Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots:
1. Four years ago this weekend, Patriots defensive lineman Marquise Hill drowned in a Jet-ski accident in Louisiana. I spoke with his mother Sherry over the last few days and one of the things she said was, "I don’t want them to forget my baby." Marquise was her only child and the pain in her voice is still poignant. The Patriots haven't forgotten. A tribute to Hill has remained in the team's locker room.
2. I don’t think Roger Goodell is being 100 percent straight-forward when he says fans want an 18-game regular season schedule, as he did last week with Titans season-ticket holders. On this blog, what followers have made clear is that they don’t want to pay regular-season prices for preseason games. Ask those same fans if they want to be sitting in the cold for two additional regular-season games in January, and the answer is a resounding no.
3. On the flip side, it was interesting to hear Goodell talk about the possibility of expanding rosters because of the lockout. Instead of 53 players, it’s possible teams might be able to keep a few more because rookies won’t be ready. A lot of coaches would like that change.
4. Getting ready for a media blast of Tom Brady as he makes his way into town this week for the Best Buddies Challenge later this week.
5. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the team’s player-run workouts last week, which included as many as 37 players: “I thought it went great, even better than I think any of the expectations … We had a great turnout and I think we got a lot out of it. The quarterback-receiver relationship and the timing of that is something you can work on year-round; me being able to throw to them, we can get better at that without a defense."
6. When it comes to the lockout at this point, owners seem more willing to negotiate while players seem content to litigate. One might say that puts the owners in a more sympathetic light, but then you read something like this and it’s a reminder that both sides can share in the blame for things reaching this point.
7. I thought Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ comments on the crime rate rising if there was no football in 2011 were head-scratching, especially coming from him.
8. Jets owner Woody Johnson only fuels speculation of a possible Randy Moss signing with his recent remarks to NFL Network.
9. Speaking of the Jets, good pick-up by Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly on something Rex Ryan said in ESPN The Magazine: "If I had to win one game with another coach leading my team, it’d be Bill [Belichick]."
10. Congtratulations on becoming a dad, Patriots assistant coach Matt Patricia. There is no tried-and-true playbook. Just be prepared for a lot of in-game adjustments.