The Patriots continue their preparations for tomorrow afternoon’s game with the Tampa Bay Bucs. John Tomase has a mini-feature on Pats receiver Deion Branch. Tomase also breaks down one pass play between Branch and Tom Brady to show how in sync the two are with each other. Jim Donaldson says to put your money on Tom Brady playing tomorrow. Michael Parente also reports on Brady and whether he is going to play tomorrow.
Ian M Clark notes that the weather won’t be all the chilly for the Bucs tomorrow afternoon, perhaps taking a small advantage away from the Patriots. Christopher Price looks at the Patriots defense appearing to round into form at the right time. Tony Massarotti looks at the Patriots success in December in recent years and how this year could follow the same pattern. Massarotti looks at Tom Ashworth preparing to make the move to left tackle if needed. Albert Breer looks at the strong work of the offensive line behind the leadership of Dante Scarnecchia.
Fluto Shinzawa has a look at the Tampa Bay defense, which is simple, yet constant and very effective. Tom E Curran has a look at Tampa QB Chris Simms and how the youngster making his 10th career start tomorrow is playing like an old veteran. Alan Greenberg looks at Jon Gruden’s first return to Foxboro since the snow game. Eric McHugh has more from Gruden on Foxboro and the snow game. Hector Longo also has a look at Gruden and his many faces.
Tomase’s notebook has Vince Wilfork expecting that the crowd will be loud at Gillette tomorrow. The Globe notebook looks at Tom Brady’s preparations for tomorrow, and the depth on the offensive line. Curran’s notebook says that the signs seem to indicate the Brady will play tomorrow. McHugh’s notebook looks at what the Bucs can expect from Doug Flutie if he is called upon to play tomorrow. Parente’s notebook has Wilfork spending a little extra time in the film room as of late.
Kevin Paul Dupont and Steve Conroy each report on the Bruins beating the Minnesota Wild last night 3-2. Conroy has a look at former Bruin Brian Rolston, now thriving in Minnesota. Dupont’s notebook looks at injured defenseman Nick Boynton making the trip with his teammates. Conroy’s notebook has Mike Sullivan sitting down veteran defenseman Jiri Slegr.
Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer each look at Raef LaFrentz this morning, as the Celtics big man has been struggling and demoted to the second unit. He’d would like a little clearer definition of his role from coach Doc Rivers. Scott Souza has more on LaFrentz. On the other hand, Mark Blount’s stock has been rising as of late, and Bulpett also has a bit on him. Rob Bradford says that the Celtics have dealt for troubled stars in the past, could Ron Artest be another? Springer’s notebook has more on Blount and his return to the starting lineup, where he is being paired with Kendrick Perkins. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the difference a little defense can make for the Celtics.
Michael Silverman reports that the Red Sox are still looking at trying to get in on the Miguel Tejada trade talks, but that the Red Sox don’t want to give up a pitcher and prospect in addition to Manny Ramirez. He also looks at Larry Lucchino’s appearance on WEEI yesterday where he had some strong words for the Herald. Lenny Megliola wonders when Theo is going to let us know if he is coming back or not. Dan Shaughnessy has a look at Bill Mueller leaving Boston and how with all the other events surrounding the Red Sox, this got almost no attention. Joe McDonald has a piece on Kelly Shoppach working hard this winter in an effort to win the backup catcher spot with the Red Sox behind Jason Varitek. Dom Amore has Mike Myers trying to recruit Johnny Damon to join him with the Yankees. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at how Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer both played baseball in the New England Small Conference Athletic Conference.
Scott’s Shots has reader reaction to the Pete Sheppard email from last week. John Howell looks at Phil Simms, who would like to keep his family life private, but that is something hard to do when you’re a retired NFL QB now working in TV, and your son is a starting NFL QB. The Globe’s Sports Media column for this week is by Mark Blaudschun and it looks at WEEI naming Mike Adams to the evening slot.
Be sure to check back this afternoon for this week’s edition of BSMW SporTView. It should be up around 2:00.