Much of the media is beginning to shift its attention to the college basketball stretch run and the advent of baseball's spring training. Nonetheless, the World Champion New England Patriots remain in the news as the team undergoes its offseason roster shuffle. A considerable move occurred yesterday, when assistant offensive line/tight ends coach Jeff Davidson left New England to join Romeo Crennel's staff in Cleveland. Davidson, who will serve as Crennel's offensive line coach, was considered a top candidate to replace Charlie Weis as Patriots offensive coordinator. Michael Felger of The Boston Herald has more on the Davidson exodus.
In his notebook, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe covers Davidson's decision, as well as some more big words from Eagles wideout Freddie Mitchell. Apparantly, being held to one catch in a losing effort against the Patriots was not enough for Mitchell, as he continued to badmouth the champs during an interview with Sports Illustrated's Peter King.
Tom Curran of The Providence Journal asserts that Davidson's departure indicates he was never really much of a candidate to succeed Weis. Curran goes on to examine the other in-house candidates among the current Patriots assistants.
Scott Van Voorhis of the Herald reports the city of Boston will attempt to use its newfound status as America's sports capital to leverage itself some major events in the future. The Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission, which includes top executives from the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox, has indicated it would like to pursue events ranging from the NBA All-star game to the NCAA hockey and basketball tournaments.
Also in the Herald, Christopher Cox forecasts what should be a busy book season chronicling the Patriots success this season, as well as looking to place the recent run of success into historical perspective.
Michael Smith of ESPN.com details the early experience of Crennel in Cleveland, also explaining the journey that has brought "RAC" to the top of his profession.
Finally, The Blitz is happy to share an uplifting story of generosity and goodwill encountered while on the road in Jacksonville for Super Bowl XXXIX. Amidst too many stories of scalped tickets and promised Super Bowl packages gone undelivered, we met Eagles fan Alex Mairone. A displaced Philly diehard, Mairone works as a golf professional at a Jacksonville golf club. Sporting his Eagles gear as a show of support in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Mairone was besieged with one question: was he going to the game? He was not, as a Super Bowl ticket was a luxury he did not believe he could afford. The Friday before the big game, as Mairone planned to watch the game on TV, he was stunned by a remarkable gesture. A dozen of the club's members had pitched together to buy Alex one ticket to the Super Bowl in a unique offering of thanks and kindness. Team allegiances aside, this is one tale that made The Blitz' Super Bowl trip special.