Friday, September 12, 2008


Dan writes about Mat Cassel’s long standing role as second fiddle to a three-time Super Bowl winner and two separate Heisman trophy winners. It is a decent look at Cassel and the road that has led him to his first start in a meaningful game in a decade.

It’s really not a bad article overall, but I would take issue with a few points:

- For the umpteenth time this week, I have heard that Matt Cassel has not started since high school. Shaughnessy’s statement today is that “The last time he started a football game was Nov. 24, 1999, when he quarterbacked Chatsworth High to a 49-42 loss to Palisades Charter High School in the third round of the Los Angeles City Invitational playoffs.” This is not completely true – he has started some preseason games. Granted I get the point but he may want to couch his statements better.

- Dan perpetuates the whole shtick about Belichick’s unwavering faith in the system when he writes “The Patriots believe the system is bigger than any player and that is why Cassel is the QB rather than an experienced backup from the NFL scrap heap.” This is another oft-repeated claim and I don’t buy it. I do think it is true that they won’t transform their approach to a player who would not fit (Culpepper?) but I think Cassel has stuck with the team and is now the starter because he is talented. The fact that he knows the playbook after three years also goes a long way. It’s not like they pulled a high schooler off the streets because they believe he "fits the system"

- If Shaughnessy is going to write an article like this, a fresh perspective would be to interview his college coaches to get their perspective on his talent. Was there a significant difference between him and Palmer and Leinart? Or was it more slight? Would have been a good angle to explore

- Finally, he ends the column with a "string the quotes together" technique

Again, not a bad article but could have been better
(Edit: Corrected link, Thanks DB!)
(Edit 2: When I wrote this critique Friday, I said this column could have been better and this is what I had in mind:...Bob Hohler's piece is an excellent read this morning about Cassel)


roger bournival said...

I wonder if this is good for the Globe?

Ordinarily, anxiety would seize the entrenched management of a financially challenged public company when an outsider suddenly shows up with a sizeable new holding of its battered stock. But not Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and scion of the beleaguered New York Times Co., which has increasingly become the target of investor angst and ire.

In a previously scheduled town-hall meeting Thursday at New York Times headquarters, Sulzberger disclosed that the purchase of a 6.4 percent stake in the Times Co. by Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim HelĂș and his family came as no surprise. According to staffers who attended the meeting, Sulzberger said he'd been aware of the potential for an investment as a result of previous conversations he'd had with Slim's representatives about the Times's plight and prospects.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the biggest challenge for Belichick is not the game plan, but whether he can keep Randy Moss happy in a system that will probably be much more conservative ( more running game , ball control) then last year. Will Randy continue his transformation into a team player / captain if he isn't getting as many touches as he would normally get?

dbvader said...

Good link

roger bournival said...

Is this good for the Globe?

The Boston Globe plans to shutter its Billerica printing plant by 2010, affecting as many as 200 employees who work at the site. The paper plans to keep its main printing plant in Dorchester.

(so much for helping the working man...)

The decision is the latest in a series of moves by the Globe, a unit of The New York Times Co., to (offset revenue losses) reduce expenses because of declining print circulation and advertising.

‘‘We are closing our Billerica printing plant because (no one's buying our freakin' newspapers anymore) we no longer need as many presses to print all the copies of the Globe,’’ publisher Steve Ainsley said. ‘‘This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one that will (do in the place of a tourniquet) strengthen the financial position of the business.’’

Other newspapers have (grabbed ankles as well) taken similar actions. The Boston Herald recently said it would close its sole printing plant in Boston, rather than upgrade its worn-out presses, and let go 130 to 160 workers. Dow Jones & Co. and Boston Offset will print the paper. Last year, The Patriot Ledger in Quincy cut 130 jobs when it shifted printing to the Globe. (so much for outsourcing.)

Globe spokesman Bob Powers said the Billerica satellite plant will probably close in 2009 or 2010. He said it’s unclear how many of the 200 workers at the 15-year-old plant would lose their jobs, adding that it depends on negotiations with labor unions and production decisions.

(I'm betting all of them. What's yours?)

Many of the affected workers are pressmen represented by the Boston Newspaper Printing Pressman Union No. 3. A union official could not be reached for comment.

(Not the BNG? Curious...)

Powers declined to say how much the Globe would save by closing the plant. He said the company is working with real estate brokers to sell the site.

The company has not decided where to print local copies of The New York Times, which have been printed in Billerica, Powers said.

(I hear there's a Globe printing operation in Norwood; not sure why the axe's not being swung there.)

In the first half of this year, overall revenue fell (like a rock) 9.6 percent at New England Media Group, which includes the Globe,, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. The Globe has aggressively cut expenses, including trimming jobs through buyouts and attrition.

Monkeesfan said...

Shank seems to think that "the system" doesn't work and the Patriots should blow it up and do what other teams have done over the years. That "the system" allows greater flexibility for the Patriots than other teams' systems, that players Shank and others (Michael Felger) apparantly want the Patriots to retain/sign (Deion Branch, Daunte Culpepper) are not good enough to fit with the team - clearly never is considered by these people.

And Dave M nails it by noting that Cassel is still with the team because he's a genuinely good player - everyone (including myself) has forgotten than in those games 2005-7 where he was asked to lead scoring drives (Miami, Tennessee, Miami again, and Washington), in three of them he led the team to touchdowns.

Chris said...

I find it ironic and more than a bit amusing that the elite Liberal media love to trumpet job losses and unemployment when the vast majority of those job losses come from their industry. As for cutting expenses, I'll bet Shaughnessy stuck to his per diem while in China. I'll also bet that a dozen pressmen would be able to last another few months on the job if Shaughnessy didn't grovel for and get that foolish junket to China.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the multibillionaire son of a lebanese shoe-shine boy will tolerate many of Cancer Dan's snide, chauvanistic digs at Jews (I mean Krafts), blacks and now, inevitably, Mexicans. And his name is Slim, hahahahaha. Get it.

Anonymous said...


300,000 people will read the Globe today and 300,000 will read the Globe tomorrow.

(I'm channeling my innner-OB!)

Your pal,


Anonymous said...

The Belichek haters (Shaughnessy, Callahan, Borges) must be crying in their cereal this morning. They were all set for their Monday morning columns on the Pats loss to the Jets and tales of how all of Belichek's success is attributable to Brady, not his ability as a coach. Go figure, he screws the whole thing up by coming out with a game plan that works!

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #9 - you forgot one Belichick hater - Felger. But they'll all come out with something to justify continuing hatred of Belichick.

Anonymous said...

Notice that all but Borges failed to put out a column (Felger and Borges stuff can be found at WEEI website). Of course Borges took pains not to mention Belichick at all, the only mention in his column/blog was to include a quote from him abut Cassel's performance. If he addressed the game plan he would have to give the coach credit, so he just focused on Jet failures and Cassel performance.

Objectivebruce said...

In this week's episode, the part of Mr. Shaughnessy was played by Howie Carr's Wednesday column.

Anonymous said...

wow .. sounds just lie him:

Whiney Patriots fans just can’t take a hit
Then there’s Coach Belichick, whose effervescent personality lights up the world, as they say, like a three-watt bulb. It is premature to begin referring to him as the Cinderella of the NFL? I mean, his team has turned into a pumpkin four years in a row now.

But look on the bright side, all of you Pats fans still living at home in your mom’s basement. The Red Sox [team stats] may yet force another lame victory parade on the city this year, but at least there won’t be any post-Super Bowl riots this February in Kenmore Square, or at Zoo Mass.

Anonymous said...


Just to show you I'm an equal time kind of dude ...

Howie Carr is staggeringly unfunny. Massively, ridiculously unfunny.

And, hey, how 'bout we retire the whole, "mom's basement" line? Been used to death. Show of hands. Unanimous? Good.

Your pal,