The “Black Cloud” Arrives

@capeleaguer agree. I feel like Thursday is hanging over me like a black cloud. excited to see what develops but…Tue Jul 27 23:40:41 via web

Sorry to pick on you Shalise – but you do know the whole world can see these Tweets, right?

The “black cloud” has arrived – Patriots training camp opens this morning, and with it, another long work cycle for the media covering the team. I do understand the sentiment above – the start of camp means a lot of six and seven-day work weeks from now until January – but I still don’t think it is wise to describe it as a “black cloud” hanging over you.

With the start of training camp, I feel it is appropriate to turn to our Patriots Daily Senior Foreign Correspondent Scott A Benson, who weighs in with The Boys of Late Summer – A Primer.

Time to spot players who can get it done – I picked on Shalise a little above, but I did enjoy her breakdown today of the younger players who need to step it up this season.

New faces, old confidence at Patriots training camp – Jonathan Comey looks at a few key guys on the roster to watch for this training camp.

Patriots must establish roles at camp – Mike Reiss says that this is the major underlying theme at this year’s training camp.

Vince Wilfork fine with doubters – Karen Guregian has the nose tackle embracing the underdog role this season.

Five questions surrounding Patriots defense – After looking at the offense yesterday, Robert Lee examines the defense today.

Rating the Roster, Training Camp Edition (Part 7) – Christopher Price has been rating the roster, here are the top 17 players on the Patriots right now.

Coach’s crew no longer the picture of supremacy – Hey, it wouldn’t be football season without Professor Ron Borges around to throw a wet blanket on things.

So these aren’t lines meant to stir up the fan base and generate clicks and comments?

Today, the grass looks great, the locker room smells great, the players are great and the kiddie corps of assistant coaches Bill Belichick has surrounded himself with are budding geniuses, not the underpaid lab assistants many of them appear to be.

Bill Belichick was a genius once, when the players in the photos were still active.

Randy Moss has caught a lot of balls in three years, but not the long one the Pats needed most against the Giants at the end of Super Bowl XLII. The evidence of past performance suggests that Branch would have caught it in that situation, but Moss never will.

Right. It’s just the imagination of a “delightfully thin-skinned”* fan base. Carry on.

The Red Sox finished off a three game sweep of the Angels yesterday afternoon after Marco Scutaro snapped a 3-3 tie with an eighth inning grand slam that made a winner out of Josh Beckett, 7-3. Check all the links at RedSoxLinks.com.

Red Sox bring home hope from trip – Gordon Edes has the Red Sox coming home with hope.

I actually thought about linking Shaughnessy this morning, until I read his final paragraph. He apparently cannot even write a glowing column on the Red Sox without taking a shot at the Krafts. Pathetic.

Sox keep their season alive with sweep of Angels – Sean McAdam has the Red Sox potentially saving their season yesterday.

Lowell’s rehab assignment is one for the books – Daniel Barbarisi has a quick note on Mike Lowell tearing it up in his rehab assignment.

Beckett left rest to Scutaro – Peter Abraham took a lot of notes yesterday.

* Quotes added at the insistence of Joe, the Dolphins fan from the comment section.

Sox Take Another From Angels

John Lackey got the better of his former team, going 7 1/3 innings and giving up two runs to pick up his 10th win of the season in the 4-2 Red Sox victory. Get all the links at RedSoxLinks.com.

The WEEI ratings-gate scandal continues today. Jessica Heslam has Julie Kahn defending the station’s decision to start combining the AM & FM numbers. Whats interesting is that the station chooses to combine the numbers for ratings and PR purposes, but not for staff bonuses. She’s got Pete Sheppard speaking out:

Ex-WEEI personality Pete Sheppard, who was on Glenn Ordway’s “Big Show” for more than a decade, said he missed out on two hefty ratings bonuses – close to $10,000 – because program director Jason Wolfe said he couldn’t combine WEEI-FM’s Massachusetts listeners with WEEI-AM.

“He never would combine those ratings to give us our bonuses – never,” Sheppard, who was axed in January, said yesterday. “We pleaded with him twice – because it was a big chunk of money.”

Sheppard’s contract entitled him to a quarterly bonus – excluding the summer – when the Big Show was No. 1 among the coveted 25-to-54-year-old male demographic.

Seems a little hypocritical to me.

Okajima caught in culture clash – Rather than joining his colleagues in screaming about accountability in talking to the media, Gordon Edes waits a day, and then gets an exclusive with Hideki Okajima, who explains some of his reticence in talking with the media.

Sox ailing on airwaves, too – D.C. Denison and Alexandria McMahon in the Globe explore the reasons for the Red Sox drop in TV ratings.

For Sox, the real Lackey appears in his former park – Alex Speier looks at the strong outing for John Lackey.

Maturity has led McDonald to security – Daniel Barbarisi has a good story on outfield Darnell McDonald, who has discovered what it takes for him to remain in the majors after all these years.

Red Sox have dilemma at trade deadline – Mike Fine says that the Red Sox have decisions to make.

Pedroia is jolted by news – Peter Abraham’s extensive notebook has Dustin Pedroia not getting the injury news he was hoping for.

Pats wiping away remnants of glory days – Tom E Curran has Troy Brown revealing that the Patriots are attempting to make this team create its own identity.

Wicked-early look at Patriots roster projections – Karen Guregian tries to project the roster.

Five key questions on offense as Patriots begin training camp – Robert Lee looks at the Tom Brady-led offense and the keys to the season for that unit.

Celtics must pick up pieces – Julian Benbow has the team still looking to fill out their last remaining roster spots.

Andrew Brandt Interview In Patriots Football Weekly

If you happen to see this week’s edition of Patriots Football Weekly at a newsstand, be sure to check out my interview with National Football Post founder Andrew Brandt.

Brandt is the former Vice President of the Green Bay Packers, managing their salary cap and negotiating all player contracts from 1999-2008. We talked about his website (he’s trying to make it the Wall Street Journal of the NFL) the ongoing NFL labor situation, and a little bit about the Patriots as well.

In the conversation, we also went into the situations of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and how he feels that Brady’s new position as assistant player rep will not impact his negotiations with the club. (He talks more about Brady and Manning on the NFP today.)

The July 27th, 2010 issue is the current edition of Patriots Football Weekly.