TAMPA - Computer issues. I don't even want to talk about it. The first half. It was 20-7 at the break with Tampa scoring on its opening drive, a methodical nine-play number, an interception return (we'll get to that) and two 50-plus field goals. Assorted notes. The initial dime defense featured Devin McCourty, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling and Steve Gregory on the field. Ebner played at the linebacker level. He showed nice coverage ability dropping on Dallas Clark on one play. On the Bucs initial drive, Doug Martin went in from the 1 and Jerod Mayo, who tried to time his leap to meet Martin at the goal line, got flipped over the pile dangerously but was fine. The starting offensive line featured Dan Koppen at center. The second offensive line had Dan Connolly in there. Ryan Wendell also took a series there. The rotation continued through the game. Marcus Cannon gave up a costly sack. He got beat off the edge by Michael Bennett after making an initial push to redirect Bennett then Cannon kinda stood there and Brady got lit up. His fumble was recovered by Spencer Larsen. On the ensuing third-and-14, Brady got picked by rookie Mark Barron who returned it for a score. And Cannon's weak summer continues. Stevan Ridley ran very well for most of the first half. He finished with 52 yards on 10 carries including a 29-yard run well-blocked by Donald Thomas and Deion Branch. Ridley had a blitz pickup mistake that led to another Brady sack. Long snapper Danny Aiken had a shaky snap that was well-handled by holder Zoltan Mesko on a PAT attempt. Daniel Fells saw his first action of the preseason at tight end. Marquice Cole came in to play the "Star" position on a few nickel defense plays and was very competent. Julian Edelman had a solid 15-yard punt return where he buzzed straight upfield. Logan Mankins played a portion of the first half before Thomas went in for him at right guard. The Patriots used a fleet of return options. Devin McCourty (twice) and Kyle Arrington returned kickoffs. Sketchy decision on the first one by McCourty to bring out a bouncing kick. Aaron Hernandez was in for a punt return late in the first half. (STRAY THIRD QUARTER NOTES) Chandler Jones got himself a third-quarter sack and Brandon Bolden was on the field for the first series of the second half at running back.
Tom Brady has fans everywhere, apparently. Even in Pittsburgh. Even on the Steelers roster.
Showtime's Inside the NFL caught video of Brady meeting with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before Sunday's game between New England and Pittsburgh.
The pair hugged near the 50-yard line at Heinz Field. Brady called Roethlisberger "big guy." Roethlisberger, who was out with a knee injury, told Brady he wanted to play "so bad."
Then Roethlisberger became a fan. And like many of them, he had a request.
"Um, hey, listen," he said. "I've never done this before, but I would love to get a jersey at some point. It'd mean...There's not many I want to put in my office. You're the best, dude."
Brady was happy to oblige. Just not right at that moment.
"Sure, I'd love to," Brady said. "I'll get you after the game."
Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the Bills marking their territory in pre game warm ups with Matt Fairburn of NewYorkUpstate.com. Curran and Perry also discuss Dion Lewis’s possible return from a knee injury. Plus, the number histories of Chris Long, Dont’a Hightower, Malcom Brown, Barkevious Mingo, and Ryan Allen in the much ballyhooed segment “Hey, what’s ya number?”