Preseason Games 3 & 4 Review: Prison Mike & the Brandon Bolden Show

It’s been a really fun summer kicking our old friend Chad when he’s down. Sorry Chad, but you lost me when you blamed Belichick for your crappy season. Speaking of crappy and season, I’m glad as hell to have this preseason officially over with. Here are a few notes from what has been a pair of prostate exams masquerading as football games.

Don King And the Most Complicated Penalty in the World:
Belichick and Coughlin’s deuling stroke fest was easily the comedic high point of the Pats preseason. Last night’s replacement official Don King (you’ve got to be fucking kidding) managed a complete meltdown on a double penalty that held up the game for 5 solid minutes. Not an exaggeration in the least. I didn’t even believe it myself until someone posted a video. I was laughing so hard it flew by. It went from obnoxious to hilarious to just kind of pitiful and then back up and down the ladder again. Watch for yourself:

First of all, there is absolutely no way I wasn’t the only one thinking this:

Not only does the guy looks like Steve Carell but he pulled off a Michael Scott style mess on broadcast TV. It really doesn’t help his case that his voice sounds like Prison Mike explaining the contents of gruel omelets either. And “Don King”…. Don King is the name of a stumpy Italian replacement referee? You couldn’t have even tried to sneak by with Donald like the guy at the RMV named Chuck Norris that strictly goes by Charles to avoid getting laughed at? Maybe anything less hilariously comparable to a loud mouthed crazy haired black boxing promoter? Was Michael Scarn already taken as a pseudonym?

Cunningham Trade?

Here me out on this one. I like Cunningham and I’ve pulled for him since he was drafted. But after seeing him play as a 3-4 OLB and a 4-3 end I think I have to say I liked him a lot better as a stand up backer. I think his strength is his speed rather than hand fighting or working in the trenches. I wouldn’t be surprised if he played last night as a way of possibly showcasing him as trade bait to a 3-4 defense. Houston jumps to mind and could use the depth after losing Mario Williams. Pittsburgh and Baltimore both have big holes on defense now, but tend to like their OLBs a little thicker. Indianapolis is trying to slap together a 3-4 with their old 4-3 personnel. San Diego is another 3-4 team that lacks pass rushing talent. I hope he stays but I don’t know how shocked I’d be if he got dealt somewhere else.

The Brandon Bolden Showcase And The Final RB Spots
Number 1 you can basically thank Brandon Bolden for basically diving on the grenade and eating up enormous chunks of time for 91 yards on 21 carries to get two pointless games over with. That’s not bad considering plenty of those runs were telegraphed as hell and took almost nothing to stop. Bolden is actually tied for 2nd in the NFL for the most carries in the 2012 preseason. That’s 36 carries for 128 yards. That’s quite a bit of work for a guy unless you plan on keeping him.

If I had it my way it would be Ridley, Woodhead, Vereen, Demps and Brandon Bolden as a short yardage/fullback role. The Pats brought in 3 fullbacks for the start of camp and none of them showed anything. Kettani is the last one left standing and it just seems really unfortunate to have a guy make a Patriots roster by default. We’re supposed to be better than that. Kettani hasn’t been bad per say, just kind of inconsequential. They finally let him carry the ball last night and he basically fell forward for 12 yards on 4 carries. He can still catch which is a big selling point, but he didn’t break anything there either.

Demps is supposedly monitoring a possible knee injury and might get snuck onto the PUP as a way to hide him for a few weeks while he gets up to speed. That last part comes courtesy of Mike Florio who, as he often does with the Patriots, sites absolutely no sources and passes off his own theory as common speculation amongst the league.

Tavon Wilson:
Our illustrious 2nd round draft pick sat out the 3rd game but showed up nicely last night against the Giants. If you missed Wilson drilling Martellus Bennett to break up what should have been an easy catch then you missed maybe my favorite moment of this otherwise stale preseason. They don’t make TE’s much softer than powder puff Marty B (if it was a bowl of Captain Crunch he would’ve hung onto it), but it was still an encouraging note from a guy who is supposed to be a TE killer.

Photo Credit: Rich Schultz/Getty Images

DB Battles:

  • Marquice Cole
  • I think Cole scored himself a roster spot. Belichick had in coverage for much of game #3 and sat him for the 4th game along with most of the 1st stringers.

  • Sterling Moore
  • I said it earlier and I’m saying it again: you either get one Sterling Moore or another. He either makes a nice play for a stop or the receiver completely shakes him and he gives up a catch. If you ask me I think he’s in danger of being cut.

  • Ras-I Dowling
  • Demonstrated that physicality he’s known for by pulling off a stick and drive tackle on 280 lb TE Bear Pascoe last night. He’s still rough around the edges but it’ll be interesting to see where he’s at by mid-season.

  • Malcolm Williams
  • The special teams gunners actually have looked great so far. I actually stood up and applauded when our 7th round pick from 2011 actually did something last night and made a great tackle on a punt return. He’s never going to be a coverage guy but I think things are finally coming together for him as a special teamer. I might have to upgrade him from waste of a draft pick to nominally useful but let’s not go crazy.

  • James Inhedigbo
  • For what it’s worth I loved this guy last year. He’s a long way from talented and is usually good for the Ellis Hobbs Two Minute Drill (play for 2 minutes then hobble off the field only to come back 5 minutes later). But he plays like a Patriot. He basically didn’t exist all preseason. He might be getting kind of a raw deal here for all the hard work he put in last year, but I barely even noticed he was there for the last 4 games.

  • Josh Barrett
  • Once again avoids the disgrace of being cut by going to “IR.” Bullshit. Just retire.

  • Nate Ebner
  • I’ve heard a lot of criticisms about the rookie but he honestly looks better than a lot of the veterans… or at least the guys who haven’t been playing rugby. I don’t hate him as a coverage DB in a pinch.

  • Sergio Brown
  • Actually made a really nice play last night. Hopefully it lands him a job somewhere else because he’s been invisible otherwise.

    What the Hell Happened To Brian Hoyer?
    Seriously what the hell? Two months ago people were talking about trading him for draft picks. Now he looks like the catcher from Major League II before Tom Berenger got him reading the Victoria’s Secret catalog. A year ago the guy was at least competent. I don’t know what his problem is but you can absolutely forget about trading anything for him.

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