It’s Friday, which means Roundtable day over at the Patriots Game Day page. Dare I say things are a little testy around there these days. All it took was one loss, apparently.
John Tomase says that Corey Dillon will have some fire within him as he returns to Cincinnati for the first time in the regular season as a member of the opposition. Mike Reiss has a look at Otis Smith, who has continued his Patriots career as a member of the coaching staff. Joe McDonald has Rodney Harrison rising to answer the playful trash talk of Chad Johnson. Tony Massarotti has a rather weak column this morning on Bill Belichick and the fact that he might not have given himself enough to win with this season. I say weak not because the article is mildly critical of the Patriots coach, but because it doesn’t contain any strong arguments for the case he’s trying to present. He seems to waffle his way through it at times. Chris Kennedy has Tom Brady translating his body language for the media.
Michael Parente notes that the Bengal’s ball hawking defense will also provide a test for the Patriots. Hector Longo has Stephen Gostkowski remaining confident despite his early struggles. David Brown has more on the talk between Johnson and the Patriots. Eric McHugh has Tom Brady urging the media to move on from analyzing his body language. Christopher Price has a look at the knee injuries of Rodney Harrison and Carson Palmer. Massarotti looks at Rodney Harrison and Carson Palmer each returning from devastating knee injuries to start the season on their team’s active roster.
Alan Greenberg compares Chad Johnson to a young Muhammad Ali in his ability to good naturedly trash talk his opponents and then whip them on the playing field. Albert Breer notes that if the Patriots attempt to blitz Carson Palmer and the Bengals repeatedly on Sunday, they could end up getting burned. Peter May examines the off-field troubles of many of the Cincinnati Bengals. Jennifer Toland examines Palmer’s return from the knee injury suffered in the playoff game last winter.
Bob Ryan weighs in on the whole Terrell Owens story, and offers that no matter what we might think, we really don’t know the guy.
Reiss’ notebook has Belichick and Harrison returning some playful trash talk in the direction of Chad Johnson. Tomase’s notebook has more on the barbs being hurled between to two sides. McDonald’s notebook focuses on Belichick’s answers for Johnson. Toland’s notebook features more of the Chad Johnson show. Parente’s notebook has still more on this topic. McHugh’s notebook has a look at Dillon’s return to Cincinnati.
Jim Lazar opens his weekend Bet Box by predicting a Bengals win over the Patriots. Jim McCabe offers his picks for the weekend in the Globe. I.M. Bettor lets you know what’s bouncing around in his head for this weekend as well. Double D also has his pro picks.
Michael Salfino offers some Buy Hold and Sell advice for fantasy football. The Globe offers you who’s hot and who’s not in terms of Fantasy. You can also check their Fantasy Hub on Boston.com for more advice. Josh Bousquet also offers up some advice for those involved in fantasy leagues.
Nick Cafardo has a mini-feature on Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, who is frequently compared to David Ortiz, with good reason.
Michael Silverman has Alex Gonzalez hoping to be rewarded with a Gold Glove for his play at shortstop this season. Amalie Benjamin has Trot Nixon reflecting on his time here in Boston, which might come to an end this weekend. Jeff Goldberg has more from Nixon. Alex Speier also has a look at Nixon, the original “dirt dog”.
Steve Buckley has Carlos Pena remaining positive despite not seeing the field all that much this month. Steven Krasner has Mark Loretta acknowledging that this season hasn’t quite worked out as he had planned. Rob Bradford says that Josh Beckett is done learning on the job for the Red Sox. Kevin Henkin says that David Ortiz will be OK without Manny Ramirez. Silverman’s notebook has a sneak peek at some highlights of the 2007 schedule.
Scott Van Voorhis reports that the Red Sox may sell naming rights to the season next year.
David Scott follows up with Jerry Trupiano’s agent, Brad Blank who says that they still have not heard anything from the Red Sox. He also has a Jerome Solomon update and many other items. Susan Bickelhaupt has more from Trupiano, who is a bit peeved that he’s reading about his future in the gossip column.
Stephen Harris has Bruins defenseman Jason York talking about his time in Switzerland last season. Bud Barth says that Peter Kalus won’t have to be sent back to his Junior team in Canada if he doesn’t make the Bruins final roster. Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins sweating it out at practice after a poor performance against the Rangers. Harris’ notebook has Wayne Primeau continuing to play through the pain in his surgically repaired hip.
Check back later for a weekend preview…