Wakeup call: A good reason to flop; Ochojohnson clams up again


Wakeup call: A good reason to flop; Ochojohnson clams up again

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, August 9:

Old friend Marco Scutaro had a Giant night in St. Louis. (CSN Bay Area)

BU's Jake O'Brien is headed to Temple. (CSN Philly)

Tubby Smith's off the hook. (AP)

UConn loses a quarterback. (AP)

For as far apart as their positions are, the NHL players and owners have pretty much kept the labor rhetoric at acceptable levels. Then Scott Hartnell came along. (CSN Philly)

After two injury-aborted seasons, Taylor Hall -- whom the Bruins wanted over Tyler Seguin two years ago -- says he's finally healthy and rarin' to go. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) Yet another example of being careful what you wish for.

Ah, the dangers of being a 'human hockey puck'. (AP)

Yup, that was Frank Viola's daughter diving in the 10-meter platform preliminaries Wednesday night. (nbcolympics.com)

Quote of the Olympics: "I wanted to give them a good reason to flop." (AP) Yeah, I'd say the shot to the groin that France's Nicolas Batum gave Spain's Juan Carlos Navarro was a good reason.

The next time someone goes off on selfish, clueless modern athletes, show them this story about Roy Hibbert. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Congratulations, Dirk and Jessica. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Andy Reid's return had a deep impact on the Eagles. (CSN Philly)

The Peyton Manning Era begins tonight in Denver. (AP)

Bad news for the Browns and their No. 3 overall draft pick, Trent Richardson. (AP)

Looks like Chad Ochojohnson (to coin a Tom E. Curran phrase) is going to emulate his Patriots persona, at least off the field, in Miami. (NBC's Pro Football Talk) The Dolphins better hope he's not his New England clone on the field, as well.

While waiting to hear from the commissioner on whether he'll be suspended for his eighth run-in with the law since 2009, Kenny Britt decided to give the Titans a piece of his mind on Twitter. (AP)

There's only one way to keep Steve Smith off the field: Hide his pads. (AP)

Once a Raider, always a Raider. (Pro Football Talk)

Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots


Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots

Marcus Cannon has had his run as a piñata. The Patriots offensive lineman is a frequent target when things go wrong up front and, usually, he’s deserved it.

A bit of anecdotal evidence? 

Sunday, I tweeted that every time I watched Cannon, he was making another good play.

On cue, about 10 tweets came back at me with variations of “Keep watching him!”

I asked Bill Belichick if he agreed with the layman’s assessment that Cannon’s playing well.

“I think Marcus [Cannon] has done a good job for us for quite a while,” Belichick began. “I mean he’s stepped in for Sebastian [Vollmer] and then last year when Nate [Solder] was out [and he substituted] for Nate. He has played a lot of good football for us.

“We extended our agreement with him off of his rookie contract which I think speaks to the fact that we want him on the team and we like what he’s doing and so forth and he’s continued to I’d say show with his performance [that he has] validated the confidence that we have in him.”

Cannon’s ending to 2015 – a poor performance (along with the rest of the line) against the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game was followed by a performance against the Cardinals that was marred by late-game holding calls.

But with Sebastian Vollmer injured (and still injured) it was sink or swim with Cannon which had plenty of people rolling their eyes.

But – as I said – every time I see Cannon, he’s either holding off a defensive end in pass protection, steamrolling downfield in the running game or making really athletic second-level or cut blocks in the screen game.

“Like every player, as they gain more experience they do get better,” said Belichick. “I think our offensive line’s certainly improved over the course of the year and playing with more consistency than we did last year. But there’s always room for improvement and the continuity that we’ve had there since (right guard) Shaq [Mason] has gotten in the last few weeks – we had Shaq over on the right side a little bit at the end of the season last year and then this year most all of the year except when Shaq was out for a few weeks there at the end of training camp and the start of the season – but our overall consistency and communication on the offensive line has been better because we’ve had more continuity there so that helps everybody.”

It can’t hurt that the lineman whisperer, Dante Scranecchia, has returned to coach the group. Cannon’s conditioning and physique looks better. He just appears more athletic and explosive. And he’s seemed more relaxed in the limited time the media’s in the locker room.

All off that added up equals nobody really talking about Marcus Cannon.
“Like any lineman, the less you call his name probably the better he’s doing,” said Belichick. “It’s probably a good thing when you guys don’t talk about him. Then that probably means they’re not doing something too noticeably wrong, right?”