He's baaacck!

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He's baaacck!

By Michael Felger

Oh, goody. Bretts back.

Hey Felger,We have Sunday, Oct. 31st circled on OUR calendar. DO YOU????You know who's gonna come in here and kick Brady's ass?RichNorth Providence, RIUm, Jared Allen? Adrian Peterson?

Felger:First, let me say I in no way suffer from uncontrollable Favre love. That said, while some people don't acknowledge the bad that goes with all the positives of his career, I think you are going a bit too far the other way. He still is much better than you are giving him credit, and there is no doubt he makes the Vikings better than any other player they could have picked up. Sure, they could have drafted a QB and prepared for this the way Green Bay did, but they didn't.Cy Young is the all-time leader in Wins, but also the all-time leader in losses . . . do you put him in the same category as Favre?Dave Woburn

Do I put Favre (is that who Rich was referring to?) in the same category as the one of the greatest pitchers in the history of major-league baseball? Definitely not. Favre is not among the greats of all time in his sport. He belongs in a large second tier behind Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

I talk about the following numbers all the time, and I think they bear repeating here: Since Favre last went to the Super Bowl following the 1998 season, hes played in 11 playoff games. Hes won just four of them. Thats right, kids. He's 4-7 in the playoffs over the past dozen years, throwing 21 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in those games. Included in that sample are two NFC title game defeats (in 2007 and 2009) in which he threw interceptions on either the last play of regulation or his first pass of overtime. Included in that sample is a four-interception game against Minnesota in 2004, a six-interception game at St. Louis in 2001 and a 2003 NFC divisional game at Philadelphia in which he threw an interception on the Packers' first play of overtime.

So, then, here are the facts (not opinions): For over a decade, Favre has been nearly TWICE as likely to lose in the playoffs as win. In postseason football, he has played terribly as often as he's played well. For every playoff touchdown he's recorded, hes thrown a pick.

So, no, I don't think I've gone too far.

As a postseason, big-game quarterback, he sucks.

Consequently, I find the helicopter coverage a bit much.

Felger,What is Favre's interception PERCENTAGE, not number of interceptions? Obviously, by definition, if he's played the longest of any player in the NFL he's going to have the most interceptions, but also the "most" of all other q-back stats (good and bad). So percentage is a more accurate reading. Of course if the percentage negates your point, then of course I don't expect you to mention this fact -- not opinion.Thanks,BFBoston

Who cares what his interception PERCENTAGE is? In his last 11 playoff games hes thrown 20 picks. Thats brutal. I dont care if he throws 55 times a game. You can't win throwing two interceptions every time you hit the field in the postseason.

What am I missing here?

Felger,No disagreement on anything you've said on the Favre front, but doesn't he make the Vikings a playoff contender as opposed to a No. 1 draft pick with Tarvaris Jackson?Mike Riley

The sad truth. No question about it. But does that mean he warrants wall-to-wall coverage?

Felger,Do you think Brady wants to play behind a weak offensive line? That line of "fat cows" should keep him off the field because he's bound to get creamed. Also, does he want to sign with a team that may not be competitive every year? Doesn't look like they'll be playoff bound this year.Tom

I think the Pats are a playoff team this year, Tom. Maybe not a Super Bowl team, but they should be a postseason one. And if Brady signs an extension this summer, we'll have to say that hes comfortable with his offensive line and his teams chances.

But if I were Brady I'd be careful about going too far with this yelling and screaming business with his teammates. Applying the same scrutiny on him as we do Favre shows that, since Bradys last Super Bowl win, he is only 5-4 in nine playoff games, with 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Certainly not Favre-like, but not exactly Brady-like, either.

Felger,Tony Dungy is the most overrated coach ever. He failed in Tampa for years with the best defense in the league. The very next year after he's gone, they win a Super Bowl.Then in Indy he keeps falling short with one the best quarterbacks ever, until Reche Caldwell hands the Colts the game on a silver platter.And now Tony Dungy is going to go around telling grown adults how to act? I'm so sick of these self-righteous, Christian zealots pushing their agendas down our throats.Meanwhile he has no problem with "Ron Mexico." Kill as many dogs as you want, but heaven forbid if you swear?Dan East Providence RI

Agreed. Dungy is a (bleep)ing fraud.

Felgy,I have a theory on Josh Beckett, which is two-fold: 1) He gives up a lot of home runs because the rhythm in his delivery is so predictable. When he mixes his pitches, that consistent delivery can be deceptive -- causing hitters to be frozen on called third strikes. But when major league hitters are able to predict a fastball, and know the cadence to his delivery, he gets shelled. Pay close attention next time he pitches.2) His quick, explosive delivery causes wear and tear on his body that results in perpetual injuries (even blisters). He starts very slow -- slower, I think, than most -- then explodes towards home plate during his stride. If you're not in the greatest of shape, and have a taxing pitching motion, you're going to sustain injuries.The irony is that Beckett's delivery -- in addition to great stuff -- seems to have made him the great pitcher he is. The ability to keep the same delivery, with the same cadence and explosiveness, can be effective insofar as you mix your speeds and are in shape. But Beckett doesn't throw his curveball much as and isn't in the greatest of shape. That's why this guy's delivery is making him prey to fastball hitters and a constant visitor to the DL.Thank you,
Greg Manchester, NH

I'll buy that. The bigger issue is that he hasn't really improved as a pitcher. Most of the great pitchers who stay great into their 30s do so by getting craftier, or developing new pitches or reinventing themselves in some way. Beckett throws roughly the same stuff he did when he came into the league 10 years ago, only his curveball isn't as reliable. When he gets in trouble, he responds by trying to throw harder. Is he stubborn or just unable to diversify his game? Whatever it is, the needle is pointing in the wrong direction.

Felger,As far as the "Radio Host" Tito quoted regarding Ellsbury, how many local muckrakers will imply it was them he was referring to? I know Gresh already implied it. It's like a pathetic badge of honor for you guys. OOOOHHHH, Francona was talking about my daily negativity! OOOOHHHH, I have media-viability!I know you chuckleheads live off of this vitriol but when it comes down to fighting over who Tito is bitching about I ask, who is the bitch?ArtCambridge

Tanguay. Definitely Tanguay.

Michael,My daughter had a opportunity to serve you and your lovely wife at a restaurant in Nantucket this summer. She thought that you and your wife (who she called very sweet) looked great wearing the same-color coordinated outfits. She also said you treated her very well and were very generous. I wanted your fan base to know that behind that guff exterior lies a good-hearted and generous, wife-matching guy.Bob

So I tipped her well? Phew.

As for the outfits, thats all on the Wood, I swear. She gets a glimpse of what Im wearing and tries to match it up. Its really pathetic.

She has trouble with the Tebow jersey, though.

Felgers weekly column appears on Tuesdays. E-mail him HERE and read the mailbag every Thursday. Listen to him on the radio weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 the Sports Hub.

OFFSEASON

Future uncertain for Johnson and Jerebko as Celtics pursue Durant

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Future uncertain for Johnson and Jerebko as Celtics pursue Durant

BOSTON -- When you’re the Boston Celtics and you have your sights set on a star like Kevin Durant, the potential impact on your roster is undeniable.

That’s a good thing, right?

Well . . . not exactly.

One of the options that the Celtics are considering during the free agency period is whether to waive Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko before July 3 which would create additional salary cap space to potentially sign Durant and another near max-salaried player.

But here’s the problem.

Boston could potentially waive Johnson and Jerebko, fail to get Durant or another elite free agent and see the duo gone for nothing in return while they play their way into a big contract toiling in the NBA’s basement with one of the league’s worst teams.

How you ask?

Multiple league sources contacted by CSNNE.com Tuesday night indicated that if the Celtics waive both players, it’s “very likely” that both will be claimed off waivers.

According to a league office official, waiver priority goes to the team with the worst record attempting to claim a player.

And what team had the worst record in the NBA last season?

Yup. The 10-win Philadelphia 76ers.

And what team was right behind them, or ahead depending on how you look at things?

The lowly, 17-win Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson is due $12 million next season while Jerebko is due to earn $5 million, chump change in this new age of the NBA with the 2016-2017 salary cap expected to be around $94 million.

In addition, both players would join clubs in contract years. Couple that with each being relatively productive and there’s the potential for each player to have a really big season.

Johnson was the Celtics’ top rim-protector last season, in addition to being a solid pick-and-roll defender. He also averaged 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds with 1.7 assists and 1.1 blocked shots per game. 

And Jerebko shot 39.8 percent from 3-point range last season, and finished up the playoffs in the starting lineup.

The Celtics are well aware of how valuable both players were to Boston’s success last season, and how their production relative to their contracts makes them extremely important to whatever team they play for.

To lose them for what would essentially be a lottery ticket in the Durant sweepstakes, is certainly a gamble that it remains to be seen if the Celtics are willing to take.

Best-case scenario for Boston is to know where they stand with Durant within the first 24 hours of free agency which would then allow them time to make a more informed decision about Johnson and Jerebko’s futures.

As you can imagine, the Celtics are as eager as any team to know what Durant plans to do this summer.

Because the way things are starting to take shape with Boston’s pursuit of the former league MVP, he’s going to have an impact on the Celtics’ roster one way or another. 

Source: Bruins preparing offer sheet for Jets D-man Jacob Trouba

Source: Bruins preparing offer sheet for Jets D-man Jacob Trouba

According to a hockey source, Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins “are preparing an offer sheet” this week for Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba as an aggressive option to land a No. 1 defenseman after trades didn’t pan out at last weekend’s NHL Draft.

The Bruins have watched Trouba closely for some time, and clearly have an interest in the 22-year-old D-man with size, offensive abilities and a workhorse nature that’s seen him average more than 22 minutes of ice time per game since entering the league as a 19-year-old.

Trouba is coming off a six-goal, 21-point season while playing in 81 games for the Jets, and was a career-best plus-10 for Winnipeg. With Trouba, a restricted free agent, and the Jets locked into big money deals to fellow right shot D-men in Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers, the writing has been on the wall for some time that the Jets would need to give one of them up.

Now it appears the Bruins may be willing to put their money, and their assets, where their interest is, and come up with an offer sheet that totals a minimum of $47 million for Trouba’s services.

Part of that high total is crafting an offer that the Winnipeg Jets aren’t going to match, and part of that is the Bruins’ own doing while casually tossing away their own draft picks. Because they sent their 2017 third round pick to the Flyers for Zac Rinaldo and their 2017 second round pick to New Jersey for Lee Stempniak, the Bruins must put together an offer sheet with an average annual value (AAV) of at least $9.3 million that will require Boston to give up four consecutive first round picks as compensation.

The good news for the Bruins: for offer sheet purposes, AAV is determined by dividing the total compensation offered by the lesser of the length of the contract, or by five. For contracts longer than five years in term, this will result in a higher AAV than simply dividing the contract total by the number of years.

Example: a 7 year offer sheet worth $49 million total, would be considered an AAV of $9.8 million ($49 million divided by 5) for offer sheet compensation purposes. That means the Bruins could make an offer sheet to Trouba in the $7-8 million per season neighborhood on a seven year deal, a reasonable contract if Trouba turns into the No. 1 defenseman that the B’s are envisioning.

The real price for the Black and Gold would be surrendering four first round picks, but the Bruins have made five first round picks in the last two years while stockpiling their prospect cupboard. The B’s have also been hit-or-miss with their first round picks, so sacrificing a few of them for a surefire, young defenseman would theoretically be worth the price.

Clearly the offer sheet route is the product of Bruins’ frustration at being unable to broker a deal for Kevin Shattenkirk or Cam Fowler last weekend in Buffalo, and at the realization that they need a stud No. 1 defenseman in order to again be competitive in the Eastern Conference. Perhaps even the threat of an offer sheet could spur the Jets into dealing Trouba, just as the threat of an offer sheet pushed forward the trades of Dougie Hamilton and Brandon Saad last season. 

Dirty Water Media Bruins reporter James Murphy was also reporting the buzz that the B's are exploring their offer sheet option. 

Tomase: Red Sox are better than this but I have real concerns

Tomase: Red Sox are better than this but I have real concerns

John Tomase, Chris Gasper and Gary Tanguay discuss is the Boston Red Sox recent slump is more than just a slump and also when John Farrell needs to start worrying about his job security again.