Belichick: We have a lot of respect for Henne


Belichick: We have a lot of respect for Henne

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick gave current Jaguars, former Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne a heaping plate of respect Wednesday morning.  "Henne does a good job of reading coverages and getting the ball to the weak point of the coverage," Belichick said. "He uses Jordan Shipley and Marcedes Lewis in the inside part of the field. He uses his backs and check downs well. He certainly can get the ball to the perimeter with Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. He does a good job of spreading the ball around or taking where the defense is light, he does a good job of attacking there. 
"Hes also a pretty decent athlete. He can move around back there. There have been times where hes under pressure, hes able to escape and run or use his quickness in the pocket to then set up and throw the ball downfield and make a completion or make a good play."
Here's the thing: Belichick has to say these things. But Henne wasn't even Jacksonville's first choice. 
On November 21, Jaguars starter Blaine Gabbert was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a forearm injury. The second-year quarterback had struggled as a rookie with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. This season he was barely better, bringing his completion percentage up from last year's 50.8 to 58.3 after 10 games. 
Still, teams don't usually give up first-round picks after less than two seasons. When Henne got the job it was because the Jaguars had no one else to give it to.  
Here's what the statistics say in the days before the Patriots travel to Jacksonville. 
Henne ranks dead last among the NFL's 35 quarterbacks in completion percentage (51.9). His touchdown-to-interception ratio is 85. The Jaguars rank 31st in first downs (226) and third down conversion percentage (28.6). New England has more than double the points scored this season than Jacksonville (506 to 219).  
"I dont think he gets locked in on one thing. With Henne, you really have to defend everything," Belichick continued. "You have to defend all the receivers, you have to defend the short balls, you have to defend the play-action, the deep balls, a little bit of scrambling. I think he does a pretty good job at everything. Thats really the hardest thing for a defense, when you have to defend everything as opposed to just nailing it down to, This is what he likes to do and its this small thing that theyre pretty good at, but its just that one thing." 
"Hes certainly done it well against us. Hes had some of his best games against us, so we have a lot of respect for Henne."
The Henne-led Dolphins were 1-4 against the Patriots. Of his career numbers, the quarterback has thrown for the most yardage against New England with 1,346. He also has the most touchdowns against Belichick's defenses with six, but has six interceptions to match. 
Who says Belichick isn't a nice guy?

Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year


Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year

A. Sherrod Blakely and Kyle Draper discuss the chances the Boston Celtics land Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler or DeMarcus Cousins.

Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase


Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase

CHICAGO -- Along with 20 or so other teams, the Red Sox will be in attendance Friday when former San Francisco Giants righthander Tim Lincecum throws in Scottsdale, Az. in a showcase for scouts and talent evaluators.

Indications are, however, that the Sox are merely doing their due diligence in attending the workout. It's unclear how highly they regard the 31-year-old pitcher, or what role they would envision for him.

Lincecum was a free agent last winter, but attracted little attention and spent most of the winter and early spring refining his mechanics, gearing toward this week's showcase.

Lincecum was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2008 and 2009 and an All-Star in 2010 and 2011, but from 2012 through last year, his performance dipped considerably, with a won-loss record of 39-42 and an ERA of 4.68.

He pitched out of the bullpen some in 2014 and last season was limited to just 15 starts.

The Sox are waiting on Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly to return from injuries and have Henry Owens in the rotation currently. Additionally, Brian Johnson and Roenis Elias are depth options in Pawtucket.


Dombrowski: Sandoval 'committed to getting ready' for 2017 after successful surgery


Dombrowski: Sandoval 'committed to getting ready' for 2017 after successful surgery

CHICAGO -- Pablo Sandoval's second season with the Red Sox is officially over, almost before it began.

Sandoval, who appeared in just three games in April after losing the starting third baseman's job to Travis Shaw in spring training, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder Tuesday and won't return until 2017.

"Dr. (James) Andrews (who performed the procedure) said the surgery went well,'' said Dave Dombrowski, "as well as can be expected. I talked to Pablo myself already today, talked to his representative Rick Thurman. Pablo's happy that they've been able to fix the problem and committed to getting ready for next year.''

Andrews told Dombrowski that in a best-case scenario with "everything going perfectly right, maybe he could be ready (to play) in six months,'' taking his recovery into November.

Sandoval was bothered in the past by labrum issues, and they appear to have worsened over time, though no one with the Red Sox can pinpoint an incident or specific time when Sandoval aggravated the condition further.

"It happens,'' said Dombrowski. "I don't really know what happened that one day he woke up and couldn't lift up his shoulder. But that was really the first indication that we had that he was hurting.''

"Even after the onset of the injury,'' said John Farrell, "Pablo and I had some conversations daily. . . There was a play in Toronto (in the first week of the season) when he dove to the (foul) line and saved a run. Whether the impact there moved along the injury, that's a possibility. Even in conversations with him, there was not one event that he could recall.''

Dombrowski said Sandoval will return to Boston soon, where his girlfriend is due to deliver a baby in the next few weeks. After that, Sandoval will return to Florida, though it's undecided whether he will be based in Miami, where he lives in the off-season, or at the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers.

Dombrowski said that while an exact rehab plan has yet to be put together, the Red Sox "will have our eyes on him on a continual basis. But I can't say that someone (from the organization) will be there all the time, but quite regularly.''

Asked if the time off might enable Sandoval to address some conditioning issues, Dombrowski said: "He already has. I'm not going to give you specific (numbers), but he already has dropped weight during the season, once he's been under our care on a daily basis. I think he's committed to doing that, we're committed to doing that. We'll have a very thorough program to address a lot of different issues between now and next season.''

Left unanswered is how Sandoval can contribute to the Red Sox in the three remaining years left on his five-year, $95 million deal.

"Everybody keeps asking me about 2017,'' said Dombrowski. '' 'What are you going to do when David retires?' My response is, let's go through 2016 and then we'll worry about that in the winter time.''