Pats In A Pickle At Wideout

New England Needs Wide Receivers To Step Up and Step In

Much like the starting pitching of the Boston Red Sox in 2009, the Patriots wide receiving core seemed to have stacked talent from front to back with depth up the ying-yang.

Well that depth has decimated in the first six weeks of the NFL season, and now the Patriots may be forced to rely upon special team specialist Sam Aiken and rookie Brandon Tate.  With the recent release of Joey Galloway and arm injury to Julian Edelman, the Patriots lack depth at the wide receiver position.  They let Jabar Gaffney and Kelley Washington walk away after last season and cut wideout Greg Lewis at the end of the preseason.

So now, there is the University of North Carolina standout Brandon Tate next in line for the Patriots.  And they need him to step up.  Even with Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and three pass-catching tight ends, the Patriots could use a dynamic returner and receiver like Tate.  If the rookie can catch onto the playbook better than Galloway and show his speed while running routes, Tate could stick on, especially with No. 12 at the helm.

But if Tate doesn’t step up in London or the next couple of weeks, practice squad standouts Terrence Nunn and Isiah Stanback could be quick to try and step in and step up.  The intriguing member of this bunch is Stanback who is a quarterback on the practice squad but much like Edelman, could be converted into a wide receiver as he appeared in eight games for the Cowboys as wide receiver in 2008.   

But for now, its time to just wait and see.  It may, however, be an important time for the progression of the New England Patriots and their young receiving corps.

Wake And See

Boston Knuckleballer Has Surgery, Expected Back In 2010

The longest tenured Boston Red Sox will be back for another reason, assuming that Tim Wakefield’s back surgery went well on Wednesday. The 43-year-old had surgery on Wednesday to repair a herniated disk in his back and called the surgery a success as Wakefield is set to resume regular training in about four to six weeks. 

If all things go well, the Sox will place Wakefield as their No. 5 spot in the starting rotation in 2010 behind Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuake Matsuzaka, and Clay Buchholz.  However, things could change if Theo Epstein and the Sox decide to make a splash in the starting pitching free agent pool this offseason.

Returning for his 16th season, Wakefield is slated to make $4 million as the Sox hold the option on the 43-year-old.  

Bruins Hit Hard With Injury Bug

B’s Lose Another Key Player Due To Injury

First it was Milan Lucic.  Now its Marc Savard.  The Boston Bruins have lost their leading goal scorer to injury reserve as the Boston forward has a broken left foot.

It will take about four to six weeks for Savard to heal and be back with the B’s.  Savard played in all 82 games for the Black and Gold last season and lead the team with seven points in seven games.  

The Bruins recalled forward Trent Whitfield from Providence to take Savard’s spot on the roster.

Bruins Acquire Some Much Needed Help

B’s Send Chuck Kobasew To Minnesota

There is no secret that the Boston Bruins have yet to live up to their lofty 2009 expectations. So in their first effort to shake things up, the Bruins sent right winger Chuck Kobasew to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Craig Weller and Alexander Fallstrom.

The B’s also obtained the rights to the Wild’s second-round pick in the 2011 NHL draft.  The Bruins recalled three players from Providence in accordance with the move.  

It’s about time the Bruins turn things around as it won’t get any easier for the Black and Gold with Milan Lucic out for an extended period of time. 

Pats Cut Galloway, Re-Sign Banta-Cain

Busy Few Days For Bill Belichick’s Squad

The New England Patriots have cut ties with veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway on Tuesday after the wide out has been inactive for New England’s past three games.  

In response to the release of Galloway, the Patriots re-signed Tully Banta-Cain, one day after releasing the seven-year linebacker.  Banta-Cain’s re-signing will allow him and the Patriots to work out a new contract extension to keep the linebacker in New England for more years to come.  

The Joey Galloway experiment didn’t work out for Bill Belichick and the Patriots as Galloway never could get on the same page as Tom Brady and the New England offense.  The Pats recently extended the contract of special teams captain and No. 3 wide receiver Sam Aiken, so it looks like they have faith in Aiken and rookie Julian Edelmen.  

Patriots Release Banta-Cain In Surprising Move

Could The Door Still Be Open For Banta-Cain?

Insert Junior Seau. Release Tully Banta Cain?  The New England Patriots have surprisingly released linebacker Tully Banta-Cain after signing 40-year-old Junior Seau last week.

Banta-Cain, a former seventh-round pick of the Patriots and seven-year veteran, started two games for New England this season and registered a total of 13 tackles.  The University of California graduate had three tackles in New England’s 59-0 beating of the Tennesse Titans on Sunday, but the 29-year-old now finds himself unemployed as of Monday.  

He also has three sacks on the year for the Patriots but may be the odd man out with the signing of Seau and emergence of Pierre Woods and Gary Guyton.  Bill Belichick and the Patriots also surprisingly de-activated Adalius Thomas on Sunday, even with New England transforming to more of a 3-4 scheme on defense.  

A return to the Patriots is not out of the question for Banta-Cain as the Pats have shown their admiration of Banta-Cain for many years and this move could just be temporarily.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)    

Bad News Bears For Bruins

Bruins Loss Lucic To Injury

The Boston Bruins will be without winger Milan Lucic for about four to six weeks after Lucic had surgery to repair an injured right index finger.

The 21-year-old Lucic suffered an injury to his index finger on Friday in Dallas and will be forced to miss at least 10 games as the aggressive winger who had gotten off to a slow start in 2009, much like the rest of his Bruins teammates, was placed on long-term injured reserve on Sunday.

Uconn Family Mourning Death Of Beloved Cornerback

Huskies CB Jasper Howard Dies After Stabbing

The University of Connecticut is mourning the death of 20-year-old Jasper Howard who, along with another student, was stabbed during a fight early Sunday morning, the night after the Huskies defeated the Louisville Cardinals in its annual homecoming game.

Jasper Howard, who was an expectant father and exceptional cornerback for a talented Huskies squad, died after a fire alarm went off in the Student Union of the Storrs campus late Satruday evening forcing students to evacuate the building which was hosting an on-campus dance.

The death of Howard, better known as Jazz by his friends and family, is the first homicide at the university in more than 30 years according to Uconn Police Major Ronald Blicher. Howard had a carer-high 11 tackles on Saturday against the Cardinals and forced a key fumble in the third quarter propeling Uconn to a 38-25 victory.  

As a Uconn student, I am very shocked and saddened by the news of Jasper Howard’s death. Just seeing him out on the playing field yesterday, to now hearing that he had passed away earlier this morning sends chills up and down my body.  I send my prayers to the Howard family and plan on remembering Jazz at the next Uconn football game, among many other students and fans, by wearing the number six over my clothing in memory of our beloved classmate and friend.  RIP Jasper Howard.   

Brady To Moss: The Unstoppable Toss

Patriots Stomp All Over The Titans

In what turned out to be one of the most lopsided victories in recent memory, the New England Patriots played the role of David in David versus Goliath on Sunday as the Patriots jumped all over the Tennesse Titans 59-0 at Gilette Stadium.

Calling the Tennesse Titans, Goliath, however, may be too big of a compliment considering the way the Titans played on Sunday as Jeff Fisher’s squad played more like an Pop Warner team then a team that was 13-3 last year.  Tom Brady threw six touchdowns on Sunday, five of which came in the second quarter, which is a new NFL record, as the Pats jumped out to the biggest halftime lead in NFL history, 45-0.  The Patriots are now tied for sixth all-time in largest victories in NFL history with their 59-0 romping of Tennessee.   

New England (4-2) set a club-record with 619 total yards on offense with Brady going 29-for-34 for 380 yards, before coming out midway through the third quarter, being replaced by rookie quarterback Brian Hoyer.  Randy Moss was up to his old tricks at Foxborough, catching eight passes for 129 yards and 3 TDs.  Wes Welker also had a fine day, catching ten passes for 150 yards and two scores.  Laurence Maroney led the ground game for Bill Belichick and company as the oft-questionable running back garnered 123 yards on the ground and one score on a 45-yard-run.

The Patriots forced five turnovers from the Tennessee offense and allowed only 186 yards of total offense.  Junior Seau registered two tackles in his season debut while also scooping up a fumble.  The Pats head to London next week to take on the 0-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers before hosting the Miami Dolphins after their bye week.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Patriots Blast Titans, Brady Puts Up 6 TD’s

In what was one of the most one sided and severe beatings in the history of the NFL I couldn’t help but enjoy this game.  Sure I enjoy a tigh nailbiter but sometimes I feel like relaxing and kicking my feet up.   Not sure what words best describes the Titans today but gross, disgusting, pathetic, and embarrasing should be close enough.
The game was closer to amusing then anything and the Titans should be  ashamed of themselves.  The Patriots had everything going today and I am not sure anyone could have beat them but the Titans are not a good football team and probably will not be for a long time to come.
It is not even worth writing much of a review of the game because the score pretty much tells all, 59-0.  Even though Tennessee is so bad the Patriots did look solid and certainly this was their best performance all season on both sides of the ball.  Now hopefully they can do it next week against Tampa Bay, another winless team.
A whole bunch of records were broken including Brady’s 5 touchdown passes in 1 quarter and largest margin of victory.  Brady had 345 yards and was 24 of 28… He was magical!

Wake Slated For Surgery

Knuckleballer Wants To Return For 18th Season

Tim Wakefield is 17 wins away from matching the Red Sox all-time mark for wins by a pitcher. He trails both Roger Clemens and Cy Young, who have 192 victories each, so if your wondering if the knuckleballer has any motivation to come back for an 18th season, there’s your answer.

Oh, and another World Series ring too.  

Wakefield had a great start to 2009, being selected to his first All-Star game, before injuries cut short his stellar season as his second half spiraled down hill due to a herniated disc in his back which put the question in Sox fans of whether or not the 43-year-old was done.

Well, the knuckleballer will have surgery to repair the herniated disc in his back on Wednesday and expects to be ready for spring training. Wakefield will make $4 million next year if he comes back healthy and should fit in the fifth slot in the Sox rotation, barring any setbacks or major trades in the off-season.  

So with 175 victories, two World Series rings, and a lifetime full of great (and not so great) baseball memories, Tim Wakefield wants just one more ride around the baseball merry-go-round, in hopes of attaining that elusive third ring and whatever other accolades he has yet to discover.  

No Time For Vacation… Sox Already At Work

Red Sox Start Offseason With Signing

Having been eliminated from the playoffs a mere five days ago, you would think that all things would be quiet on the Red Sox front.  But the front office has already gotten back to work as Peter Gammons reported that the Boston Red Sox have signed Baseball America’s No. 1 ranked independent league prospect, Reynaldo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez played as a first basemen last season for team Yuma in the Golden League. Rodriguez was selected as the 2009 Golden Baseball League Rookie of the year.  The 22-year-old posted a .335 average with six home runs and 48 RBIs in 74 games.  The first basemen also possess speed which is unique for most players at his position.  

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