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Chandler Jones on MFB: ‘I started to kind of tear up’ about returning from injury 12.15.14 at 12:16 pm ET
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Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones, one of the defensive stars in Sunday’s 41-13 victory over the Dolphins, stopped by for a visit with the Middays with MFB crew on Monday at Gillette Stadium. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Jones made his return to the field after missing six games with a reported hip injury, and the defensive end finished with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble while playing 55 of 81 snaps.

“My biggest thing was just moving forward from it. Each day forward was progression,” said Jones, who noted that he had an ‘X’ on the calendar marking the day he wanted to return. “I was just waiting for the doctor’s word and just taking it day by day by day, like Bill [Belichick] said. Yesterday was the day.”

Added Jones: “As I was sitting there getting ready, going through my pregame ritual, I started to kind of tear up, like, ‘Wow, I’m back, I’m back playing.’ And I just just hoped and prayed to God that I had a decent game and I was still able to move around. Because ‘lower-body injuries’ are harder to come back from.”

The Dolphins rallied past the Patriots for a win in Week 1, but the Pats showed that they are a different team than the one that started the season in Miami.

“Honestly and personally, I feel like each team in the NFL is a different team each week,” Jones said. “And not just as far as the roster — well, actually, the roster, too. And just the way teams approach different games and different game plans and different schemes. So we didn’t really look too far back on what had happened or certain yards given up. We had a new team since the last time we played them, and so did they. We just worked for what we had and we just tried to out-execute them, which we did.”

Teammate Brandon Browner continues to rack up the penalties, but Jones said the cornerback shouldn’t be too concerned about it.

“Brandon Browner is a very physical presence and he’s a very aggressive player,” Jones said. “I admire his game. I love it. I love it. Each and every time something happens I always walk up to him and say, ‘Hey, you know, let’s keep’ — because when guys start dwelling on the penalties and what they have done on the previous play, that’s when you get mixed [up]. There’s a whole game ahead of you. That’s my biggest thing, is I try to tell guys when I’m out there, ‘There’s a whole game to play, so don’t worry about that one play.’ So, he’s fine, he’s good. He’ll be all right.”

During his appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, Tom Brady talked about his devotion to a proper diet. Jones admitted that he doesn’t have the same approach.

“I know I shouldn’t say this because I do a lot of things with the Play 60, you know, 60 minutes a day with the little kids and exercise, but I am seriously a human dumpster,” he said. “I will eat anything. I will eat anything.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

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Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I don’t think we ever take the pedal off the metal until there’s no time left in the game’ 12.15.14 at 9:19 am ET
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Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Monday morning, a day after the Patriots clinched their 11th AFC East title in 12 seasons with a 41-13 rout of the Dolphins. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady completed 21-of-35 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He also scrambled for a first down in the third quarter to spark the offense after an unimpressive first half.

“I found a little space there,” Brady said of his run. “They’ve been doing it to us the last few times that we played them where they really focus the coverage on a few guys and it leaves definitely some places to run. When I felt like I had the look, I kind of wanted to pull the trigger, and I saw some space and got some great blocks down field. So it ended up being a big play in the game.”

That 17-yard run was a hot topic after the game.

“Well, it’s pretty atypical. I guess when it happens once every seven or eight years then yeah, it can definitely be talked about,” Brady joked. “But I thought there were a lot of great things to be talked about. Certainly, a lot of guys played really well yesterday. Our defense is playing as well as I can ever remember. They really set the tone for us the last bunch of weeks.

“I’m glad we were able to put some things together there in the second half. But it’s a good defense. They’re the fifth-rated defense in the league. They got guys that can rush, they got guys they can cover. We made some plays there in the second half, which was great to see.”

After being tackles, Brady got up and was very vocal in the direction of Dolphins safety Walt Aikens.

“I don’t remember [what was said]. No, I don’t remember much,” Brady said. “He gave me a good little pop. Normally I’m always going down or getting out, and I was pretty close to the goal line. But there’s a reason why they’re called safeties and they’re the last line of defense. He definitely didn’t let me get any farther than I wanted to go.”

Asked if he took the hit in an effort to light a fire under the team, Brady said: “Well, I said after the game that I wasn’t in the best of mood at that time. So I think when I got there and I was into the secondary and surveyed some things and then I saw him coming, I just figured, why not? I don’t take those too often because usually those don’t go to well for me or for many players when they’re not used to getting hit. And he was bigger than I thought he was. I wish I would’ve stayed on my feet. But it was good play, it was a play that we needed. A lot of guys made a bunch of plays that we needed. I was glad to be able to contribute.”

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Adam Schefter on MFB: Patriots ’rounding into form’ 12.12.14 at 12:42 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB and talked about the Patriots’ prospects in the AFC as they head into the home stretch of the regular season. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Schefter said it clear the Patriots are “the favorites in the AFC, for whatever’s that worth.”

“I think this team is rounding into form,” Schefter said. “It’s getting better. It’s adding parts like Akeem Ayers and Jonathan Casillas and Alan Branch and LeGarrette Blount — guys that were essentially on the scrap heap that they’re pulling off, utilizing, making them shine in roles they did not have with other teams. it has enabled this team to get better. Chandler Jones come back at some point here, they should obviously benefit tremendously from that. I certainly would not pick them to lose a game from this point on.

“They’ve lost two straight games to the Miami Dolphins. Does anybody think that the Miami Dolphins are going to beat New England for a third straight time in Foxboro on Sunday? I don’t. I don’t. And so if this team just continues to take care of its business and do what it’s been doing, I don’t mean to sound like a coach, but good things will happen.”

Added Schefter: “Good luck to the team that has to come into New England and try win there in January when the winds are whipping and the fans are yelling and temperatures are dipping. That’s going to be a tough assignment to do — not that it can’t be done, because we’ve seen the Baltimore Ravens do it — but it’s going to be a tough assignment for somebody to come in there in January and beat a Patriot team that seems to be improving.”

Offensive lineman Marcus Cannon agreed to a reported two-year, $9 million extension Thursday. This raised some eyebrows because of how it might affect the team’s other linemen.

“It gives New England options,” Schefter said. “You’ve got a situation where Nate Solder‘s deal’s coming up, [Sebastian] Vollmer‘s in a situation. Interestingly enough, Vollmer and Solder have the same agent as Wes Welker and as Shane Vereen. I could be wrong here, but I don’t know if they’ve had any negotiations of any players and any deals since the Wes Welker experience. So these would be the first.

“Now, obviously you’d have to think both sides are going to be smart enough to put previous differences behind them and move forward and do what’s best for both. … But there is a history there. And it will be interesting to see if that history plays into these deals at all and impacts the negotiations on the clients that these two sides have dealt with before.”

Looking at the situation in New York with the Jets, Schefter said he expects owner Woody Johnson to clean house after the season, firing coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik.

“I don’t think that they’re related in any way,” Schefter said. “I don’t think Rex Ryan will be back in New York, I don’t think John Idzik will be back in New York. I think both will be released at the end of the season and I think the Jets will chart a new course and a new direction. That’s the direction it certainly sounds like the franchise is heading. They’ve got to make decisions and make things official, but based on everything I’ve heard, I would be surprised if either guy was back.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots. For more from Schefter, including his thoughts on Rob Gronkowski‘s kitten photos, Johnny Manziel and the Ray Rice situation, listen to the interview at the MFB audio on demand page.

Read More: adam schefter, John Idzik, Marcus Cannon, Rex Ryan
Tom Brady on D&C: ‘Blame CBS and NBC for putting [cursing] on TV. Don’t blame me’ 12.08.14 at 8:29 am ET
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Tom Brady continues to play with emotion and lead the Patriots to wins. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Tom Brady continues to play with emotion and lead the Patriots to wins. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in with Dennis & Callahan minutes after the team arrived home Monday morning, following Sunday night’s 23-14 victory over the Chargers in San Diego, and talked about the defense’s big game, his emotional outbursts on the field, and the fan support in California. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady didn’t have his best game, but the Patriots defense stifled the Chargers, holding them to one offensive touchdown.

“[The defense] played phenomenal,” Brady said. “It wasn’t easy by any stretch. I thought we played a defense that really, that made it hard on us in a lot of ways. They really challenged us.

“Anytime you win on the road in the NFL it’s a great win. I was ecstatic. We had such a tough loss against Green Bay, and then to follow it up with a great win, a great team win where everybody really contributed. A lot of guys made huge plays — the blocked punt, the interception, Julian [Edelman]’s play, the way the defense played all night, [Rob Gronkowski] had some big plays, LeGarrette [Blount] had some big runs. It was a great win.”

Added Brady: “[The defense] kept us in it the whole night. We were struggling. We just couldn’t find our rhythm offensively. Defensively they just kept shutting them down. They just didn’t give them any room to breathe. We finally — Jules really made a big play there in the fourth quarter to get us ahead by two scores. And then the defense once again — even just the last drive for the Chargers, they’ve got to go down the field in two minutes and score, and we don’t even let them get a first down. It was just pretty cool to see.”

Brady continues to be emotional on the field, and the cameras always find him when he starts spouting expletives. Brady laughed when asked if his mother or wife have ever asked him to calm down on the field, joking, “It’s the only place I get a chance to do it.”

“It’s such an emotional game,” he said. “You’ve got to bring it every week. That’s what you’ve got to do. Especially when you’re making good plays like our guys were making last night, it makes it pretty easy to get excited about it. You’re always trying to level everybody’s level of awareness, raise their level of play so that you can go out there and be as excited as you possibly can. I’ve always played that way, and I probably will until the day I hang these cleats up.”

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Read More: Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,
Julian Edelman on MFB: ‘Around here we’re never satisfied with losing’ 12.01.14 at 12:34 pm ET
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Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday to discuss Sunday’s loss to the Packers. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Bill Belichick was not his usual dour self after the loss, leading many to believe it was a moral victory for the Patriots to come so close to knocking off the Packers in Green Bay.

“Around here we’re never satisfied with losing,” Edelman said. “That was a good football team. They outplayed us a little bit yesterday, and they made more plays than us. We still have a bunch of games, we have four games, a month of football. Every game counts. So we have to turn the page, learn from it and try to get better. And that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Some are predicting a rematch in the Super Bowl. Edelman credited the Packers with doing what they needed to get the win.

“They mixed it up a bunch, a little bit here and there,” Edelman said. “They executed their game plan and they tackled well. They swung the ball. We just weren’t able to make enough plays yesterday. We made some, but when it comes down to it, whoever makes more plays wins the game, and they made more plays than us.”

Edelman, who battled a leg injury during the game, refused to use any excuses, saying that the Patriots’ inability to execute key plays made the difference.

“We just didn’t convert in crucial situations on certain third downs, fourth-and-1s where we didn’t convert on third-and-short or medium,” he said. “They won the third-down battle. That was probably one of the biggest parts of the game.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

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Tom Brady on D&C: ‘We’ve got a lot of good things going’ 11.24.14 at 9:40 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in with Dennis & Callahan for his weekly chat Monday morning, following Sunday’s dominant 34-9 victory over the Lions, and talked about Darrelle Revis, Jonas Gray, Odell Beckham Jr. and Randy Moss. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

With their seventh straight win, the Patriots are 9-2 and look like they have established some separation from the pack. Brady cautioned that there still is plenty of room for improvement.

“I think it’s a week-to-week thing,” he said. “At different times over the course of the year we’ve done a lot of things really well, and you really want them to all come together on game day. I’m sure there’s always things we can get better at. I thought we did a lot of good things offensively yesterday, but I think we could have been even better. You’ve just got to go out there every week trying to improve and stay sharp and improve things that have shown up over the course of the season and we haven’t done as well consistently.

“It’s great to win, but as always when you win it’s never as good as you think, and when you lose it’s never as bad as you think. We’ll go in today and watch the film and talk about all the things we can do better. We obviously are playing well, we’ve got a lot of good things going. We’re continuing to be tested, because we’ve played a lot of good opponents here the past bunch of weeks, and now we’ve got another one coming up on Sunday.”

Running back Jonas Gray, the star of last week’s win over the Colts, sat out Sunday after arriving late to practice Friday.

“Those are always coach’s decisions to do certain things,” Brady said. “It’s unfortunate for everybody involved. You never want to see those things, because all these guys are important to us, and Jonas is a big part of our team and a big part of the reason why we won a huge game in our season. You just hate to see someone disciplined, but that’s just the way coach decided to handle it.”

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Jonas Gray, Odell Beckham Jr., Randy Moss
Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘I’m picking Detroit in this game’ 11.21.14 at 12:47 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in for his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss his pick of the Patriots to lose, along with news from around the NFL. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The red-hot Patriots take a six-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against the visiting Lions, but Schefter is on the record as predicting a Detroit upset.

“The Patriots over the last six, seven weeks have developed into the most consistent team certainly in the AFC, maybe in football — the most reliable team in the AFC, and maybe in football,” Schefter said. “I think they’re the surest thing we have going at this point in the season, on November 21st. Now, things can change on Sunday, and I expect the Lions to play a very strong game.”

Schefter explained that he has a friend in Denver who is a big bettor who tipped him off to a reason why the Lions could pull off the win.

“He always says that whenever the Vegas money, the line, whatever he’s got, is hovering around 90 percent of the money on one team, that’s always a sure sign that it’s going to go the other way. Like last night [the Raiders upsetting the Chiefs]. And this is one of those games where it’s hovering right around 90 percent for New England.

“Now, New England’s a better team, New England’s been the hottest team. It’s the reason I’m picking Detroit in this game. I’m the only one. … I picked them to win, which is crazy, and I’m sure they probably won’t. And again, New England is the best team. But I’m doing this on the basis of what my friend in Denver told me. He said. ‘I’m just telling you, everyone — everyone — is on New England. And whenever it gets like that, that’s where it gets a little dicey.’ ”

Concluded Schefter with a laugh: “So, based on that very scientific formula, I am picking the Detroit Lions  to win the game.”

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