Slow Progress?

It’s another busy day in Boston sports with more reaction from the Patriots win over the Jets, trade talks heating up around the Red Sox and Manny Ramirez and the Celtics and Bruins out on road trips.

Michael Felger has his Patriots report card, which looks a lot better than some of the previous editions this season. Jerome Solomon says that even though the Patriots are still inconsistent, Bill Belichick is liking his team a whole lot more than he did just a few weeks ago, and looks through the additions and returns to see why. Tom E Curran notes that a couple things were missing in Sunday’s game. The Patriots didn’t give up a long scoring play and didn’t get vastly outscored in the second quarter. Alan Greenberg writes that despite their obvious limitations, this Patriots squad wants to believe that it can make noise in the playoffs. Michael Parente looks at the Patriots attempting to put together some form of momentum as the playoffs draw closer.

The BSMW Patriots Game Day Rear View was encouraged by what the Patriots did on Sunday. Jonathan Comey looks ahead to Wild Card weekend, where he says it is a virtual lock that the Patriots will be hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars. Christopher Price wonders if the Patriots could be back on track with their performance against the Jets on Sunday. John Tomase looks at the impact that the return of Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk and David Givens had on the Patriots offense. He also has a brief bit on what Belichick has dubbed the “Season of Truth“.

Karen Guregian looks at the debate over the quite crowds at Gillette. Chris Kennedy and Greenberg look at Tom Brady being named SI Sportsman of the Year. Kennedy also looks at Rosevelt Colvin’s return to old form. Curran’s notebook has Bill Belichick complimenting Tom Brady for things beyond football as well. Solomon’s notebook looks at the improvement in the ground game with the return of Faulk and Dillon. Tomase’s notebook looks at how the Patriots can actually clinch their division title before the unbeaten Colts clinch theirs.

Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman look at the progress in the talks to trade Manny Ramirez. Both report that at the moment the likely destination is Anaheim, with the Diamondbacks getting involved and shipping Troy Glaus to Boston as part of the deal. Sean McAdam also looks at the efforts to trade the slugging superstar, as well as to trade David Wells. David Heuschkel has more on the Ramirez talks as well as other players that the team could be interested in. Tony Massarotti examines the impact that a trade of Manny would have on the makeup of this Red Sox team.

Joe Haggerty looks at the Red Sox putting their GM search on hold this week while they focus on other business at the winter meetings. Dan Shaughnessy says that Jim Rice may have his best shot ever at making the Hall of Fame this year. Bob Halloran says that despite his greatness, Roger Clemens still lacks a “signature moment” for his career. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that the Red Sox should just let Johnny Damon go to the Yankees if a bidding war starts.

Silverman’s notebook has a number of items, leading off with planned talks between the Red Sox and Damon’s representatives, as well as Damon himself taking place last night. The Herald seems to be backtracking a bit on this, since they earlier claimed that this meeting already took place. However, McAdam’s notebook also reports that the sides were due to meet very soon. Chris Snow’s notebook looks at the Preliminary rosters for the World Baseball Classic as well as a number of hot stove items. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at players looking to get involved in the WBC.

Peter May and Mark Murphy look at homecomings for Kendrick Perkins and Gerald Green tonight in Houston. Both players hail from that vicinity of Texas and are looking forward to seeing friends and family. Perkins will start and see his first time as a pro in Houston, while Green is still unlikely to dress. Murphy’s notebook has Doc Rivers displeased with his fine from the league, and Tony Allen being arraigned today in Chicago.

Stephen Harris says that it is way too early to be passing full judgment on the Joe Thornton trade, but says that Mike O’Connell can’t be sleeping too securely these days. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins hitting a few bumps (and bruises) during their time in Vancouver. Harris’ notebook reports on Nick Boynton injuring his knee on Sunday night.

Steve Conroy says that Boston College can’t really complain about being sent to Boise for their Bowl Game. Michael Vega looks at BC freshman guard Tyrese Rice, who has had to put a lot of things into perspective as of late.

John Molori’s Media Blitz hits on a number of sports media items, including reaction from the Thornton trade, WEEI stuff and Red Sox and Patriots commentators.

A curious comment in an “Inside Track” item this morning.

QB/QT Tom Brady seemed a tad chagrined yesterday when he heard about supermodel Gisele Bundchen