Curran's Quick Hits: Remember Darius Butler?

939801.jpg

Curran's Quick Hits: Remember Darius Butler?

Last week, Darius Butler had two interceptions one returned for a touchdown and a fumble recovery in the Colts win over Jacksonville. If the former Patriots second-rounder has anything resembling a competent game Sunday at Gillette expect this from Patriots fans. And he will be starting with Colts corner Jerraud Powers landing on IR this week.

I dont understand how Dan Fouts can pronounce virtually every word correctly except Wilfork. Wilfert? How do you get there? Is it a linguistic blind spot? "Honey, can you get me a fert, I just dropped mine on the floor." "Make sure you keep right at the fert."

So Ryan Fitzpatrick says Brandon Spikes is a punk. Can anyone step back, objectively look at the way the guy plays on the field and think otherwise? He took a cheap shot on Bills tight end Scott Chandler in the first meeting between the teams, a low-rent head shot from Chandlers blind side. He eye-gouged his way to infamy at Florida.

Hes not simply out there trying to leave an impression or send a message. He tries to injure. But the hit on Fitzpatrick while illegal was unavoidable. And the Patriots defense is better with him than without him.

But hes also in his own world. Witness the Fred Jackson fumble at the 1-yard line on Sunday. As the discussion between officials ensued, Spikes tilted his helmet back on his head. When he saw a replay of the fumble, he took his helmet off and started gesticulating. Chief. Put the helmet back on. Thats a 15-yard penalty if the officials were paying attention.

Finally, Jay Cutlers concussion is on him. The rules protecting quarterbacks were installed to make sure they were covered when they were doing something else i.e. throwing. A quarterback who slides late or pushes the notion hes about to become a runner and still tries to throw is an abuse of those protections.

Speaking of fumbles, how can the NFL continue to leave unaddressed the post-fumble chaos that ensues two to three times per game? The guy who falls on the fumble is the guy who emerges from the pile with it about 60 percent of the time. Meanwhile, instead of trying to determine who was on the ball first, officials are peeling players off the pile who show up 10 seconds late looking to bellyflop on the pile and twist fingers. I know this isnt a foolproof solution, but officials need to put up a hand signaling that the loose ball portion of the play is over and any player joining the fray or pile will incur a 15-yard penalty for his team.

I am rooting so hard for Jon Gruden to fill one of the head coaching vacancies this offseason. He was fun in the booth for about three weeks.

The poor Chiefs. Anyone see them get called for a group celebration penalty exulting over a defensive touchdown that got called back. Pretty much encapsulates their season.

With Ben Roethlisbergers right shoulder in disrepair, the hierarchy of the AFC changes again. Its going to be between the Texans, Patriots and Ravens the rest of the way.

Jets linebacker Calvin Pace before the game in Seattle: Were looking for that truly defining moment to our season, and this has got to be a defining moment for us, because we cant be 3-6, that just cannot happen. I believe in the guys. I think adversity really does show what your character is, show what your team is all about.

And defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson: Yes, we will be playing postseason football this year . . . Were going to get (Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson) rattled. We know theyre 4-0 at home, but were not worried about whats going on over there in Seattle . . . Were going to go in there and pretty much set the tone.

Brown fires up Celtics teammates with tomahawk dunk over Vucevic

Brown fires up Celtics teammates with tomahawk dunk over Vucevic

Well it appears that Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic wasn’t the only one who didn’t see Jaylen Brown’s powerful dunk over him coming. 
 
Apparently, Brown didn’t see it coming either. 
 
“It caught me off-guard,” Brown said after Boston’s 117-87 thumping of the Magic. “I wasn’t even expecting it. It happens. It’s part of basketball. It’s two points.”
 
The play in question came early in the second quarter when Brown blew past Jodie Meeks into the lane and took off towards the rim. 
 
Vucevic jumped late, got dunked on and the Celtics bench went bananas!
 
“It gave our team a lot of energy,” Brown acknowledged.
 
Brown understands part of his job in coming off the bench is to make an impact with effort. 
 
And in doing so, he senses that his teammate’s confidence him in and his game can only grow.
 
“I feel like my teammates are trusting me more, getting more trust from the coaching staff,” said Brown who finished with 13 points. 
 
Avery Bradley likes what he’s seen from Brown, a young player who has shown tremendous promise. 
 
And that dunk over Vucevic?
 
“You’re going to see a lot more of those in his career,” Bradley said. “He gets us going.”

Brown and Rozier seize opportunity, provide spark off Celtics bench

Brown and Rozier seize opportunity, provide spark off Celtics bench

There was Terry Rozier, delivering dizzying crossover dribbles that set up open jumpers, soon followed by defenders he then beat to the rim for easy scores. 
 
“I felt like I was in college a little bit,” Rozier told reporters Wednesday night. 
 
The second-year guard is a long way from his days at Louisville, but make no mistake about it.
 
His basketball education is ongoing, but on Wednesday it was Rozier and rookie Jaylen Brown teaching the Orlando Magic a lesson as Boston pulled away for a 117-87 victory.
 
Playing without Isaiah Thomas (right groin), Rozier came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points. 
 
And Brown, whose hustle and above-the-rim play energized the Celtics most of the night, had 13 points which included a powerful, poster-worthy dunk over an unsuspecting Nikola Vucevic. 

"I didn't expect to dunk, nor did I expect him to jump," Brown told reporters after the game. "When it happened, I was just as surprised as everyone else."
 
The Celtics (13-9) were pleased with the victory which included contributions from several players. 
 
But there was added pleasure for the veteran Celtics in watching their youthful teammates step up and play well.
 
“It’s hard as a young player to come in and find yourself on a team,” Boston’s Al Horford told reporters after the win. “And those guys are really hard workers. As the season goes on, they’ll become more comfortable with what we’re trying to do.”
 
We have seen Brown put in positions where he was given an opportunity to make a major impact. 
 
His first NBA start came against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 
 
Boston lost 128-122 to the Cavs, but Brown had a career-high 19 points, five rebounds and three steals. 
 
Brown said when he’s on the floor with Rozier, the two have a very specific agenda. 
 
“Me and Terry get in, we talk to each other and say, ‘we gotta run,’” Brown said. “That’s our focus; we’re young. We try to get up and down the floor. It makes the game easier for us.”
 
The Celtics' second unit has been in a constant state of change most of this season due to the number of injuries sustained by the preferred starting five. 

So getting more consistent play from the team’s youngsters like Rozier and Brown is huge for this team going forward especially if they will be without Thomas for multiple games which is a possibility. 
 
“It was a great opportunity; they seized it,” Horford said. “Moving forward, if they play like they did tonight; defense first, confident, I feel like there will be plenty of more opportunities to show what they have.”