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Phil Simms says Super Bowl LI was one of the best-coached games of Bill Belichick’s career 02.07.17 at 7:49 pm ET
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Bill Belichick was at the top of his game on Sunday, according to Phil Simms (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick was at the top of his game on Sunday, according to Phil Simms (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

In the Tuesday night edition of “Inside the NFL” on Showtime, analyst Phil Simms said that Super Bowl LI was one of the finest moments of Bill Belichick’s coaching career.

“Bill Belichick coached one of the best games of his career,” said Simms of the New England coach’s performance on Sunday.

“Let’s be honest — they needed a lot of breaks to win the game, and they got them,” Simms added. “But they created them, so you have to give them credit there. … Bill Belichick said, ‘Oh, we made no adjustments in halftime,” and I’m not going to call him a liar, but I’m just saying they played differently in the second half, especially on the defensive side.”

Brandon Marshall had a simple explanation for what happened down the stretch.

“Everyone thought the game was over,” he said. “The only reason you give a disclaimer was because they have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but mainly Tom Brady.  He’s on the field. I didn’t believe until Matt Ryan got sacked and then, they got the holding call. That’s when I said, ‘Okay, it’s Tom Brady time.’”

“I thought after Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady was the greatest quarterback of all time,” said Boomer Esiason. “Everything he has done since then — especially under the cloud of the suspension of Deflategate — just continues to add to his legacy. And this legacy will never be topped by anybody because it’s 32 teams.  It’s free agency.  And it’s salary cap.”

“Tom Brady threw the ball incredible in the fourth quarter, incredible,” Simms said. “He threw tight, deep throws down the sidelines, right on the target. The guys were covered. This is a Tom Brady throwing the ball that we didn’t see four or five years ago.”

Analysts also let the Falcons have it.

“They lost the game because of play calling and execution of a few plays,” said Michael Irvin. “They gave New England the opportunity to come back.”

“I expected Atlanta’s defense to be a little bit more creative,” Simms added. “When you are just getting run over like they were with the hurry-up you have to take a chance. For no other reason than just to let them make the big play. Get your offense back up there. … In overtime, I was screaming from the stands, ‘Call a time out. Let your defense rest. Let it gather itself.’ Because you could see New England was marching in. I never see it, coaches never call timeout for their defense, but that would’ve been a great example to do it.”

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Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms like look of Patriots heading into Super Bowl LI 01.25.17 at 11:56 am ET
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Boomer Esiason

Boomer Esiason

On Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” Tuesday night, two former quarterbacks turned analysts weighed in on the Patriots and how they look heading into Super Bowl LI.

“I think it really comes down to poise, professionalism, dedication and preparation,” said Boomer Esiason. “Everything that basically is never really written about, or talked about, New England, but we all know. The other 31 teams, they just don’t have that in their repertoire.”

“Most teams are very structured and have one system they play. The thing about the New England Patriots, they have five different offenses they run and they have many ways to run their defense,” said Phil Simms. “It’s multiple, so if it’s not working they can make the change on the fly. That’s what they’ve built up over the [past] 17 years.”

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Ex-Jets LB Bart Scott says that Bill Belichick ‘doesn’t value’ players 11.15.16 at 6:53 pm ET
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Bart Scott has some definite opinions on Bill Belichick. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports)

Bart Scott has some definite opinions on Bill Belichick. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports)

On this week’s edition of “Inside The NFL” on Showtime, former Jets linebacker Bart Scott took Patrots coach Bill Belichick to task for his recent decisions to let go of Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones.

“I think you saw a vulnerable defense,” Scott said of the Patriots last week against Seattle. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Did Bill Belichick outsmart himself letting go of Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones?’ I think we all agree at this table that these are elite players and we’ve seen him do this before with Lawyer Milloy, Richard Seymour. Sometimes coaches think it’s more about themselves than it is actually about the players. Great players make great coaches, right? And sometimes they outsmart themselves.”

He added: “Listen, if I’m a young player out there, I’m not going to play injured. I’m not going to play if I need surgery because I know that he doesn’t value me. I know that he’ll ship me out like anybody else. If you’re not a part of that core four, core five which is pretty much Patrick Chung, [Tom] Brady, [Rob Gronkowski], [Rob] Ninkovich and [Devin] McCourty, you can be traded tomorrow. So, I’m not going to go out and put my career and my season on the line because I know he’ll get rid of me. He doesn’t value me. I’m expendable.”

Scott concluded with an endorsement of Collins, and a closing shot at Belichick.

“There was no reason to get rid of Jamie Collins. We talk about Jamie Collins being one of the best, most athletic, talented players on the team, in the NFL. He didn’t value him. So if I’m a young player, I’m not risking myself and my body for Bill Belichick because he doesn’t care.”

Boomer Esiason came to Belichick’s defense.

“We don’t know the internal issues that he was having with Jamie Collins or whether or not Jamie Collins was doing his own thing on the field,” said Esiason. “Or maybe he wanted Von Miller money or whatever it may be. Bill Belichick has always made the right decision. It’s not the easiest decision — and you know you can’t be in love with players these days. Especially with the salary cap and what that can do.”

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Phil Simms: Denver, Kansas City ‘capable of beating the New England Patriots in a big game’ 10.19.16 at 10:37 am ET
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Boomer Esiason

Boomer Esiason

On Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” this week, panelists Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms and Michael Irvin all offered their thoughts on teams that might be able to go “toe-to-toe” with the Patriots.

Esiason: “The only team that I think that can go toe-to-toe with them, firepower-wise is Pittsburgh when Ben Roethlisberger is healthy. But I will say if something happens, where they trip up late in the season and they have to go back to Denver for an AFC Championship Game, that can be problematic.”

Simms: “If I had to pick a team right now … I would pick Denver and Kansas City. Either one of those teams are capable of beating the New England Patriots in a big game. This Denver defense is still a Super Bowl defense … They make great changes during the game … Their group of guys can cover the New England Patriots … Kansas City Chiefs is the other team on the defensive side that can give this New England’s offense some trouble.”

Irvin: “I think Pittsburgh — because I picked them to be in the Super Bowl — will have an opportunity to go in the AFC title game against the Patriots.”

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What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday: Matt Patricia deserves consideration for head coaching gig 09.25.16 at 2:23 pm ET
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Boomer Esiason

Boomer Esiason

Here’s a quick sampling of what some of the national analysts were saying about the Patriots on Sunday before the action kicked off.

Bart Scott on CBS on the Patriots’ coaching staff: “We hear a lot about Josh McDaniels and he deserves a lot of credit. But let’s give some love to Matt Patricia. Let’s talk about that defense pitching a shutout against the Houston Texans offense that was pretty prolific. … And let’s talk about him as a possible head coach in this league. Matt Patricia might deserve a shot too.”

Chris Simms on CBS on the Patriots: “At the end of the day, what still amazes me — forget the quarterback situation. New England is a phenomenal team.”

Boomer Esiason on CBS on the state of the running game in the NFL: “I would tell you the three top guys right now … it has to be (LeGarrette) Blount, (DeAngelo) Williams and Matt Forte. But they’re all over 30. Will they make it the entire season? That’s the big question.”

Marshall Faulk on the NFL Network on the Patriots and Bill Belchick: “Bill Belichick has shown us you think it’s about quarterbacking – it’s about coaching in this league. And if you coach the right way and you teach players, you win.”

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Boomer Esiason on D&C: Super Bowl will be ‘struggle for both offenses’ 01.30.15 at 10:17 am ET
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CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk briefly about footballs, the Super Bowl and what Sunday will bring. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

As a former NFL quarterback, Esiason weighed in on Deflategate, noting that people have been “manipulating the ball for as long as I can remember.”

“It goes all the way back to when I was playing,” he said. “They started playing with brand new balls out of the box, we were all angry about that. Then it was that the home team had to furnish the footballs, we were angry about that. Then it was Tom [Brady] and Peyton [Manning] who went to Roger Goodell back in 2006 and said, ‘Hey, we want to bring our own footballs.’ And I’ve been saying over the last five or six years, I don’t care if they’re underinflated, overinflated, the fact is when you look at those footballs, they all look like they’re 100 years old. They don’t look anything like the balls that we played with. So I think everybody has gained an advantage at the quarterback position.”

Esiason then mentioned that it sounded to him like “the officials didn’t really do their due diligence” in terms of checking the balls carefully.

Aside from the unrelenting talk of deflated footballs, the story this game is that both the Patriots and the Seahawks match up to an astonishing degree. For Esiason, it’s the strength of both secondaries that interests him most.

“I can’t remember the last time both defenses, in terms of the secondaries, had a decided advantage against the wide receivers,” he said, adding: “I think this is going to be a struggle for both of these offenses, and even Tom Brady said it last week, with Seattle, nothing’s easy, and the same thing can be said for the New England Patriots.

“The interesting thing here for me is whether or not Seattle can generate any sort of big play in their passing game. They were able to do that towards the end of the game against Green Bay and certainly did it in overtime. They did it against Carolina, but those secondaries aren’t nearly as good as the New England secondary.”

Esiason, who predicts a 23-20 Patriots victory, stressed that these are “the two best rosters in football” and that the game most likely will be down to the wire.

“This is why you went out and got Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis,” he said. “This is when you take a look at what Russell Wilson has been able to do in his young career. I believe this is going to be a great game. I think it’s going to go all the way down to the fourth quarter. I think it’s a field goal game, and I think the quarterback who has the ball last is going to have a chance to win the football game.”

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Jim Nantz on Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning: ‘This is as big as it gets’ 01.14.14 at 7:19 pm ET
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CBS analysts Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason and play-by-play man Jim Nantz held a conference call Tuesday to discuss the Patriots-Broncos AFC title game. Here are a few highlights from that conference call

(On the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry)
Nantz: I think it transcends the NFL. This is something everyone wants to see. This is tantamount to Ali-€‘Frazier one more time. This is Palmer-Nicklaus. This is Bird-€‘Magic. I’m not trying to create some sort of synthetic drama here, but this is what it is. This is as big as it gets. We’re going to savor it because you don’t know how many more times we’ll get it again. You say Brady-Manning, I defy anyone to say there is anything that has been bigger in this league.

Simms: The word legacy, all these things who they are, I have fun with them and I hear it. Somebody said their legacies, both of them, are at stake in this game at this time. I don’t care what either one of them does in this game. It will never change what I think of them. If one of them goes out and has the worst game of his career and is the sole reason why they lose, it will not bring them down one single bit in my eyes. They’ve done so much for the league, and their teams, and themselves, there is nothing that can diminish it.

Esiason: Each one of these players this year really defines who they are. Peyton lifted and took a young group of receivers to a completely different level, and very few players are capable of doing that. And Tom Brady took a team basically that was more built around the run, broke through for 4,200 yards, and got them back all the way here to the AFC Championship game. I think really what speaks to the greatness of both of these quarterbacks, they both have, along with Bill Belichick, and I’m sure John Fox says this as well, a Ph.D. in high-€‘level thought processes that give them the opportunity to make these championship games each year.

(On what makes Brady and Manning the best of their generation)
Simms: We have two quarterbacks that are tough guys. Tom Brady, his attitude, staying on the field, the way he conducts himself with his football team mirrors his head coach. Peyton Manning, just to play the style of football he plays. Man, I get tired watching him and all the work. You’ve got to remember he does that every day in practice.

Esiason: The fact really is three words: longevity, consistency and success. Both of these guys have kind of been going in parallel lives to one another and now find themselves in the AFC Championship game. For Tom Brady it’s his eighth game with Bill Belichick. Nothing says greatness better or more than winning, especially at the highest level. Great moments require great people to do great things, and both of these players have accomplished that. I think I speak for Phil and every other quarterback that’s ever played the position, maybe with the exception of Joe Montana, that what you’re watching here are two guys that will go down as two of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

(On what makes Bill Belichick so successful)
Simms: The thing that makes Bill so successful is that, in my eyes, it is truthfulness to his players. He tells them the truth. And it is raw, and it hurts. You’ve got to get used to that. But once you get used to it, it clarifies everything for you. You don’t have to walk around in your job and go, ‘€˜Oh, I wonder what Coach thinks of me or how am I doing?’€™ They let you know constantly. It is a rough way to play.

Read More: boomer esiason, Jim Nantz, Peyton Manning, Phil Simms



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