On booing Vinatieri


On booing Vinatieri

If not for Gronks injury, yesterday would have gone down as the most inspiring win of the Patriots season. And even with the unfortunate break, Sunday still qualifies as their most complete effort since Week 1 in Tennessee.

The offense was clicking, the defense made plays and the special teams (especially the PAT blocking) were on point. If not for Gronks injury, Im not sure wed have anything to complain about. Instead, Im guessing more than a few people might have pulled out the old: You know, the Pats are one Gostkowski chip shot, one extended upright and one Russell Wilson bomb away from 10-0!

But even if Gronk had escaped with his arm in one piece, I'd say there was one other sour development during Sunday's win:

The booing of Adam Vinatieri.

I dont want to make a big deal out of it, because we all know its just a game. Literally and figuratively. We know, despite the boos, that there will come a time when Vinateris standing at the 50-yard line, accepting his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame, and at that point no one will care about the Colts. There won't be any boos. Hell joke and well laugh, before forgiving, forgetting and collectively recognizing his place on the dynasty's Mount Rushmore.

When it comes down to it, I don't think that the fans who booed Vinatieri yesterday are disrespectful or ungrateful or have somehow forgotten everything that he did for this franchise like I said, it's just a game I guess I'm just shocked by how many people are still care enough to boo.

Sure, he pissed off a lot of people. What Vinatieri did was no better or worse than what Ray Allen pulled last summer. But seven years later, with the Pats-Colts rivalry a thing of the past and Vinatieri barely relevant on the NFL radar?

Still booing? I'm not even mad. That's amazing.

But seriously, when was the last time anyone was affected by Adam Vinatieri playing for the Colts? How many people even knew that he was still playing for the Colts? And while I'm really not trying to preach at the boo birds, I wonder how many of them realized that, given his impending free agency, recent struggles and upcoming 40th birthday, this may have been Vinatieri's last career game at Gillette, and New England's last chance to see one of the two most important players in franchise history?

Eh, it probably wouldn't have mattered. Boo birds gonna boo. It's their God-given right.

And when it comes to Vinatieri, I'm just a little surprised by how many fans still feel like exercising it.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven


Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season. 

Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. 

Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick. 

Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury. 

Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad. 

Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.

The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues

Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment


Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

Bill Belichick sounded less than enthused about traveling to Mexico to play a game. And his line about being "fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there," didn't exactly sit well with some folks south of the border.


“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dale and Holley with Keefe" show Monday. “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened so that was good.”

Pancho Vera of ESPN Mexico took exception to Belichick's comment on Twitter, which, translated, called out the "ignorance of the genius of the NFL." More than 200 people were killed after a quake centered near Mexico City struck in September. 

Other Twitter users said, using Belichick's reasoning, they wondered if they'd be fortunate not to be killed or wounded in a mass shooting if they were to travel to the US:

Translated, the tweets read "I also have luck in Las Vegas I was not in a shooting" and "But you are right, I apply the same when I go to the U.S. and say I was fortunate I was not in some crazy shootout."