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Julian Edelman on OM&F: Patriots preparing for ‘tough environment’ in Buffalo this week

10.24.16 at 1:21 pm ET
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Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday to look back at Sunday’s win over the Steelers and also ahead to this Sunday’s game in Buffalo against the Bills. To hear the interview, go to the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria audio on demand page.

New England fell to the Bills 16-0 at home in Week 4, but Tom Brady didn’t play in the game. Edelman noted how a lot of things have changed since that game and the Patriots need to get ready for a tough environment.

“With Buffalo, they are a confident team,” Edelman said. “They are going to be in there and treat this game [importantly]. Any time you go to Buffalo, it’s always a very tough environment. Bills Mafia is going crazy. There’s beers being thrown. There’s freaking everything going on over there. It’s going to be a tough environment.

“The last time we played them, that’s in the past. You learn from the stuff you didn’t do right, but it’s a different time of the year. It’s a different situation, there’s different players on both teams playing now and different players on both teams that aren’t playing now. It’s one of those things that we’re going to have to have a really good week of practice and that is what it comes down to, especially when you play the Bills with a spin the dial mentality.”

As for this past Sunday, Edelman had a season-high nine catches, which were partly because of the style of defense Pittsburgh played.

“We were out there and we were just taking what they were giving us,” Edelman said. “That’s what happens when you play against a zone like that, so you just have to dink-and-dunk. We got good production from our running game. It was a pretty decent day. We had a couple of drives that were negated either by a penalty, or turnover, but other than that we just have to keep on improving and working to get the team in sync.”

Every week it seems the Patriots have had a different player leading the way, which is a good problem to have according to Edelman.

“That’s a good problem to have as a team is when you have a bunch of guys that can make plays,” Edelman said. “You look at James White, I mean he’s been doing very good this year. LG [LeGarrette Blount] has been running the ball well. Gronk is Gronk. Marty B [Bennett] has been making big plays. [Chris] Hogan has been making big plays. [Danny] Amendola has been coming in situationally making big plays. Malcolm [Mitchell], he’s made plays. There’s guys that are just making plays. Any time you have that is just going to strengthen the offense, so you don’t really go to the quarterback, especially that guy and tell him you’re open because he usually finds the guy that is open.”

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Bill Belichick goes over the finer details with Eric Rowe and it pays huge dividends

10.24.16 at 12:10 pm ET
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Oct 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (88) catches a touchdown pass against New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan (26) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Rowe (left) was in coverage on Darrius Heyward-Bey during Sunday’s game at Heinz Field. (Charles LeClaire-USA Today Sports)

One of the reasons Bill Belichick pays such meticulous attention to game film before planning for his next opponent is that he’s always anticipating something paying off that could play a key role in the game.

Late in the first quarter Sunday, his film work on the tendency of Steelers receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to hold down a defender’s arm when going up for a ball.

With just over two minutes left in the first quarter and the Steelers at their own 30, Landry Jones lofted a ball deep down the left sideline for Heyward-Bey. Slot corner Eric Rowe was tight in coverage. Rowe looked up before he got to the receiver but as he got closer to his man, Heyward-Bey held down Rowe’s left arm preventing him from fully turning around. Instead of defensive pass interference at the Patriots’ 30, the official threw the flag and called offensive pass interference on Heyward-Bey.

“I talked to the official about that play and I talked to Eric about that play because that’s something that we had talked a lot about during the week with our corners on deep balls,” Belichick said in a Monday conference call. “We always talk about it but we specifically talked about the situation this week and so when that play came up right in front of our bench. I felt like I had a pretty good look at it.

“What the official told me was that the receiver grabbed Rowe when he tried to look back for the ball and held him so he couldn’t look, which was kind of confirmed when I talked to Eric about the play as well. I couldn’t see that. I was a little bit behind. I saw more of the back of Eric and not as much of the front where evidently he was grabbed a little bit. You can kind of see it on film but it’s a little tougher. The official had a much better view of it from the other side of the play so that’s what he called.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Eric Rowe, New England Patriots

Bill Belichick explains in great detail how his coaching staff will be there for Stephen Gostkowski

10.24.16 at 11:33 am ET
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Stephen Gostkowski

Stephen Gostkowski

When Bill Belichick says he has faith in Stephen Gostkowski to “work through” his struggles, the Patriots coach is going to offer more than just moral support.

Belichick was asked about his kicker again on Monday in a conference call with reporters. Belichick was asked how much special teams coaching support there is with the Patriots. Starting with special teams coordinator Joe Judge, Belichick made it clear that Gostkowski is not in the battle alone.

“I can’t speak for other teams. I think Joe’s very knowledgable about the techniques of kicking,” Belichick said. “I know when I became a special teams coach and coached special teams for many years as an assistant coach, and I continue to be involve with it as a head coach, that’s one of the things I had to learn. I had to learn how to coach those individual specialists, the snappers, the kickers, the punters, the returners. I don’t think it’s any different than coaching any other position. Things you don’t know, you need to learn. The things you do know, you need to be able to teach to the players, however you acquire that information.”

Belichick then recalled how he’s had the chance to learn how to coach different positions from some of the greatest to play.

“Some of that certainly comes from the players, especially when you coach good players at the position that you’re coaching, you can learn a lot from them, just like I learned a lot from many of the players that I coached. Going back to people like Dave Jennings as a punts or Carl Banks or Lawrence Taylor or Pepper [Johnson], guys like that, as linebackers with the Giants. However you acquire that information, you acquire it and you have to be able to convey it and teach it to the players and recognize technique or judgment.
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Read More: Bill Belichick, Joe Judge, New England Patriots, Ray Ventrone

Tim Hasselbeck on K&C: Josh Brown situation ‘just sad all the way around’

10.24.16 at 10:49 am ET
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Tim Hasselbeck

Tim Hasselbeck

ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck checked in with Kirk & Callahan on Monday to discuss the Josh Brown situation, among other NFL matters. To hear the interview, go to the Kirk & Callahan audio on demand page.

Hasselbeck, a former NFL quarterback, was asked how he would feel if Josh Brown was on his team and he had to share a locker room with him.

“Well, here’s what I would say, and just for full disclosure, not that I am friends with him, I don’t have the guy’s phone number or anything, but I have been around Josh a couple of times,” Hasselbeck said. “I’ve actually been around his family a couple times. You don’t always know is all I can say as a player. I am not speaking for an investigation from the league or anything like that, but you just don’t always know what is going on someone’s personal life. Just, you don’t. I think when you’re in the locker room, you tend to give people the benefit of the doubt in terms of how they are and how they live or what they are really about. So look, listen, reading the stuff that I guess became available last week — whether I was reading about stuff from Greg Hardy or any of these other players that it’s happened with in the past — yeah, I think at that point, I don’t think you necessarily judge somebody as much you just go, ‘Wow, this actually isn’t the guy that I knew.'”

He was then asked if he was surprised when he found out about Brown’s domestic violence history.

“Listen, I don’t know that we want to get into this, but I didn’t know the guy was abused as a kid,” Hasselbeck said. “I thought there was a lot that was surprising there. Listen, I am going to be candid about this and maybe I shouldn’t be, but I’ve met him and his wife and his daughter and I think more than anything it’s just sad. It’s easy sometimes to look at guys with football uniforms on and that’s who they are — there’s a lot of lives affected on all this stuff and I think it’s just sad all the way around.”

Lastly, Hasselbeck was asked if he was surprised by the way the NFL and the Giants have handled the situation, especially considering the Giants re-signed Brown after they knew what he did.

“Again, I don’t know the process of gathering all the information on that stuff and I don’t know what those guys do and you never know, a lot situations you go to the Greg Hardy situation — there’s cooperation and there’s not cooperation on the other side of it, so me personally I don’t know any of those details,” he said.

Added Hasselbeck: “I think we would all agree that it would have been good for everyone to have the information to make a decision that was the right decision. It doesn’t seem like that is the case. I’ll grant you that. Like I said, I think it’s sad all the way around. It’s really sad all the way around. I’m sure that everyone feels like it would have gone differently.”

Read More: Josh Brown, Tim Hasselbeck,

Tom Brady: Patriots have ‘Trump’ and ‘Clinton’ audible calls

10.24.16 at 10:22 am ET
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Tom Brady said the Patriots have audibles for both Trump and Clinton. (Stew Milne/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady said the Patriots have audibles for both Trump and Clinton. (Stew Milne/USA Today Sports)

During the Giants and Rams game played in London Sunday morning, the microphones on the field caught one of Eli Manning’s audible calls being named “Trump.”

The Patriots are a team that make a lot of calls at the line of scrimmage and on Kirk & Callahan Monday morning, Tom Brady said the team has a call similar to that and even has one called “Clinton.”

“Oh, really? We have a call like that too,” Brady said. “We have a call.”

Added Brady: “We do. Trump and Clinton, we have two calls.”

(Click here to see more of what Brady had to say in his weekly interview.)

The quarterback noted how important the calls are to the Patriots offense and sometimes he doesn’t like how they get picked up on television.

“Certainly a lot of people watching, so they listen to everything,” he said. “They have the microphones and you can pretty much hear everything. Obviously there is a lot of communication that goes on up front. It goes for both teams. A lot of mechanisms of your offense is based on what you say.”

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Read More: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Tom Brady,

Tom Brady on K&C: Patriots offense will feature different players each week

10.24.16 at 10:09 am ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about Sunday’s 27-16 win over the Steelers, among other things relating to the Patriots offense. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.

Julian Edelman had a season-high nine catches for 60 yards, while Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett combined for just five catches. Brady said that was because of the way the Steelers played defense, as they didn’t want the tight end duo to have a big day.

“[Edelman] had a lot of opportunity based on how they really chose to play us,” Brady said. “We had some good matchups there in the middle of the field and I tried to get it to him. He was able to make some plays and really get into the defense, show his run after the catch. It was a very productive day for him. We really needed it. They made it tough in a lot of ways for our offense to really create big plays, but we had a lot of those plays underneath and Jules was a big factor in the game.”

Brady said the tight ends didn’t complain much as they know how the offense works.

“They really don’t. I think for our offense right now, I think it’s going to be different players each week,” he said. “They understand. They all want the ball. They are all working hard to get open. Sometimes the coverage that the defense is playing dictates where you throw the ball and if they are not in that position, they are all smart enough to know that’s not when they are going to get it. I think [the Steelers] were pretty intent on not letting Gronk and Marty have big days yesterday.”

Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point for the second time in as many games and he’s now missed a kick in six of his last eight games dating back to the AFC title game last season. Brady isn’t concerned, though.

“I just think you show support and encouragement,” he said. “He’s a great kicker. He’ll find his rhythm. I don’t think anyone is really worried about that. He’s one of the best kickers that has ever played the game. I have 100 percent confidence he will find his rhythm.”

Running back LeGarrette Blount had his third game of 100 or more yards rushing this year as he finished with 127 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns. The quarterback noted how important it’s been for Blount to get off to a good start this year.

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Read More: Julian Edelman, Martellus Bennett, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady

Tom Brady on K&C takes hard stance against domestic violence: ‘I have no respect for that’

10.24.16 at 9:10 am ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

One of the biggest topics in the NFL over the past few years and even more so this week with the Josh Brown situation is domestic violence.

Brown was suspended only one game to start the season, but then more information came out this past week, which forced the NFL to place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list. Brown didn’t travel to London over the weekend for the Giants game against the Rams.

On his weekly appearance with Kirk & Callahan on Monday morning, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked a few questions about Brown’s situation and domestic violence.

The quarterback took a hard stance against the issue.

“I grew up with three sisters, I was very fortunate to learn from a loving father and a loving mother how to treat and respect women,” Brady said. “I have a daughter of my own and domestic violence is a horrible issue. It’s a tragedy when it happens. Any type of abuse or bullying of people who can’t defend or fight for themselves, I have no respect for that. Like I said, the NFL, they claim to take tough stances and this is their situation. This is their situation to deal with. I’ll let them deal with it. Like I said, I was very fortunate to grow up with sisters, a mother — I condone no part of that. That is absolutely something I would never be apart of or do. It’s a terrible tragedy.”

Brady was also asked if it’s frustrating that Brown only received a one-game suspension and he received a four-game suspension for being “generally aware” of deflated footballs in the AFC title game in 2014.

“I think it is the league’s issue,” Brady said. “Obviously, there is a lot of controversy with that. I’m trying to stay out of all that. I will let them handle it. I think that is their responsibility. I certainly don’t condone any part of domestic violence. I think it is a terrible, terrible thing. I think the league, they have to handle those types of things.”

Added Brady: “I’m just going to stay in my lane. Like I said, it’s up to them to decide whatever they want to do. I’m just going to try try and stay out of any kind of my opinion. I certainly have opinions, I just don’t really care to share them.”

Read More: Josh Brown, Tom Brady,
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