Patriots

Wakeup Call: Fourth-and-29? Really?

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Wakeup Call: Fourth-and-29? Really?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, November 26:

BASEBALL
The Phillies have made B.J. Upton their top offseason target, and he may decide who he'll sign with this week. (CSN Philly)

My question: What in the world are the other 13 percent thinking about? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Too late now, Mayor Henderson. Too late now. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
It's bad enough to lose to unranked Cal Poly. But to blow an 18-point lead -- at home -- in the process? Tough night there, UCLA. (AP)

Louisville will be without senior center Gorgul Dieng for a while. (AP)

Colgate continued playing Wile E. Coyote to Syracuse's Roadrunner with its 47th straight loss to the Orange. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
It's been a long time since Notre Dame was on top of the world, and the Irish are enjoying the view. (AP)

Now it's just a matter of seeing if they'll play Alabama or Georgia for the national championship. (AP)

Frank Spaziani's wasn't the only head on the chopping block yesterday. Also out are Gene Chizik at Auburn, Tom O'Brien at North Carolina State and Danny Hope at Purdue. (AP)

But the most embarrassing firing may have come at Colorado, where, just two days ago, Jon Embree -- fresh off a 1-11 season, and a 4-17 mark in the last two years -- told one and all that athletic director Mike Bohn assured him he'd be returning in 2013. (NBC's College Football Talk)

HOCKEY
These are dark days indeed on the NHL labor front if the best hope for a breakthrough is for someone on the Board of Governors to stand up to Jeremy Jacobs and Gary Bettman. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Fans and media aren't the only people astounded by the JacobsBettman suicide pact. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Um, players? That decertification idea? Don't. (CSN Philly)

PRO BASKETBALL
Some of the Rockets tweet their support for Kevin McHale after the tragic death of his daughter. (CSN Houston)

Even the broadcasters are into "Not in my house!" blustering. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Now, the Knicks; they now how to protect this house! (AP)

Rashard Lewis has become a missing person in Miami, but it's not like he didn't know it might happen. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Remember how excited the Sixers were to get Andrew Bynum? Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Fourth-and-29? Fourth-and-29? (CSN Baltimore)

Alex Smith = Wally Pipp. (CSN Bay Area)

Remember all that talk out of Green Bay last year? About how the Giants didn't win their NFC semifinal matchup against the Packers as much as the Pack lost it? Looks kind of foolish now, don't you think? (AP)

Jay Cutler looked none the worse for wear in leading the Bears over Minnesota. (CSN Chicago)

Not for nothing, but it's easier to be urgent against the Vikings than it is against the 49ers and Texans. (CSN Chicago)

Matty Ice does it again, and now the Falcons are 10-1. (AP)

Peyton Manning does it again, and now the Broncos are 8-3. (AP)

Karma's a you-know-what, Carson. (CSN Bay Area)

You can't beat anyone when you turn the ball over eight times. Not even the Browns. (AP)

And now, with five weeks left, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

It's not bad enough that the Seahawks lost to Miami; it looks like they're also going to lose their two starting cornerbacks for violation of the league's PED policy. (AP)

Oh, Reuben. You haven't been watching the Patriots much, have you? (CSN Philly)

Indy columnist rips Colts for Josh McDaniels hire

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Indy columnist rips Colts for Josh McDaniels hire

Gregg Doyel hates Josh McDaniels. 

That's the only takeaway one can have after reading Doyel's latest column in the Indy Star, anyway. In it, Doyel writes that McDaniels, who is expected to be hired as Colts head coach, already got his chance to prove his chops as a head coach in Denver and showed he stinks. 

Writes Doyel: 

We get a clean slate just once, same as Josh McDaniels, and his came in 2009 when he was hired to coach the Denver Broncos. And in less than two years he spray-painted so much graffiti on there that the Broncos fired him for a variety of reasons, so take your pick: his abrasive personality, his horrific judgment of talent, his team’s penchant for losing games, or those broken NFL rules.

Here in Indianapolis, where Josh McDaniels is about to be entrusted with our city’s crown jewel – he’s expected to be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts – are we to pretend Denver didn’t happen?

Doyel also refers to a 2013 quote from former Broncos punter Mitch Berger, who compared playing for McDaniels to playing for an "equipment manager" and called him a "punk." Then there's this from Doyel, who likes where Berger's going with the "punk" talk: 

I still can’t believe this is happening. Can’t believe McDaniels will soon be hired by the Colts, and entrusted with Andrew Luck. Can’t believe he was the hottest commodity on the coaching market this fall. McDaniels is Lane Kiffin to me, an arrogant young punk who ascended rapidly after Daddy got him a cherry first job in coaching – McDaniels’ father, Ohio high school legend Thom McDaniels, was friends with Nick Saban, who hired Josh as a grad assistant at Michigan State in 1999 – and who kept getting promoted to the point of failure.

This isn't the first time Doyel has had a take critical of the Patriots, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised. But he for sure hates Josh McDaniels. 
 

Brady in a stew over Jags-just-another-tomato-can talk

Brady in a stew over Jags-just-another-tomato-can talk

Don’t let Tom Brady hear your nonsensical takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars. This “tomato can” is packed with all the essential elements to give the Pats QB fits.

“This is the biggest challenge we've faced all year,” Brady said Tuesday during his weekly interview with Kirk and Callahan on WEEI. “We've had a good offense. They've had the best defense. And that's always a challenge when you go up against those guys. When you watch them play over the course of the whole season, you can see why. There is not a lot of time for the quarterback to throw, and I think the whole secondary knows it. The linebackers know it. And they're aggressive. They take chances. They get a lot of turnovers. They got a really good scheme, and the quarterback is just under pressure all day. Unless you get opened very quickly, there’s a lot of sacks and sacks turns into long yardage and long yardage turns into punts . . . "

Brady spent hours on Monday pouring over film to familiarize himself with a Jags team that he last saw in the preseason.

“There’s a reason why they’re in this game,” he said. “They’re the best team we’ve faced all season and if we don’t play our best, we’re not going to advance.”

That’s why Brady won’t allow himself to be distracted by all that comes with advancing to this point, or even the lingering stench of that ESPN/Seth Wickersham article. Who’s got time for that when there is so much on the line?

“This is a long time we’ve committed to each other since we came back together in April,” he said. “April, May, all those months committed to training and walkthroughs and practices and games and injuries and the emotion -- I don’t think we’re going to let anything get in the way of this week. I think the coach -- Coach [Bill] Belichick -- he does so many great things. One thing is he sets the best tone for the players because he knows what it takes to compete at this level without -- there’s more hype surrounding the game, there’s more distractions, there’s more people, there’s more people covering the game, there’s more to talk about it but we’re focused on our job . . . The hype only gets bigger from here so we just gotta stay focused on what we need to do.”

The Jags have obviously done a good job on that front as well. There is no way they’d be at this point, on this stage, without not only talent but that singular focus. Of course with some youth comes some exuberance and Jalen Ramsey’s comments to about 10,000 fans Sunday night has been a topic of conversation on sports radio and television and even in the Patriots’ locker room.

Brady doesn’t believe that’s something that would ever come out of Foxboro, but he’s not publicly shaming Ramsey either.

“What i’ve learned over a long time is it’s how you play, it’s not what you say," Brady said. "Everyone has different ways of handling things. We do what works for us.”

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