August 18, 2017

Archives for April 2011

Pats Draft Scenarios: Day One Reaction

By Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Well, if it’s any consolation, this is how we felt after the Pats drafted Devin McCourty.

Patriots First Round Draft Pick Nate Solder

Instead of going with the one glaring need of pass rusher at 17 and thrilling fans in the process, Bill “Ebenezer” Belichick got Nate Solder, a big offensive tackle who will probably need a year or two to become a solid starter.

Watching a Patriots draft feels like eating those super sour candies: it takes a second for the full effect, and you want to like it, but you’re not quite sure if you do.

Fans hoped the team would use the first round to fill a need they’ve had for years. With defenders like Adrian Clayborn (Tampa) and Cameron Jordan (New Orleans) still available, that looked promising. Nope.

At 28, the Pats had a shot at a D-lineman like Muhammad Wilkerson (Jets) but traded that pick to New Orleans for a second-rounder (56 overall) and a 2010 first-rounder.

Ah, another first-rounder next year. We wonder what they’ll get in exchange for that pick?

At the end of Day One, it looks like this draft will provide some solid game day contributors and extra trades in 2012. Too bad they need help in 2011. Here’s hoping they get results on Day Two.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]


Chris Warner’s Patriots Draft Central

Editor’s note: This year the format of our draft coverage has been somewhat different than in past years. Rather than player interviews (and to our chagrin, not a single player PD interviewed ended up getting drafted by the Patriots), Chris Warner led a one-man charge into examining the NFL draft from as many possible angles as possible.

Here are the results.

Pats Draft Scenarios: Day One – Who might the Patriots take on day one?

Pats Draft Scenarios: Day Two How about day two?

Pats Draft Scenarios: Day Three Day three, anyone?

Pats Draft Scenarios: The Perfect Mock Draft – Chris would like to see things fall this way.

Pats Draft Scenarios: Pro Day Pop-Ups – Who impressed at various Pro Days?

Pats Draft Scenarios: Picks To Avoid – Please, please, please don’t take these guys.

Pats Draft Scenarios: Please Don’t Take Offense – We’re all set there, thanks.

Pats Draft Scenarios: Six For The Sixth – Longshots, but still intriguing.

Pats Draft Scenarios: Testing, 1-2-3 – Who tested the best at the combine?

Pats Draft Scenarios: In Belichick We Trust, Mostly – He’s going to trade, I just know it…

Pats Draft Scenarios: A Primer – What do the Patriots need, and what are the strengths of this draft?

Pats Draft Scenarios: The Machines Take Over – What happens if we take the national mock drafts, and combine them?

Pats Draft Scenarios: Local Talent – Who are the kids from local colleges that might get drafted?

Pats Draft Scenarios: The Too-Early Mock – A very early edition of the mock.

The NFL Draft: Superlatives – You remember your high school superlatives? “Most Likely to Succeed” etc? Chris names the superlatives of the 2011 NFL draft class.

We’ll also include the detailed positional reviews from the in-season “College Scout” series from Greg Doyle

College Scout – Quarterbacks

College Scout – Running Backs

College Scout – Wide Receivers

College Scout – Tight Ends

College Scout – Offensive Line

College Scout – Defensive Linemen

College Scout – Inside Linebackers

College Scout – Cornerbacks

College Scout – Safeties

College Scout – Special Teamers

College Scout – QB and RB Review

With all of these post, if you see a player of interest, look at the bottom of the post, and you’ll see all players mentioned in the post tagged. Click on the tag, and you’ll be brought to a list of all articles on Patriots Daily that mention that player.

Pats Draft Scenarios: Local Talent

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

A brief look at some local college talent with chances to hook on with NFL teams this spring.

BOSTON COLLEGE – Beyond offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo and linebacker/inspirational-sports-movie-waiting-to-happen Mark Herzlich (a New England fan favorite), the Eagles could place a few more players into the league next year.

Candidates include tackle Damik Scafe and defensive end Alex Albright. Scafe anchored BC’s defensive line at 6-2, 300 pounds. At the Eagle’s pro day, Albright (6-4, 250) displayed solid quickness, including a 4.03-second 20-yard shuttle.

UCONN – A lot of Huskies look to make their mark in the NFL. At the top, there’s running back Jordan Todman, who is graded as a Day Two prospect. In the middle rounds, look for outside linebackers Lawrence Wilson and Scott Lutrus, productive, speedier guys who fit a 4-3 defense.

Keeping the Pats in mind, Todman and offensive guard Zach Hurd seem to fit best on New England’s roster. Meanwhile, fullback Anthony Sherman might find a spot on a team willing to devote a spot to that position.

On to standouts from some of the region’s smaller programs…

DARTMOUTH – Charles Bay, DE:

Charles Bay of Dartmouth

Bay put up solid numbers at his pro day, including a 10-foot broad jump and 25 bench press reps. The 6-2, 250-pounder should get to show off his stuff at an NFL camp this spring.

HARVARD – Collin Zych, SS: An impressive pro day,  including a 4.45-second 40, will get Zych a second look from scouts.

MAINE – Wide receiver Jeremy Kelley has one of the more compelling stories going into this week. Kelley possesses the size (6-6, 225) and quickness (3.89 20-yard shuttle, 6.60 3-cone) to make an impression. Even more intriguing: somehow he went all of 2010 without catching a pass, getting on the field as a special-teamer and occasional pass rusher.

One Kelley fact of interest to Pats fans: in the off-season he works out with fellow upstate New Yorker Rob Gronkowski.

Other Black Bears getting consideration are outside linebacker Mark Masterson (6-2, 240), and receivers Tyrell Jones (6-2, 204) and Desmond Randall (5-11, 185, 36-inch vertical).

UMASS – Interesting that two candidates below transferred from Northeastern (or maybe not that interesting. Whatever). Offensive guard Greg Niland worked out at BC’s pro day. The 6-4, 300-pounder did well for himself, running a 5.07-second 40 and putting up 27 bench reps.

Running back John Griffin ran a 4.57 at the BC pro day, adding a 36-inch vertical and 6.82-second 3-cone drill for good measure. At 5-11, 205 pounds, Griffin averaged five yards per carry for the Minutemen.

Though his slow 40 will turn off some scouts, receiver Anthony Nelson (5-9, 185) deserves mention here. He not only led the team with 61 catches, he averaged over 25 yards per punt return and 27 yards per kick return.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Hugo Souza, SS: Souza (5-11, 212) made the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team. He had 82 tackles in 2010.

RHODE ISLAND – Outside linebacker Victor Adesanya (6-3, 227) made the All-CAA First Team, leading the Rams in sacks along with four QB hits and three forced fumbles. At his pro day, he ran a 4.62 40 and leapt a 36.5-inch vertical.

Sure, linebacker Matt Hansen may look small (5-11, 230), but so does dynamite. Hansen led URI with 114 tackles last season. If you want to watch Hansen put up 26 reps at his pro day, click here.

YALE – Chris Blohm, tight end: The 6-4, 260-pound Blohm showed his strength (30 bench reps) at his pro day and his hands (26 receptions) throughout the season.

Team captain Tom McCarthy fits the part of a college defensive end at 6-5, 265. His 4.72-second 40 and a 35-inch vertical jump put him in line with other outside linebacker candidates. In 2010 he led Yale with four sacks and three forced fumbles.

Any local college candidates you think deserve a mention here, dear readers, please comment below.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]


Patriots 2011-2012 Schedule

Here is the Patriots’ complete 16 game schedule for the 2011-2012 regular season*, with links to the game center and the opponent’s team website (home games in bold).

Regular Season

  1. 7:00 PM, Monday, September 12, 2011 at Dolphins (ESPN)
  2. 4:15 PM, Sunday, September 18, 2011 vs. Chargers (CBS)
  3. 1:00 PM, Sunday, September 25, 2011 at Bills (CBS)
  4. 4:15 PM, Sunday, October 2, 2011 at Raiders (CBS)
  5. 4:15 PM, Sunday, October 9, 2011 vs. Jets (CBS)
  6. 4:15 PM, Sunday, October 16, 2011 vs. Cowboys (FOX)
  7. BYE – Sunday, October 23, 2011
  8. 4:15 PM, Sunday, October 30, 2011 at Steelers (CBS)
  9. 4:15 PM, Sunday, November 6, 2011 vs. Giants (FOX)
  10. 8:20 PM, Sunday, November 13, 2011 at Jets (NBC)
  11. 8:30 PM, Monday, November 21, 2011 vs. Chiefs (ESPN)
  12. 4:15 PM, Sunday, November 27, 2011 at Eagles (CBS)
  13. 8:20 PM, Sunday, December 4, 2011 vs. Colts (NBC)
  14. 1:00 PM, Sunday, December 11, 2011 at Redskins (CBS)
  15. 4:15 PM, Sunday, December 18, 2011 at Broncos (CBS)
  16. 1:00 PM, Saturday, December 24, 2011 vs. Dolphins (CBS)
  17. 1:00 PM, Sunday, January 1, 2012 vs. Bills (CBS)


  1. Wild Card Playoff Saturday January 7 or Sunday, January 8, 2012
  2. Divisional Playoff – Saturday, January 14, 2012 or Sunday, January 15, 2012
  3. Conference Championship – Sunday, January 22, 2012
  4. Super Bowl XLVI – Sunday, February 5, 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana

*Assuming of course, that there IS a full 16 game schedule.

Patriots Draft Scenarios: In Belichick We Trust, Mostly

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

This season on PD, we’ve shown different scenarios of how we think the Patriots draft will go, and how we want it to go. Now, armed with updated pro day info and a different week’s perspective, we revisit how April 28-30 will go down.

New England has six picks in the first three rounds (say them with me, people: 17, 28, 33, 60, 74, 92) and one pick in each of the following three. The Patriots have selected 24 rookies over the past two years, 17 of whom remain on the roster.

In short, youth has been served; at this point, quality rules over quantity.

A review of the second round of the 2009 draft helps us predict Bill Belichick’s draft tendencies. He traded down for safety Patrick Chung, a potential long-term starter at Foxboro, then fulfilled a defensive line need with Ron Brace.

Belichick later grabbed cornerback Darius Butler, whom many saw as a first-round talent. Finally, he surprised New England fans by taking offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, an under-the-radar prospect who quickly became a starter.

The second round yielded two starters (Chung, Vollmer), one contributor (Brace), and Butler, who may not pan out for the team despite coming in as the highest-rated of the bunch.

Based on that round, let’s predict the Patriots 2011 draft.

FIRST PICK (17 and 33) – Belichick will trade up for the pass rusher he wants here. As much as we’ve been begging for UNC’s Robert Quinn, we can more safely predict that Cal’s Cameron Jordan gets the call.

At 6-4, 285 pounds, Jordan can rush the passer as a down end or contain the run as a 3-4 outside linebacker. That flexibility makes him an every-down player and gives opposing offenses something else to think about.

SECOND PICK (28) – Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin. New England’s O-line needs help and Carimi can provide it, as he was the best on the Badgers’ formidable front in 2010.

In the past we would have liked to see a defensive end drafted here, but Jordan gives the Pats some leeway to improve the other side of the ball.

THIRD PICK (60) – Running back DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma. Here’s where we differ with Coach Belichick. We see plenty of backfield talent available on Day Three, and would seek defensive help here. However, Murray’s speed (4.38 40) and production (school record 6,626 career all-purpose yards) bring him to the Pats in the second round.

While recent pro day results have many looking at Eastern Washington’s Taiwan Jones in this area of the draft (including a 4.33 40 and a 39.5-inch vertical), Jones’ double-digit fumbles over the past two seasons (danger!) will keep him out of a Pats uniform.

FOURTH PICK (74) – Defensive lineman Terrell McClain, South Florida. The word “explosive” gets thrown around in sports the same way “genius” gets used in Hollywood: far too often. Still, McClain’s physical nature fits the description. At 6-2, 295 pounds, he ran a 4.85-second 40, faster than most fullback candidates.

Though we’d look for a taller candidate to fill out the defensive end spot, McClain’s (wait for it…) explosiveness will entice Belichick to draft him here.

FIFTH PICK (92) – receiver Greg Salas, Hawaii. Now, if we were picking, Edmund Gates of Abilene Christian would wind up in Foxboro. Gates has breakneck speed that can open up the field.

Salas lacks that straight-line zip, but he has mid-range quickness and a knack for getting open that Belichick will appreciate, as will a certain someone whose name rhymes with Pom Shady.

SIXTH PICK (125) – Traded for future considerations. Let’s face it: when it comes to Belichick and trades, the man can’t help himself.

So, let’s try that again…

SIXTH PICK (159) – Outside linebacker Bruce Miller, Central Florida. The Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year proved a nightmare for opposing defenses. His size (6-1, 254) will keep him on the board late, but his strength (35 bench reps) and his tenacity (watch him wreak havoc here) will make him a contributor on any 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker convert.

SEVENTH PICK (193) – Offensive lineman Andrew Jackson, Fresno State. The 2009 All-WAC guard spent most of this past season injured, pushing back his status to later on Day Three.

Jackson tossed up 225 pounds 25 times at the combine. Besides having a historical name, he plays for old Belichick pal Pat Hill at Logan Mankins’ alma mater. None of that hurts.

FREE AGENTS – With only seven picks taken in this year’s draft (we hope), the Pats will need some players to round out rookie camp. We offer some prime choices below.

Running back Terrence Holt, Austin Peay. Holt already made our superlatives list as the Danny Woodhead of 2011 (he’s 5-7, 185). We’d like nothing better than for the Pats to give him a shot. The running back/returner did yeoman work for the Governors this past season, leading the team in rushing, receiving and return yards (averaging 23.4 per kickoff).

For confirmation that kick and punt returns can be the most exciting plays in football, watch Holt here.

Tackle David Mims, Virginia Union. He’s about as raw as a fresh egg, but who better to deal with young linemen than Belichick and Coach Dante Scarnecchia? Having size (6-8, 331) and strength (29 bench reps) adds a ton of potential.

Receiver Jeremy Ross, California. Ross led the Golden Bears in punt return yardage and, at 6-0, 209 pounds, qualifies as a bigger wideout in New England (aka Receiver Lilliput). His speed (4.44 40) and – dare I say it – explosiveness ( 39-inch vertical) should get him a look.

If you want a look, see his highlights here.

Defensive tackle Elisha Joseph, Temple. Though he got overlooked in favor of teammate Muhammad Wilkerson, Joseph’s pro day turned heads. He benched 225 pounds 43 times (whoa) and managed to hurl his 295-pound body 28 inches skyward (yeesh). If he goes undrafted, he should get a call from Foxboro.

Cornerback Darrin Walls, Notre Dame. The Pats found success signing Irish safety Sergio Brown last year, so why not return to South Bend for his battery mate? Walls managed a 4.42 40 at his pro day and showed good quickness. He had three interceptions and four pass breakups this past season.

Middle Linebacker Cobrani Mixon, Kent State. New England got their money’s worth out of Kent State alum Julian Edelman; look for them to invite this All-MAC Football first-teamer to camp. The 6-1, 245-pound Mixon ran a 4.68 40 and had 33 bench reps at his pro day. In 2010 he had 82 tackles, including 6.5 sacks.

You can see Mixon’s pass-rushing ability in his highlight reel.

Well, dear readers, any thoughts on this year’s draft – or any players we should be looking out for – please let us know in the comment section below.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]


The NFL Draft: Superlatives

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Tired of seeing the same old names on your draft list? Try these special players on for size. And strength. And speed.

Winged Mercury Award: The fastest player at the combine this year was Miami defensive back Demarcus Van Dyke, who blazed a 4.28-second 40. Because speed isn’t an issue, at 6-1, 176 pounds, perhaps Demarcus should consider making a regular appearance at his local Sunday buffet.

Hercules, Hercules Award: Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea bench pressed 225 pounds 49 times. Coincidentally, that’s 49 times more than I’ve bench pressed anything over the past three years.

I guess that’s not coincidental. Ah, well.

Refutin’ Newton Award: Highest vertical jump at the combine went to Virgil Green at 42.5 inches. That, plus his 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump can be witnessed on this clip, where Green appears to float.

Some have associated Green’s name with the Pats. I don’t see that happening, but whoever gets him has a surefire jump ball play near the goal line.

Highest pro day vertical went to Arizona running back Nic Grigsby, who leapt – wait for it – 43.5 inches and broad jumped 11 feet. Now that’s just silly.

Catch That Chicken, Rocky Award: You want quick? Sure. Somehow Oregon receiver Jeff Maehl maneuvered through the 3-cone drill in 6.42 seconds. For perspective, Julian Edelman (no slowpoke himself) timed at 6.62.

Maehl looks like the type of quick-footed, overachieving receiver we could root for. Unless he goes to the Colts. Or the Jets. Or – you know what? Forget it.

Beanpole Award: Wide receiver Mantwan Harris of Albany State (GA) is listed at 6-4, 183 pounds. Thus concludes everything we know about Mantwan Harris.

Lil’ Danny Woodhead Award: This one goes to tiny Terrence Holt, Austin Peay running back. At 5-5, 175 pounds, Holt makes Woodhead look like a linebacker.

Like Woodhead, though, Holt has an outside chance to make the NFL. He led the Governors in rushing (5.4 yards per carry) and kickoff returns (over 1,100 yards total).

Jupiter Award for Best Gravitational Pull: At first we figured defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis of Hampton had the prize at 346 pounds, but then we discovered offensive lineman Cedric Mack of Florida International, who brings it home at 351.

Hey, Cedric. Have you met Demarcus Van Dyke? I didn’t think so.

Brobdingnagian Award: Biggest overall goes to an offensive lineman (yeah, go figure). Josh Davis of Georgia measured in at 6-7, 331 pounds.

For perspective, think of Glen “Big Baby” Davis on the Celtics. Now lop off two inches of height and add over 40 pounds. Low post player, indeed.

Flyweight Award: With all the heft of an electron, Henry Sailes, Tennessee Tech running back (5-6, 169) averaged over 19 yards per punt return for the Golden Eagles.

If you’ve got 22 minutes, you can see all the Sailes highlights you could ever want here. That’s right: 22 minutes. Pass the peanuts, it’s going to be a while.

Wait a minute: did Cedric Mack eat all the peanuts?

Best Football Name: We settled on Bubba Bartlett of Carroll College of Montana. As we remain suckers for alliteration, backfield Bubba bestowed blessings by being a bruising ball-player. He’s a fullback candidate at 6-1, 237.

Any pro day standouts who bested the combine numbers listed above, any all-name candidates or any physical specimens that catch your eye, please let us know.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]



Pats Draft Scenarios: Testing, 1-2-3

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

As someone who has pored over combine and pro-day results over the past month, it’s worth taking a closer look at the impact of those numbers.

Let’s say, for example, you want the Patriots to draft a player like Alabama’s Mark Ingram.

I give you a prolific SEC running back, 5-11, 219 pounds, who ran a 40 in the 4.5-second range and bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times.

Sounds great. Except I just described BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Compare results from Green-Ellis’ combine to those of Ingram. Green-Ellis is over an inch taller and four pounds heavier. They have similar 40 times and bench press results (Green-Ellis tallied four more reps). Green-Ellis has a quicker shuttle time; Ingram wins the 3-cone drill.

Yet Green-Ellis never got drafted. By contrast, Ingram should get picked in the first round.

You can do this with most young New England players.

Look at Miami receiver Leonard Hankerson’s numbers and compare them to the results of Taylor Price. Exact same 40 time (4.40). Off by one-hundredth of a second in the 10- and 20- yard dashes. Minimal differences in all other results.

Coming out of a weak passing school in the MAC, Price played one game for New England in 2010. We expect Hankerson to put in significant minutes right away, but it’s not because he’s faster or quicker.

When it comes to putting too much credence in testing, I declare myself as guilty as anyone. Last year, a 46-inch vertical leap compelled me to interview Kent State tight end Jameson Konz.

Measuring 6-2, 209 pounds and running a 4.40 40 were enough to get me chasing Northwestern State receiver Dudley Guice for an interview in 2009 (one of my favorites, by the way).

Testing will cause teams to draft athletic freak Justin Houston too high while overlooking tenacious defenders like Central Florida’s Bruce Miller or Boston College’s Mark Herzlich.

Watch any highlight reel of those players and tell me whom you’d want on your team.

(Miller and Herzlich, that’s who. What, you’re not paying attention?)

We’ll continue comparing and contrasting combine and pro day results to get some kind of feel for who’s coming to Foxboro. That’s what we do.

Just please keep that in mind when our sleeper picks end up playing for the UFL next season.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]


Pats Draft Scenarios: Six For The Sixth

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Maybe you have a draft-eligible player in mind right now staying under the radar. And maybe you feel a connection with that guy, kind of like how you felt about that band you discovered before their hit single.

Six months from now you’ll be saying, “You know, I always liked that guy.”

Coach Bill Belichick and his staff have had some success drafting in the sixth round and later. Looking over the indispensable timewaster – a draft history on – we see quite a few late-round standouts over the past 11 years.

These include seventh-rounders Patrick Pass (2000), David Givens (2002), Tully Banta-Cain (2003), Matt Cassel (2005), Julian Edelman (2009) and Brandon Deaderick (2010).

Sixth-rounders Myron Pryor (2009) and a Certain Special Quarterback (2000) prove that Patriots fans should pay attention to any late Day Three picks on Saturday, April 23.

With past success in mind, we’ve found some potential picks worth a look for New England’s sixth-rounder, number 193 overall.

Aldrick Robinson, SMU WR: Teams may overlook Robinson for his smallish size (5-10, 184), but they’ll find it difficult to ignore his speed (4.35-second 40) and athleticism (40-inch vertical, 6.65-second 3-cone drill). Plus, the dude had 1,301 receiving yards in 2010.

I don’t care if you’re in Conference USA or a community flag football team, that’s an impressive stat.

USC's Allen Bradford

Allen Bradford, USC RB: Having failed to follow Southern Cal for the whole season, Bradford’s past year mystifies me. He led the Trojans with 7.2 yards per carry, but didn’t get the ball as much as junior Marc Tyler. Coach Lane Kiffin never stated a specific reason that Bradford, a senior, didn’t start more.

Meh, the mysteries of life. Here’s what we do know: 5-11, 242, a 4.53 40 and 28 bench reps. If Bradford remains available in the sixth round and New England doesn’t nab him, they must know more than I do.

I suppose that’s a given, but whatever.

Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M QB: A guilty pleasure here, as Johnson’s size (6-5, 250) and arm strength have me intrigued. He set several passing records at A&M, which seems akin to setting decibel records in a library, but as a junior he did throw his first 225 passes without an interception.

Maurice Hurt, Florida OL: Two things help the guard’s chances to make it to New England: one, Coach Belichick has a long-standing relationship with the Florida program; two, Hurt played all along the Gators’ line this past season.

While Hurt probably won’t be drafted, I could have said the same thing about Cassel or Edelman or Givens. The Patriots need O-line help; Hurt’s the kind of guy they could bring in with a late pick.

Plus, think of the headline possibilities: “Pats Need To Play Hurt.” I mean, come on.

We know that New England always has their eye on defensive end converts, from the drafting of SMU defensive end Justin Rogers as a sixth-rounder in 2006 to taking on Dane Fletcher as an undrafted free agent last year.

Below are two of similar types of players to consider.

Gabe Miller, Oregon State DE/OLB: We mentioned Miller in our pro day standouts piece in March and think he’s worth another take. The 6-3, 250-pound pass rusher ran a 4.62 40 and timed at 6.97 seconds in the 3-cone drill. Considering he switched from tight end to defensive end his junior year, Miller’s got an upside like a mountain.

Marc Schiechl, Colorado School of Mines DE/OLB: Yes, you read that right. Colorado School of Mines (Go Orediggers!)

Schiechl measures 6-2, 252 and ran a 4.65 40. He also benched 225 pounds 38 times (that’s right: 30 plus eight) and had a 35-inch vertical. Who knows where the career sacks record-holder in Division II will end up, but it looks like he can put that mining-related job on hold for a little while.

You can email Chris Warner at [email protected]


Felger A Cross-Dressing Fascist?

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Hey there. Did I get you? Did the headline pull you in?

I’m taking advantage of April Fool’s Day to make couple of quick comments about headlines, if I may.

A recent online column had the headline “Pats Sign Stud Free Agent Pass Rusher.”

Awesome, I thought. Perfect. Bill Belichick has done it again.

Then I clicked on the story to see that the stud in question was Marcus Stroud, who has all of 29.5 sacks in his 10-year career. Nothing against Stroud, but the only way his name and “stud” should appear in the same sentence would be if he a) gets in a time machine or b) takes up horse breeding.

Yet there I was, reading a page that I would have ignored had the headline read “Pats Sign Stroud.” It’s all about the ability to catch eyeballs, or – at the very least – catch and release.

Headlines should entertain and inform, not mislead. The best one I’ve seen recently came after Jimmer Fredette’s BYU team lost to Florida: “A Night To Fredette.” Makes looking through the sports section more fun, even online.

Tip-offs to a fake headline include big statements you haven’t seen anywhere else and question marks.

Let’s say you see “Tom Brady To New York?” That means either someone with zero credibility is discussing a fantasy trade, or the QB has tentative plans to head into Manhattan. Move on, folks. Nothing to see.

So, despite rumors to the contrary, sports media personality Michael Felger does not wear stiletto heels while staring at his Leni Riefenstahl movie poster. (And if he does, hey, no harm done. Right?)

We promise to avoid running headlines like that again. Unless this one pulls in big numbers, of course.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]