On Sunday in Pittsburgh, beleaguered Patriots coach Bill Belichick faces one of the most crucial preseason games of his legendary coaching career. Our esteemed Chris Jasper He calls it a “sneaky beat”.
Fabulous. You must win. week 2.
Sharks clearly smell blood in the moat waters around Fort Foxboro. Can any of us remember that Bill took that much heat here? Bale must have felt like he was back in Cleveland in the days after local champ Bernie Cosar was sentenced.
seriously. T-shirts with the slogan “In Bill We Trust” lose value faster than Bitcoin and Peloton stocks. There is a daily drumbeat on the head of the once untouchable coach.
The game has passed on Bill. . . He’s still training as if Tom Brady is here to save him. . . He surrounded himself with his friends and failed coaches. . . He protects his children. . . He reads the positive statistics he once mocked as lamenting a loser. . . His drafts look like the acquisitions of Kim Bloom. . . He wouldn’t adjust and pay big bucks for wide receivers. . . He’s not doing enough to help Mac Jones. . . He stubbornly refuses to name the coordinators. . . Jonathan Kraft can’t wait to fire him. . . He still believes that this is the 1995 NFL. . . He’s just walking around to catch up with Shula. . . Still trying to establish a race. . . He is old. . . He misses Ernie Adams.
There haven’t been many nabobs of negativity around Belichick since the days after the Chiefs televised the Pats, 41-14, on national television in Week 4 of the 2014 season. That’s when Trent Delever gleefully told America, “They’re not good anymore!”
That led to “We’re On Our Way to Cincinnati,” a seven-game winning streak, and Pete Carroll’s gift at Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz.
But of course, that was when Brady was here. And those patriots they were Still very good.
This was not like now.
The first week of the 2022 Patriots season was a stink bomb. The very normal Butts might be looking for 0-4 if they can’t beat Pittsburgh. Belichick is legitimately on the hot seat.
But New England favorites, the Steelers have Mitch Trubesky in the middle, and I keep going back to that opening round last weekend when the Butts moved the ball on the ground and in the air — all the way from 25 to 22 Dolphins. In eight plays arranged.
In those moments before the devastating objection, I remember thinking “They’re going to be okay. They’re not great. They’ll never have Brady again. But Bill can tell. They won’t be the disaster we thought they were.”
Now here we are.
And yes, it feels like Week 2, a must-win game.
It’s time for Bill to show us he’s still getting it.
• Quiz: The name of the 10 Baseball Hall of Fame who were this year’s rookie and MVP (answer below).
• I still can’t believe Alex Cora “This is a friendly reminder that we are really good,” he said. After the Sox beat the Orioles, 17-4, last weekend. Boston’s laundry cart is about to finish last for the fifth time in 11 seasons. Let me remind you that the ridiculed Yankees haven’t had a losing season since 1992.
• Once again we have a window on clueless MLB players. As the game slowly dies due to the lack of balls in play and an endless parade of semblance of a “grinding” board where every hitter of 6 pitches misses 3-2 and every bowler insists on hitting the hitter, it’s the players who see no misstep in the pace of play.
When a rules committee made up of players and management staff finally approved the court clock, every player on the committee refused to vote.
“I don’t like it,” Trevor Storey said. “Our game is special because it doesn’t have a clock. I don’t know why everyone wants it so fast.” Sox loyalist Matt Strahm expressed his disgust with the new rules, telling Rob Bradford that “they’re doing a very good job of killing the sport.”
• Flexibility in the curriculum. Tampa Bay Times Reports 10 Pinellas County, Florida, schools implement the TB12 Fitness Book and the district plans to roll it out in every middle and high school by 2023-24. Through a partnership with the TB12 Foundation, the school system offers a semester-based middle school course and a single credit course to high school students. Since nutrition is such an important component of TB12, parents of Pinellas should be happy that Alex Guerrero’s NeuroSafe for “concussion prevention” and “cancer treatment” has been discontinued by the feds.
• JD Martinez looks complete. Martinez in 2022 reminds me of Jim Rice in 1988. Martinez came in this weekend scoring 0.272 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI in 121 games. Cedar hit .264 in 1988 with 15 Homer and 72 RBI in 135 games. JD 34. The price of rice was 35 in 1988. Both were good DHs, were once greats, and eventually became mass murderers. Rice played 56 games in 1989, then retired at the age of 36. It’s hard to imagine any team signing Martinez on a one-year deal in this off-season.
The Great College Football Farce: Oregon has 21 players who came through the transfer portal. Oklahoma has a 32-year-old gambler, Australian “Big” Tom Hutton. Meanwhile, Nick Saban (Alabama), Dabo Sweeney (Clemson), and Kirby Smart (Georgia) each earn $10 million per season.
• Take a long look at Ravens’ Justin Tucker when Baltimore comes to Foxboro next weekend. He is the greatest player in NFL history. He made 66 yards last year and scored 300 field goals faster than anyone in league history. Tucker made 91 percent of his attempts, averaging 136 points a year over the past decade. His $24 million deal with the Ravens is a record for kickers. He replaced poor Billy Kondev, who sent the Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI when he missed a 32-yard Gillette in the closing seconds of the 2011 AFC Championship game.
• Triston Casas does a lot of exciting things when he doesn’t like a call at the house panel. Men in blue are your friends, young man. Then there’s Brayan Bello, who wears his emotions like no Sox starter since Oil Can Boyd.
• Kind of stings when you look at these leaders who run NL on their land and you see Schwarber, Betts and Renfroe.
• Oh, and as we pile on, have you noticed that the Dodgers have grabbed NL West ninth in the last 10 years? The LA who wasted all that money on Mookie Betts (a clever Sox who doesn’t overpay for Betts, right?) is about to have a 100-win season since 2017 and should be the favorites to win the World Series. Back here in Boston, we’re celebrating the Sox “coup” of locking up 31-year-old Kiké Hernández another 0.219-year-old for $10 million. Red Sox loves year contracts more than I love ice cream.
My new favorite tennis player is Ajla Tomljanovic, Who defeated Serena Williams At the US Open while a crowd of 24,000 people cheered her all wrong. Tomljanovic, who was later eliminated in the open quarter-finals, was barely recognized by Serena’s glory hog after her victory over Williams, and patiently waited for Serena’s post-defeat celebration before giving a decent interview after many fans left Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I thought it was bad that Williams didn’t mention her opponent more when she spoke,” said old Margaret Court, who remains the record holder with 24 Grand Slam victories (three out of four after she had her first child). “We have learned to honor our opponent.”
• Congratulations to the people in Lawrence, who this week cut the ribbon on A new football field over a three-storey parking garage Near the Merrimack River. The garage/garage is called Pavilion Field in Riverwalk, an 80,000-square-foot building that houses shops and restaurants. James Taylor’s version of “Up on the Roof” by Carol King is a must-play non-stop before and after every game.
* Former Bruins boss Harry Sinden turned 90 on Wednesday. Harry was appointed head coach of the Bruins in 1966 when he was just 33 years old.
*Test answer: Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCuvey, Rod Carew, Jonny Pinch, Andre Dawson, Cal Ripken Jr., Jeff Bagwell.
Dan Shaughnessy is a columnist for The Globe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.