Curran's Game Day Walkthrough

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Curran's Game Day Walkthrough

The Bills were a vogue pick to turn the corner in 2012 and start a run of success. Now, with a 3-5 record that seems quite likely to be 3-6 by nightfall Sunday, the Buddy and Chan Show is entering its blue period. And that includes trying to determine if the quarterback sucks permanently or if he's salvageable.
One of my favorite columnists, Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News, puts Ryan Fitzpatrick in the crosshairs today. And that's only because Bills general manager Buddy Nix put Fitzpatrick there earlier in the week when Nix said of the quarterback decision, Let me be as honest as I can. I think we really need to address it this year."

I picture Buddy cleaning a shotgun as he says this and old Fitzy The Dog asleep at his feet, head resting on Buddy's shoes, unaware that the party is nearly over.

But Fitzpatrick knows that, despite his six-year, 59 million deal, the posse is closing in. Sullivan asked Fitzpatrick if he is playing for his future now.

I mean, I . . . I cant do that, he said. I cant go into a game and say, I need to play well or else. Im a guy that was a seventh-round pick. Ive waited for an opportunity for a long time, and now I have this opportunity.

I understand what happens in the NFL. I understand that its a performance-based business for quarterbacks. You have to win games or else. I understand all that. I appreciate this opportunity as much as anybody, because I had to wait a long time to get it."

The Bills as a team are in desperate straits and Nix has nudged Fitzpatrick out in front of the angry masses. And that's the dynamic the Bills bring in to Foxboro today.

The only college team that I believe could have legitimately beaten a professional team was the 1990-91 UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball team. Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, read this article to gain a little appreciation of them. But that's basketball. Five guys, the physical demands wholly different than football. I bring this up because there's been conversation about whether Alabama could beat an NFL team. They could not. They almost lost to LSU. Saturday, they did lose to Texas A&M. I really like this Alabama team and enjoy watching it, but the myriad pieces on a football team -- offense, defense, special teams -- and the strength and physics of the game at the NFL level would make it impossible for a college team to even be competitive with the worst NFL team.

Two good pieces in the Boston Globe today. Greg Bedard's highlighting of relevant excerpts in a new book called, "Coaching Confidential: Inside the Fraternity of NFL Coaches, by New York Daily News columnist Gary Myers. I'll let you read Bedard's summation but there is a lot here from Robert Kraft about his relationships with Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. There's a bit of spin from Kraft on the long-ago dustup with Parcells over draft pick Christian Peter that I'll delve into later this week.

The other is a sitdown between Shalise Manza-Young and Tom Brady delving into Brady's health so far this season (fit as a fiddle).

One other quick Brady-related note: that question about him dressing funny that I posed . . . it was at the end of the press conference and I really don't care how he dresses. And when I asked him later if he was offended, he said, "You know me better than that . . ."

Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

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Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

The Bruins will add another veteran defenseman to their training camp group fresh off the World Cup of Hockey as German D-man Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Boston on a PTO (professional tryout agreement). CSN has confirmed that Ehrhoff has indeed agreed to a PTO with the Bruins, and he'll report to the team sometime this weekend.

The 34-year-old Ehrhoff had three assists in six World Cup games for Team Europe, and had two goals and 10 points in 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season while clearly starting to slow down a bit. He’s clearly no longer the player that averaged 14 goals and 47 points for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011, and is another left-shot defenseman to add to a team that already has Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.

But it behooved the Bruins to bring in at least one “name” veteran D-man on a tryout basis during this training camp with so many needs for upgrades on the back end, and with a host of young players that might not be ready for prime time. This might also be a warning sign for young veteran Joe Morrow, a left shot D-man that has struggled a bit in training camp after coming off an erratic first full season at the NHL level.

Clearly the Bruins need more than Ehrhoff, however, even if he’s somehow re-energized with the Bruins after playing pretty well in the World Cup. The Kings were down enough on his game to put him through waivers last season, but he was a top-4 defenseman for the previous eight seasons for San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Pittsburgh prior to getting bounced around between the Kings and Blackhawks last season.

The added bonus with taking a look at Ehrhoff is that there’s no risk associated with a PTO, and the Bruins can simply walk away with no cost if the B’s coaching staff decides he’s not a good fit for the group in Boston. On the other hand, bringing in a Kris Russell-type would cost a great deal in terms of money and term in a free agent contract, and it might not benefit the Black and Gold club in the end result.