going against an inexperienced Buffalo o-line.

  22. Didn’t really know what to expect tonight, but I didn’t expect this.

  23. I’m always hesitant when the pregame is all about how team X has no chance. It’s annoying.

    Mayo is the one guy on defense they can’t lose for any length of time. Damn.

  24. Tyler Carter says:

    Pats are doing well on 3rd down on both O and D. Bills only went ahead on a crazy heads-up play by Schoebel. The D looks like its having trouble containing these outside runs when they use the 4-5 man fronts.

    That’s RTP call was the worst I’ve seen in a while.

  25. Bruce Allen says:

    I haven’t been to the BSMW forum tonight, but I wonder if “8-8 here we come” has been posted yet.

  26. Bruce Allen says:

    This drive at the end seems really slow…wonder if there is an issue with O’Brien getting the plays in quick enough.

    Then Watson scores the TD…that was pretty quick.

  27. Bruce Allen says:

    So that was an unexpected ending. I’d imagine there were a lot of re-writes going on in the press box during the final minute of play.

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