FOXBORO - When the Patriots took possession of the ball for the final time Monday night, they had a 27-3 lead over the Chiefs and there was 6:32 remaining in the game. Best case scenario for everyone? The Patriots wind down the clock and are merely taking knees and shaking hands as the seconds tick away. But it's bad form to roll over and Chiefs coach Todd Haley did what he had to do, spending his timeouts one by one until he was out of them with 3:39 remaining. During that span - and after - the Patriots ran the ball nine straight times. But facing third-and-goal from the Chiefs' 1 with 1:14 left, the Patriots threw a quick slant to Aaron Hernandez for a touchdown. In the press box and on Twitter there was cluck-clucking and tsk-tsking. Was the throw in bad form?A penalty wiped out the touchdown and the Patriots soon faced fourth-and-goal from the 4 with 1:06 left. They handed off to rookie Shane Vereen, who scored his first NFL touchdown. More clucking. More tsking. Why not kick a field goal? Or take a knee?In the past, Belichick has explained that kicking field goals in the waning moments of blowouts is more insulting than just running plays on fourth down. At least the defense has a chance to turn the offense away without further scoring, he's explained. Haley is forever looking for slights and breaches of the unwritten rules of football. Last season, he got miffed at Josh McDaniels for some infraction. But there was no postgame agitation between Bill Belichick and Haley. They shook hands and off they went. I asked former Chief and current Patriot Brian Waters if, in general, he had a feeling for end-game blowout etiquette. "Oh boy," he answered. "Well, I think everything's based off of what other people do. It's 60 minutes. We're all paid to play 60 minutes so, hey, you know . . . I know where you're going with this, but hey man, it's the game."A lot of times coaches have a different mentality than players do," Waters explained. "As players, we want to make sure nobody gets hurt, but part of that is making sure you're going full speed and not take anything for granted. You got to do your job. When you start going half speed and other people are going full speed that's when you get hurt. If the play's called, you go full blast. And if they get their feelings hurt, sucks to be them."
FOXBORO -- The bullet points from Bill Belichick on the team’s second pick in this year’s draft, Troy left tackle Antonio Garcia:
- He’s a person.
- He’s a left tackle.
- He has played tackle and will play tackle.
- He visited with the Patriots.
- We’re not sure if he’ll play guard at any point.
- We’ll see how it goes.
That’s generally as forthcoming as Belichick was regarding Garcia, a player for whom the Pats moved up from No. 96 to No. 85. Garcia’s selection came two picks after the team made Youngstown State pass-rusher Derek Rivers their first selection of the draft at No. 83.
“He was here last week; [we] had a good visit with him,” Belichick said of Garcia. “So we’ll see how that goes, but we think he’ll be competitive. He’s done a good job for them down there.”
Asked whether the lanky 6-foot-6 player could play guard, Belichick was noncommittal.
“I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “He’s played tackle. He’s got the length and I think the athleticism to play tackle, but we’ll see how he does. I don’t know.”
As for which side, Belichick viewed Garcia “primarily” as a left tackle.
CHICAGO – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s series-clinching 105-83 Game 6 win over the Chicago Bulls.
He delivered yet another two-way gem for the Celtics, scoring nine of his 23 points in the first quarter that set the tone for Boston’s win.
Gutsy performance by Butler whose sore knees didn’t allow him to be as explosive as he’s accustomed to at both ends of the floor. He still managed to score a team-high 23 points along with grabbing seven rebounds.
It’s almost to the point where you expect Horford to deliver a balanced scoring line. In Game 6 he had 12 points, 7 assists and six rebounds.
His shot wasn’t falling (he was 4-for-12), but Thomas still managed to make his presence felt. He finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.
He has had better games, but he still finished with a decent stat line with 10 points and five rebounds.
Absolutely brutal night for Wade who may have played his last game for the Bulls if he decides to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent. He had just two points, missing nine of his 10 shots from the field.