Sunday colimn

Sunday colimn

By Tom E. Curran1. How's your Sunday? I would be remiss if I didn't share with you the staggeringly honest obituary of Robert Hunley right here. 2. I flew out to Seattle Saturday night on JetBlue - a direct flight that landed at around 2 a.m. EST. Fortunately for me, I got an empty row near the back and was able to hog all three TVs on the seatbacks in front of me. It was like Vegas. Without the gambling. And the lights. And a lot of other things. But what happens in Row 24 stays in Row 24. One more note from the sojourn - the snacks and waters were kept in the overhead compartment of Row 24. That meant, during a six-hour flight, the compartment opened several times. And it was closed several times. Hard. Hard enough to get me to pop at least three inches off the seat every time the thing slammed like a rifle shot 30 inches over my head. I can't be sure, but I believe there wasmalicious intent on the part of the flight attendants. 3. Oh yeah, football. Rob Gronkowski had one of the greatest statistical years in NFL history for a tight end in 2011. So I've been looking at his 2012 statisticalperformance thinking it's been really good, but not quite as good as 2011in relative terms. Actually, there's very little difference statistically through five games. Through five in 2012, Gronk's been targeted 34 times, has 23 catches for 295 yards and three touchdowns. In 2011, the numbers were 31, 22, 327 andfive. 4. Wes Welker? If you remember, he was absurdly productive early in 2011. At this point he had 65 (!!) targets for 45 catches, for 740 yards (!!!) and five touchdowns. Currently, he's 52, 38, 484 and 1. If there's ever been a more statistically impressive five-game stretch for a wideout in NFL history, INEED to see it. 5. Two Seahawks defenders to keep an eye onSunday: Kam Chancellor and Red Bryant. Chancellor fascinates the hell out of me because he's so damn big - 6-3, 232 - and can really be a physical presence in the middle of the field whether at strong safety or as an extra coverage linebacker. Bryant was a target of the Patriots this offseason. Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com came to Seattle early and caught up with Bryanton Friday. According to Bryant, it came down to family but he told Reiss, "the likelihood of me going there was high." Bryant signed a five year deal that could check in around 35 million when all is said and done. The 28-year-old defensive lineman is 6-3, 323 and models his game after Ty Warren. 6. Players need to cut the crap with the Adderall excuse. The first time I heard it, it came from Brandon Spikes two years ago. And it seemed a plausible oversight. Rookie player, didn't want anyone to know he had ADD medication, didn't know it was viewed as a performance enhancer because it's a stimulant. Now, every time a player gets pinched for a four-game performance enhancer suspension, he blames Adderall. And nobody knows if that's the truth or not because the NFL doesn't say what a guy gets bounced for. Nor should they. But any player who truly does getsuspended forusing Adderall should fire his agent immediately. What are the guys there for if not to shepherd young players through the do's and don'ts of being in the league, the need to disclose ALL medicines and a word to the wise about Adderall. 7. Not having Donta Hightower to aid and abet in bringing down Marshawn Lynchon Sunday is a bad deal. You need all the meat you can bring against him. It will be interesting to see if Steve Gregory is the starting free safety. Tavon Wilson played adequately last week and Gregory was not as impactful as I thought he was going to be when he was on the field. 8. Ryan Wendell and Nate Solder. Pretty much just fine so far. 9. Which reminds me, with the Patriots running for almost 500 yards the past two weeks and leading the NFL in almost every offensive category, the royal screwing they supposedly gave to The Reluctant Guard Brian Waters hasn't been a cause celebre lately. Seems just yesterdaywe heardscreams demanding Bill Belichick crawl to Denton, Texas, make things right and drop rose petals in front of Waters' every step for the rest of the season.A mean andvengeful Belichick, not giving a raise to a guy who didn't want to play football here. Well, I guess that's passed.

Knighton not worried about Deflategate: 'We have enough on our plate'

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Knighton not worried about Deflategate: 'We have enough on our plate'

FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive tackle Terrance Knighton has been on three different teams since the Deflategate controversy was sparked on the night of the AFC title game in 2015. But that doesn't mean he's immune to receiving questions about Tom Brady's ongoing saga. 

Meeting with reporters after Thursday's OTA session, Knighton was asked if he was surprised by the buzz that still surrounds Brady's legal situation. Earlier in the week, Brady filed a petition for a rehearing to have his four-game suspension overturned, and the Patriots organization filed an amicus brief backing their quarterback.

"All I was thinking about that year was losing to the Colts," said Knighton, who was a member of the Broncos two seasons ago. "I wasn't really worried about what was going on. I don't really feed into that. I just try to handle what I have to do in the building. We have enough on our plate as it is. That'll handle itself. 'Terrance Knighton' is not anywhere in the documents so it doesn't have anything to do with me."

As was the case during last preseason, with Deflategate hearings hanging over Brady's head, the Patriots quarterback didn't appear at all distracted by the continuing proceedings. He went 9-for-14 in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 periods during Thursday's practice, working with a group of offenive weapons that was without tight end Rob Gronkowski and receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. 

Knighton said on Thursday that Brady has ben equally impressive off the field in the short time he's been able to spend with the future Hall of Famer. 

"[Conversations hav been] a little bit about our past playing against each other, me getting the better of him, him getting the better of me," Knighton said. "He's won that matchp more times than I have, but it's always good to be around guys like that, pick their brain and see what type of professional they are.

"Playing with a Peyton Manning and a Demarcus Ware, you learn a lot from those guys, Hall of Famers. I'm just trying tp pick [Brady's] brain, and just watch him out of the corner of my eye, and see how he prepares and how me moves around."

Quotes, notes and stars: Donaldson dominates Kelly

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Quotes, notes and stars: Donaldson dominates Kelly

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays:

 

QUOTES

 

* “He had quality stuff, but the story of this one is not being able to contain (Josh) Donaldson. Big night for him . . . I though Joe had quality stuff . . . [He] wasn’t as sharp with the overall location as he was the first time out for us.” John Farrell on Joe Kelly’s second start since his return from the disabled list.

 

* “He’s such a good player and does it in critical moments.” Farrell on Josh Donaldson after his two-homerun, 4-5 performance for Toronto.

 

* “He throws hard and has a lot of sink on his ball. Not much you can do with it. Just try to put it in play and see what happens.” Xander Bogaerts on facing Toronto’s start Aaron Sanchez.

 

* “Bottom line is the results. I think there’s been a strong precedent set with that,” Farrell before the game on moving Clay Buchholz to the bullpen to make room for Eduardo Rodriguez.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Following Friday night’s performance, Josh Donaldson is now 12-20 in his career against Joe Kelly with a double, two home runs and nine RBIs.

 

* The Red Sox’ five runs brings their season total to 38 on the road, averaging 3.8 per game through ten road games. At home, Boston has averaged 7.8 runs through 18 games.

 

* Despite a rough start, Joe Kelly still didn’t record a loss. He hasn’t been on the wrong side of a decision since 7/22/15.

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his streak to 20 games in his second at-bat against Aaron Sanchez. Boston’s shortstop now has the longest active streak in the league.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Josh Donaldson

Toronto’s third baseman dominated not only Joe Kelly, but Koji Uehara, launching two balls over the fence in a 4-5 day.

 

2) Aaron Sanchez

Although he got tired late, Toronto’s starter only had three earned runs through 6.2 innings against one of the most potent offenses in the league.

 

3) Xander Bogaerts

After teammate Jackie Bradley, Jr. saw his streak die Thursday night, Bogaerts squeaked one up the middle, bringing his streak to 20 games, against a starter who’s caused problems for him before.