Some links to stories involving the Pats this morning. Â Obviously the biggest news was in regards to the release of the 2011 NFL schedule for the Patriots, but there are some other very good columns out there as well.
Mike Reiss has a Rapid Reaction to the 2011 schedule, noting the return of Scott Pioli and Matt Cassel in primetime, a weather test in Miami, and the home game against the Jets being a good spot for the Pats. Â Reiss (who admits to being off by five games in his prediction for number of wins by the Pats last year) also has Patriots game-by-game predictions for the 2011 season with a couple of losses that may surprise you on their way to a 12-4 season.
Christopher Price at WEEI takes a closer look at the 2011 schedule, focusing on the first game in Miami, and sharing tidbits such as the Pats having no games in a dome this year and will travel further west than Pittsburgh just twice. Â Price also has a detailed look on how as the draft nears, quarterbacks remain on the Patriots’ radar; I found it to be a very interesting look at a position I’ll admit I haven’t given much thought to in this draft.
Jeff Howe point out that the Patriots, not Jets, ‘lacked stability’ before Bill Parcells joined New England … and 19 other NFL thoughts over at NESN. Â This is another good column well worth reading, with topics ranging from Parcells to CBS’ Pete Prisco’s Top-100 NFL Players Ranking, to thoughts on prospects Akeem Ayers, Nick Fairley, Ryan Mallett, Cameron Jordan, Danny Watkins, Mike Pouncey and more.
Howe also takes an obligatory look at the Pats 2011 schedule as well as how Defensive Tackle Muhammad Wilkerson’s Potential Might Entice Patriots.
Tom Curran at CSNNE continues his series of profiles on prospective draft picks with a look at Cam Heyward and Nick Fairley, and more of his other potential draftees can be found here; he also has this short video with Mike Giardi previewing running backs.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes about how Bill Belichick acknowledged that teams are hungry for the Pats’ top picks. Â Though it may be a bit of a surprise that Belichick divulged this information, it’s really a no-brainer; logic dictates that any team wanting to add picks is going to look for a team with many picks available, and any team wanting to move up is going to look at a team with more than one early pick.
However, the story didn’t end there. Â BSMW’s Bruce Allen caught the fact that Monday’s interview elicited this initial response from the Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard on twitter: “The suddenly chatty Bill Belichick, who won’t be talking with local media before the draft, spoke with Sirius NFL Radio for 16 minutes today.”
The apparently miffed Bedard and his stopwatch weren’t through, as he let it be known that he still isn’t over being stood up at the recent coaches meeting in New Orleans in his column on that interview, Belichick talks about the draft. Â His first, italicized words in that piece are this: Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who won’t be talking to the local media before the draft, spoke for 16 minutes earlier today with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller of Sirius NFL Radio.
Last year when Bedard returned home to replace Albert Breer at the Globe he seemed like a breath of fresh air; a level-headed reporter who tried to be objective rather than only look for the negative (e.g., Ron Borges or Chris Gasper) in anything the Patriots (or more specifically, Bill Belichick) did. Â Between Bedard’s reaction to that breakfast meeting and this commentary, my guess is his journalism will more closely resemble Gasper’s than what we saw from him last fall.
Speaking of journalists and how they feel about the coaches they cover, check out the Attleboro Sun Chronicle’s Mark Farinella’s Parcells phones in for a chat, an article based on Parcell’s 30-minute (what is it with reporters finding it necessary to let us know how long an interview was?) conference call in regards to the Patriots Hall of Fame; Farinella seems to long for the good old days (for reporters, not fans) when Parcells would give them more than enough sound bites and column to keep their editors happy. Â One thing worth noting is that Parcells says that he and Kraft have a better relationship now, and that retrospectively he “would’ve handled things substantially better than I did.” Â The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian and CSNNE’s Tom Curran also talk about the Parcells conference call.