Calm before the storm…

Richard Seymour’s health is a hot topic in the papers this morning, as the Patriots Defensive Lineman appeared in the locker room yesterday, and spoke with reporters. Michael Felger says the outlook appears to be good for Seymour, who only wore a light wrap on his knee in the lockerroom yesterday. Frank Dell’Apa and Michael Parente also look at Seymour and his recovery and chances of playing on January 16th. Meanwhile on Patriots.com yesterday afternoon, Parente and Mike Reiss filled in on the “Patriots Playbook” webcast, and during that show, Reiss opined that he doesn’t think Seymour will be ready to play on the 16th. His opinion was perhaps based more on caution, but he did make that statement. Other things discussed on that show was the possibility of the Bengals being interested in Eric Mangini as defensive coordinator, especially if Romeo Crennel stays with the Patriots. They also half-seriously kicked around the idea of Mike Shanahan coming on as Offensive Coordinator for a year should he and the Bronco’s part ways. An extremely remote (and silly) possibility, to be sure, but it made for show fodder. To those of you tired of Red Sox talk on WEEI (which was what happened yesterday – pitching rotation talk) Patriots.com offers web radio starting at noon each workday.

Alan Greenberg looks at Bill Belichick’s message to his team before giving them four days off. The Eagle-Tribune ran a couple articles on Belichick’s top assistants yesterday, with John Tomase looking at Romeo Crennel and Hector Longo writing about Charlie Weis. Eric McHugh has a good look at Randall Gay. Tom E Curran looks at Tom Brady, heading into his third postseason and hoping for his third SuperBowl. Bob Ryan has a look at the success of former Patriots coach Pete Carroll out at USC. Kevin Mannix says that Carroll should not entertain any offers to come back to the NFL, under any circumstances. Bill Reynolds looks at former Patriots backup QB Scott Zolak, who has made a career for himself on the air now that his football playing days are over. Buddy Thomas shares his pearls of football wisdom with us regarding the playoffs, except he only covers two games and has some gibberish in there at the end. Dell’Apa’s notebook and Felger’s notebook each look at Tom Brady’s playoff preparation. Parente’s notebook says that Belichick will watch some of the weekend games from his office, and he notes the idea that he brought up yesterday on the webcast of Eric Mangini and the Bengals. Curran’s notebook has Belichick praising Troy Brown’s work on defense.

The Celtics pulled out a one point win at home over the Warriors last night. “Ugly” is a word used by Peter May, Steve Bulpett and Lenny Megliola in their coverage of the game last night. Thought it may have been ugly, there were many positives that came out of it. Amalie Benjamin looks at rookie Al Jefferson putting up a double-double for the green, while Matt Kalman looks at the return of Gary Payton after a one game absence. The notebooks reverse those stories, with May’s notebook looking at Payton and Bulpett’s notebook covering Jefferson.

John Tomase says that next year is a critical year for Jim Rice’s Hall of Fame hopes. Dom Amore has Wade Boggs pushing for Rice’s induction and Ryne Sandberg pushing for Andre Dawson. Tony Massarotti says the idea of players going into the Hall of Fame with the cap of one team is out of style. Stan Grossfeld looks at baseball in the Dominican Republic.

Updates may be intermittent over the next few days and into Monday. I’m once again going to be away and doing “real world” stuff.

TNT has Grizzlies/Pistons at 7:30 and Pacers/Spurs at 9:30. ESPN2 has a College hoops tripleheader starting at 7:00.

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