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What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday: ‘Bill Belichick is the greatest coach ever’

01.19.15 at 1:28 pm ET
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Here’s what the pundits were saying about the Patriots after their win over the Colts in the AFC championship game Sunday:

NFL Network’s Michael Irvin on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick: “I think [Bill] Belichick is the greatest to ever coach. Bar none.”

NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk: “[Bill Belichick] is changing what you call ‘good coaching.’ Good coaching was having a system and finding players to fit it. Good coaching is now coaching the players you have and doing things to make them better.”

NFL Network’s Deion Sanders: “I’ve never seen a matchup that you didn’t check off the New England coaching staff with [Bill] Belichick. He always wins the coaching matchup … [The New England Patriots] have veteran players that they put in the right situations to be successful. They outcoach everybody.”

NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk: “Bill Belichick finds an identity for his team regardless of what it is, who it is, who the players are, and he gets the win. Once again Bill Belichick [and] Tom Brady they’re in the Super Bowl.”

NFL Network’s Deion Sanders: “[Tom] Brady is the attitude of the offense and Bill Belichick is the attitude of the defense. Collectively what these guys do, week in and week out, year in and year out, they’re consistent with who they are.”

NBC’s Al Michaels after the game on the upcoming Super Bowl matchup: “So many great early storylines to think about: Two chess masters, Belichick and Carroll, going head-to-head. Two hugely successful quarterbacks, Brady and Wilson, with vastly divergent styles. Two teams that will come to the Super Bowl with anything and everything in the back of their playbooks — fake punts, wide receivers throwing passes, eclectic formations and who knows what else. In Marshawn Lynch and LeGarrette Blount, the equivalent of identical twins at running back. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman against ‘The Legion of Boom.’ Darrelle Revis matched up against anybody. Richard Sherman matched up against anybody. And two teams that rarely face each other — only three meetings in the last 21 years. These are just the appetizers.”

NBC’s Cris Collinsworth: “This will be a legacy Super Bowl. Will it be Seattle winning back-to-back Super Bowls with a young team capable of many more, or Tom Brady and Bill Belichick winning their fourth? … This is the first Super Bowl in a long time that I have no idea who will be favored.”

NBC’s Tony Dungy: “The Patriots are hitting on all cylinders. They do so much on offense and show so many different looks. Every game plan is a little different, and it’s a huge advantage. … This will be a chess match that boils down to how the Patriots defense will handle the Seahawks run-option offense, and how the Seahawks defense handles the precise, inside passing game of the Patriots.”

NBC’s Rodney Harrison: “The Patriots returning to the Super Bowl is no surprise. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were prepared and the team is confident. There’s no set game plan with Belichick. He’s always trying to find the right mix to win the next game.”

Read More: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, marshall faulk, Michael Irvin

Julian Edelman on MFB: ‘We just so happened to do a lot of things right’ vs. Colts

01.19.15 at 12:59 pm ET
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Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and defensive end Chandler Jones joined Middays with MFB on Monday to discuss Sunday’s rout of the Colts in the AFC championship game. To hear the interviews, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Patriots had their way with Indianapolis on both sides of the football Sunday night.

“They’re a good team. We just so happened to do a lot of things right,” Edelman said. “We played a complementary football game. … We were just able to execute at a high level last night. Hopefully that goes on to two weeks.”

Said Jones: “It’s good for the coaches to give out a game plan, but at the end of the day it’s up to the players to execute and buy into what the coaches are coaching. I feel like our players did a good job of buying into the coaches’ game plan, and we outexecuted the other team and it definitely showed on the scoreboard at the end of the game.”

Jones credited fellow defensive end Rob Ninkovich with having a standout game.

Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

“I want to personally take the time to point out Rob Ninkovich‘s game that he had last night,” Jones said. “I just finished watching him. Rob had a tremendous game. It might not show on the stat sheet, but he did a really good job of pressuring Andrew Luck. Like I said, I want to shout him out. That was a great game by Rob Ninkovich.”

Edelman said he knew nothing about the controversy regarding allegedly underinflated footballs.

“I’m not even getting involved in this one,” Edelman said. “Ask coach Bill Belichick on all situations.”

Added Edelman: “Those guys [on the sideline] didn’t do anything. They’re probably just overreacting on something. It’s ridiculous, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’re going to just try to get better for Seattle.”

Offensive lineman Nate Solder scored a touchdown in the third quarter, catching a short pass from Tom Brady and running into the end zone. Edelman said he was happy to share the spotlight with his underappreciated teammate.

“Those big dogs, they do all the grinding work each and every week. They don’t ever get the credit they deserve,” Edelman said. “To see one of your big dogs get a touchdown, especially in such an important game, it’s always awesome. You get to see those guys, they light up like a Christmas tree. It was awesome to see that.”

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Read More: chandler jones, Julian Edelman, Rob Ninkovich,

Arthur Jones on brother Chandler: ‘I always want to beat my brother in everything that we do’

01.19.15 at 12:13 pm ET
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Chandler Jones was able to beat his brother Arthur in Sunday's AFC championship. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Chandler Jones was able to beat his brother Arthur in Sunday’s AFC championship. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It was a win-win situation for the Jones family Sunday night — they were going to the Super Bowl no matter what.

If the Patriots won, Chandler would be going. If the Colts won, Arthur would be going. But, there wasn’t much doubt as the Patriots rolled to a 45-7 win and Chandler will be playing in his first Super Bowl in two weeks in Arizona.

Despite the loss, Arthur was proud of his younger brother, especially for all he went through this season, missing significant time with a hip injury.

“The kid is a champion. He’s a warrior,” Arthur said. “He battled through injury, I congratulated him. I don’t want to be a sore loser, my mom and dad raised me better than that. Hats off to them. We’ll be ready to go next time.”

“As a competitor you always want to go to the Super Bowl,” he added. “I always want to beat my brother in everything that we do. Hats off to them. It’s a team sport, they won fair and square, but we will be back.”

This wasn’t the first time the two brothers have faced off — it was the fourth time the brothers faced each other since Chandler, a first-round draft choice in 2012, joined his brother in the NFL. Arthur was fifth-round pick in 2010 by the Ravens and this was his first season with the Colts.

“I’ve played against my brother before and he has beaten me. I have beat him before too,” Chandler said. “It was kind of a win-win for my family — they get to go to Arizona no matter what. It was a great win.”

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Arthur Jones, chandler jones,

Reports: League looking into report of deflated footballs in AFC title game

01.19.15 at 10:09 am ET
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Multiple reports now indicate the NFL is looking into the report of deflated footballs being used in Sunday’s AFC title game.

The initial report was first made late Sunday evening by Bob Kravitz of WTHR-TV in Indianapolis.

“I was told by an NFL source that the league was looking into — or going to look into — the possibility that the Patriots deflated the footballs,” Kravitz told WEEI on Monday morning. “I thought it was outlandish, but this particular source has never steered me wrong before.”

Added Kravitz: “When I heard it, I thought, man, that’s outlandish, do I really want to go with this? And then I thought, well, everybody thought the idea of them taping practice was outlandish. So, at the end, it’s a source that I trust implicitly, and I’ve never been steered wrong before.”

According to NFL rules, officials test game footballs two hours prior to kickoff, and they can measure the pressure during the game. As a result, it’s not clear how a team could deflate footballs surreptitiously during a contest.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady laughed off the talk on WEEI on Monday morning, saying he had “no idea” what the controversy was all about.

“I think I’ve heard it all at this point,” he said.

Added Brady: “That’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots,

Tom Brady on D&C: ‘Just a great win by our team’

01.19.15 at 9:08 am ET
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Tom Brady is heading to the Super Bowl for an NFL record sixth time. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and the Patriots had plenty to celebrate after Sunday’s rout of the Colts. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, following Sunday night’s rout of the Colts in the AFC championship game. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“It was just a great win by our team,” Brady said. “It was an exciting one to be a part of. We put a lot of work into this year, and then to have it culminate in really a great all-around performance last night, it was pretty sweet for everybody.”

The Patriots were 2-2 after four games and raising concern for their inconsistent play before turning things around. Brady said he takes no additional satisfaction because of where the team was at the end of September.

“I don’t think it does [matter],” he said. “Look, there’s a lot of people that say good things about you, there’s a lot of people that say bad things about you. I think just as professional athletes you have to show up to work every day and focus on doing your job and doing everything you have to do to help your team win and succeed at a high level on a weekly basis.

“Sometimes it doesn’t go right, as I said, all season long. You don’t win every single game. You’re certainly never going to throw in the towel. We stayed focused, we stayed with what we were expecting ourselves to do, which was make improvements over the course of the season. It puts us in a pretty good place going into the playoffs, and we took care of business twice at home. So that was a great thing.”

After being favored in both of their AFC playoff games, the Patriots are underdogs for their Super Bowl matchup against the defending champion Seahawks. Brady claims the Patriots won’t use this underdog status as inspiration.

“Whatever it is, it is. I don’t know who makes those decisions or things like that,” he said. “We’ll go in there with a lot of confidence. It doesn’t matter whether they think you’ll win or lose. A lot of people think we’ll win, a lot of people think we’ll lose. None of that stuff really matters to us.”

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Read More: LeGarrette Blount, Nate Solder, Richard Sherman, Tom Brady

Tom Brady on report of Patriots tampering with game balls: ‘Ridiculous’

01.19.15 at 8:22 am ET
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Tom Brady, during his Monday morning appearance with Dennis & Callahan, termed a suggestion that the Patriots were tampering with game balls “ridiculous.”

(To listen to the entire interview, click here.)

According to multiple reports, the NFL will investigate whether New England did not inflate the balls to the required amount so that Brady and his teammates could get a better grip on the balls in the wet weather.

Brady said he was not aware of the report, claiming, “I have no idea” what the controversy was about.

“I think I’ve heard it all at this point,” he said with a laugh.

Added Brady: “That’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”

Bob Kravitz, the columnist for Indianapolis’ WTHR.com who broke the story late Sunday night, also joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, and he explained how the story came to his attention.

“I was told by an NFL source that the league was looking into — or going to look into — the possibility that the Patriots deflated the footballs,” Kravitz said. “I thought it was outlandish, but this particular source has never steered me wrong before.”

Added Kravitz: “When I heard it, I thought, man, that’s outlandish, do I really want to go with this? And then I thought, well, everybody thought the idea of them taping practice was outlandish. So, at the end, it’s a source that I trust implicitly, and I’ve never been steered wrong before.”

If the Patriots are found to be guilty, they are expected to receive a harsh punishment from the league.

“My understanding is that it would be exactly like they did with the whole spygate deal, that they could take away draft picks,” Kravitz said.

(To listen to the Kravitz interview, click here.)

For more from the Brady interview, check the It Is What It Is blog later in the morning. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bob Kravitz, Tom Brady,

Robert Kraft on blowout loss in Kansas City in Week 4: ‘I wasn’t optimistic’

01.19.15 at 5:11 am ET
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Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

FOXBORO — Even Robert Kraft admitted Sunday night following the Patriots’ 45-7 win in the AFC championship game things didn’t look good for the Pats when they lost to the Chiefs, 41-14, in Week 4, dropping their record to 2-2 in the process.

But, the Patriots rallied around one another and won seven straight following the game and came away with their sixth straight AFC East title at the end of the year, and now after Sunday, their sixth Super Bowl trip in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era.

“I wasn’t optimistic,” Kraft said in the locker room after the game. “I love these guys, but in the end, this is a game of execution. You can practice well, do everything well, but you get a report card every Sunday or Monday night. But this is pretty special.”

“It was a bad game, and one thing I’ve learned in this business, losing is the worst, but you never get too high or too low,” he added. “That was a devastating loss and it got me in the gut, but they came back against Cincinnati and then rattled off I think seven games I believe against the best teams in the league with excellent quarterbacks.”

With the Patriots advancing to the Super Bowl, Kraft has now set the record for most Super Bowl appearances by an owner with seven. Kraft has 23 career postseason wins, which ties Eddie DeBartolo. Jr for the fourth most in NFL history by an ownership group. The Rooney Family is No. 1.

“I pinched myself,” Kraft said. “This is our 21st season and this is our 10th AFC championship game, so it’s almost every other year, which I never would have dreamt that. How privileged we’ve been to have such great people associated with us.”

The owner is already looking forward to the Super Bowl and going up against his former coach, Pete Carroll.

“I don’t think of us stopping them, I think of us trying to win our fourth Super Bowl. They have a pretty good coach,” Kraft said.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Robert Kraft,
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