Old Linebackers Don’t Just Fade Away

On Patriots Daily this morning, Bill Barnwell examines how the Ravens trade last offseason for Willis McGahee was actually quite a curious move.

Mike Reiss examines how Bill Belichick and the Patriots put a premium on experienced linebackers in their schemes. Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots linebackers refusing to speculate on what lineup changes might be made after Rosevelt Colvin was placed on IR. John Tomase says that the loss of Colvin creates a big void for the Patriots. Christopher Price says that the Patriots will need to do some shuffling to make up for the loss of Colvin. Rich Garven says that Chad Brown was hanging out, just waiting for the Patriots call when it finally came. Chris Kennedy notes that the Patriots will have some adjustments to make now. David Heuschkel notes that the Patriots versatility prevents the loss of Colvin from being a disaster for the defense.

Christopher L. Gasper has Laurence Maroney refusing to get baited by the media into griping about his playing time. Karen Guregian says that Troy Brown could help out on defense, as well as offense and special teams. Ian M. Clark says that the loss of Colvin will test the depth chart of the Patriots for the first time this season. Douglas Flynn has more on the Patriots depth taking a hit this week.

Guregian has Belichick displaying his admiration for Ravens safety Ed Reed yesterday.

Reiss’s notebook has Kevin Faulk being held out of yesterday’s practice with a sore thigh. Young’s notebook has Maroney reved up to run more. Guregian’s notebook has ESPN’s Ron Jaworski saying that Randy Moss took some plays off on Sunday night. Garven’s notebook has Maroney shooting down any talk that he was benched for disciplinary action in the first half on Sunday. Flynn’s notebook has more from Belichick and Tom Brady on Ed Reed.

Red Sox

Over on the Metro page, I’ve got a little look at the end of Dr. Charles Steinberg Era here in Boston.

Amalie Benjamin has Jon Lester winning the Tony Conigliaro Award. Jeff Goldberg has more on the award for the young lefthander, who battled cancer last offseason and came back to be the winning pitcher in the clinching game of the World Series. Joe McDonald has more on the fitting award for the young lefthander. Paul Jarvey has Lester enjoying the award, and hoping he doesn’t get traded. Joe Haggerty has Lester calling the award a “storybook ending” to the past year.

Rob Bradford says that with or without a trade for Twins ace Johan Santana, the Red Sox are in good shape heading into ’08. Benjamin has the Red Sox working with Clay Buchholz to build up his strength in the offseason.

Celtics/Bruins

Steve Bulpett has Knicks coach Isiah Thomas saying the Kevin Garnett seems to have been made to be a Celtic all along. Marc J. Spears has Reggie Miller not regretting his decision not to come out of retirement and join the Celtics. Buddy Thomas has Paul Pierce as just another piece of the puzzle for the Celtics these days.

Jeff Horrigan has Andrew Alberts fortunate enough to be able to return to the ice tonight after taking the cheap shot in Philly earlier this week. Kevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins embarking on a busy stretch that will test their goaltending depth.

Brown In. Brown Out. Brown In. Colvin Out.

The Patriots made their long-awaited decision on Troy Brown yesterday, activating the 15 year wide receiver and waiving rookie defensive lineman Kareem Brown.

Also, linebacker Rosevelt Colvin was placed on Injured Reserve, ending his season, while the team re-signed veteran linebacker Chad Brown to take his spot on the roster.

The decision on Troy Brown needed to be done by 4:00pm yesterday, but the team didn’t officially announce anything until nearly an hour and a half later. This left media outlets scrambling to find out what the team was going to do. Bill Burt of the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune was ahead of the field as he posted on his blog right around 4:00pm that the team had told Brown he would be activated yesterday.

After Burt, it was John Tomase on The Point After blog at 5:33 who had the full details of the roster moves the Patriots made. WEEI’s Big Show spent much of the time between 4:00pm and 5:30pm mocking Tomase for his “tea leaves” prediction earlier in the day that Brown would not be a part of this team in 2007. They also kept asking why Tomase and Reiss didn’t have the news yet.

WEEI is the home of “Patriots Monday” is it not? The Big Show hosts Bill Belichick each Monday during the season don’t they? Several key figures on the show host “The Real Postgame Show” following Patriots games right? They couldn’t try and get this information on their own? Oh I forgot, it’s much easier to just mock the fact that others have not been able to get the information rather than actually try and get it yourself.

They went by the word of Bill Burt, which did prove to be accurate, even though they made a little fun of him as well, (mostly by Steve Buckley) to which Steve Burton asked at least twice: “Are you going to see him at the Celtics game tonight?” The Celtics of course, played IN Cleveland last night.

On Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp looks at how the Patriots refuse to be held hostage by media “storylines” – something fans would be smart to do as well.

As big and positive as the news on Troy Brown is, the news that Colvin is on IR is just as big, if not bigger. Mike Reiss and John Tomase report on the loss of Colvin to an apparent foot injury suffered Sunday night against the Eagles. Speculation is already beginning as to how the Patriots will deal with this move on the field. Theories advanced include Adalius Thomas moving outside to Colvin’s slot with Junior Seau becoming the starter inside, or younger players such as Pierre Woods or Eric Alexander getting a shot. Also a possibility is more 4-3 defensive play, with Jarvis Green becoming a starter on the defensive line, and Thomas, Bruschi and Vrabel remaining the starters at linebacker.

Christopher Price says that the triple threat Brown brings value to the Patriots roster. Shalise Manza Young has more on the move to activate Troy Brown and carry seven wide receivers on the roster. Douglas Flynn has the Patriots gaining and losing players on the same day. David Heuschkel also reports on the roster moves from yesterday. Eric McHugh has a Patriots report card from the Eagles game. Michael Parente says that the Eagles game showed that it may not be a cakewalk to 19-0 after all for the Patriots.

Mark Farinella muses about the traffic situation around Gillette Stadium on game days. He also expresses a wish that he didn’t jump on the “blueprint” bandwagon. Tomase comes through with another good Tale of the Tape entry looking back in detail at Sunday night’s game. Jim Donaldson says that America may hate the Patriots, but gamblers love them. The Eagle-Tribune has details of Tom Brady Sr doing a local speaking engagement, with plenty of talk about his son and the Patriots.

Tomase’s notebook has more on the return of Troy Brown. Reiss’ notebook says that it is unclear just where Brown will fit in among the Patriots receiver corps.

Celtics

The Celtics suffered just their second loss of the season, a 109-104 overtime setback to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mark Murphy says that too many mistakes at key junctures led to the Celtics downfall last night. Peter May says that if Saturday night’s win was a gift, the Celtics re-gifted last night and handed this one to the Cavs.

John Molori has an extensive interview with Celtics television play-by-play man Mike Gorman.

Murphy’s notebook observes, that like everyone else in the NBA, the Celtics were unable to slow down LeBron. May’s notebook has the Celtics recalling rookie guard Gabe Pruitt from the developmental league after suffering a backcourt shortage.

Red Sox

Michael Silverman has the Red Sox actively joining the trade talks over Minnesota ace Johan Santana with plans to “aggressively pursue the two-time Cy Young Award winner.” Gordon Edes reports that some select tickets will be put on sale December 8th, and also has a number of other team notes.

Jeff Goldberg reports on the Sox starting spring training two days early next season to get ready for Japan.

Sarah Green says that this should be the year that Jim Rice gets elected to the Hall of Fame.

Bob Tremblay reviews the Red Sox World Series DVD. (The top one to the right here.) Purchasing either of these collectible DVD’s will help support BSMW. (There was no fund drive this year, as you may have noticed.)

Misc.

Jeff Horrigan has Bruins reaction to the two-game suspension handed to the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell for his cheap shot on Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts. Kevin Paul Dupont has more from Alberts on the hit and the suspension.

Steve Conroy has Boston College right tackle Anthony Castonzo doing his homework on trying to slow down Virginia Tech’s Chris Ellis in this Saturday’s ACC title game. Mark Blaudschun notes that the loss to the Eagles earlier in the season proved to be a launching point for the Hokies.

Conroy’s notebook has BC cornerback DeJuan Tribble hoping to be healthy enough to play in Saturday’s championship game.

11.27.07 Afternoon

Can you imagine the uproar if that Monday Night Football game last night had been played at Gillette Stadium? I’m sure Bill Belichick would’ve been blamed somehow…

Ian Donnis delves a little deeper into the departure of Dr. Charles Steinberg from the Red Sox to the Dodgers. David Scott also says so long to Dr. Charles.

This month in Boston Magazine, John Gonzalez has a feature on Charlie Jacobs, who is fighting to rescue the Bruins from obscurity.

Tom Curran says that the Patriots have the right approach for a perfect season.

Ron Borges lauds Eric Mangini for appearing at a charity event recently, despite his team being 1-8 at the time.

John Czarnecki has figured out how to beat the Patriots.

Jeff Passan says that it time to stop referring to Theo Epstein as “kid, wunderkind, prodigy” and start recognizing him with the appropriate title.

Best GM in baseball.

Bill Simmons relates the experience of taking his two and half year old daughter to her first NBA game.

Eric Wilbur examines the chances of the Red Sox getting involved in the Johan Santana trade market.

Tonight

7:00pm, CSN – Celtics @ Cavs
7:00pm, ESPN – Georgia Tech @ Indiana
7:00pm, Versus – Flames @ Red Wings
7:30pm, ESPN2 – Minnesota @ Florida State
9:00pm, ESPN – Wisconsin @ Duke
9:30pm, ESPN2 – Purdue @ Clemson