Mass. College Football: Locals Invited To NFL Rookie Mini Camps

Merrimack's Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)
Merrimack’s Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

As noted on our blog yesterday, Bentley University graduate student Nick Halloran was invited to this weekend’s New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp.

“Just amazing news, not a better way to start the day,” Halloran told the Boston Globe on Tuesday.

Halloran isn’t the only local college football player to earn an invite to a rookie mini camp this weekend as Framingham State’s James Muirhead will attempt to earn a spot with the St. Louis Rams, while Middlebury College’s Ryan Moores, who prepped at Governor’s Academy, will tryout with the Atlanta Falcons.

“I’m braced for it,” Muirhead told the Brockton Enterprise on Tuesday. “I understand what’s going to happen. But you know what? I’m not there to make any friends. I’m there to compete. I’m going there to get a job.”

Merrimack College’s Isaiah Voegeli became the fourth player in program history to sign with a professional team as the Hyannis native inked his name on an undrafted free agent contract Monday with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Voegeli said in the college’s release.  “I can’t thank head coach Dan Curran enough for his help and guidance and preparation to get me to this point. This is a dream come true that I’ve dreamt about since I was 7, to just have a shot and I’ve been blessed this opportunity.”

Voegeli will leave the North Andover campus as the all-time receiver in multiple receiving categories, which includes catches (211) and yards (3,554). He also ranks second in program history with 34 touchdown receptions, too.

Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, the Boston Herald reported that Muirhead, Voegeli and Moores, along with Assumption College’s Nick Haag and Boston College’s Jim Noel worked out with the Falcons, Patriots and New Orleans Saints.

New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints (Post-Game Links)

The New England Patriots earned their first preseason win on Thursday, as they defeated the New Orleans Saints, 7-6! (Photo Credit:

By Matt Noonan 

Thursday’s preseason match between the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints is officially in the books, as the Pats earned a 7-6 victory. New England will return to the gridiron in 10 days when they host the Philadelphia Eagles, but before that particular kick-off, here are some links/stories from their one-point victory.

* ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss provides an interesting analysis on the game with a few good, bad and ugly moments.

* The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young crafted a piece about Dane Fletcher, who apparently tore his ACL on special teams.

* In case you’re looking for the AP recap — has it on their website.

* The Metro West Daily News has an interesting take on the Patriots first preseason game, as well as the play of Tom Brady, too.

* In Friday’s Boston Herald, Jeff Howe wrote about the Patriots defense, which only surrendered two field goals in a span of 60 minutes. Also, Karen Guregian provides an interesting take on Brandon Lloyd‘s first game.

The Wackiest Wednesday In NFL History


It’s been a busy day in the NFL.

* The Denver Broncos traded quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets in exchange for two draft picks.

* The NFL announced that New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton would be suspended for the upcoming season without pay due to his team’s bounty program, which began when defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was hired in 2009. Williams has officially be suspended indefinitely, while the team’s GM Mickey Loomis has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 season. Also, the Saints will be fined $500,000, too.

* Finally, beneath the Tebow trade and league ruling on the Saints – the San Francisco 49ers resigned quarterback Alex Smith to a three-year contract. According to the Associated Press, Smith will earn $8 million per year with $16.5 million guaranteed.

So, without further ado – we’d like to know your thoughts on what was the biggest story of the day thus far? Cast your vote below!

NFL 2012 Hall Of Fame Game Announced


The NFL announced on Wednesday that the New Orleans Saints, who were originally selected to to play in the Hall of Fame Game, will face-off against the Arizona Cardinals on August 6, 2012.

The Cardinals haven’t made a trip to Canton, Ohio since they were the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986, while the Saints haven’t played in this particular game since their 20-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007.

Finally, the NFL Network will broadcast the exhibition game, too.

Noonan: AFC/NFC Conference Championship Predictions

Can Ray Rice repeat his 2009 postseason performance against New England's defense on Sunday? (Photo Credit:

By Matt Noonan

Last week, I went 3-1. This week, I am expecting to go 2-0, but let’s see what happens!

New England 27, Baltimore 24 – I am super excited for this matchup, especially since these two teams always find a way to end the game with a dramatic sequence. Baltimore defeated New England last time these two teams met in the postseason, 33-14. Running back Ray Rice tallied 159 yards on 22 carries, and two touchdowns, while quarterback Joe Flacco finished the game 4 of 10 for 34 yards. Although, the true matchup to watch on Sunday will be the Ravens defense against the Patriots offense. Tom Brady tossed six touchdowns last weekend against Denver, and certainly is capable of tearing apart Baltimore’s secondary. However, if Baltimore’s front seven can pressure Brady, as well as control the time of possession on offense, then they’ll win the game. Yet, if New England can control the time of possession, and contain Rice, they’ll win.

San Francisco 24, New York 20  – I am not exactly the biggest fan of head coach Jim Harbaugh, but what he’s done in San Francisco has been rather impressive. Harbaugh revamped the 49ers defense to become one of the best in the league, and against Eli Manning, I’m expecting the front seven to not only pressure him, but also record two or three sacks, too. Alex Smith proved he’s a clutch quarterback, as he tossed three strikes to the end zone last weekend against New Orleans, which included the game winning touchdown to Vernon Davis. San Francisco handed New York a loss earlier this season, and once again, I am expecting them to defeat the Giants in the City By The Bay.

Noonan: NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions

Can Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos keep their playoff magic going on Saturday against New England? (Photo Credit:

By Matt Noonan 

Here are my predictions for the NFC Divisional Round.

New Orleans 30, San Francisco 21: The Saints cashed in on five offensive series in the second half against the Detroit Lions last weekend, and are expected to keep their high-flying offensive attack going against the 49ers on Saturday. Drew Brees clearly is on a mission, which is why I believe they’ll defeat San Francisco, and advance to the NFC Championship game for the second time in three seasons.

New England 28 – Denver 16: The story of Tim Tebow has been fascinating, but against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, I’m expecting him to struggle, and possibly throw two or three interceptions.

Baltimore 28 – Houston 21: Earlier this season, the Ravens defeated the Texans, 29-14. Joe Flacco completed 20-of-33 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown, while Billy Cundiff kicked five field goals. Can Baltimore duplicate their week five performance against Houston on Sunday? My answer… YES!

New York 24 – Green Bay 21: This is a total shot in the dark, but the Giants have gained a great deal of momentum over the past few weeks, and might have what it takes to knock out the defending NFC and Super Bowl champions. I like New York’s front seven on defense, especially since they could provide a great deal of chaos toward quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If the Giants pressure the Packers, and force a few turnovers, then expect Big Blue to walk away winners on Sunday.

NFL Postseason Schedule Announced


The NFL announced the 2011 playoff schedule on Sunday, and here are the potential match-ups.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 – Wild Card Round 

* (No. 6) Cincinnati at (No. 3) Houston Texans — 4:30pm eastern 

* (No. 6) Detroit at (No. 3)  New Orleans — 8:00pm eastern 

Sunday, January 8, 2012 — Wild Card Round 

* (No. 5) Atlanta at (No. 4) New York — 1:00pm easter 

* (No. 5) Pittsburgh at (No. 4)  Denver — 4:30PM eastern 

Saturday, January 14, 2012 — Divisional Round 

* Atlanta/New York/New Orleans at (No. 2) San Francisco (Afternoon) 

* Cincinnati/Denver/Pittsburgh at (No. 1) New England (Evening)

Sunday, January 15, 2012 — Divisional Round 

* Denver/Houston/Pittsburgh at  (No. 2) Baltimore (Afternoon)

* Atlanta/Detroit/New York at (No. 1) Green Bay (Afternoon) 

Sunday, January 22, 2012 — AFC/NFC Championship Games

* AFC Championship — 3:30pm eastern 

* NFC Championship — 6:30pm eastern 

Sunday, January 29, 2012 — NFL Pro Bowl

* AFC vs. NFC — Time TBA 

Sunday, February  5, 2012

* AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion — Time TBA