Back to the future for Pats , Brady vs. Crennel


Back to the future for Pats , Brady vs. Crennel

FOXBORO - Tom Brady was asked Wednesday if he saw any similarities between what the Chiefs are doing defensively under old friend Romeo Crennel, Brady laughed and said, "Yes. It's what we do on defense so there's a lot of familiarity in training camp and every day in practice. its a 3-4 defense."

While the Patriots are playing far more four-man fronts in 2011, the link between the things done by former Patriots defensive coordinator Crennel- the DC in KC now - is unmistakable.

And Crennel has the Chiefs playing pretty stingily.

After allowing 89 points in the first two games of the year, the KC defense allowed just 81 in their next five games as they went 4-1. The last two weeks, Crennel's defense has backslid a big, allowing 31 to Miami and then 17 to the almost punchless Tebow-led Broncos offense.

The upshot? While the Chiefs defense isn't consistent, it can be daunting when it's clicking. And with a cover corner like Brandon Flowers, a pass rusher like Tamba Hali and two big top-five picks in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, the weaponry is there for Crennel to fire with.

Crennel, now 64, was a long, long, long time coaching colleague of Bill Belichick's at the Giants (1981-92, two seasons after Belichick left), the Patriots (1996), the Jets (1997-99) and the Patriots a second time (2001-04).

"They're fundamentally sound and you can see the things they're coaching every week," said Brady of the Chiefs defense. "Very physical. They make it hard to run it and they have some good, experienced corners and linebackers."

Gronkowski takes exception to Cowboys’ ‘Do Your Job’ sign


Gronkowski takes exception to Cowboys’ ‘Do Your Job’ sign

The Dallas Cowboys have a “Do Your Job” sign posted in their locker room and “Gronk Nation” isn’t happy about it.

Here’s an excerpt from “Gronk Nation” - the website of Rob Gronkowski and his family - about “America’s Team” co-opting the slogan of the 2014 Patriots' Super Bowl run: 

While we all know that the Pats thrashed the Cowboys 30-6 last October and Dallas hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1995 season, so they need all the motivation they can get – but can’t America’s Team come up with their own slogan instead of stealing ours?









First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays


First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First Impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field:


* When the guy who was 0-for-34 produces the go-ahead RBI, it's probably not your day.

The Red Sox and Rays were tied 1-1 in the seventh when Steven Souza Jr. singled to lead off the inning. That brought Mikie Mahtook, hitless in his last 34 at-bats to the plate.

Naturally, Mahtook roped a line-drive double to left field, scoring Souza all the way from first base. It was that kind of day for the Red Sox, who were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and stranded five baserunners.

For a team that still leads the majors in runs scored, the Red Sox have shown an uncanny ability to go cold at the plate.

On Thursday afternoon, that happened again, while the most unlikely hero for Tampa Bay came through in an improbable spot.


* The Red Sox' struggles with the bases loaded is almost comical.

It happened again.

In the sixth inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases with no out. Mookie Betts then hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring one run. Hanley Ramirez then walked, re-loading the bases, this time with one out.

But Jackie Bradley Jr. then swung at the first pitch and hit into an inning-ending, rally-killing 4-6-3 double play.

In two plate appearances with the bases loaded, the Sox failed to get a hit.

The Sox are hitting .216 with the bases loaded (24-for-111), ranking them 14th in the American League. Only Seattle and Detroit have had more bases-loaded opportunities, and yet the Red Sox rank in the second half in runs scored in such situations.


* Drew Pomeranz is showing no signs of innings fatigue

True, Pomeranz failed to provide a shutdown inning in the sixth after the Red Sox had gotten him a run in the top of the inning.

Still, Pomeranz pitched into the seventh and allowed just two runs while striking out a season-high 11 batters.

In his past five starts, he's compiled a 2.37 ERA, and both the power to his fastball and the sharpness to his curve offer no evidence that he's hit any sort of wall despite already establishing a career high at the major league level with five weeks remaining in the season.