By Kisha Tapangan
Sept. 08, 2011
The 2011 NFL season is quickly approaching and the discussions about team transactions are becoming more and more in-depth. The New England Patriots, of course, are one of the most talked about organizations and a regional sports network provided an unique opportunity to keep the conversation going.
Comcast SportsNet New England hosted an event recently to bring together fans, bloggers, players and analysts alike. New England Football Night is every Thursday night and the show line up consists of Quick Slants, Patriots Football Weekly and New England Tailgate. This event wasn't merely just to kick off a new season, the big news was that Patriots legends Ty Law and Troy Brown will be joining New England Football Night as expert analysts. Troy Brown was at the event to talk about football and current Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo also made an appearance.
The event was unique in the sense that bloggers and fans were able to not only take photos with some notable Patriots and television personalities but there was also time set aside for a Q&A period in which the crowd as able to ask Mayo and Brown questions directly.
Some of the names that came up in questions first? Haynesworth and Ochocinco.
Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco are similar in a sense that they are big name players, who've come from a controversial or troubled past just trying to make what they can of their career and what better place to do it than with an established team like the Patriots. The team has had their experiences with players, Randy Moss and Corey Dillon for example, who had an impressive skill set that was overshadowed by everything else.
A blogger asked Jerod Mayo about his thoughts on Albert Haynesworth and in true Patriot fashion, he merely answered, "He's a great guy on and off the field."
Mayo (L) with Tom Curran of Comcast Sportnet New England
Photo: Kisha Tapangan / PatriotsInsider.com
A Bill Belichick-approved response.
Jerod Mayo also spoke about the "humbling" experience he had when he was injured in play involving teammate Gary Guyton in 2009.
Hosts from the show Patriots Football Weekly also answered a few questions and what was probably the best question of the evening came from a fellow Patriots Insider contributor, Jim Poore.
Poore questioned PFW's strong confidence in running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis because in the games that where Green-Ellis performed well, they were major blowout games and the offense as a whole was impressive. Thus, the discussion of the diverse running game that the Patriots have collected in the past few seasons. PFW clarified that BenJarvus Green-Ellis was only part of a "well-balanced" running game. They also mentioned that with a quarterback like Tom Brady leading the offense, "...you will always FIND a running a game."
Troy Brown, the receiver/cornerback/punt returner (a true utility player in his days) eventually took the stage to answer a few questions as well.
An interesting revelation by Brown was that the recent cut of safety James Sanders was more surprising to him than any other cut made by the Patriots this season. Brown also discussed that if the Patriots were able to get a player like veteran Darren Sharper to help with the safety position that Sharper, who is currently 35, "will be valuable at any age". From his recollections, Brown also stated that the hardest week of preparation during his playing days were always when they were prepping to face none other than the Indianapolis Colts.
The event hosted Comcast SportsNet was undeniably a unique way to bring together football players, journalists, bloggers and some few lucky fans.
Kisha Tapangan is a contributing writer for PatriotsInsider.com She also maintains her personal blog Necessary Roughness and can be found on Twitter @KishaT. Be sure to check back for regular updates by Kisha