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Tom Brady on K&C: ‘Hopefully I’m feeling a lot better than yesterday come next Sunday’ 11.28.16 at 10:03 am ET
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Tom Brady won his 200th career game on Sunday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady won his 200th career game on Sunday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady might have come closer to missing Sunday’s game against the Jets than many originally surmised.

Appearing on his weekly interview with the Kirk & Callahan Show Monday morning, Brady clarified that his injured knee was touch and go heading into the final few days leading up to the game against the Jets.

“It’s better than last Monday, so I’m very happy about that,” said Brady, who missed two practices last week after originally injuring his leg during the Patriots’ loss to Seattle.

Asked if he expected to play all along, Brady added, “I think I’m pretty optimistic. Playing as long as I have,, you kind of deal with a lot of different things over the year and they’re all a little bit different. You want to go out there and you want to be productive and help the team win and if you don’t think you can do that you have to let your coaches know that. I felt like by the end of the week I could do that, so I got out there at practice on Friday and try and show everybody I could do it. We went out and kind of slugged it out. It wasn’t our best game. We missed plenty of plays earlier and got into a little bit of a dogfight. We found a way to pull it out at the end. We really haven’t had a game like that this year, so it was a great win for us. Now we’re back at it this week so we have to put the same level of effort this week. Hopefully I’m feeling a lot better than yesterday come next Sunday.”

Brady, who went 30-for-50 for 286 yards and two touchdowns in the 22-17 win over the Jets, credited witnessing the toughness of former teammates such as Brian Griese and Drew Bledsoe for building up a foundation of how to fight through injuries.

The Patriots’ quarterback did lament one particular play in the win, when he was forced to run out in front of LaGarrette Blount on a cut-back.

“I feel like as a player you want to be available to your team. For a quarterback, it’s hard to really show toughness other than being out there every play. You guys saw what happened when I get out in front of a running back. I can’t do [expletive],” he said. “You don’t even know what to do. I’m looking around, I seeing bodies. I’m really a fish out of water when I’m out there.

“Things happen so fast. It’s like you’re on the highway. I’m never out there. It’s a weird thing. You stand there. Make the throws under pressure. You deal with every hit. I’ve had leg injuries, I have had rib injuries, I’ve had fingers, shoulders, head. I feel like I just want to put maximum effort over the course of the week to give my chance a play and be productive. I focus pretty hard on that. I’ve tried to be out there for my teammates every week. Hopefully they can always count on me to do that.”


Christian Fauria doesn’t like how Massachusetts high school football works, and he’s not alone 11.24.16 at 9:11 am ET
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Christian Fauria

Christian Fauria

Christian Fauria spoke for a lot of people Wednesday afternoon.

When the subject of the Massachusetts high school football system came on on OMF, the show’s co-host relayed his concerns with how the landscape has changed with its new playoff system. It was a subject addressed in a Boston Globe article, which pointed out how Thanksgiving Day games have become a necessary evil to some schools vying for championships. (Click here to read, “How much do Thanksgiving high school football games matter?”)

“I don’t like the way it’s set up,” Fauria said while having the discussion with OMF co-host Glenn Ordway. “You’re playing a meaningless game, which isn’t a playoff game that catapults that puts you into the championship. Oh, and by the way, you have to play another game that gives you bragging rights 20 years from now when you’re talking about your crazy friend who is lighting himself on fire when he’s cooking chicken wings.”

Playing the Thanksgiving Day games have left some teams in predicaments, Fauria points out, because of what’s at stake after going through the playoff system.

It’s a dynamic that had changed dramatically since the days where the Thursday games were the be-all, end-all for high school athletes.

“If they change the rules, this is going to be a sticky subject for a lot of people, but if you’re in this championship game the last thing you want to do as a coach is play a meaningless game after you just played a bunch of playoff games to get you in the championship game,” Fauria said. “Oh, by the way, now you have to play this rivalry game. Why can’t you take this rivalry game and put it in the first week of October and then if you’re in the playoffs, you’re in the playoffs. Or get rid of the game all together.

“I would sit my players. I guess I would just not play my game because what’s more important, some silly cross-town rival, or the actual championship? So is bragging rights that important to you?”

Fauria also touched on the issues facing Massachusetts high school football players moving on to the next level, with the MIAA limiting offseason interaction and participation much more than in other states.

“Nobody gets recruited out of Massachusetts because the system is terrible,” he said. “The amount of time you’re allowed to hang with kids. The lack of any passing tournament or passing leagues. When you can practice in pads and when you can’t practice in pads. It’s ridiculous. It’s a joke. They need to improve it. They’re in the stone age with their process, the MIAA. It’s ridiculous how it works.”

To listen to the entire segment with Fauria and Ordway, click below.

Tom Brady on K&C refuses to reveal whom he voted for: ‘I’m not talking politics anymore’ 11.14.16 at 8:34 am ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has shut down the political talk.

A week after promising the Kirk & Callahan Show he would reveal who he voted for when it came to the presidential election, Brady explained Monday he had a change of heart.

“I know, I know, but I’m not talking politics anymore,” said Brady when reminded about this promise. “I’ve got other things to worry about. Just speaking with my family, it’s a bad idea. I know I told you I would, and then after I told you I would I changed my mind.”

Brady was then asked about his statement Wednesday, when the quarterback left some room open for interpretation as to if he gave President-Elect Donald Trump permission to exclaim at a rally in New Hampshire the night before the election that Brady was supporting him.

“I just don’t want to get into it, I really don’t,” he said. “There’s nothing positive that comes of it. There’s been so much negativity over the last week. I’m a positive person and I just want to keep things positive.”

One final question was asked of Brady on the subject: Was he happy one of his friends is now in the White House?

“I don’t want to express any emotions and any feelings,” the Patriots’ QB said. “You know what I am? I’m hopeful and optimistic our country and move forward. I’m happy the election is over. I’m sure a lot of other people are. I’m going to focus on football.”

Mike Lombardi on Kirk & Callahan: Jamie Collins was traded because he’s not that good 11.01.16 at 10:42 am ET
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Mike Lombardi. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Mike Lombardi. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Making his weekly appearance on the Kirk & Callahan Show, former Patriots executive and current FOX Sports analyst Mike Lombardi made it very clear why he continues to insist the Jamie Collins trade wasn’t a surprise.

“Watch the tape. Jamie has not played particularly well,” Lombardi said. He lated added, “Sometimes freelancing is a problem, and I think sometimes effort is a problem.”

Lombardi elaborate throughout the 17-minute interview, repeatedly saying that this was “a football decision,” and had nothing to do with Collins’ expiring contract.

“This is about football,” he said. “This is about watching the player. Grade the player. People have a perception. You’re arguing based on perception. If you studied the game tape and you understood the defense, and you understood everything that’s going on, you would understand this is a football decision.

“I’ve said this to this kid before when I was here. ‘As good as we are, we go as you go.’ When he wants to play and he’s really into it, he can be a very good player. Now, is there something goin on in his life that I don’t know about? But through eight games as a Patriot this season he had not been playing at a level that’s acceptable to winning and beating good teams. The conversation we’re having isn’t about beating Landry Jones and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s about beating Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in a championship game.”

Lombardi said that the Patriots had stopped using Collins on running downs, while also suggesting the linebacker hasn’t playing well in pass coverage situations, either. It had gotten to the point where rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts, the analyst noted, had surpassed Collins on the depth chart.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Hasselbeck says Deflategate subject John Jastremski is no longer with Patriots 10.17.16 at 8:59 am ET
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Tim Hasselbeck

Tim Hasselbeck

The conversation on the Kirk and Callahan Show Monday morning started with a debate about whether or not ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck was correct in his assessment of Deflategate.

But when it was suggested that he was wrong because equipment manager John Jastremski, one of the key subjects in the controversy, was still with the Patriots, Hasselbeck shot back with, “No, he’s not.”

Asked again if Jastremski was indeed no longer with the team, Hasselbeck reiterated, “Nope.”

The former Boston College quarterback wouldn’t elaborate on the matter, only following up with, “I’m not getting into that guy’s personal situational.”

As for the other key Patriots employee in the Deflategate situation, Jim McNally, Hasselbeck said he had no information on his status. “I don’t know about McNally’s situation.”

Both Jastremski and McNally were reinstated by the Patriots at the beginning of the 2015 season after initially having their jobs suspended while the Deflategate investigation unfolded.

Tom Brady talking Bengals on Kirk & Callahan: ‘Their whole game is just to hit you’ 10.17.16 at 8:37 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski and Votaze Burfict mixed it up on Sunday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rob Gronkowski and Votaze Burfict mixed it up on Sunday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

While the Patriots improving to 5-1 with their win over the Bengals was obviously a big deal, so were some of the confrontations between the teams throughout Sunday’s contest.

Most notably was Bengals’ linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s hit on Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, who was tackled by the defender right at the receiver’s knees. Later in the game, Rob Gronkowski would be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after getting into a heated exchange with a flurry of Bengals.

Appearing on the Kirk and Callahan Show Monday morning, Tom Brady suggested the tone wasn’t out of the ordinary for when teams play take on Cincinnati.

“You have to deal with that sometimes, too. I think we were dealing with that most of the day,” Brady said. “I haven’t seen [the Burfict hit], so I’m sure I’ll have some different thoughts …”

Brady went on to suggest that the best course of action against teams like Cincinnati is to live to fight your battles later, while prioritizing the ultimate payback: winning on the scoreboard.

“Their whole game is to just hit you,” Brady said. “They may not be the quickest team out there on the field, but a guy like Burfict or [Rey] Maualuga, but if they can line you up they’re going to try and take your head off and that’s why they have a good defense. We’ve played a lot of defenses like that over the years. They are big, physical defenses and that’s their trademark. I think when you’re playing those teams you have to understand, especially that they are playing a lot of zone coverage so with zone coverage they can all drop back, read the quarterback and break on the throw. They have more guys on the ball who are ready to hit you, where if it’s man to man there’s usually one guy there to make the tackle. With zone, there’s usually two guys on the side of the recovers and one guy on the receiver, so you have three guys closing on the ball.

“I do tell our guys, ‘Look, we have to be smart with how much we’re trying to gain here. The more we’re trying to gain, the more you stop, you cut back and now there’s four guys in pursuit. It does no good if you play three games and then you’re out for three more games, then you play two more games and you’re out for two more games. You have to make those smart decisions … You want to be out there for every game, that’s how I’ve always looked at it. You want to be durable, and part of being durable is decision-making. Especially when you’re a 190-pound receiver and you have a 250-pound line back, there’s only so many hits you’re going to be able to take.

“It always gets kind of chippy with the Bengals. They’ve had a history of that with particular players on their team and it just kept going back and forth. Gronk’s making a bunch of good plays on them, and I’m sure they didn’t like it. I would rather us not take those. I would rather be poised, get back to the huddle and make them pay on the scoreboard. But sometimes in football it just happens.”

Brady, however, stopped short of suggesting the Bengals were a dirty team.

“I think they play a tough, physical style and when they hit you, they hit you hard. I don’t say ‘dirty’. I’ve never said that about any team,” he said. “It’s football. It’s a physical sport. Some teams play more physical than others. The trademark of that team is to read the quarterback, break on the ball and hit hard. That’s how it’s been for a long time. That’s how they build their team. They have two safeties who are 220 pounds. They have big, physical linebackers. They have big corners and a huge D-line. They have a lot of good players. The best way to make a statement is always to play well, execute well, score points and win the game, because that’s what they are there for.”

Tom Brady insists on Kirk & Callahan Show he likes absolutely everybody, maybe even Roger Goodell 10.17.16 at 7:51 am ET
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Tom Brady and Roger Goodell. (John Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady and Roger Goodell. (John Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

Some eyebrows were raised when Tom Brady offered a one-on-one interview with ESPN following the Patriots’ win over the Bengals Sunday. It was the network, after all, that seemingly went out of its way to side with the NFL during the entirety of the Deflategate controversy.

But, appearing on the Kirk and Callahan Show, Brady clarified his approach when it comes to picking and choosing which media outlets he may, or may not, be holding a grudging against now that his four-game suspension is over.

“I haven’t thought about that much. I do know a lot of things are asked to do on a weekly basis. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t,” Brady said. “I wouldn’t say I’ve done a ton of things over the years. Even going back to five or seven years ago, I’m not somebody you see a lot of the Sunday Night Football’s prelims and stuff like that. I do try and conserve my energy, I’ll say that. I realize I need my energy for my team and my teammates. The more you do the less time you have to prepare. Sometimes it takes five minutes, but when there are five things that are asked of you that are five minutes it becomes a lot longer than that. I’m just kind of playing it by ear to be truthful.”

He then added, “I really have tried to move on. Things are just in the past with me. I’m just trying to move on. I think that’s how I look at it. There have been so many people who have been so great to me over the years and I’ve had so many people who have supported me as a player for 17 years. I’m a very positive person I think for the most part. I just try and live my life that way. I kind of like everybody. Even you don’t really like me, I kind of like you. That’s the way I am.”

Asked if he ever held past actions against anybody, Brady explained, “If I hold a grudge it bothers me more than it bothers the person.”

So, there isn’t anybody Brady doesn’t like?

“No,” he said.

Then came the ultimate test: How about somebody with the initials “R.G.” (Which was obviously a reference to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.)

“I don’t think about it,” Brady said softly.

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