Author Archives: Danny Jaillet
by DANNY JAILLET
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.-– An old adage states “hope springs eternal” and for the Boston College Eagles, they hope that that adage rings true this season. After a dismal 2-10 campaign, the Eagles enter 2013 completely revamped. For starters, former Temple head coach Steve Addazio will be entering his first season at The Heights. Addazio replaces former Eagle defensive coordinator and head coach Frank Spaziani who after leading the Eagles to moderate success ended his tenure unceremoniously in November.
Signing Day brought more hope to the Eagles and their fans, as 17 recruits were brought in including the head coach’s son Louis and former Florida Gator offensive lineman Matt Patchan. According to a report from Boston College-based sports blog BC Interruption Boston College’s current roster, (totaling 80 players) heading into spring practices (which begin today) breakdown as follows:
Seniors 15 (18.8%)
Juniors 29 (36.3%)
Sophomores 22 (27.5%)
Redshirt Freshman 14 (17.5%)
Furthermore, BC Interruption also broke the roster down by position.
wide receiver / tight end 17
offensive line 15
defensive back 12
defensive line 11
running back / fullback 5
punter / kicker 4
long snapper 1
As if that wasn’t enough, they also broke it down by state or province.
Massachusetts 21 (26.3%)
New Jersey 12 (15%)
New York 4
Even though he is gone, Spaziani’s presence is still felt on the roster. Throughout his tenure at Boston College, he had a pipeline in Ohio and New Jersey (where he is from). Ohio has yielded some good recruits , most notably current Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. What is striking to me about these numbers is that there are six from Pennsylvania and five from Florida. Prior to being the head coach at Temple, Addazio served under current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer at Florida. He was the offensive line coach, assistant head coach, and offensive coordinator. In turn, it makes sense that there is a large contingent of Pennsylvania and Florida recruits are currently on the roster.
Boston College’s spring game is Saturday, April 20 at 1:00 PM. Rain and the date (March 31) yielded poor attendance at last year’s edition so hopefully there will be a better turnout for this one. I would imagine so given the amount of intrigue with the new head coach and new recruits in the fold. For now however, here we sit marred by snow, sleet, and ice with the spring game a little more than a month away. Snow is not on the minds of the Eagles and their coaches however as their practice bubble gives them welcome shelter as they begin their spring practices and in turn strive for a winning season as they try to return the glory and respectability of the program.
by DANNY JAILLET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.— According to a report from Gregg Rosenthal from the NFL.com’s Around The League blog, the Patriots and former St Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola have agreed on a five-year deal worth $31 million with $10 million guaranteed. The consensus is that Amendola will replace Wes Welker, who now of course is a Denver Bronco.
The former Texas Tech Red Raider caught 63 passes for 666 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games played last year. In four years of NFL experience, he has 196 receptions for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns. Much like Welker, Amendola is a quick slot receiver. In that respect, he is comparable to Welker. However, he does not have the same durability that Welker possesses. As the report notes, Amendola missed the entire 2011 season and five games in the 2012 campaign for what the report calls “heal, foot, and clavicle problems.” In contrast, Welker has missed a total of three games since the 2005 season.
The $10 million in guaranteed money is the same amount that Wes Welker left New England for (two years, $10 million). That fact alone is interesting. Whatever the case may be, Amendola has some big shoes to fill. It remains to be seen whether he can put up Pro Bowl-like numbers, but there is a very good chance that he will be a solid replacement for New England come the 2013 campaign.
by DANNY JAILLET
ENGLEWOOD, Colo..— According to a Tweet from Adam Schefter, New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has agreed to join forces with Peyton Manning, signing with the Denver Broncos for two years and $12 million. Schefter tweeted the following earlier this afternoon.
“Wes Welker lands a two-year, $12 million deal from the Broncos. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker. Have fun, Peyton.”
Last season, Welker was New England’s top receiver finishing with 118 catches and 1,354 yards as well as six touchdowns. Consistency has been a trademark during Welker’s time with the Patriots. In six seasons with the team, he has eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark five times. His best season came in 2011 when he recorded 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns.
There is little doubt as to whether New England has boosted Welker’s value on the market. Welker has truly had career years with the Patriots and as a result has 8,580 career receiving yards and 38 touchdowns in his career. He thrived in New England’s offensive system as a slot receiver and was quarterback Tom Brady’s favorite target when he was in a jam particularly on third down and distance plays.
Now, he is going from one Hall of Fame quarterback to another. It will be interesting to see how the Broncos utilize Welker. In addition, it is interesting that the New England did not match Denver’s two-year offer. One has to wonder if they have something in store on the defensive side of the ball.
Either way, it will be strange to see Welker in a new uniform next season wearing Broncos’ Orange, Navy, and White instead of Red, White, and Blue.
By DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON– According to a report from James Murphy of ESPNBoston.com, the Bruins want to bring in some talent from overseas. Darren Dreger of TSN first reported that Boston is in talks with prospect Carl Soderberg to bring him over from the Swedish Elite League once the season ends.
Soderberg was acquired by the Bruins in exchange for goalie Hannu Toivonen back in July 2007. He has not played with the Bruins however as he “has yet to play game in North America or attend a Bruins training camp.” The 27-year-old has had a very promising start this year over in Sweden. The Malmo, Sweden native has tallied 31 goals and 29 assists in 54 games so far this season.
Overall, he has played very well overseas. He began his career in the Swedish Elite league in the 2003-04 season and spent two seasons there before playing in the Swedish Division I Ice Hockey League for two more seasons. Since then, he has switched between the two leagues. These past two campaigns have yielded consistency as he has spent them with Linkoping HC. The same can be said for his performance, as he has tallied at least 30 points in as many seasons. (35 in 2011-12 and 60 so far this season).
If Soderberg decides to come over after his season ends, this would give Boston an additional scoring threat. Right now, Patrice Bergeron is shouldering the load offensively leading the team with 20 points. Tyler Seguin, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand are also finding their rhythm offensively, and adding a fifth potent scorer to the mix would certainly be a welcome addition for the Black and Gold.
By DANNY JAILLET
Before you decide if you want to read this piece or not, let me give you a two-word summary of what it’s about: Manti Te’o. However, let me assure you that I will not rehash everything that has gone on in the past two months or so. I will not retell his bizarre story and every detail that has gone along with it. Rather, I will take a look at his story and tell you how it has benefited him. Yes that’s right, I said that this whole humiliating scandal, one that has made him undergo a quick transformation from decorated football player to terrible punch line has benefited him. Before you pass any judgment, just please hear me out.
The whole girlfriend story started in the fall of 2012. Supposedly Teo’s girlfriend and grandmother died on the same day. From that point on it was a storybook season for both Te’o and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame ended up finishing the regular season undefeated, and Te’o finished third in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting. In addition, he won the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Dick Butkus Award, Maxwell Award, Bronco Nagurski Award, Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award, Walter Camp Award, and the Lott IMPACT trophy. To put it simply, he was one of college football’s most decorated players. He finished the year with 113 total tackles, which ranked him second in the nation. In addition, he finished with seven interceptions. He was a defensive “beast” and played like one throughout the majority of the season.
However, the National Championship Game was a stark contrast to his regular season performance. He totaled 10 tackles, which is a small number when you consider that he had more than 10 in three regular-season games. Even though he was less than stellar on the biggest stage, he still had a very good season.
However, what he have gotten all the recognition if it were not for his suspect story? Would he have finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting had America not fallen in love with the underdog who suffered great personal loss? Being a linebacker, the fact that he had a chance to win the award was an accomplishment in itself. Heisman Trophy candidates have been either running backs or quarterbacks the majority of the time and it is very rare to see a defensive player win college football’s most coveted award.
From his point of view, people are calling him everything from stupid to gullible to ignorant. But how stupid is he? Whether he believed or not, he was smart enough to go along with it. After becoming beloved by the sports world, winning accolades and finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting why wouldn’t you go along with it? Why wouldn’t you go along with a story that catapulted you from college football star to national celebrity?
We can laugh at him, degrade him, and berate him all we want but the fact of the matter is, he has the potential to be a first-round draft pick. Granted, he did have the opportunity to be a top-five draft pick before this whole hoax but even still, he is closer to his NFL dream than ever before.
He will be the subject of many jokes for the rest of his NFL career, but in the end, he will be living his dream. What if this hoax never happened? Would he be in this position today? Chances are he probably would not be, which is why at the end of the day this hot mess was his benefit.
By DANNY JAILLET
LITTLETON, Mass.– In what was a thrilling basketball game between two Tiger teams, one ultimately came up short. Unfortunately for head coach Paul Howes and the Maynard Tigers, it was they who would suffer the bitter taste of defeat with a 70-59 loss.
The first half was very evenly matched, with neither team gaining a substantial advantage on the scoreboard. Maynard held their own against the number one seeded Tigers trading buckets throughout much of the first two frames. Both squads had tremendous energy and fed off of the energy from the raucous fan sections. Littleton was down 31-27 with just seconds to go in the first half when star player Chris Murray hit a deep three-pointer to bring the game within one.
The second half was a different story. The blistering up-tempo play of Littleton appeared to be taking its toll on Maynard, who seemed to have lost much of the energy that they played with in the first half. It was during this stretch that Murray put the team on his back. He ended up scoring a game-high 31 points, and was particularly effective from three-point range, draining a few three-pointers from behind the three-point line. His quickness and speed also allowed him to get inside the paint and drive to the basket, something that Maynard could not stop. Murray led all Littleton scorers with 31 points while fellow senior classmate Ryan Sullivan chipped in 12.
Even in defeat, Maynard played hard and with the effort that has become a trademark of Howes-coached teams. Junior Ryan Fowler led Maynard with 19 points while senior Colby LeSage added 12. For LeSage, this was his last high school basketball game. Although Maynard lost, this season was not by any means a failure. The Tigers finished the year at 16-6 and with LeSage being the only senior, the future looks very bright for Maynard basketball.
Littleton (21-1) plays the winner of tonight’s game between Abby Kelley and South Lancaster Monday at WPI. The game will tip-off at 7:30 PM.
By DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON– According to a report from Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, the Celtics have signed another big man, with the hopes of adding another formidable presence inside the paint. Boston is set to sign power forward Shavlik Randolph to a 10- day contract according to team sources connected with Forsberg.
The Raleigh, North Carolina native has played in 95 games over an NBA career that has spanned five years. However, he has not played in the league since the 2009-10 campaign in which he split time with the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers, appearing in six combined games that season.
Randolph spent the start of this season with the Foshan Lions of the Chinese Basketball League. This makes him the third Celtics signing in 10 days who has come out of China. He played very well while there, averaging 32 points and 14.6 rebounds in 28 appearances for the Lions.
As noted in the article, he is a ferocious rebounder. In the minimal NBA action that he has seen, he has posted an offensive rebound rate of 15.1%. His rebounding skills will be very beneficial for Boston especially rotation-wise, as now they have multiple big men that can come off the bench. The Celtics have appeared to address their rebounding needs, and that is a good sign as the team gears up for a playoff run.
CELTICS EXTEND CONTRACT OF WILLIAMS
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski the Celtics have signed guard Terrence Williams for the remainder of the season and conditionally for the 2013-14 campaign. His original contract was a 10-day agreement. Williams has put up respectable numbers during his time with the Celtics so far. In four games, he has averaged 4.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 14.1 minutes. His versatility and his ability to get teammates involved will be key assets as the playoffs approach.
by DANNY JAILLET
LITTLETON, Mass.– There is an adage that goes “the third time’s a charm.” For the Maynard Tigers, they hope the “charm” comes, in the form of a win tomorrow night when they face off against rival Littleton Tigers in the second game of the 2013 MIAA basketball playoffs. Both teams are coming off impressive wins. Littleton’s last game resulted in a 70-59 win, as they beat Quabog in the Small School championship game of the Clark University high school basketball tournament back on February 23.
Maynard meanwhile is coming off an impressive victory of their own. Maynard Junior Ryan Fowler anchored the Tigers blistering offensive attack as he tallied 19 points. Also playing well was freshman Cal Howes as he chipped in 15 points. Perhaps most impressive was the Tigers team defensive effort as they held the visiting Bethany Christian Eagles to just 10 points in the first half. Maynard’s suffocating defense combined with their sharpshooting resulted in a 61-28 win. However, the Maynard Tigers know that this upcoming game tomorrow is not going to be an easy contest.
Littleton and Maynard have squared off twice this season. Back on January 8, Littleton star junior Chris Murray tallied 23 points while fellow classmate Alex McLaughlin chipped in 12 more as Littleton gave their home fans a 70-59 victory. A rematch came on January 31 when the two teams met in the Maynard High School gym. This time it was Ryan Sullivan providing the offensive spark as he tallied 19 points. Chris Murray chipped in an additional 15 points and while he was not the leading scorer, he certainly made his presence known. Juniors Sean Peterson and Jeff Gately scored 12 and 13 points respectively but Maynard’s valiant efforts were not enough as Littleton won the game 71-44.
If the Maynard Tigers want to win tomorrow and advance, they need to contain Chris Murray. Plain and simple, he is their star player. He presents a matchup problem because he is one of the taller kids on Littleton, which makes him very difficult to defend especially on the perimeter. He is a very good midrange shooter as well and that dual-threat capability makes him a tough matchup. This also means that with the extra attention given to Murray, there may be some holes in the defense and other players may be given open looks. However, Murray was really a “thorn in Maynard’s side” last game so I think if they can stop him, a victory is definitely in the cards.
My prediction for tomorrow’s game is that Littleton will give Maynard a tough challenge. With that being said, I am predicting a Maynard victory.
PREDICTION: MAYNARD 63, LITTLETON 60
BOSTON– According to a report from CBS Boston.com, the Bruins are one of many teams expressing interest in Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere. However according to Franks Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News, Briere has :a full no-movement clause.” This means he cannot be sent to the minors without permission and that he will not waive the clause to be traded to any NHL team. He said as much when he spoke to the Daily News.
“I don’t want to comment on anything at this point,” Briere told the Daily News. “Trades are not my department. I’ve been a Flyer for a long time. My heart belongs in Philadelphia with the Flyers. I can’t see myself playing anywhere else.”
The 35-year-old veteran has five goals and six assists totaling 11 points in 17 games played this season. The fast start this season is just a snippet in what has been a storied NHL career. In 830 games, he has totaled 285 goals and 654 points. He began his career with the Phoenix Coyotes back in the 1997-98 season. He then spent four years with the Buffalo Sabres, before joining the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2007-08 campaign.
The Gatineau, Quebec native would provide some additional veteran playoff experience. In 108 career playoff games, he has scored 50 goals and tallied 59 assists for a total of 109 points. The only downside to an acquisition like this would be that the Bruins may have to give up too much in the way of young talent and prospects in order to complete this deal. In a deal like this, particularly when some of the Bruins younger players have really performed well , the risk may outweigh the reward.
With that being said, it will be interesting to see whether the Bruins make moves either at or before the trade deadline as they gear up for the final stretch in this difficult, condensed season.
by DANNY JAILLET
BOSTON– As spring training unfolds, we have seen many former Red Sox players come to Fort Myers and assist in training the current roster. Just this year, many familiar faces who called Yawkey Way home at one time or another have re-involved themselves with the team. On January 24, former Red Sox star ace Pedro Martinez was announced as the Red Sox “Special Assistant to the General Manager.” Last week it was announced that Tim Wakefield, the retired veteran knuckleballer and staple of the Red Sox pitching staff for many years, would be helping newcomer Steven Wright perfect his own knuckleball. Today, another familiar face came to town as Mike Lowell made his return to the Red Sox, just in a different capacity.
According to a report from CBSBoston.com, the Boston Globe reported that Lowell came to spring training with the goal of helping current third baseman Will Middlebrooks at the hot corner. The four-time All-Star and Gold Glove award winner in 2005 played with the Local Nine from 2006-10 and won World Series MVP honors in 2007 when the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies. As the article notes, Lowell’s .974 fielding percentage is the best all time among players who have started at least 600 games at third base.
When asked about the assistance of Lowell, Middlebrooks had nothing but positive things to say about his tutor and seemed to like the move when he spoke to the Boston Globe:
“Any time you can work with someone who has won World Series and won Gold Gloves, I’m all for it. It’s great to have that at your disposal.”
It is refreshing to see players who meant so much to the Red Sox organization like Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek,, Tim Wakefield, and now Mike Lowell come back and take part in trying to produce a winning ballclub for the 2013 season. It can only mean positive things, as the club tries to get themselves back to the playoffs and in the right direction.