Belichick appreciative of how Stallworth stepped in


Belichick appreciative of how Stallworth stepped in

Donte' Stallworth had a touchdown catch for the Patriots Monday night.
It's almost strange to say; the receiver has scored for New England before, of course, just not since October of 2007. Stallworth was with the team over the summer, but was released before final cutdowns.
He is, you could say, a new old player. The hope with any re-signing is that the advantage will outweigh any adjustment.
Bill Belichick believes that was the case as evidenced against Houston.
"It was a big advantage for him and us that he'd been here through training camp and at least had a good familiarity with our terminology, background, system, the adjustments that we make in the passing game, things like that. That definitely helped him. He jumped in and we used him on some of our three-receiver personnel groups there."
Stallworth's score came on a 63-yard hookup with Tom Brady in the third quarter. Excellent throw, catch, and run.
"There was a great play that we had there when Tom saw the coverage when they came down and doubled Wes Welker, and Stallworth was able to read that and split the defense, and Tom put the ball right there. That was a huge play in the game for us," Belichick noted.
The coach was appreciative, but not surprised.
"Donte' is always in good shape, works hard, is a dependable player. He had an opportunity and stepped up, made it happen."
Which makes New England's roster move look like a good one, at least for now. No easy feat for a desperation signing in December.
The Patriots were already down a target after tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm. When receiver Julian Edelman's season ended last weekend because of a foot injury, something had to be done.
New England's need was immediate. That's when Stallworth's number was called.
Does one catch on three targets against the Texans qualify as a huge performance? Maybe not. But for what the Patriots had in mind, it was perfect.
"I think that's kind of what football's about," Belichick said. "Certainly it's what football this time of year is about: Getting opportunities to take advantage of and making them. They don't always come in bunches. Sometimes you only get a couple and you have to make them count.
"He sure did."

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Anton Blidh plans on keeping things pretty straightforward on his first call-up to the NHL. 

The former sixth-round pick of the Bruins has earned his stripes at the AHL level with Providence over the last couple of seasons, and comes to Boston as a gritty, energy forward capable of stirring things up in otherwise sleepy games. There’s also a bit of offensive upside for a fourth line-type player with five goals and nine points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season. 

It remains to be seen if the Blidh call-up means that the Bruins intend to scratch a player or that somebody is questionable for Saturday afternoon’s game in Buffalo, but Patrice Bergeron did miss Friday’s practice without any real defined reason for his absence. The 21-year-old Swede said he plans to play to his strengths if he gets into the lineup for the Black and Gold, and that could mean getting under the skin of his Sabres opponents. 

“It’s my first time called up, so I’m happy,” said Blidh, who was asked what he'll bring if he gets into the lineup. “I’ll just play simple and play my own game: be hard on the puck and play with some energy. I worked hard [in Providence] and then I got some confidence. I’m not a goal-scorer, but I scored a couple of goals and got some confidence.”

Claude Julien hasn’t been able to catch up Blidh’s work since the season got started, but was pleased by the youngster’s progress in training camp, where he earned notice for his feisty, physical play on a line with Noel Acciari. 

“They said he’s playing well, so they brought him up. We’ll get to see him, hopefully tomorrow,” said Julien. “I didn’t hear a ton of fine details aside from him being a guy that was certainly playing with a lot of energy. I didn’t mind him in training camp either. He works really hard and competes hard, and we could use that.”

That would certainly be the case after watching the Bruins go through the motions for long stretches Thursday night against Carolina before essentially stealing a game that they didn’t deserve to win. 

Kings Insider James Ham: "DeMarcus Cousins loves Sacramento; more likely to sign contract extension than get traded"

Kings Insider James Ham: "DeMarcus Cousins loves Sacramento; more likely to sign contract extension than get traded" Kings Insider James Ham joined Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely on this week's Celtics Talk podcast to talk about DeMarcus Cousins and the never ending trade rumors.