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Boomer Esiason on D&C: Titans ‘fools’ for taking ‘malcontent’ Randy Moss

11.08.10 at 9:16 am ET
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NBC Sports football analyst Boomer Esiason made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to dissect the Patriots’ 34-14 loss to the Browns. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Esiason said it’s clear that the Browns are not that bad and the Patriots aren’t as good as many people were saying leading into the game. Said Esiason: “This is what you call a ‘corrector’ in the eyes of the NFL. ‘€¦ Maybe the Patriots, they’re not the best team in the NFL at this point.”

Esiason said the Browns coaching staff put it all on the line to win this game, and it paid off. “Obviously, this game means a lot to both sides, I don’t care what you say,” Esiason said. “I know Bill Belichick has got the Super Bowl rings, he’s the mentor, if you will. But at the end of the day, the other guys on the other side put everything into this game.”

Added Esiason: “It’s one of those games, guys, I just put it in the back and say, ‘Let’s file it.’ If we happen to see the Cleveland Browns, which I don’t think will happen in the playoffs, then we’ll make amends for it.”

Despite the outcome and the apparent lack of readiness by the Patriots, Esiason said the Pats remain in good shape heading into the season’s second half. “Did Bill Belichick not have his team ready, is that where we’re going with this? I guess you could say that,” he said. “But they’re still 6-2. They’re still exceeding everybody’s expectations to the halfway point of this season. And now it’s a mad dash for the finish. And that’s what the second half is always about. And one of the things about the Patriots, which has always been, I think, their moniker: When they win championships, they win because they win in December and January. That’s when the games really start to count, especially when you give yourself a 6-2 start over the first eight games of the season.”

In Minnesota on Sunday, embattled Vikings coach Brad Childress was asked about how he stands with team ownership, and he responded by saying he didn’t need to seek compassion like quarterback Brett Favre. While some have criticized Childress for the comment, Esiason loved it. “That was great!” Esiason said. “I’m glad, finally, somebody said it! Finally, somebody is not politically correct and says what they finally feel, and we’re going to criticize him for that? Not me. I say that guy gets a gold star for that one.”

Randy Moss is now a member of the Titans, but Esiason doesn’t think it was a smart move for Tennessee to claim the receiver on waivers. “I’m not amazed, because there’s always going to be one fool out there,” he said. “The Tennessee Titans are the fools in this case, I think. They think they’re going to stick him in there with Vince Young, who has a hard enough time completing passes as it is. Now you’re going to put this malcontent in the middle of that locker room. I love [coach] Jeff Fisher. He’s somebody who I have an ultimate amount of respect for. I think he is really reaching on this one. It’s kind of telling that they were the only ones that put a claim in for Randy Moss.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, boomer esiason, Jeff Fisher, Randy Moss

Tom Brady leaves Nike for Under Armour

11.08.10 at 8:18 am ET
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Tom Brady told Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King that he recently signed a contract to endorse Under Armour after his deal with Nike expired in the summer. The deal includes a financial stake in the 14-year-old Maryland company.

“Under Armour’s everything I was looking for,” Brady said. “It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s what so many of the kids are wearing, and I like to try to stay cutting-edge. I like the company. I think we’ve got a lot in common. We both want to stay hungry, stay humble.”

King reports that Brady is Under Armour’s first superstar athlete, and the quarterback will appear in commercials and print ads starting in early 2011.

Under Armour’s highest-profile endorsers are Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, swimmer Michael Phelps and skier Lindsey Vonn.

“At this point in my career, it’s got to be about a product I believe in,” Brady said. “I felt there wasn’t anything better out there. This is such a young company to be where they are. This kind of tells you where the market’s at.”

Read More: Nike, Tom Brady, Under Armour,

Tom Brady on D&C: ‘We knew we were in for a dogfight’

11.08.10 at 7:03 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Monday Morning for his weekly chat as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady said the Pats did not take the Browns lightly before Cleveland rolled to a 34-14 victory Sunday.

“Believe me, we knew we were in for a dogfight,” he said, adding: “We were prepared. We were forewarned 50 times last week. We’ve got to take the coaching better, and get back to playing the way we need to play.”

Added Brady: “I wouldn’t say we played tough, smart or physical yesterday. Those are our strengths, and we didn’t play to those.”

Asked about the late-game celebration by the Browns coaches who are former Patriots assistants, Brady said, “It’s just their personality,” and if the Pats didn’t like it, they should have played better to prevent it. “When you play well, you can do whatever you want, as far as I’m concerned,” he said, adding, “They deserve it. They won.”

Read More: Tom Brady,

Christopher Price’s Pats Chat

11.08.10 at 12:56 am ET
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Christopher Price’s Pats Chat

Tom Brady: ‘We’re not going to beat anybody’ like that

11.07.10 at 6:08 pm ET
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Tom Brady ended his post-game press conference in Cleveland on Sunday much the same way the Patriots played – abruptly and in frustration. The quarterback endured the ugliest loss of the season which also end the Patriots’ five-game winning streak.

“I’m done. Thanks guys,” said Brady, who might as well have been saying that to his teammates when he was pulled by Bill Belichick for Brian Hoyer with less than two minutes left in the 34-14 loss to the Browns.

Brady was harassed all afternoon and held to 19-of-36 passing for 224 yards and two touchdown passes to Aaron Hernandez in a 34-14 loss to the Browns in Cleveland.

“We were out of sync all day,” Brady said. “That’s a good way to put it. We just didn’t have a good day at the office.”

During the game, a visibly-frustrated Brady was spotted shouting at his offensive unit, apparently trying to motivate his receiving corps which had trouble getting open all day. The running game could never get going, either. Danny Woodhead lead the Patriots with nine carries for 54 yards. In all, the Patriots rushed 20 times for 68 yards.

“We all have to do a better job. All groups have to do a better job.”

Quite the contrast from Cleveland’s 44 rushes for 230 yards, led by Peyton Hillis and his 29 carries for 184 yards and two TDs.

Brady was 1-for-6 in the first quarter for 10 yards while the Patriots opened 0-for-3 on third-down conversions as they fell behind 10-0. The Patriots finished just 3-for-11 on third down on the afternoon.

“We just didn’t do much to advance the ball,” Brady said. “There were a lot of big plays in this game and ones we didn’t convert.”

Hernandez’s first score came when he made a leaping grab in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to 10-7. But the Browns, behind Hillis, scored 17 straight points and dominated the time of possession, 38:08 to 21:52.

“If we play the way we did today, we’re not going to beat anybody,” Brady said. “Just an awful day.”

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns

Postgame Notes: Browns 34, Patriots 14

11.07.10 at 6:05 pm ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here are some postgame notes from Sunday’s Patriots-Browns game:

G LOGAN MANKINS MAKES HIS DEBUT
G Logan Mankins, who reported to the Patriots earlier in the week, made his 2010 debut with a start at left guard. Mankins has now started all 81 regular-season games that he has played.

TE AARON HERNANDEZ RECORDS FIRST TWO NFL TOUCHDOWNS
Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez registered his first two NFL touchdowns. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a 2-yard score in the second quarter and then had a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

HERNANDEZ MAKES BIG PLAYS
Hernandez had a 22-yard reception late in the second quarter and now has a reception of 20 or more yards in seven of eight games.

HERNANDEZ ON GOOD PACE
Hernandez led the team with five receptions for 48 yards against Cleveland and now has 34 receptions in 2010 to go along with his 436 receiving yards. The Patriots franchise records for rookie tight ends are 37 receptions (by Greg Baty in 1986) and 636 receiving yards (by Russ Francis in 1975).

WELKER EXTENDS STREAK
Wes Welker extended his streak to 71 straight regular-season games with at least one reception. He has caught at least one pass in each of his 57 games with the Patriots, including three postseason games. The last time that Welker did not catch a pass in a game was December 24, 2005 when he was with the Dolphins. He has caught at least one pass in 54 consecutive regular-season games as a member of the Patriots. The Patriots’€™ record for most consecutive games with at least one pass is 63 by TE Ben Coates (12-17-92) to (12-15-96).

WELKER FORCED TO KICK
Welker was pressed into service as a kicker for the second time in his career and was successful on an extra point attempt and handled a kickoff both in the fourth quarter. Welker was filling in for the injured Stephen Gostkowski (thigh). While with Miami in 2004, he was pressed into action in a game at New England (10/10/04) and converted one extra point, a 29-yard field goal and also handled kickoff duties.

MAYO AIMS FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT GAME WITH 10-PLUS TACKLES
LB Jerod Mayo had his fifth-straight game with 10-plus tackles after finishing with 10 against Cleveland. Mayo became the first Patriots player to go five consecutive games with 10-plus tackles since LB Ted Johnson had 10-plus tackles in five straight games in 1999. Mayo had 17 tackles at Miami (10/4), 19 vs. Baltimore (10/17), 12 at San Diego (10/24) and 17 vs. Minnesota (10/31). Today’€™s game was Mayo’€™s sixth game in 2010 with 10-plus tackles. He had 11 in the opener vs. Cincinnati (9/12).

MAYO ON HIGH TACKLE PACE AS HE GOES OVER 100 TACKLES FOR THE SEASON.
Mayo has 104 total tackles in 2010 and is on pace for a career high 208 total tackles. That number will be the highest since LB Clayton Weishuhn had 229 tackles in 1983. Mayo had 139 tackles as a rookie in 2008 and 114 in 2009 and with 104 tackles in 2010 he is the first Patriots player to have three consecutive 100-tackle seasons since Lawyer Milloy registered five straight 100-tackle seasons from 1997 through 2001.

WOODHEAD HAS CAREER HIGH 26-YARD RECEPTION
RB Danny Woodhead had a career-long 26-yard reception in the second quarter to help set up the Patriots first touchdown. His previous best was a 24-yard reception at Tampa Bay (12-13-09) when he was with the Jets. Woodhead finished the game nine rushing attempts for 54 yards and a 6.0-yard average and two receptions for 38 yards.

BRADY MOVES UP ALL-TIME TOUCHDOWN LIST
Tom Brady entered the Cleveland game tied with Jim Kelly for 17th place on the NFL’€™s All-Time Touchdown list with (237). His 2-yard touchdown pass to TE Aaron Hernandez moved him to sole possession of 17th place with 238 career touchdown passes and his 1-yard touchdown pass to Hernandez moved him into a 16th place tie with Len Dawson at 239 career touchdowns.

BRADY MOVES PAST UNITAS ON THE NFL’€™S ALL-TIME COMPLETION LIST
Tom Brady had 19 completions to move past Johnny Unitas (2,830) into 20th place on the NFL’€™s All-Time completion list with 2,838 completions.

Read More: Patriots,

Snap Judgments: Browns 34, Patriots 14

11.07.10 at 4:54 pm ET
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The Browns humiliated the Patriots on Sunday, controlling the game from start to finish in a 34-14 final that was about exactly as close as the score indicated.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– The Patriots allowed Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis to look like Otto Graham and Jim Brown on Sunday.

McCoy, making his third career NFL start, was brilliant, completing 14-of-19 passes for 174 yards. McCoy demonstrated a terrific ability to make plays on the run, turning a couple of busted plays into first-down throws and rushing for a 16-yard TD in the third quarter (which featured a crushing block on Brandon Meriweather by Josh Cribbs). No quarterback has looked better against the Patriots in 2010 and it’s getting tougher and tougher to argue that Bill Belichick can get into the head of a young quarterback.

Hillis rushed for 181 yards (career high) and two TDs as he spent the great majority of the game running the ball right down the throat of the New England defensive line. He also caught three passes for 36 yards. Hillis — not Ray Rice, Ricky Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson — is the first player to rush for over 100 yards vs. the Patriots this season. Hillis was great from start to finish, leaping over the defense for an 18-yard rush on his first rush and putting the game on ice with a 35-yard TD run to put the Browns up 34-14 with 2:38 left in the fourth quarter.

– It was the worst special games performance of the season on Sunday, as a group that has been a huge plus for the Patriots in 2010 made several critical mistakes. Following a first-quarter 38-yard field goal from Phil Dawson to open the scoring, Rob Gronkowski appeared to signal a fair catch on a short Dawson kickoff, but moved away from the ball right before it landed. Sammy Morris tried to get his hands on the ball after it landed, but fumbled (recovered by former Patriots DB Ray Ventrone) at the 19-yard line. The Browns took advantage of the short field with a two-play TD drive.

Zoltan Mesko nearly had a punt blocked in the second quarter (the punt traveled just 27 yards) and Jake Ingram had his third terrible snap in as many weeks on another punt. Stephen Gostkowski also left the game with a thigh injury, which meant Wes Welker had to handle extra-point (lefty) and kickoff duties.

– Rough day for Gronkowski, who was at fault on the kickoff fumble and then made the critical mistake of the game, fumbling at the Cleveland two-yard-line at the end of first half. Gronkowski was trying to work to get into the end zone when he was stripped, costing the Patriots at least three points (a TD would have made it a 17-14 game). The rookie tight end also had a couple of first-quarter drops.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Aaron Hernandez caught his first and second career TDs, a two-yard reception that appeared to bounce off the facemask of Gronkowski (no need for a replay, CBS?) in the second quarter and a one-yard fade grab in the fourth quarter. Hernandez had been quiet the past few weeks but had five catches for 48 yards Sunday.

Danny Woodhead was able to do what BenJarvus Green-Ellis (nine carries, 14 yards) was unable to do on Sunday: Find holes in the Cleveland defense. Woodhead was the primary back for the entire second half (save for one failed Green-Ellis goal-line rush in the fourth quarter) and was on the field for both TD drives. He finished the game with nine carries for 54 yards and a pair of catches for 38 yards.

Tom Brady moved ahead of Jim Kelly and into sole possession of 17th place in NFL history with his first-half TD pass to Hernandez, the 238th of his career.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, BenJarvus Green Ellis, Browns, colt mccoy
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