Sirius Xm Radio

23 Feb 19
Boston Herald
In 2014, Bill Belichick thought it was time to make a move. Having factored in the usual decline of an aging NFL quarterback, and wanting to stay ahead of the curve, he thought drafting Tom Brady’s successor was the prudent thing to do. Snagging Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of that draft made sense. It was a good pick at the time. Ultimately, Brady outlived his replacement. In October 2017, at the trade deadline, the Patriots sent Garoppolo to the 49ers, putting the team back to square one. Jimmy Garoppolo/File So the issue of finding the player who will ultimately take over for the GOAT remains. Belichick didn’t exactly address the matter last season. Picking Danny Etling in the seventh round doesn’t constitute taking a legitimate shot at picking the heir apparent. But they should definitely get back in the ring starting with the 2019 draft. The Patriots should make that part of the plan this year, and every year until Brady leaves. Keep taking shots until hitting paydirt. That’s how we’d address the challenge of planning for Brady’s departure and finding his eventual replacement. Belichick should jump in, take a chance on somebody in the first few rounds of the draft. Maybe he hits the homerun like he did with Garoppolo on the first try. Maybe he doesn’t. He just has to keep taking his shots. He can’t wait and hope he gets lucky when Brady calls it quits. Belichick has to be aggressive in his approach. Take a prospect this year, and if he’s not the guy, jump back in next year. The Hoodie will land the right guy. He just needs to step up to the plate, and take a legitimate swing. He’ll hit the jackpot before long. “I think every year they wait, it’s a bigger gamble,” Sirius XM NFL Radio analyst Solomon Wilcots said when reached last week. “I don’t think you go reaching for a quarterback in the draft. But I think you identify one you think you can groom and hope that Brady plays at least two more years to get that player ready.” The odds of Belichick hitting a home run right out of the gate, like he did with Garoppolo, aren’t in his favor. But who wants to bet against Belichick at this point? It’s not out completely of the realm he and Josh McDaniels pick the next legend out of the hat right away. Maybe it does take just one try. All the better. It’s the most important position that has to be filled for the future of the organization. And if it doesn’t go down that way, who cares how many quarterbacks he takes in this quest if he eventually hits a Bingo, as Troy Brown would say? This is the ultimate mission for the Patriots. (10/29/2017- Foxboro, MA) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady takes the field for warmups with backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 29, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt West Brady is going to be 42 this season. His stated desire is to play until 45. Even though he won a Super Bowl this year, there were some signs of a dip in his play. He isn’t falling off any cliff by any stretch, he’s still perfectly capable of winning more titles, but the Patriots should be moving to get someone in-house, even if he has to sit a few years while Brady shoots for championship No. 7. Sure, the Patriots also need to concentrate on replenishing the assets around Brady. That’s also a top priority. They have a dozen picks in this draft. Six in the first three rounds. It won’t be a waste if they nail the prize with one of those picks. This week in Indianapolis (Feb. 26-March 4) at the NFL’s Scouting Combine, Belichick, McDaniels and the Patriots staff will get to watch and or interview many of the top quarterback prospects available in the upcoming draft. They’ll zero in on the guy they’ll want to take a chance on this year, if they adhere to that plan. This isn’t supposed to be the best year for quarterbacks, but that doesn’t mean the Patriots might not find the right guy for them. They have some ammo to move up, or they can just sit back and use any of those early picks. All it takes is one swing. Plus, as Wilcots pointed out, they’re in the “perfect sweet spot” this year in terms of a rookie contract, if they hit on the quarterback. If they grab a quarterback in the first round, that’s 5 years (a fifth-year option) they’ll have him under control. Brady would be 47 at the end of that contract. Any quarterback that’s chosen beyond the first, it’s a four-year deal, putting Brady at 46. “In those other drafts, you kind of knew Brady was going to play more than five years,” said Wilcots. “Now, you kind of know, if you had to hedge, he’s not going to play any more than five, so whoever we have next in that lineage of supposed successors, this one will probably be ‘the guy.’ You can time it up better than you ever could before.” So we’ll see what the Patriots have in mind, or which quarterback they target with the first shot. Maybe it’s Duke’s Daniel Jones, West Virginia’s Will Grier, or N.C. State’s Ryan Finley. Maybe it’s Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, who is opting to play football over baseball. He’s the hot name. He could go anywhere on the board in the first round. Or, it’s someone else entirely. If the Patriots take someone this year, and in the course of developing him, find he’s not going to hack it, fine, take another swing next year. They got a return (Phillip Dorsett) for Jacoby Brissett, trading the third round pick away after just one full season. “The thing about the Patriots, no matter who they take, it could be a sterling first round pick, they believe you have to develop players,” said Wilcots. “There’s so much to learn, so much work to be done, the development part has to be a part of it. Even Brady needed a year to sit and watch. There was some development that took place before you knew that was the guy. That’s why you’d rather do this sooner than later.” Moreover, the more time learning under Brady, the better whether it’s one year or three. Now, if they don’t take a shot in the draft, there’s also the possibility of trading for one of the younger quarterbacks who might become available. That could be one of the 49ers quarterbacks, be it Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard. It might also be Josh Rosen, if the Cardinals draft Murray first overall. If the Pats land a quarterback who’s been in the league with a rookie contract, such as Mullens, or any of the above, it would be like drafting one. In theory, the Patriots have a one-to-four year window to develop the Next One, so there’s some margin for error if they don’t hit the right guy immediately. The point is, they just have to get back on the horse and start taking their shots. McCourty not ready to retire The Patriots got some good news with safety Devin McCourty announcing he was coming back for the 2019 season. He’s an important presence in the locker room and defensive backfield. The Patriots have a strong core of leaders, and he’s certainly high on that list. He’s been a model citizen during his nine seasons. Matthew Slater calls him, “Mr. Patriot” because he has exemplified everything the team stands for. On the field, during the recent run of championships, McCourty, with Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon, have been one of the best safety trios in the league. Now, we’ll see if the Patriots ask him for a contract restructure. The 31-year-old is due to count $13.435 million against the team’s 2019 cap. The Pats currently project to have roughly $18 million in cap space. If they want to pay Trey Flowers, give Brady an extension, add free agents, they’re going to need to clear some space. McCourty is one place to look. AFC East rivals could poach Flowers and Brown The Jets have the need for an offensive tackle, and an edge rusher. They also have a ton of cash to spend. The Bills also have similar needs. The Dolphins always need offensive line help. The point? Don’t be surprised if one of the Patriots AFC East rivals jumps in during free agency and tries to land either Flowers or Trent Brown. “I think it’s always viable,” said ESPN analyst Damien Woody. “Both of those guys are good players, and you get to potentially hurt a division rival . . .  and when it comes to the Jets, they have the second-most cap space in the NFL. I would think they would have to make a play. Both of those guys do fit a need for the Jets.”
23 Feb 19
Toronto Sun

Ted Nugent used to say: “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” So if, in fact, “rock n’ roll is a young man’s game” as many musicians have claimed, then why are there so many aging rockers still touring? As Sammy Hagar, now 71, told a Toronto crowd in 2013: “What do you want me […]

23 Feb 19
Distal End Books

No light. No sound. Just floating weightlessly naked in a warm salt water sea.

23 Feb 19
Golfweek

[jwplayer J8qcNDXG] Dustin Johnson has played 36 holes of bogey-free golf in the WGC-Mexico Championship and leads by two shots Saturday at Club De Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. DJ finished Friday play at 11-under par overall and holds a two-shot lead over first-round leader Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar. Tiger Woods moved into contention […]

23 Feb 19
Golfweek

[jwplayer J8qcNDXG] Dustin Johnson holds a two-shot lead at 11-under overall heading into Round 3 play Saturday in the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar share second place at 9-under. Tiger Woods elevated himself into contention with a 66 Friday and lurks just six shots […]

22 Feb 19
PEOPLE.com

Lewis says he ended things in 2017, shortly after Monroe was born

22 Feb 19
WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck says he’s “saddened” by critical remarks from former coach Jerry Kill suggesting Fleck cares more about himself than his players.

22 Feb 19
Sports Daily Tips

11:02 AM ET ESPN News Services Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck says he is “saddened” by critical remarks from former coach Jerry Kill suggesting Fleck cares more about himself than his players. Former Gophers football coach Jerry Kill was critical of current coach P.J. Fleck on Tuesday, saying in part that Fleck is “about himself.” Kill, […]

22 Feb 19
National Post

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck says he’s “saddened” by critical remarks from former coach Jerry Kill suggesting Fleck cares more about himself than his players. Kill, who coached the Gophers from 2011-15, said on Sirius XM radio this week that Fleck’s “ego gets carried away” and he’s “about himself” rather than his players. […]

22 Feb 19
Sportress of Blogitude

Minnesota Golden Gophers head football coach P.J. Fleck has declined to add fuel to the firestorm ignited by his predecessor, Jerry Kill, earlier in the week during an interview.

22 Feb 19
Golfweek

[jwplayer mAxDAW9a-9JtFt04J] Dustin Johnson emerged as the leader entering the third round of the WGC-Mexico Championship. He finished Friday play at 11-under par overall and holds a two-shot lead over first-round leader Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar at Club De Golf Chapultepec. Johnson is bogey-free through 36 holes and followed his 64 in Round 1 […]

22 Feb 19
Twin Cities
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck expressed surprise Thursday over critical comments former U coach Jerry Kill made about Fleck earlier this week. “I got a lot of respect for Jerry Kill; I always will,” Fleck said on KTLK-AM 1130 during halftime of the Gophers men’s basketball game against Michigan. “I’ve learned so much from him, especially working for him and knowing him a lot of years. I’m really sorry he feels that way. I’m not sure where that came from.” In an interview Tuesday on Sirius XM radio, Kill said Fleck had changed since they worked together at Northern Illinois in 2008-09. “I just think sometimes ego gets carried away,” Kill told the show “Big Ten Today.” He added: “Do I think he’s about the players? No. He’s about himself.” On Wednesday night, a Gophers captain and to-be senior defensive end Carter Coughlin tweeted his view on Fleck. “Just for the record – I absolutely love playing for Coach Fleck,” he wrote. “EVERY day I see how much he cares about me and the entire team, and there are honestly few men I’ve met who I respect as much as Coach Fleck. Some people need to hear that!” On the accusation Fleck isn’t “about” his players, Fleck responded: “That saddens me. It saddened (my wife) Heather. It saddens our entire family, but this isn’t a profession about feelings. One thing that is really, really important to me is our players. It always has been and always will be.” [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]
22 Feb 19
The Unbuttoned Mind of Mark Yunt

I had the chance to go on the Great American Road Trip with my bride through the southern tier of New York over Labor Day week 2018. What this is (I hope) is to be a written travelogue on a very interesting trip, one without pictures. That I’ll save for Facebook and maybe Instagram. It started when […]

22 Feb 19
Golfweek

[jwplayer mAxDAW9a-9JtFt04J] Rory McIlroy holds a one-shot lead at 8-under 63 over Dustin Johnson heading into Round 2 play in the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Among Friday’s featured pairings, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau and Abraham Ancer go out at 12:51 p.m. Eastern from the 10th tee. Phil Mickelson, […]