Brady Recovering From Spear Wounds

With the Patriots set to take on the Titans in the regular season finale on Sunday, Vince Young is in the spotlight of a couple articles this morning, as the exciting rookie quarterback is profiled for his performance in leading the surprising Tennessee resurgence this season.

Amalie Benjamin has Young talking about meeting Tom Brady at the ESPY awards last July and how his transition from college to the pros has gone this season. John Tomase says that Young and Brady are more alike than you might think.

Mike Reiss looks at Tom Brady sitting out portions of practice yesterday to rest his shoulder after Jaguars defender Clint Ingram led with his helmet and speared Brady’s shoulder on Sunday. Reiss closes with a disturbing quote from Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio, who suggests that Brady deserved to be speared. Tomase also has Brady taking it easy after the hit from Ingram. Lenny Megliola says Brady had his back checked out by doctors rather than going to see his family in California over the holiday. Rich Garven has Brady feeling sore, but planning on making his 94th consecutive regular season start. Tom King says Brady won’t be taking a break on Sunday unless he is ordered to. Mike Lowe says that sitting out Sunday would be more painful for Brady. David Brown has Brady not ready to change his style of play after the hit.

Ian Clark says Rodney Harrison made his presence heard against Jacksonville. Albert Breer looks at Harrison getting back on the field Sunday, showing how important football is to him and how crucial he is to the Patriots. Michael Parente has Harrison not quite ready to call it a career just yet.

Joe McDonald has the Patriots making preparations for the push to the finish, which they hope includes a long run in January. Alan Greenberg notes that this year, the Patriots first round playoff opponent is out of their hands, in fact if they stay where they are, Greenberg says they are faced with a pair of very bad matchups. If you missed it yesterday, Michael Felger had a good look at the possible opponents in the first round for the Patriots, and why they would and wouldn’t want to face each one. Mark Farinella has Belichick and the Patriots preparing for Young and the Titans, noting that there is good reason to be respectful of Jeff Fisher’s crew. Ron Hobson says that the Patriots would be best served to go all out against the Titans and try to gain the #3 seeding in the playoffs.

Bob Ryan admits that he is baffled by trying to figure out the NFL, in particular, the NFC, which can’t seem to settle on a top dog, nor put together a playoff field of teams with better than a .500 record. Farinella has Kris Kringle recount his dealings with Bill Belichick.

Tomase’s notebook wonders whether Bill Belichick will rest his regulars, as he did in the season finale last season against Miami, or if he will play this one straight through. Reiss’ notebook has Harrison looking forward to at least one more season beyond this one with the Patriots. McDonald’s notebook has Belichick and Brady talking about Vince Young. Garven’s notebook has Harrison very happy to be back on the field for the Patriots.

Celtics

Life without Paul Pierce has proven to be difficult for the Celtics, as they lost their third in a row without their captain and fourth overall, to the Los Angeles Clippers, 100-77 at the Staples Center.

Shira Springer reports on the Clipper breezing to a win over the Celtics with Pierce watching from the sidelines, wishing that he could help his struggling club. Steve Bulpett notes that the Celtics got three players back last night, but it wasn’t nearly enough to stay competitive with the Clippers, who had come into the game having lost 7-of-8.

Check the coverage from LA in the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News.

Bulpett’s notebook has more on the injury to West, as the writer again questions whether the Celtics guard can stay healthy while playing like Rodney Harrison on the basketball court. Springer’s notebook has more on West.

Misc

Nick Cafardo and Steve Buckley report on a ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday in San Francisco which gives federal prosecutors the right to use the names of results of over 100 major league baseball players who had tested positive for steroids three years ago. Cafardo says this will likely mean more trouble for Barry Bonds, while Buckley says the names are sure to be leaked to the media and MLB should “celebrate” the release of the names.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins entering the playoff picture after moving into the 8th position in the East with their overtime loss to Columbus on Tuesday. Fluto Shinzawa looks at the Bruins third period struggles after losing a two goal lead against the Blue Jackets.

Steve Conroy has a look at Boston College’s preparation for Navy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday. Interim coach Frank Spaziani will be leading the Eagles in this game. C. Jemal Horton has the Eagles adjusting to life without Tom O’Brien. Conroy’s notebook reports that BC should get center Kevin Sheridan back for Saturday’s game.

Buddy Thomas would like to return a few “gifts” sports have given fans.

TNT has Suns/Mavs at 8:15 and Sonics/Nuggets at 10:30. ESPN has the Independence Bowl with Oklahoma State and Alabama at 4:30 and the Holiday Bowl with Texas A&M/Cal at 8:00. NFLN has the Texas Bowl with Rutgers/Kansas St at 8:00.

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