Gators in the Water at Foxboro

Bill Barnwell examines a theory espoused by Bill Simmons in a recent column that rushing quarterbacks have a shorter shelf life than pocket passers – only five or six years. The results – backed by plenty of data – are pretty interesting, especially if you’re looking into making a QB pickup in fantasy football.

The Patriots will likely use some of their bye week time to get Tom Brady more familiar with his new receivers. That would include newly signed Jabar Gaffney, who says his wife is a big Brady fan. Shalise Manza Young has a look at the Florida product, who was a late cut by the Eagles in training camp this summer after signing with them as a free agent. Dan Pires has more on Gaffney, the latest Florida Gator receiver to end up with the Patriots. Glen Farley says that Troy Brown’s numbers thus far underscore the lack of depth in the Patriots receivers which highlights the need for someone like Gaffney to step in and produce.

Another receiver from Florida is trying to make a bigger impact with the Patriots, that being rookie Chad Jackson, who talked to the media for really the first time this season yesterday. Mike Reiss has Jackson saying that health is the only thing that has held him back thus far. John Tomase has a bit stronger of a take on the topic, with a tale of maturity issues and Jackson’s agent defending his client against the speculation that he’s holding himself back. Albert Breer has Jackson saying all the criticism aimed towards him is crazy. Michael Parente has Jackson hoping to feel better after the bye week.

Eric McHugh examines the Patriots success in converting fourth downs thus far this season, where they are six for eight in that area. Steve Buckley has a piece on Rodney Harrison, who will enjoy the bye week with a few days of being a couch potato, resting his body on the couch. Christopher Price has Bill Belichick seeking out lessons and advice from many of the great coaches and managers in sports. Buckley also talks to Rosevelt Colvin, who has a few days of yard work and home repair projects in front of him for the bye week. Glen Farley has the Pats saying that the bye is coming at a good time.

Young’s notebook has Belichick proclaiming his allegiance to Tony La Russa and the St. Louis Cardinals. Tomase’s notebook has more on Gaffney. Reiss’s notebook, which is quite extensive, leads off with more from Belichick on La Russa. McHugh’s notebook has Belichick giving high marks to Laurence Maroney despite the rookie only picking up 38 yards against the Dolphins. Parente’s notebook has more on Belichick rooting for the Cardinals in the MLB playoffs.

Yeah, it’s only the first preseason game, and LeBron James didn’t even play for most of it, but those of you who watched the Celtics knock off the Cavaliers last night 109-93 had to come away impressed with what you saw from the team, especially from rookie point guard Rajon Rondo and second year guard Gerald Green.

Mark Murphy’s notebook says that the Celtics weren’t too concerned with who was or wasn’t on the floor for the Cavs, they’re trying to build their own identity and made a decent start towards that last night. Shira Springer reports on Kendrick Perkins’ offseason progress as well as what happened on the court last night in Cleveland for the Celtics.

Mike Fine also has a look at Perkins, who knows what his role is going to be with the Celtics. Mark Murphy has a look at Gerald Green, who spent the summer growing up at John Lucas’ summer camp in Houston and has come into training camp a totally different player and person. Jim Fenton has a look at Sebastian Telfair. (It was funny hearing Mike Gorman refer to him as “Bassie” on the telecast last night…I think I’m going to need time to adjust to that.)

Bud Barth reports that Hannu Toivonen will get his second straight start in new for the Bruins tonight. Karen Guregian has a look at Marc Savard, who will be facing his old club tonight in Atlanta.

Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook has more on Toivonen getting the start again. Guregian’s notebook has Zdeno Chara ready to serve as protector for any of his teammates.

Gordon Edes has the tale of Red Sox scout Ernie Jacobs, who urged then-scouting director Wayne Britton to draft a kid named Albert Pujols. The Projo has a article with no byline that picks from Rob Bradford’s story in the Eagle-Tribune yesterday about Bronson Arroyo plotting his return to Boston. Jon Couture thinks that we might make too big a deal over certain managers and their importance to teams.

NESN has Bruins/Thrashers at 7:00. FSN has Celtics/Raptors at 7:00. FOX has Cardinals/Mets at 8:00 and FX has A’s/Tigers at 8:00.