EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 30, 2013

Hector Longo's Two-Minute Drill


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — THE CLOSER

He played surrounded by the weakest of weak supporting casts especially on a porous offensive line that got him sacked four times, with the home crowd booing him vociferously at times, yet Tim Tebow again got the job done, pulling out the win in the second half.

“Tim had all the boo birds out the play before and then he comes back and throws a touchdown,” said teammate Ryan Mallett. “Just shows what kind of player he is, his character.”

Take that all you naysayers.

The question remains, will Tebow earn a roster spot? Honestly, I have no reason why he would, so my guess would be yes -- simply because Bill Belichick is wont to go against the grain more often than not.

In all seriousness, there is still some electricity when Tebow gets in the game. And I still think he can hurt teams, coming out in sub packages. This was a nice, little final push from the former Heisman winner from Florida.

And I loved it.

THE QUESTION MARK

Will Ryan Mallett ever get it done in the NFL? Preseason or not, he is robotic and strangely mechanical, for a kid who can probably throw it from Foxboro to Aaron Hernandez’ Franklin flop house on the fly.

Mallett bored the Gillette Stadium gathering in a 10-of-16, 117-yard first half, the lone real highlight being a 40-yard TD bomb to Josh Boyce.

This was supposed to be the pivotal summer, year 3 in Mallett’s pro career. And Mallett basically held serve. There’s just no “Wow” factor with him.

So remember this. He’s not the answer if Tom Brady gets hurt. And he’s certainly not the guy for the future here.

THE MIND-READING

What can we make of Bill Belichick resting many regulars, but playing several on-the-bubble types?

Very little.

There will be guys who sat last night who will be cut by Saturday’s 6 p.m. deadline to reach 53 players.

There will be guys who played that are cut.

Some possibilities:

Jake Ballard -- The tight end stolen from the Giants? He was out there deep into the fourth quarter. That can’t bode well. Might be one of those surprise cuts.

Leon Washington -- Another veteran who played a lot yesterday. Not sure this team needs his skill-set. Chances are 50-50 at best.

Adrian Wilson -- Veteran safety played. I hope he didn’t buy a home here or take a long lease.

LeGarrette Blount -- Wasn’t happy about not playing. “I hope for the best, and I hope they like me,” he said, “this running back group is amazing.” That said, I think he makes it. He runs tough. This football team craves “tough.”

ZAK ATTACK

Leave it to the Ivy Leaguer to keep his head when other hot-heads around him (like this reporter) are trying to dig up some conspiracy theories.

So Zak, what’s up with Belichick rubbing it in, by throwing that late TD?

DeOssie, a former Patriots ballboy, said: “Nope, situational football, he’s just working with his team.”

DeOssie went on to point out, “All good coaches would do it. You may remember a fake punt against them a couple year ago? It’s football.”

Point well taken, sir. And best of luck in pro season No. 7 to the pride of North Andover and Phillips Andover Academy.