Max Kellerman Admits Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore Is Best Cornerback In NFL

Stephon Gilmore won’t proclaim himself as the NFL’s best cornerback (like Jacksonville Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey), but he certainly won’t stop others from doing so.
The New England Patriots cornerback was dubbed the best in the league by NFL’s player voted “Top-100 Players of 2019” and New York Jets head coach Adam Gase had high praise for Gilmore ahead of his team’s Week 2 loss to the Pats.

And now, Max Kellerman (yes, the “Patriots Hater of the Year” winner), is saying the same thing. Gilmore joined hosts Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith during Monday’s edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” and stuck to his guns about not calling himself the best corner in the league.
“You know, I don’t like to talk about myself. I like to give you all that,” Gilmore said. “You say I’m the best, I’d like you all to say that. I don’t like to really talk about myself. I like to go out and handle my business on the field. That’s one thing, I’ve been like that as a kid. I don’t like bringing the attention to myself. I like to just handle my business on the field and let my play do the talking.”
And Kellerman was quick to jump in with some high praise.
“Well, you are the best corner in football right now, I’ll say for the record,” he said.
Watch It below:

Gilmore is in the midst of his third season with New England and certainly has made a name for himself. He made the game-saving play in the 2018 AFC Championship Game against the Jaguars and even picked up his first-career pick-six this season against the Miami Dolphins.

Semi Ojeleye Makes Interesting Admission About Celtics’ ‘Fresh Start’

CANTON, Mass. — Without naming names, Semi Ojeleye in just a few words provided arguably the most telling quote on Boston Celtics media day.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the 2018-19 Celtics were a dysfunctional bunch, and oftentimes there was a negative aura around them.

And though training camp hasn’t even started yet, things seem different for the new-look squad — guys spent the summer in Boston and the rookies seem to genuinely like another. Over the last few weeks, many Celtics have been getting together to work out and play 5-on-5, and Ojeleye admitted Monday that things already are feeling much different.
“Honestly, the atmosphere this whole preseason has been great,” Ojeleye said. “Just positive, I feel like it’s a lot lighter, I feel like we are really cherishing this fresh start that we’re having, just looking forward to really being together. Being together, being a team and just leaning on one another.”
The common denominator of many of the Celtics’ issues last season appeared to be Kyrie Irving, who since has admitted he didn’t always handle things well last season. At this juncture, a fresh start seems like it was the right thing for both sides.

Chris Long, Richard Sherman Outraged By Outrage Over Jonathan Jones Hit

The internet is up in arms over Jonathan Jones’ hit on Josh Allen. People irate over the play are wrong, but they’re irate nevertheless.
And, well, Chris Long and Richard Sherman are over it.

In case you missed it, Jones was flagged for unnecessary roughness Sunday after making helmet-to-helmet contact with Allen. The hit from the Patriots cornerback forced the Buffalo Bills quarterback to the sidelines, where he watched New England earn a 16-10 victory at New Era Field. Allen was diagnosed with a concussion Monday, while Jones avoided a suspension.
The play has led to much debate, with many feeling Jones should have been ejected from the game and subsequently suspended. And that’s not sitting well with both Long, a former Patriot, and Sherman.
Long tweeted in defense of Jones, while Sherman seemingly agreed. However, Sherman put forth an argument that’s iffy, to say the least.
Take a look:

Of course the crew is clueless on that.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) September 29, 2019

It’s just a soft society now. The Burfict hit was old school. If you don’t want to get hit then stay on the ground. Every hit now is “he should be suspended or kicked out”
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 29, 2019

Or he could stay down. If you get up you are live
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 29, 2019

Sherman, of course, is referring to the brutal hit that Vontaze Burfict delivered on Jack Doyle. The Oakland Raiders linebacker was handed a season-long suspension for the play.
As for Jones, the NFL was right to not suspend the Patriots cornerback. Just because a play looks bad in slo-mo doesn’t mean it warrants outrage and punishment.

Brad Stevens Prepares For Defensive Adjustments With New Celtics Roster

CANTON, Mass. — The Boston Celtics enter the 2019-20 campaign with a refreshing clean slate, but with every new team, comes new deficiencies.
The departures of Al Horford and Aron Baynes certainly hinder Boston’s defensive upside. Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier come in as reinforcements, but the two newcomers do not provide nearly as much on defense as the former. So where does Brad Stevens start in terms of adjustments?

In the least surprising turn of media day, the Celtics head coach kept it very simple.
“Well, if you want to win at the highest level in this league, … you better be one of the best defensive teams and you better be one of the best offensive teams. At the end of the day, there’s two sides of the ball. You better play well and you better do it consistently.”
Stevens-led teams generally run on a defensive-centric mindset, but there’s a good chance this team is better on the other side of the ball. It’ll be a bit different from the norm, but the head coach isn’t thinking too much into that particular narrative.
“We’ve been lucky, because over the last five years or so we’ve been one of the better ones on defense,” Stevens added. “But it’s taken a lot of commitment from a lot of guys and it still hasn’t been as consistent as maybe we’d like. … But this team, we will make sure it’s an emphasis from Day 1 that we’re the best version of ourselves defensively and we do have some lineups, especially, that we’ll be able to go to with the right effort and focus that could be awfully good defensively.
The Celtics begin training camp Tuesday at the Auerbach Center ahead of their preseason opener on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Kemba Walker Already Drawing Rave Reviews From New Celtics Teammates

CANTON, Mass. — Kemba Walker won’t play a game for the Boston Celtics for at least another six days, but he’s already impressing his new coworkers.
Walker isn’t a total stranger to a handful of his Celtics teammates, having spent the summer with Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart on Team USA. Lately, he’s also been at the team’s facility in Brighton working out, so others have increasingly been getting familiar with the new face of the franchise.

During Monday’s media day, the reviews on Walker were positive.
“Me, Jayson and Jaylen had the opportunity to play with him and kind of get to know him a little bit more than these other guys,” Smart said. “Kemba’s a great guy, and I like that he’s a little guy, just like every other little guy he’s feisty, he has a little tenacity to him, so you love being able to talk to a guy like that and get to play with a guy like that. I think these younger guys are really going to love Kemba a lot.”
“I enjoyed playing with him,” Tatum said. “We spent quite a bit of time on the floor together, and he’s as good as advertised. He’s a great person, spent a lot of time together over there doing team meals, tourist things and playing video games. It was like a bit AAU trip.”
Second-round pick Tremont Waters has a unique connection to Walker.
Waters is from Connecticut and grew up watching Walker at UConn, following him during his Charlotte Hornets days as well. Going from a kid idolizing Walker to now being his teammate, it’s clear Waters is ready to learn everything he can from his fellow guard.
“Growing up obviously I watched a lot of Kemba film, him playing at UConn, and I watched a ton of games live,” Waters said. “I actually have a picture of Kemba and I standing next to each other, I was probably  9-, 10-years-old, cheesing ear to ear. But now I’m able to learn from him on a day-to-day basis in practice, watch him in game and hopefully at some point play alongside of him and just learning what he’s learned over the past few years in the NBA.”
When Kyrie Irving came to the Celtics, he often harped on being a leader. The reality became that Irving really is not that great of a leader, but felt compelled to be one since he was the best player on the team.
It’s clear a lesson was learned on the Celtics, as Smart, arguably Boston’s top leader, was quick to acknowledge that Walker has to earn the distinction of a leader.
“He definitely does (have to earn that leader title),” Smart said. “And that’s one thing about Kemba, his whole life, just like every last one of us here, we always had to fight to get where we are and get where we’re going. And when you have a competitor and a guy like that who’s willing to come here and know that and not just come in here thinking he deserves to (be the leader) because he was an All-Star and all that stuff, that just helps these younger guys and myself included because we see that and it makes us want to go out there and give everything we have”
Gordon Hayward is plenty familiar with Walker, having played against him for years now, and he gave a fairly thorough scouting report on Boston’s new addition.
“He’s definitely a game-changer, and I think that the pace he plays at changes games,” Hayward said. “Certainly one of the quickest guys in the league with the ball in his hands and he seems to be able to find a seam in any defense. So not only for himself, I think he plays for himself once he gets in there, but also he plays for the team. It’s definitely something I’m looking forward to, and I think he’s a great guy too so he’ll help us with the leadership too.”
However, not all the reviews on Walker necessarily are positive.
Brad Wanamaker, whose Pittsburgh team was eliminated from the 2011 Big East Tournament because of a now-famous Walker stepback jumper, set a ground rule pretty quick.
“We don’t talk about that,” Wanamaker joked.
Other than that though, Walker’s received nothing but praise.

NESN Names Ariel Legassa As Network’s New Vice President Of Digital

September 30, 2019 — NESN announced today that veteran digital executive Ariel Legassa has been hired as the network’s new VP Digital.
Ariel most recently was creative cirector, Digital Media, at NBC Sports, leading its suite of digital products, including the NBC Sports App, OTT, NBCSports.com, NBC Scores application, Regional Sports Network (RSN) web sites, as well as NBC Sports Tokyo 2010, Website, OTT and apps.
In his role at NESN he’ll be charged with recasting NESN’s digital strategy, leading new product development, as well as collaborating with production, advertising sales, and marketing in order to identify new business opportunities.
Prior to NBC Sports, the Patagonia, Argentina, native has worked in a variety of digital management roles the past 20 years at Kaulike Digital, ESPN, Fusion Productions, and Palmsite.
“The media landscape is in the midst of tectonic change,” Legassa said. “NESN Digital is at the forefront of content convergence. It’s an exciting and pivotal time to join the network.”
“We’re delighted to bring on Ariel as VP of NESN Digital,” NESN COO/CFO Ray Guilbault said. “His range of digital experiences is perfect for NESN as we evaluate strategic opportunities, and further leverage our brand and relationship with our owners, the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins.
Legassa will report to Guilbault and is part of the senior management team at the network.
NESN.com is consistently a top 20 U.S. sports web site. Compared to all other RSNs, the network has the most unique visitors and most pageviews. In addition, among RSNs, NESN has the most social media followers, most downloads of its streaming app, as well as the highest number of average unique streams per game among MLB and NHL teams for its Red Sox and Bruins telecasts.
NESN’s TV ratings rank No. 2 for all MLB teams over the past 15 years and in the top five versus all NHL teams over the same time period.

Here’s What Kemba Walker Thinks He Will Bring To 2019-20 Celtics

CANTON, Mass. — The new-look Boston Celtics held their annual media day Monday, just one day prior to the start of training camp at the Auerbach Center.
Boston has the luxury of replacing one All-Star point guard with another with Kemba Walker sliding into Kyrie Irving’s starting role. But now that he’s leading the Celtics into the 2019-20 campaign, what does the 29-year-old think he’ll provide in his new threads?

“Some veteran leadership, some enthusiasm and some positive energy,” Walker said. “That’s what I’m here for. I’m just kind of here to be myself. I think I’m pretty easy to get along with, so I think that transition and guys being able to like me and stuff like that will make the transition easier. I’m looking forward to being a part of this organization and giving it 100 percent on each and every possession and play.”
That quote alone should be a breath of fresh air for Celtics fans. Last year was swallowed by long, complex responses from Irving, but that won’t be an issue with Walker. His focus on creating camaraderie right off the bat should pay dividends for the Celtics performance on the floor.
Boston kicks off its preseason slate against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. ET.

Why Cris Carter Believes Patriots Have ‘Some Serious, Serious Problems’

The New England Patriots are undefeated. But they’re not perfect.
The Patriots’ 16-10 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field marked New England’s ugliest performance of the season. New England had outscored its first three opponents — the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets — by a combined score of 106-17, yet Buffalo’s defense gave Tom Brady and Co. all they could handle in the Week 4 divisional showdown.

To say Cris Carter came away unimpressed with the Patriots’ offense would be an understatement, as the former NFL wide receiver-turned-analyst explained Monday on FS1’s “First Things First” that New England has “serious, serious problems” despite improving to 4-0.
“I’m concerned about that offense,” Carter said. “You can only replace so many (players). (Patriots offensive line coach) Dante Scarnecchia’s gotten more shout-outs on this show than the guy that dumped (Jenna Wolfe) for the prom. We give him so much credit. But you need some talent to work with. You can’t lose your left tackle, again. You can’t lose David Andrews, which I believe is one of the most underrated football players — the center there in New England — that we have. And continuing to lose players. (Sunday) you could see, well, ‘what about Dont’a Hightower?’ When Dont’a Hightower went out of the game, you could run the ball through the middle of New England’s defense. It was a totally different defense. So that’s another injury that we must watch for.
“To me, this looked like Tom Brady in his first five years in the league. New England, brilliant special teams-wise. They get a blocked punt for a touchdown. Field position-wise, we know that. And this defense? It is nasty. Lead the NFL in sacks, they do not have one premier pass rusher, but they’re doing it with smoke, mirrors. They will crowd the line of scrimmage so bad that it confuses the quarterbacks. Now, let’s see later on when they get some veteran quarterbacks, can they keep it up? I know that secondary is the best in football, and Tom is playing to that.”

"I'm concerned about that Patriots offense. … New England has some serious, serious problems. Tom Brady looked all of 42 yesterday." — @criscarter80 pic.twitter.com/E4IBBTZUDC
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) September 30, 2019

The Patriots’ defense — which didn’t allow a single touchdown in New England’s first three games — again stood tall, totaling five sacks and forcing the Bills to throw four interceptions (three by Josh Allen, one by Matt Barkley). New England’s offense managed just 224 total yards, though, with Brady limited to 150 yards through the air while completing only 18 of his 39 pass attempts.
“I had to ask myself (Sunday): If they’re playing against 30 other offenses, do they win that game? And I would say ‘no,’ because that was awful,” Carter said. ” … New England, they do have some serious, serious problems. And that offensive line, you could see (the Bills) were getting to Tom Brady. And Tom Brady looked all of — how old is he? … Oh, he looked 42 (on Sunday).”

Tedy Bruschi Congratulates Matthew Slater On First Career Touchdown

The Patriots’ two touchdowns Sunday afternoon came from unlikely sources.
Veteran running back Brandon Bolden, who’s seldom used in New England’s offense, opened the scoring at New Era Field with a 4-yard rushing TD, his first of the season. The second Patriot’s trip to pay dirt was even more of a stunner, however, as Matthew Slater scooped up a blocked punt and dashed to the end zone for his first career touchdown.

Slater’s unexpected score paved the way for well-deserved recognition for the longtime special-teams ace. Among those who shouted out Slater was former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who took to both Twitter and Instagram to congratulate his ex-teammate.

How bout my boy Matthew Slater getting his first career TD today. I see you Captain!
— Tedy Bruschi (@TedyBruschi) September 30, 2019

View this post on Instagram

3 Super Bowls, 7 Pro Bowls, 1st career TD! Congrats Captain!
A post shared by Tedy Bruschi (@tedybruschi) on Sep 29, 2019 at 5:03pm PDT

The scoop-and-score proved to be the game-winner for the Patriots, who heavily relied on their defense and special teams in Week 4 as the Bills made life awfully tough for Tom Brady and Co.