Wayback Machine: Felger and Mazz Talk the ’86 Celtics

(Thanks to long-time BSMW member Div for capturing this.)

Set the wayback machine to December, 1985….

….they have locations at Downtown Crossing and the Meadow Glen Mall. So, when you’re looking to put fashion first, go to Tello’s. You’ll look the part.

MF: OK, we’re back Tony, and it’s time to get to last night’s debacle.

TM:I couldn’t believe my eyes Mike.

MF: If you’ve been living in a cave, YOUR Boston Celtics last night took the gaspipe on the parquet to the Portland Trailblazers….yeah, you’re hearing me right….a mediocre Portland team walked into the Boston Garden and annihilated them.

TM: It is very concerning Mike.

MF: And all of you pom-pom wavers can’t blame this one on Larry Bird’s back…he played most of the game…at least until it was clear they had been blown out.

TM: They just sucked Mike.

MF: Really bad night for the confetti mafia…let’s go to the phones. Steve from Fall River..what do you got?

Yeah, thanks Felgie. Coupla points. You know, they drafted this kid Sam Vincent. I saw a game last year when he was on Michigan where he scored 31 points. He was unstoppable. Why don’t they put him in as the starter when you can tell DJ doesn’t have it. I mean, with DJ, you know right away when he’s on and he just wasn’t on last night. Of course, KC Jones would rather be playing piano than coaching the team. Why can’t we see what this kid Vincent has got?

MF: Thanksforthecall Steve. Well, I think that’s obvious Tony. First of all, you and I both know that DJ wouldn’t like that.

TM: Oh no, Mike…that’s for sure.

MF: We keep hearing about how Dennis is a changed man, Dennis is a good teammate…but if they tried anything like that, we’d see “West Coast Dennis” faster than Clyde Drexler running down the parquet last night.

TM: We all know that’s what would happen but Celtics’ fans think that the Green grows on trees Mike.

MF: And as far as Sam Vincent goes Tony, he was a GREAT college player.

TM: I never saw him play Mike.

MF: Me neither Tony, but he averaged over 20 points last year. This year he’s averaging 2!

TM: They can’t develop young players Mike. Greg Kite, Darren Tillis, Michael Young.  A bunch of no-name stiffs Mike.

MF: They’re the worst team in the NBA at drafting and developing players and it isn’t even close Tony. How are YOU going to keep up with the Lakers if they find a key player in the draft every year while YOU brick every pick YOU make?

TM: They’ve lost ground Mike. It’s OK to admit it.

MF: John in Wakefield –what do you have for us?

Hi Felgie – love the show. Boy, that loss last night was pathetic. They looked old and slow. Parish especially…how many years to think he has left? I’m just concerned with Walton’s injury history and Parish’s age that they’re going to get rolled over by Kareem in the finals.

MF: John – thanksforthecall. There’s another guy Tony. Robert Parish. I mean, he clearly doesn’t want to be here.

TM:The next time he smiles will be the first time all season Mike.

MF: What you need to understand about Robert Parish is that he is a mercenary. He plays basketball as a career, but he’s not someone that truly loves the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was his last year Tony. He’s not a guy that will be playing into his 40’s.

TM:You’re absolutely right Mike. And then you have a crippled Bill Walton and Greg Kite as your center, and Greg Kite sucks!

MF: 90SecondsAndASportsFlash….Beetle?

Thanks Mike. The Red Sox finally dumped Mark Clear today in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for backup journeyman shortstop Ed Romero. Steve Kasper will be out for 7-10 days with an injured knee. The surprising 10-4 New England Patriots are getting ready for their biggest game in decades against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night in Miami. I’m Beetle Bertrand, and that’s a flash.

TM:The Patriots, oh please. They’re going to get killed.

MF: They haven’t won in Miami in what – a quarter century Tony?

TM:And it’s a Monday night game! They never win on Monday night! Heck, they’re lucky to be playing on Monday night. That game will be a reality check against a real team with a real coach Mike.

MF: I agree. Let’s go to Greg in Natick – Greg, what’s happening?

Nothing Mike…just wanted to talk a little bit more about the Celtics. They got exposed last night by a team full of ath-a-letes. They don’t have any athletes on the team. As the season goes on, this inevitably is going to happen more as this young, athletic teams run circles around them. This kid Jordan on Chicago seems like the kind of guy they could use; any chance Chicago would take Wedman and Sichting for him?

MF: Thanskforthecall Greg. Tony – have you seen this kid Jordan play?

TM: No Mike – I’ve never heard of him. Is he new?

MF: Yes, Chicago drafted him a few years ago and he’s really coming into his own. He had 41 points a few nights ago against Indiana, and if the season ended today, we’d be playing Chicago in a 5 game series.

TM: Anything can happen in a 5 game series Mike.

MF: Don’t tell that to the parade planning, decked in green, footie pajama wearing Celtic fans Tony. They think they’re unstoppable. They’re going to pretend like last night didn’t happen.

TM:They didn’t get the right guys in the offseason Mike. I mean, Wedman, Sichting, Walton – they look like us!

MF: Tony, I had a guy confuse you and Sichting a few days ago. No offense, but when you can’t tell the difference between a professional basketball player and you, that can’t be good.

TM: You’re absolutely right Mike.

MF: We’llberightbackafterthiswordfromSomervilleLumber.

Arrogant Bill Finally Listens To Omniscient Media, Sits Gronk In Finale

FINALLY!

For once, Bill Belichick humbled himself and listened to the sport talk radio hosts and sat fragile tight end Rob Gronkowski in the season finale yesterday against the Buffalo Bills.

Now if he would just say things to the media like, I just want to apologize to everybody. I didn’t want to hold anybody up here today. or Thank you. Again I apologize for any inconvenience here. I hope I’ve taken care of everything for you.

Wait, what?

What is happening here? The Patriots coach must’ve been really been running a high fever yesterday or something.

The Patriots finished their season with a 17-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. Having already wrapped up the top seed in the AFC last week, the Patriots sat many of their key players, including Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Browner and Dan Connolly. QB Tom Brady played the first half before giving way to Jimmy Garoppolo in the third quarter.

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

The Patriots next game will be on Saturday, January 10th at 4:35pm on NBC.

A few Celtics/Bruins links from the last few days:

Kevin Garnett Talks Rondo Trade, Retirement, and His Appreciation of Boston – Brian Robb has the Big Ticket’s thoughts on Boston on perhaps his last visit here as an NBA player.

Pierce’s future plans include visiting Celts – Steve Bulpett has the former Celtics captain talking about his future with the club.

Crowder house: Newcomer looks to distinguish himself on C’s crowded roster – Chris Forsberg has Jae Crowder as perhaps the player from the Rajon Rondo trade most likely to stick long-term with the team.

Milan Lucic’s future with Bruins a difficult call – Fluto Shinzawa looks at what the next few years could hold for the bruising forward.

With Denver Loss, Patriots Back Into #1 Seed in AFC

The Patriots backed into the #1 seed in the AFC last night as the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.

It wasn’t anything the Patriots did, the other teams just collapsed and laid down, gifting New England the number one seed and home field advantage through the AFC playoffs.

OK. OK. Some people don’t like it when I play the role of certain sports media members before they get a chance to use the same hot takez.

The painful part of the next few weeks will be the focus on not how the Patriots can win their next game(s), but rather how they can lose them. I should be used to it by now, I guess.

Get all the Patriots coverage from PatriotsLinks.com.

If you’ve got time to kill today, I highly recommend a trip to Dan Shaughnessy Watch. Some great riffs on Dan’s Twitter feed.

Four links, one for each team:

Do the Red Sox really need to get an ace pitcher? – Paul Swydan in the Globe has a really interesting look at how Rick Porcello could actually rank among “ace” pitchers.

Film review: What happened to the New England Patriots offensive line versus New York Jets?  – Kevin Duffy looks at why the O-line struggled so much against the Jets.

Bergeron: Bruins need to stay hungry – Joe McDonald has the Bruins veteran speaking about his team needing a wake-up call.

New Celtic Jameer Nelson must adjust to lower expectations – Gary Washburn has the veteran point guard sounding thrilled to be here.

Rondo Gone. Media Happy.

For years now, some in the media have been complaining about Rajon Rondo. He didn’t always play nice with the media (though the beat guys generally got along fine with him), his unorthodox playing style offended some of their sensibilities, and his uneven levels of play were infuriating to some. When he would come up huge in a playoff game against LeBron James they would wonder why he couldn’t play at that level all the time.

I’ll admit I’ve had some frustrations with the guy, though less in the last few years. But I recognized the things he could do – things which not many NBA players of his size and position can do. In the end, I’m sad to see him go, for many reasons. When on, he was great to watch, his final game in a Celtics uniform the other night showed that. He was the last vestige of the championship team of 2007-08, and his trade signals that this rebuilding process with the Celtics is much more of a long-term project that we had hoped for. On the plus side, I’m looking forward to seeing him on a good team again and see him go against the top level talent in the postseason.

Meanwhile, we’ll have plenty of media bashing Rondo, we’ll have the same ones bashing Rondo and saying that he’s not an “elite” (UNIQUE ISN’T ELITE!) player criticizing Danny Ainge for not getting more for him, and then you’ll have idiotic trolls like Dan Shaughnessy posting things like this:

That’s the Boston sports media experience in a nutshell right there.  It’s all about how you treat the media.

How about the perspective of someone who was actually around Rondo a lot:

Trading Rajon Rondo was only solution – Steve Bulpett, as usual, has the best look at why the Celtics had to trade Rondo now, and why this was the trade they had to make.

Rebuild reset: Analyzing the Rondo trade and where Boston goes from here – Chris Forsberg breaks down the trade and what’s next for Danny Ainge and the Celtics.

It was finally time for the Celtics to trade Rajon Rondo – Paul Flannery is always worth your time when it comes to the Celtics.

Goodbye Rondo, hello rebuild – Rich Levine – as good as a columnist as there is in Boston – says that at least now we know the path this franchise is taking.

The Complicated, But Unforgettable, 8 1/2 Years Of Rajon Rondo – Sean Grande with an outstanding look back at the Boston career of Rondo.

Farewell, Rajon Rondo: Analyzing Boston Celtics’ blockbuster trade with Dallas Mavericks – Jay King offers his thoughts on the deal.

Will Rondo trade make Celtics better or worse? – The answer from A. Sherrod Blakely might surprise you.

******

A few other links/thoughts:

Sports-talk negativity can be aggravating – Chad Finn isn’t as annoyed with the Felger and Mazz show as he is with fans who speculate ahead of time what the duo is going to say on their show.

I don’t agree. I’m venturing that many of those who are mocking Felger and Mazz – and that is what they are doing – are not spending a whole lot of time listening to that show. By now they know the angles that are going to be taken, and it’s an exercise in showing just how pathetic and predictable that the show really is. I also don’t think that group is as big as Chad thinks it is. A few hundred people would not be representative of any bit of Felger and Mazz’s loyal lapdog audience.

Wes Welker Will Not Be Denied – This ESPN longread on the former Patriot has Welker insisting that he is not putting his future at risk with his multiple concussions.

If you’ve watched the Broncos this season, you can see that Welker is not what he was even two years ago during his final season with the Patriots. Yet you still have people writing to the mailbags asking if the Patriots can re-sign Welker this offseason. They can’t see the giant concussion helmet he’s wearing and the fork sticking out of his back? (and I like Wes)

Matt Patricia: WINNING – Matt Chatham tells you more about the Patriots defensive coordinator than you ever heard before, and why he deserves as much credit as anyone for the Patriots defensive revival.

Celtics, Bruins Talking Trades

With both winter franchises struggling to regain past levels of excellence, there has been quite a bit of trade talk around both clubs.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears first reported that trade talks regarding Rajon Rondo have heated up, and with the Mavericks in particular.

Mavericks considering making trade offer for Celtics’ Rajon Rondo – Gary Washburn has more on the interest of the Mavs.

Market down, but Mavericks make offer for Rajon Rondo – Steve Bulpett says that the market isn’t what it once was for the point guard, but teams are showing interest.

Rajon Rondo trade rumors 2014: Danny Ainge says Boston Celtics ‘having a lot of discussions just like we do every year’ – Jay King has the Celtics boss telling 98.5 that this isn’t really any different from any other year.

The Celtics beat the Magic last night at the Garden. Get all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

*******

The Bruins are probably also looking to make some moves, as they look to jump back to contender status in the East.

Going for Hall, Bruins may have to wait – Steve Conroy says that Taylor Hall is probably wishful thinking at this point.

Hall, Oshie & Stewart Great Fits For Bruins – Joe Haggerty talked to Toucher and Rich about possibilities for the Bruins.

The Bruins beat the Wild 3-2 last night to halt a three-game skid. Get all the stories at BruinsLinks.com.

********

My media column in Patriots Football Weekly this week looks at the teflon status of Jets coach Rex Ryan in the media. Despite this being the fourth straight season where the team will not finish over .500, everyone else gets the blame except Rex. Mike Tannebaum, John Idzik, Brian Schottenheimer, Tony Sparano, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, anyone but Rex. The media has defended him and continues to defend him simply because he’s fun and gives them plenty of fun quotes.

Run, don’t walk to the nearest newsstand and pick up your copy.

Patriots Run The East, Tomase Rewarded Again

Despite constant claims to the contrary, it is not easy to win the same division in the NFL 12 times in 14 seasons. The Patriots just make it look that way.

The Patriots clinched the AFC East yesterday by exacting revenge for an opening-day loss to the Miami Dolphins with a 41-13 pounding of those same Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

AFC Easy: Tom Brady, New England Patriots roll Miami Dolphins en route to sixth straight division title – Kevin Duffy looks at the win, and the Patriots getting a chance to throw Miami’s words back at them.

Patriots gain revenge with December drubbing of Miami – Christopher Price has New England waiting all season for this chance.

Patriots built for a title – Karen Guregian has the Patriots subdued following yesterday’s division win.

Tom Brady’s feet fire up Patriots in win – Michael Reiss looks at a 17-yard scamper by the ancient QB which got his teammates fired up.

Patriots defense making most of second chances – Richard Garven has the defense once again pitching a second-half shutout.

Rob Gronkowski can’t be stopped – Jacqueline MacMullan has Bledsoe calling Gronk the “evolution of the species” of tight end from his own target, Ben Coates.

Brady-Bledsoe bond has aged like fine wine – James Donaldson has the QB’s catching up after the game.

Patriots ‘just doing their jobs’ in 2nd-half turnaround – Thomas Curran has the Patriots just working better in the second half.

Halftime adjustments helped Patriots turn a close one into a rout – Benjamin Volin looks at the tale of two halves.

Jonas Gray reappears, makes clear impact – Lee Schecter has the running back giving the team a spark in the second half.

Knee-Jerk Reactions: Week 15, Patriots vs. Dolphins – Gerald Thornton’s Knee-Jerk columns are always eminently readable

Patriots’ Chandler Jones plays like he never left – Michael Whitmer’s notebook looks at the emotional return of the defensive end.

Get the rest of the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com

*****

John Tomase Joins WEEI As Columnist, Senior Sportswriter – As expected, WEEI.com announced that John Tomase would be joining the site to replace Alexander Speier.

The release states that  Tomase’s responsibilities will include serving as a columnist across all sports, while continuing to excel with his coverage of the Red Sox. Besides his work for WEEI.com, he will be a frequent on-air contributor for Sports Radio 93.7 WEEI in Boston and across New England on the WEEI Network.

Many of his colleagues have been praising Tomase today, and congratulating him on the move. He is well liked among his peers. The same can’t  be said for many fans, who will never forgive him for his story on the Patriots taping the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl 36, which was later retracted and apologized for, yet is still taken as fact by most people. (Even though the Herald wrote: “we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.”)

I like John personally, never had any issues with him in that regard, but it is astounding to me that he has had zero professional implications for that incident. He remained on the Patriots beat for another season before being rewarded with a move to the Red Sox. The likes of Michael Felger defend him and insist that his story was accurate and he only made a mistake by sourcing once, no matter what has been said about it.

Others have been drummed out of the industry for less. Tomase is rewarded, ostensibly because he’s a nice, well-liked guy.

And no, we’re not going to forget this. It happened.

*****

Twitter post of the week. (From Dolphins beat reporter Omar Kelly)

 

All About That Ace

As the Red Sox look to rebuild their pitching staff, they added Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello yesterday and are still working to finalize a deal for Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley.

While these are good additions, they still need to add that guy to the top of the rotation. It’s all about that ace.

Now it’s time for Red Sox to go get an ace – Nick Cafardo looks at James Shields (please no) and Cole Hamels as the top options.

Red Sox moves don’t look bad at all – Gordon Edes urges fans to have a little faith that the Red Sox know what they’re doing.

Don’t bet they’ll go to Max – Michael Silverman says never say never, but the notion of the Sox making a play for Detroit Cy Young winner Max Scherzer is unlikely, especially with Scott Boras involved.

Rotation built in a day: Sox land three starters after losing Jon Lester – Scott Lauber has more on the Sox moves from yesterday.

******

The Patriots look to clinch the AFC East on Sunday when they take on the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

Given the way he prepares, Tom Brady won’t be slowing down anytime soon – Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated looks at the fanatical preparation and work routine put in by the Patriots QB.

Patriots’ television ratings through the roof – Chad Finn’s media column looks at the ratings the team has garnered this year, and has several other notes, including Butch Stearns’ candidacy for the Boston Herald sports editior job that went to Sean Leahy.

Bill Simmons’s Voice Has Been an Important One in the Quest to Expose Roger Goodell – Finn also has this piece on Boston.com which praises Simmons for his work in getting details about Roger Goodell’s ineptitude out in the public.

It really is mindroasting to think about how Goodell can continue to not only avoid any type of sanctions, but actually keep and increase his power while maintaining full support of the NFL owners. In the same day that ESPN’s Outside the Lines released a report on the testimony that Goodell gave about his Ray Rice decision, in which Goodell is shown to be elusive, obstinate, inconsistent, probably dishonest and not very smart, the NFL announced its new personal conduct policy in which Goodell will remain as the ultimate judge, jury and executioner, and keeps him firmly in control of discipline.

If anyone can kill the golden goose that is the NFL, it is Roger Goodell. I just wish the NFL owners could see that.

NFLPA grievance: New England Patriots doctor put team ahead of patient – The Washington Post reports on a grievance filed on behalf of Jonathan Fanene, which alleges the team instructed the Doctor to delay surgery in hopes that the player would retire.

Browner gratified by support from fans – Nice bit from Mark Daniels about how the huge cornerback has fit into the team.

Patriots have developed successful run-pass balance – Michael Whitmer has a look at the quest for balance by the Patriots offense.

Devin McCourty finding a new life at old job – Jeff Howe has the Patriots safety getting some run at cornerback in the San Diego game.

******

Zdeno Chara returned to the Bruins lineup last night, but his club still fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2.

Bruins play the right way, but losing continues – Fluto Shinzawa says there were plenty of positive signs in the loss.

Julien: ‘Effort was there, execution was poor’ vs. Chicago – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins coach praising his team’s effort.

Red Sox Facing Heat After Losing Lester To Cubs

I stayed up as late as I could last night awaiting the news on Jon Lester. Naturally the news broke just a few minutes after I turned things off and went to bed that Lester had agreed to a 6-year $155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

I don’t sense that many people will be upset with Jon Lester for this decision. The heat, from both fans and the media will be directed at the Red Sox.

How will they react? Will there be a subtle leak in an attempt to turn PR to their side? (#SmearCampaign)

Their best move will be to acquire talent to try and fill the void in the starting rotation.

Here’s a sampling of articles from this morning:

Red Sox’ lowball offer last spring led to Lester’s depature – Sean McAdam says the Sox didn’t lose Lester last night, they lost him last spring.

When it came to Red Sox’ pursuit of Jon Lester, we should have known better – Rob Bradford says that the “Red Sox offered less than their competition, less than it would have taken to get Lester re-signed, at every step of the way.”

Red Sox have work, explaining to do – Gordon Edes says that the Red Sox have let Lester fans down twice, first with his trade to Oakland and now this.

Red Sox made curious strategy change in Jon Lester pursuit – Peter Abraham says that this will go down as one of the strangest chapters in Red Sox history.

Red Sox wouldn’t overpay for Jon Lester – Michael Silverman says that the Sox wanted to be in the hunt, but weren’t upset at not getting him.

What now? Potential Red Sox targets with Jon Lester off the board – Alex Speier looks at where the Red Sox go from here.

Jon Lester Was Everything a Red Sox Player Was Supposed to Be — So Why Is He a Cub? – Chad Finn laments the loss of the lefty.

The Red Sox don’t like to take heat from the media. They will respond one way or the other. Here’s hoping it is in the form of player acquisition, not some sort of whisper campaign or Boston Globe article from Bob “The hitman” Hohler.

Does John Henry appear on Felger and Mazz today? Does Larry Lucchino make some jabs at his former protege, Theo Epstein?

Or does Ben Cherington just go about his business of building a competitive baseball team? Let’s hope it’s that.

*****

Gronk! The Interview. – Lindsay Czarniak interviewed the Patriots tight end for ESPN The Magazine. It’s a must-read.

Larry Bird’s Greatest Shot Was the One He Didn’t Take – Larry Bird fans are very familiar with the former Celtic’s background, but this Indianapolis Monthly feature by Sean McCabe is worth a read.

Red Sox Need To Prepare For Rotation Without Jon Lester

While nothing is official yet, indications seem to be that the Red Sox need to start thinking of the rotation for 2015 and beyond without lefty Jon Lester at the head of it.

Ken Rosenthal had reported yesterday that Lester would likely choose between the Cubs and Giants, though Lester’s agents quickly refuted that report as did the Red Sox, who said they had no indication that they were out of the bidding.

No sign yet from Jon Lester – Scott Lauber looks at the signs that lead Lester away from Boston.

Lowballing Jon Lester haunts Sox – Michael Silverman has the team likely regretting their decision to produce such a weak offer to the pitcher earlier this year.

Only one man knows Jon Lester’s true intentions: Jon Lester – Rob Bradford says that speculation is useless.

In defense of the Red Sox: GM Ben Cherington explains Boston’s pursuit of Jon Lester –  Jason Mastrodonato has the Sox boss trying to outline what happened between the two parties earlier in the season.

Jon Lester has options to weigh – Gordon Edes notes that whichever way Lester chooses, he really can’t lose.

Red Sox continue to wait on Lester’s decision – Sean McAdam has the Red Sox content to wait things out.

With Jon Lester decision imminent, different levels of optimism for Red Sox – Tim Britton has the Red Sox admitting they’ve changed their view of Lester’s value since the offer last spring.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington wading through options at Winter Meetings – Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox haven’t only been focused on Lester in recent days.

*******

The Patriots resurgence apparently has Mike Felger yearning for his old days of writing about the team, as he has a new column up on CSNNE.com – These Patriots have a different feel.

Patriots used week in California as bonding experience – Shalise Manza Young has the team using the week out West to their advantage.

Film review: How Jamie Collins and the Patriots defense battered Philip Rivers and the Chargers = Kevin Duffy looks back on the win.

Bruins strictly average so far, and they will need help – Fluto Shinzawa says that it is time for the Bruins to make some moves.

Celtics hit Wall in 2 OT, lose – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics falling a point short last night, behind a huge game from rookie Marcus Smart.

Slugfest in San Diego Latest Win For Patriots

After the Patriots squeaked by the lowly New York Jets at home on October 16th, focus turned to the just-completed six-game stretch for New England, which experts said, would make or break this team. Some leaned towards the latter, predicting doom, even 0-6 over this stretch.

After going 5-1 over the six games, you’d think most questions would be answered. New England won blowouts, they won close, they won at home, they won on the road. They won scoring 51 points, and they won scoring 23 points.

With gauntlet complete, Patriots take another step on journey toward title – Chris Price with the Patriots establishing their contender credentials.

Patriots’ defense saves the day against Chargers – Tom E Curran has the team showing they can win a game with their defense, too.

Jamie Collins leads Patriots big defensive effort – Karen Guregian has the second-year linebacker taking charge with Hightower out last night.

Jamie Collins, New England Patriots defense overwhelmed San Diego Chargers Sunday night – Kevin Duffy has teammates raving about the young linebacker.

Patriots’ defense delivers after team bonding in San Diego – Mike Reiss has the week of preparation out West paying off for the team.

Brandon Browner disputes roughing penalty – Michael Whitmer’s extensive notebook leads off with the controversial call against the Patriots cornerback.

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Sports media: Marshawn Lynch has his say — such as it is — in interview – Chad Finn’s Monday media column has the Seahawks running back speaking to a former teammate.

Sam Ponder on motherhood, football; misogyny among hockey media – Richard Deitsch’s media column covers the usual wide gambit.

Elsewhere:

One John Henry plane flight later, stage set for Jon Lester’s decision – Rob Bradford wonders if a second visit from the Red Sox owner could sway the lefty into returning to Boston.

Simple Truth: Boston a special place for Paul Pierce – Steve Bulpett has a talk with the former Celtics captain.