Good morning! The First Shot provides you with a healthy helping of links to the top Patriots-related stories around the internet to get your day started. Enjoy your breakfast, your coffee, and start your 3-day weekend off right with an early morning football fix. The links begin after the jump…
- Yesterday, I passed along the news that a photo featuring TE Aaron Hernandez’s 10-yard TD catch against the Green Bay Packers from Week 15 won “Best of 2010.”
- Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston examines how the lockout will affect the Patriots. In his view, the Pats are better positioned to be successful despite the lockout than most NFL teams.
- Patriots Football Weekly debates whether the NFL is doing the right thing by fining teams for illegal hits, being dubbed the “Pittsburgh Steelers Rule.”
- NESN.com’s Jeff Howe lays a verbal smackdown on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his ludicrous and dishonest claims that NFL fans want an 18-game regular season.
- Vince Wilfork weighed in on his Twitter account about the merits (or lack thereof) of an 18-game NFL season. Wilfork’s main point is that we don’t even know if we’ll have an NFL season, period, let alone adding two more games.
- Tom E. Curran from Comcast Sports Net takes a closer look at the tight ends drafted by the Patriots in 2010, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and how they force defenses to tip their hand pre-snap.