Patriots-Saints joint practice notes


Patriots-Saints joint practice notes

FOXBORO -- The joint practice held by the Patriots and Saints on Wednesday was a quick one. Things got started right around 10:00 a.m. and finished up about an hour and forty minutes later. That was the plan all along, said Saints interim coach Joe Vitt. With the teams' preseason game scheduled for Thursday night, neither team wanted to overextend itself.

Tom Brady was much sharper today than he was on Tuesday. In one stretch of 11-on-11 play, he connected with Aaron Hernandez four straight times. Their last hookup went for a touchdown.

The Saints highlight of the day was also the scariest play of the day for New Orleans. Drew Brees hit tight end Jimmy Graham deep down the middle of the field for an acrobatic catch, but he got tangled with Dont'a Hightower and Graham hobbled off the field. When Graham got to the sideline, he rolled around on the ground with his face in the turf, holding his lower back area. Vitt said Graham just needed to be stretched out. He never left the field, but he was holding his back later on in practice.

Some interesting special teams work for both sides today. They worked on on-sides kicks, squibs, free kicks (after a team allows a safety), and desperation lateral plays when time is running out and a team needs a kick returned for a score.

More to come . . .

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win


MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.