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Patriots practice: Final preparations and Robert Kraft

01.14.11 at 12:25 pm ET
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FOXBORO — In their final full-scale practice before Sunday’s showdown with the Jets, the Patriots worked out on the main Gillette Stadium field on Friday. And for the second straight day, only defensive lineman Myron Pryor was missing from the practice.

Pryor has missed practice all week with a back injury.

Also on hand for the practice was Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who spent time talking to Tom Brady on the sidelines during stretching before the team took the field.

The Patriots play the Jets at 4:30 Sunday afternoon in an AFC Divisional game, with the winner advancing to play either the Ravens or the Steelers in the AFC Championship the following Sunday.

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Jerod Mayo on D&H: Wes Welker is a ‘funny guy’

01.14.11 at 10:59 am ET
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Dale and Holley on Friday, discussing the team’s upcoming playoff game against the Jets. He joked that was ready to give “Belichick-approved answers” in the interview, and when asked whether he felt Wes Welker had Belichick-approved answers the day before, responded “obviously not.”

Welker made 11 subtle references to feet in Thursday’s press conference, often saying the Pats had to put their “best foot forward” and even referring to the squad as “little foot soldiers.”

“He’s pretty good. He’s a funny guy,” Mayo said. “He was just answering the questions. That’s all I’m going to say. He was just answering the questions.”

On the return of Brandon Spikes, who served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s susbstance abuse policy, Mayo said his fellow inside linebacker looks good.

“You can tell he’s been working out, staying in shape,” Mayo said. “He’s look good. ‘€¦ He looks like he’s ready to go.”

Read More: Jerod Mayo, Wes Welker,

Adam Schefter on D&C: Cromartie’s behavior ‘doesn’t reflect positively on anybody’

01.14.11 at 10:41 am ET
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ESPN’€™s Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan for his weekly appearance and began by weighing in on Antonio Cromartie‘€™s comments about Tom Brady and how the NFL might feel about them.

‘€œI talked with the league yesterday and tried to see if they had any interest in those comments, and the league wasn’€™t biting at all,’€ Schefter said. ‘€œWe’€™ll talk about this in our pregame show, but I went and looked at the NFL’€™s personal conduct policy and it reads, and I’€™ll read it word for word, ‘€˜Discipline may be imposed in any of the following circumstances,’€™ and there’€™s a list, and there’€™s one that said, ‘€˜Conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL, NFL clubs or NFL players.’€™ ”

Schefter went on to say that it would seem to him that Cromartie’€™s comments fall under that clause. He said that although the remarks did not bother him personally, he would fine Cromartie if he were the commissioner because Roger Goodell has made a habit of going by the letter of the law.

‘€œWhen you call somebody a seven-letter word that begins with an ‘€˜A’€™ and speak in the way you did, it just doesn’€™t reflect positively on anybody,’€ Schefter said.

Following are more highlights from the conversation, including his take on Patriots-Jets, Ravens-Steelers, Cam Newton and more. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Do the Jets have a chance against the Patriots?

It’€™s not saying much, but the Jets are going to give them a much better game than they did that Monday night. I think they’€™re coming ready. I think they have to get more pressure on Brady, run the football and keep Mark Sanchez from playing the way Mark Sanchez has in his two visits to Foxboro. If they can do those three things, and we can go case-by-case and argue whether they can, then they’€™ll have a chance to beat the Patriots.

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Read More: adam schefter, antonio cromartie, Cam Newton, Eric Mangini

Was Wes Welker taking a shot at Rex Ryan?

01.14.11 at 9:39 am ET
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Was it a coincidence, or just some expert wordplay? Patriots receiver Wes Welker dropped 11 references to “feet,” “toes” or “foot” during his roughly eight-minute session with the media on Thursday.

At first, the suggestion Welker was taking a shot at Rex Ryan and his well-publicized scandal seemed ridiculous, especially because each of his answers were a direction response to the questions that were asked. But Welker has a reputation as one of the funnier guys on the team, and the possibility of his taking a sneaky jab at Ryan with a play on words seems wholly possible.

The receiver spoke Jets corner Darrelle Revis has “great feet,” and that the Patriots were “good little foot soldiers” during the bye week. Welker added that every player has to focus on “putting their best foot forward” in the playoffs, and when it comes to younger players in the postseason, “you can’t just stick your toe in the water. You’ve got to jump right in.”

Here’s a look at some of the video:

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Nuggetpalooza’s Pats-Jets preview!

01.14.11 at 9:14 am ET
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Patriots-Jets III is almost here. No more ridiculous trash talk. Tee it up and play football. This game has been analyzed every which way all week, so it was a challenge to find nuggets that are (hopefully) interesting AND new. But here you go:


* – Over the last eight regular seasons, the Patriots have made 54-of-55 fourth quarter field goal attempts (98 percent). That includes 31-of-31 from 30 yards or more. Their only miss came in Week 2 of the 2006 season at the Jets in a 24-17 win.

You might want to read that one again. I had to.

Note this: During that same span, Patriots’ opponents are just 35-of-46 in the fourth quarter (76 percent), the second LOWEST percentage allowed in that span.


* – Only three road teams since 1978 have won playoff games after being shut out at halftime: The 2009 Jets, the 2010 Jets, and the 1993 Chiefs. Last year, the Jets beat the Chargers in San Diego, 17-14, after trailing 7-0 at half. Last week in Indianapolis, the Jets again trailed 7-0 at half before rallying to beat the Colts, 17-16.

Last Saturday was just the fourth time since 1971 (including postseason) that the Jets have won a road game after being shut out through two quarters. They are now 4-37 in those games.


* – New England allowed zero points in the last two minutes of the second half this season. Also, they allowed only one touchdown in the final two minutes of EITHER half, fewest in the league:

1 – Patriots
3 – Dolphins
3 – Redskins

What makes that even more impressive is that the Patriots’ opponent was almost always trying to catch up at the end of the second half. Miami and Washington, not so much.


* – The Jets scored only one first quarter touchdown over their last 13 games this season (including last Saturday’s game). During those 13 games, they shut their opponent out in the opening period seven times and won all seven. In the other six, they allowed 57 first quarter points and went just 2-4, with both wins coming in overtime.


* – Patriots’ running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball 229 times this season without committing a fumble, the second most carries without a miscue in the NFL this season (Ray Rice, 307). It was easily the most carries in a fumble-free season ever by a Patriot:

229 – BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 2010
185 – Lawrence Maroney, 2007
85 – Sammy Morris, 2007

In his career, Green-Ellis now has 329 carries without a fumble, the second most carries in a fumble-free career since 1950:

364 – Scottie Graham (1992-1997)
329 – BenJarvus Green-Ellis (2008-2010)
227 – Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala (1998-2004)

—————————————————————————————————————————– Read the rest of this entry »

Terrell Suggs says Tom Brady’s Super Bowl rings are ‘questionable’

01.14.11 at 8:20 am ET
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Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs, in an appearance on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio, continued to take shots at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The man who said that he voted for Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick over Brady for the Pro Bowl suggested on Thursday that the Patriots quarterback’s three Super Bowl titles were “questionable.”

Asked to evaluate the standing of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — whom Suggs and the Ravens will face this weekend in a divisional playoff game — in the pantheon of quarterbacks, Suggs offered this swipe at Brady:

“If you ask me, [Roethlisberger] is definitely up there with them. He has the hardware to prove it. That’€™s all that matters in this league, the Super Bowl. He’€™s won two of them,” said Suggs. “If I’€™m correct, Manning has only won one, both Mannings that is, Phillip Rivers doesn’€™t have any. Tom Brady has three. A questionable three.

“You had the tuck rule incident and you’€™ve got the video taping of the other team’€™s practices,” Suggs added. “You’€™re like, ‘€˜Oh, OK, what’€™s going on here?’€™ But hey, it is what it is. They won the games, no matter how they did it. Whatever.”

Suggs was then asked how his enmity towards Brady formed.

“I love Tommy,” Suggs laughed. “I don’€™t know. I don’€™t know. I guess it all brews from when I nicked his knee I guess a little bit. I was just like, ‘€˜Wow ‘€“ you almost hit a guy and you get a flag?’€™ That kind of blew me away. I never knew one man could have so much power. I guess I stand corrected.

“Maybe [players feel resentment] because he is Tom Brady and he dates super models. That could have a lot to do with it. This guy’€™s got the world. He’€™s won Super Bowls, he’€™s dating super models. It doesn’€™t get much better than that. He has rules made for him. He gets to tell the referee when to throw the flags.”

For more Patriots coverage, visit

Read More: playoffs, Terrell Suggs, Tom Brady,

Reggie Jackson rips Antonio Cromartie: ‘Shut up and play football’

01.14.11 at 1:27 am ET
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Yankees legend Reggie Jackson ripped Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Thursday, telling him: ‘€œShut up and play football.’€

The slugger, a guest on ESPN 1050 in New York, didn’€™t hold back when it came to talking about Cromartie, who called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an ‘€œass—-.’€

‘€œWhat are you talking about? What are you doing? Shut up, play football,’€ Jackson said. ‘€œWhat are you talking about [Patriots coach] Bill Belichick and these people for? Spend your time looking at film, spend your time knocking down a pass. What are you doing? You’€™re not affecting Brady; you’€™re wasting time.’€

Jackson said Cromartie didn’€™t have the resume to be calling out Brady.

‘€œGo look at the hardware, dude. Walk through the lobby up there and look at the stuff that’€™s there,’€ Jackson said. ‘€œYou don’€™t have that, you don’€™t have anything close to that.

‘€œYou might want to shut up, you might learn something. Read, you might figure something out. Watch film, you might get educated. If not, you have a chance to get embarrassed on Sunday. I hope you don’€™t, because I like the Jets.’€

Read More: antonio cromartie, Bill Belichick, Reggie Jackson, Tom Brady
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