|Tom Brady on D&C: ‘We’ve got a lot of good things going’||11.24.14 at 9:40 am ET|
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.”
|Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘I’m picking Detroit in this game’||11.21.14 at 12:47 pm ET|
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.”
|Adam Schefter on MFB: When choosing a QB for next 4 years, it’s Andrew Luck over Tom Brady||11.14.14 at 12:58 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in with the Middays with MFB crew on Friday for his weekly chat about NFL news, and he discussed comparisons between Andrew Luck and Tom Brady. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.
Asked which quarterback he would prefer for the next four years, Schefter tabbed Luck over Brady.
“I think I’d take Luck because he’s entering the prime of his career, where you have to think that it’s going to get harder and harder for Tom to do what he’s done into his late 30s and 40s,” Schefter said, adding: “Look, Luck is the best young quarterback in football, period.”
One criticism of Luck is his turnover issues. In nine games this season he’s thrown nine interceptions and fumbled the ball six times, losing two. Schefter downplayed that concern.
“First of all, he’s still young quarterback. We lose sight of the fact that he’s in his third season,” Schefter said. “And I think it’s a case where they’re putting the ball in the air an awful lot, more this year than they have in other years. So, just by doing that you are risking yourself to turnovers, right? He’s also active in the pocket, rolling around, and could be vulnerable to strip sacks, I guess. But I’ll take Andrew Luck any day of the week, even with all the turnovers that he creates right now.”
Looking at Sunday’s game, Schefter said he’s going with the Patriots.
“I think we’ve learned that it’s foolish to pick against New England, particularly in big spots, particularly against younger quarterbacks,” he said. “So I’m going to pick the Patriots, which just about all but assures a Colts victory.”
|Rodney Harrison on D&C: Despite top offense, Colts have ‘too many inconsistencies’||11.14.14 at 9:20 am ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Friday morning to preview the Patriots-Colts game and discuss other NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Patriots are on a roll, winners of four straight, heading into the Sunday night showdown in Indianapolis. The AFC South-leading Colts come in at 6-3, one game behind the AFC-leading Patriots and Broncos.
Harrison said the Colts have yet to prove they belong with the AFC’s elite.
“I think you have the top couple of teams in the AFC, which would be, I would say, New England and Denver,” Harrison said. “And the Indianapolis Colts, right, they’re trying to take that next step. Just too many inconsistencies on the defensive side of the ball. Yes, they have the No. 1-ranked offense, but if you want to win games and playoff games and beat the upper echelon of teams, you have to be able to play defense. And it’s not just at home and playing with a different speed at home, but the consistency when you’re on the road.”
Andrew Luck has been heralded as the next elite QB, and Harrison said his personality has a lot to do with it.
“The kid is so humble, he’s so smart, he works his butt off, he’s got a great arm, he’s smart. He’s got basically all the tangibles and intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, and as you can see he’s really taken that next step to being an elite quarterback,” Harrison said. “And I don’t think anything’s going to change with him. The type of kid that he is now, he was in high school or when he was in college, and now he’s in the pros.”
Another quarterback who might soon join Luck in the NFL is 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Harrison said the Florida State star is not worth the risk.
“I wouldn’t touch him. Just too many issues,” Harrison said. “This kid, it’s amazing how he has a thousand lives. They continually give him opportunity after opportunity, and I just think it’s one of those things where he’s got to really fall on his butt to really appreciate the opportunity that he’s been given. There’s no way I’m touching him. I don’t care about the talent, because when you get to a point where you’ve become this distraction to the team; the coaches, the organization can’t trust you, and you don’t know which guy’s going to show up on Sunday, yes he can do that on the college level, but on the professional level its completely different.”
Randy Moss is back in the news with the debut of an ESPN documentary about him. Harrison said the one-time Patriot never got his due in part because of his off-field issues.
“Randy Moss was spectacular,” Harrison said. “And I’m going to tell you this: As great as Randy Moss is, we still don’t appreciate how great he is because of some of the early distractions, some of the things that he’s gone through. Randy was one of the smartest football players I’ve ever been around — very smart, articulate guy, like you see now on TV. And I just believe that if he would have had maybe a cleaner image that people would have really been able to understand how great Randy Moss is. And Randy’s a good person — just a little bit misunderstood.”
|Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I was kind of fast and loose’ during early part of NFL career||11.10.14 at 7:32 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning and talked about living it up in his early days in the NFL and how his lifestyle habits have changed through the years. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady said he enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with his wife and kids during the off week.
“My family and I got away for a couple of days,” he said. “It was really nice to be with our kids. They get, not neglected this time of year, but there’s just not as much time. So it was nice to get a way for two or three days.
“Yes, I did watch football yesterday. Not really the whole day, but bits and pieces, certain games, seeing what happened in our division, which was great for our team, and a little bit of the game last night. It’s a thing to be a spectator. There’s not too many weekends where we’re really spectators — really once a year. It’s fun to just kind of sit back and watch a little bit.”
According to a recent report, teammate Julian Edelman raved about Brady’s worth ethic and noted that the QB goes to bed around 8:30 most nights.
“I do go to bed very early, ’cause I’m up very early,” Brady acknowledged. “I think that the decisions that I make are always, they always probably center around performance-enhancement, if that makes sense. So whether that’s what I eat, or what decisions I make, whether I drink or don’t drink, it’s always football-centric. I want to be the best I can be every day, I want to be the best I can be every week, I want to be the best I can for my teammates.
“I love the game and I want to do it for a long time. But I also know that if I want to do it for a long time I have to do things differently than the way that guys have always done it, because you hear stories of people when they get older this declines or this declines. I don’t really believe those things, so I have to kind of take a different approach, so strength training and conditioning, how I really treat my body, it’s important to me. Because there’s really nothing else that I enjoy like playing football. I want to do it for as long as I can. And that’s what a lot of the decisions that I make that hopefully does affect my teammates, because I know a lot of my teammates have the same goal. And a guy like Jules who’s more dedicated than anybody, he’s very much the same way. Those are the type of guys you love to play with, that are going to do everything they can to help the team, that are going to be their best all the time, in the offseason when the lights aren’t shining, that’s when it matters the most.”
Looking back on when he was just making a name for himself with the Patriots, Brady said he was able to enjoy the experience off the field.
“The 25-year-old Tom Brady had a great time. [Laughing] I probably wouldn’t change much from those days,” he said. “It was a different time than it is now, because there’s so much attention now. I don’t know how these young players do it. I was kind of fast and loose back then. I was still a responsible person. I’ve always had certain responsibilities that I’ve always felt. But I’d say more so now. When you have obviously a wife and kids, your life transitions into other things. So it’s simplified in a lot of ways. Now it’s just football and it’s being with my family, and that’s the most important stuff. I wouldn’t change anything when I was 25. I wish it would have lasted a little longer.”
|Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘If you’re not going to give [Tom Brady] an A-minus, I don’t know who in football deserves an A’||11.07.14 at 1:28 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss Tom Brady‘s grade heading into the bye week and other NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
WEEI.com’s Chris Price graded Brady with a B-minus through Week 9. Schefter said that’s grading the QB very tough.
“I would say an A-minus,” Schefter said. “And I mark him down from the A just because he struggled early on, the Patriots struggled early on, and it wasn’t very Patriot- or Tom Brady-like. But over the last four or five weeks, he’s arguably been the single best player in the entire league, right? They’re sitting there where they are because he’s been so good. So, no he was not perfect and they still have some work to do, but he was mighty impressive over the last month or so.”
Added Schefter: “To me, it’s a case where at the very least he gets a B-plus, probably gets an A-minus. Look, if you’re not going to give him an A-minus, I don’t know who in football deserves an A.”
While Brady has shined of late, the quarterback situation in Cincinnati is more concerning. Andy Dalton was historically bad in the Bengals’ Thursday night loss to the Browns, completing just 10-of-33 passes for 86 yards with three interceptions, two sacks and a passer rating of 2.
“Last night was one of the worst quarterback performances I’ve seen in a long time. I think anyone would agree that it was one of the worst performances they’ve seen in a long time,” Schefter said. “He had lowest completion percentage in Bengals franchise history for a single game. And if you watched it, there was almost never — almost never — any hope that anything was going to go the Bengals’ way. It was, it was, wow, I mean, again, it was a startling performance on a number of levels, not for good reasons.”
|Julian Edelman on MFB: ‘Guys were dialed in’ leading up to Patriots-Broncos showdown||11.03.14 at 12:48 pm ET|
Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and running back Shane Vereen checked in with Middays with MFB on Monday to dissect Sunday’s 43-21 rout of the Broncos. To hear the interviews, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Patriots, who started the season slowly, surprisingly coasted to a big win in the day’s marquee matchup. Edelman said the seeds were planted earlier in the week.
“It started with a great week of practice,” Edelman said. “We had a really good week of practice. Guys were, they were tuned in, they were focused. We had great meetings, great walk-throughs. You could just see guys were dialed in. It showed on Sunday. That’s what it all starts with. It starts with practice. We emphasize fundamentals — blocking, tackling, catching, all those sorts of things — throughout the week. It translated into executing in the game.”
Edelman had nine receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown, along with an 84-yard punt return for a TD within a four-minute span in the second quarter to turn the game in the Patriots’ favor. However, even with the Patriots taking a 20-point lead at halftime, Edelman said the team did not get too comfortable.
“Not necessarily. They had the lead on us the year before, so it was just reversed,” Edelman said. “They have an explosive offense. They’ve got good players everywhere on that team. We went in and we kind of forgot about the score and just tried to put the helmets on and go out and do work. That’s how we did it.”
Vereen, who rushed 11 times for 29 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 38 yards and another score, compared Denver’s struggles to what happened to New England in Week 4.
“I think it was a little bit of a snowball effect in Denver’s case. Something that happened to us in Kansas City,” he said. “When you’re playing tough teams on the road, that can happen sometimes. But you’ve still got to take your hat off to Denver. They’re still a very good team. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw them again down the road.”
“The guy is a stud,” Edelman said. “When he made that catch I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ He doesn’t have hands, he has like oven mitts. The ball is like a beer can in his hand, that’s how big his hands are. You see him make those plays in practice and you see him do it in a game, it’s like he’s ‘Real Deal’ [Evander] Holyfield over there.”
The game was played in very cold, windy conditions on a day when it snowed in the morning.
“We knew that the weather was going to play a factor into the game at some point, in certain situations,” Vereen said. “Coach had talked to us about that prior to the game. So we knew that that could have been a factor, we knew that certain things, going into the wind there’d be a chance for some fourth-down situations because of the kicking as far as the distances which Steve [Gostkowski] could kick it from. We knew that factor going into the game, but I don’t think it was ever too big of a problem to where we had to completely change our whole game plan or change our approach. I still think we were able to complete some passes and move the ball successfully.”
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