The Inept Axis is plotting

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The Inept Axis is plotting

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

Location: A secret underground lair in the outskirts of Indianapolis. Eleven men sit, gathered around an oblong table in a surprisingly well-lit room; it being underground and all. Come to think of it, a work order for new LED lights was filed last -- shhhhh, they're starting.

Bill Polian: Gentlemen, you all know why we're here: the Patri-oughts. They've beaten us, beaten us real bad. For some, it only inflicted minor damage. Others suffered catastrophic derailments.

Marv Lewis: Tell me about it. Twelve games later and we've only got two wins. TOcho doesn't deserve this.

Mike Tomlin: What TOcho doesn't deserve is Carson Palmer. He's about as accurate as the NFL investigation into my boy Big Ben's social outings. Am I right?
Crickets: This noise, unimpeded.

Rex Ryan: So what d'ya propose we do there old BPol?

Bill Polian: It's Bill.

Brad Childress: I say we exact cold, calculated revenge.

Ozzie Newsome: Sounds like a good idea.

Brad Childress: Seriously? You mean you guys are willing to actually listen to me?

Tony Sparano: Who wouldn't listen to you? You wear glasses. They're like ear magnets.

Chan Gailey: Wanna hear something crazy? With my glasses on, I kind of look like Steve Nicol, the New England Patriots' soccer coach.

Rex Ryan: That's some great insight there Channy. Remind me to call you next time I'm having trouble falling asleep.

Jim Schwartz: Wait, maybe he's on to something. He can probably waltz right into their offices, if he knows how to dance a waltz. And if he can pick up an English accent.
Chan Gailey: Well, I have been watching a lot of Michael Caine movies lately during our team film sessions. Maybe that'd help.

Bill Polian: But we can't stop there. These Patri-oughts -- that's how you say it, right? -- are primed to go on another of their Super Bowl runs if we don't stop them. For some reason fans value those silver trophies over regular-season greatness. I blame the media and it's love for shiny things.

Mike Martz: We'd all be fine if the NFL would just force all teams to move into domed stadiums. Everything would fall into place for us.

Brad Childress: Yeah, except for when that Wrangler-wearing, no-good Brett Favre isn't standing where he's supposed to when the roof collapses.

Ozzie Newsome: Umm, what?

Brad Childress: Nothing.

Mike Martz: I just can't believe the league is actually allowing a Super Bowl to be played in New Jersey -- far from tropical temperatures and wind-free domes.

Rex Ryan: Super Bowl? The Jets are going there!

Tony Sparano: . . . Right. You'll be tending to your pigskin graveyard.

Philip Rivers: Well, what if our only problem is having an inept coach? I think firing Norv would solve this problem pretty quickly.

Everyone else: No!

Rex Ryan: Hey, Phil, why don't you and your angry eyebrows hit the road? But if you decide to come back to apologize for bringing up the 'F' word, grab me a Chalupa or something . . . Ah, what the hell. Make it two.

Mike Tomlin: Can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm with Rex. Let's grab some gosh-darn lunch.

Jim Schwartz: Yeah, I'm happy with our progress.

Tony Sparano: Lunch it is.

Mike Martz: I don't know about this guys. My regular lunch time is 12:15. I have problems adjusting to pretty much everything.

Rex Ryan: Bet you even have a hard time adjusting yourself. Hehe.

Bill Polian: Ahem. Then we're agreed: we'll do something in the near to future to stop the Patri-oughts.
Brad Childress: Ok. But once we settle on a plan, no audibles. I can't take any more audibles.

Meanwhile...
Location: Gillette Stadium.

Bill Belichick: Alright guys. It's on to the Packers. We've got a big week ahead of us. They're great on offense, defense, special teams. Let's get to work.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
 
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
 
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
 
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake

Floyd looks to improve rapport with Brady: 'Tom likes things a certain way'

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Floyd looks to improve rapport with Brady: 'Tom likes things a certain way'

FOXBORO -- Michael Floyd has been with the Patriots for about a month, and he admits he still has a lot to learn.

Specifically when it comes to his rapport with Tom Brady, Floyd knows there's room for improvement. Against the Texans last weekend, he was targeted three times. One led to a pick. Another was almost picked. One was caught for nine yards. 

On the intercepted pass and the near-interception, Floyd ran slant routes from the left side of the Patriots formation, but he appeared to run them in ways that Brady didn't anticipate. Instead of coming back toward the ball as it approached, Floyd leaked up the field, perhaps hoping to turn what would be an intermediate gain into a bigger play. 

On WEEI earlier this week, Brady took the blame for the pick. But Floyd shouldered his share of responsibility for the turnover on Wednesday.

"You just gotta come downhill," he said. "Obviously at this time of the year, a lot of guys are really checked in on film work and how you play and splits and stuff like that. You gotta make sure you're really fundamentally sound and come downhill to every single ball."

It's one of many lessons Floyd has tried to absorb since being claimed off of waivers by the Patriots in mid-December.

In the regular-season finale against the Dolphins, he looked to be learning at an impressive rate as he caught three passes for 36 yards and laid a monster block that helped spring Julian Edelman for the longest touchdown reception of his career. 

As he prepared for the AFC title game, though, he acknowedleged that he has a way to go -- particularly when it comes to understanding the nuances of how his ever-demanding quarterback wants things done.

"I've only been here a month so I think that's every single day," Floyd said of getting to know Brady's preferences. "I gotta keep my head in the playbook and ask questions. That's what I do every single day. There's nothing wrong about asking a question. They see that I'm the new guy here, and I -- for the most part -- get all the answers that I need."

He added: "Tom likes things a certain way. Me being the new guy, or any of us, we make sure that we do it that way."