Red Sox

Belichick voted 2nd-most overrated NFL coach


Belichick voted 2nd-most overrated NFL coach

Either Bill Belichick isn't as great of a coach as well all think he is around here, or he's ticked off a lot of players over his coaching career.

Belichick was rated the No. 2 most overrated coach in the NFL in a poll taken by Sporting News (Rex Ryan earns the top spot). Well, count the guys on Felger and Mazz just as surprised as we were, including former Patriots player under Belichick, Jermaine Wiggins.

"I don't agree with that," Wiggins said of the rank. "I completely disagree with it. You're talking about a guy last year who took his defense was ranked, what, 32nd, 31st, in the NFL? And was one catch away from winning his fourth Super Bowl. A guy that had taken a team back in 2007 to an undefeated regular season."

But while Wiggins disagrees with the overall ranking, he does admit Belichick has lost a step or two on the defensive side.

"I think defensively as a defensive coordinator he's lost some luster, he's not the same guy," he said. "And that has to do with personnel, but he picks the personnel. So I think there are a lot of questions about him you can kind of poke holes into what type of GM is he, is he the same defensive coordinator, but I don't think he's overrated."

And here comes Mazz in clear disagreement with the poll.

"I was absolutely, positively stunned to see Bill Belichick No. 2 on this list. Stunned. Borderline appalled. Like, what are we talking about here?"

Mazz lists coaches like Brian Billick and Jon Gruden as coaches who could be on the list, but Belichick?

"You're going to talk about a guy who has won three titles as having been overrated as a coach? I think that is asinine," he continues.

Felger went halfway though, saying there is an argument to be made over him being a "defensive genius".

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy


Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”


Former Patriot Mike Vrabel named head coach of the Tennessee Titans


Former Patriot Mike Vrabel named head coach of the Tennessee Titans

The Titans job was rumored to be the first pick of Josh McDaniels, but as details have come to light, that is not the case.

The Tennessee Titans have agreed to hire former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel as their Head Coach tonight.

The team publicly announced the hire tonight across all of their social media platforms.

Vrabel won the Super Bowl with the Patriots three times in the early years of the New England dynasty. 

Despite having limited experience as a coach, he has attracted much attention in this past offseason for openings across the NFL. He has just one season's experience as a coordinator. 

Vrabel steps in to fill the role of Mike Mularkey, who was fired just one night after many believed he was receiving an extension. Despite the rumor of the extension, Mularkey and the Titans agreed to part ways just one day later.