Sunday, June 19, 2011
Quick-hit thoughts around NFL & Pats
By Mike Reiss
Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots:
1. Happy Fathers Day, and given what is often focused on in this space, this seems fitting.
2. Matt Light, who has been the Patriots' left tackle since 2001, celebrates his 33rd birthday on Thursday. I still think he has a few good years left and believe the Patriots see it the same way. But after the Patriots selected left tackle Nate Solder in the first round, my feeling is that if another team makes a competitive offer to Light in free agency, the Patriots won't be drawn into a bidding war even if Solder isn't ready to start from the outset.
3. The Jets took a page out of the Patriots' playbook and held an under-the-radar, three-day minicamp last week. Maybe it's reading too much into it, but for a team that seems to like headlines and feeds into the media, I thought the players' decision to keep the workouts under the radar showed a serious side that reflects well on them. As they've already proven, they are a worthy foe to challenge the Patriots in the AFC East.
4. I confess. If I see another ranking this offseason, I might fall off the football deep end. I was going to pass along Dhani Jones' ranking of top NFL linebackers last week, and stopped myself when realizing that many around here probably would have asked, "Why do we care what Dhani Jones thinks?" Yet another reason why we need the NFL lockout to end.
5. This week figures to be significant when it comes to labor progress, or lack of progress, as all owners are scheduled to gather in Chicago for a pre-arranged meeting starting Tuesday. Robert Kraft has been in a lead position in recent meetings with players, and his ability to be a bridge-builder figures to be tested again this week with some owners who might be resisting where the talks have headed.
6. It's not the same field, but when I watched agent Drew Rosenhaus orchestrate Terrelle Pryor's news conference (can it be called that when someone doesn't answer a question?), it took me back to sports marketing class at UMass-Amherst in the mid-1990s and P.T. Barnum. We studied Barnum and the Ringling Bros circus because he was a showman who generated a buzz. That's exactly what Rosenhaus did with Pryor, and what he does for other clients as well (e.g. Plaxico Burress).
7. I think Chad Pennington will be solid in his role as a game analyst on Fox, and hope that he is assigned one of the few Patriots' games on the network (Cowboys or Giants). When I met Pennington at a Randy Moss charity event in West Virginia a few years back, I asked him to go over some basic offensive Xs and Os and remember vividly how quickly he drew them up in the notebook and communicated them with ease. I thought then he'd be a natural in the analyst's chair.
8. The NFL is holding its annual "Broadcast Bootcamp" this week at NFL Films, with 16 former players taking part. One former Patriots is part of the camp, Dan Klecko, and he's already transitioned into the broadcasting field by doing some work in Philadelphia. Klecko's name surfaces when the question is asked about some of the nicest guys to call the Patriots locker room home over the last decade.
10. Working Saturday's championship parade with the Bruins, and seeing the passion of the overflowing crowd, reminded me of why I feel this is the pinnacle in sports reporting. If you're from here, and value that sports are a big part of our culture, it just doesn't get any better.