The Patriots kick off their preseason schedule tonight with a game in Philadelphia against the Eagles. The game, though not all the significant on the field, marks a transition for both the radio and preseason TV booth.
Up in the radio booth, this marks the first game for play-by-play voice Bob Socci alongside analyst Scott Zolak.
On the TV side, we’ll see the first production of the new “talk radio” format with Dan Roche leading an in-game discussion of the team. Click here for a review of the format and the TV affiliate listing.
If you miss tonight’s broadcast, set your DVR for the NFL Network, which will replay the game on Monday at 4pm and Thursday at 1pm. (If you’re outside of New England, the NFL Network is also showing this game live tonight.)
Patriots debut new voices and styles – Chad Finn also previews the new voices to check out tonight.
The game will give all a first glimpse of the new receiving corps for the Patriots (by the way, did you notice that the Broncos are ALREADY phasing out Wes Welker??? Manning didn’t target him ONCE last night!!!) – a group that will be under scrutiny by all observers.
While reports from the beat reporters have been positive thus far, those same reports are mocked by the likes of Mike Felger, Tony Massarotti and Eric Wilbur. You can probably count on one finger the amount of actual practices those guys have seen – combined. Felger confessed that he had to be at his first practice in over three years recently, and only because CSNNE was doing a live set. He also said he hated every minute of it.
It reminds of when the Patriots drafted Gronkowski and Hernandez, and the same people said they would be busts because the Patriots had never successfully drafted tight ends. When good reports come from practice of those two, it was mockingly dismissed in the exact same tone.
Of course, all camp reports should come with a grain of salt. I enjoyed this difference of opinion from earlier this week:
Desean Jackson is abusing Aqib Talib in 1 on 1 drills. Caught a button hook, slant and deep post for a TD
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) August 6, 2013
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) August 7, 2013
Even better is Curran’s follow-up to someone who said it was reported elsewhere that Talib looked bad. “yeah, I’d be skeptical of whoever told you that from here on out.”
I don’t know whether Talib looked good or bad. You can understand though, why there is a split opinion on many things. People go to the reporter they trust and go with that.
A few other notes from the week behind and ahead:
Glickman Debuts Aug. 26, Exclusively On HBO – This bio of the famed announcer Marty Glickman promises to be interesting. Glickman was a mentor of the late Celtics announcer Johnny Most, and Red Auerbach also had Tom Heinsohn serve an apprenticeship with Glickman before he did Celtics games on TV.
Bleacher Report Hires Veteran Sports Journalist Mike Freeman – The former CBSSports.com NFL writer is the latest to join B/R.
USGA & FOX Sports Announce 12-Year Landmark Partnership – It was announced this week that the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open will be broadcast on FOX starting in 2015.
Broadcast Teams Announced For Landmark 20th NFL on FOX Season – FOX also announced their 2013 NFL broadcast teams.