|Greg Doyel on D&C: Bill Belichick ‘shows no loyalty to anybody’||03.19.13 at 10:39 am ET|
CBSSports.com writer Greg Doyel talked with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss his recent column about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, in which he suggests Belichick is overrated and Brady deserves the credit for the team’s success.
“[Belichick is] walking across that tightrope every single year, thinking, ‘Look how brave I am on this tightrope, I’m going to get from here to there,’ and there’s a huge safety net three feet below him named Tom Brady, only he doesn’t even seem to get it. … He’s got the greatest quarterback of this generation and has had him for 10 or 12 years,” Doyel said. “Up and down in the NFL, history shows, great quarterbacks win, period. Great quarterbacks do not lose, they do win, and my feeling is the coach pretty much gets too much credit.
“The way he jettisons everybody, the way he shows no loyalty to anybody, the list of Patriots he’s just cut loose or franchised and chased them out of town or whatever. From [Wes] Welker, all the way back to Asante Samuel before, the arrogance of that suggests to me that he’s arrogant not because he knows Tom Brady lets him get away with it. He’s arrogant because he thinks he gets away with it.”
Doyel also discussed the comparisons between Brady in 2001, when he won his first Super Bowl, and Brady today.
“Clearly the Brady that evolved after 2001 was better than that one because players do get better, and the [Matt] Cassel thing is a feather in Belichick’s cap,” Doyel said, adding: “But about 2008, I think the Patriots had superior talent on both sides of the ball, but on defense, too, in large part because players go where Brady is. But in 2001, yeah, Brady wasn’t the Brady he is now, but he’s still Brady.”
While Doyel does believe that Belichick is a good coach, he does not classify him as “great.” Two coaches who he would put in that category are the Harbaugh brothers.
“Both Harbaughs are great,” Doyel said. “I think Jim Harbaugh, specifically Jim, even though he didn’t win the Super Bowl, Jim Harbaugh is the greatest football coach in the world.
“When I say that about Harbaugh, yeah it’s about what’s now, but it’s everywhere. It’s everywhere. He went to San Diego — not San Diego State, San Diego. Terrible program, and they won, and then when he left they kept winning because whatever does, he puts his culture of winning that continued after he was gone. He goes to Stanford, can’t win. They win there, they keep winning after he’s gone, the culture continues. San Francisco, too. There’s something about him that’s just really, really special.”
|Niners’ Michael Crabtree, Jim Harbaugh convinced refs blew call on critical fourth-and-goal pass||02.04.13 at 10:16 am ET|
The 49ers mounted a furious comeback in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday night, but they fell just short in losing to the Ravens, 34-31. There also was some controversy, as a fourth-and-goal pass fell incomplete after what might have been a hold on Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith.
“It was a missed call,” stated the intended receiver, Michael Crabtree. “[The referee] missed two or three in the game, but that was it right there, the Super Bowl was right there.
“I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t know, man. What do you think? I thought it was holding.”
Should the Ravens have been called for holding on the 49ers' critical fourth-and-goal pass late in Sunday's Super Bowl?
- Yes, it was holding (68%, 1,674 Votes)
- Technically it might have been holding, but the refs were right to let it go in that situation (25%, 623 Votes)
- No, it was not holding (7%, 184 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,477
Added 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh: “You know, I really want to handle this with class and grace, and we had several opportunities in this game. We didn’t play our best game, and the Ravens made a lot of plays and battled back. They competed to win. But there’s no question in my mind that it was a pass interference and hold on Crabtree on the last one.”
Niners running back Frank Gore isn’t convinced the best team won.
“They got away with one,” Gore said. “We showed we were the better team. It was just a couple plays here, a couple plays there.”
|LaMichael James on late kick return: ‘We needed a boost’||12.17.12 at 1:52 am ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots had completed the near-unthinkable; coming back from a 28-point deficit to tie the 49ers, 31-31, with less than seven minutes left to play on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. The crowd, which had thinned just a bit after San Francisco jumped out to such an astonishing lead, began to electrify the stadium.
After Danny Woodhead scored his second rushing touchdown of the night to tie the score, rookie running back LaMichael James thought to himself, “Don’t flinch.”
James was back to return the Stephen Gostkowski kickoff, and recognized that his team needed a spark. He took the ball down the left sideline, got a few blocks, and sprung a 62-yard return that set the 49ers on the Patriots’ 38-yard line.
One play was all it took for Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick to capitalize, as he hit Michael Crabtree for a 38-yard score that put his team up for good.
After the game, James said that he knew in his mind what his team needed after letting a four-touchdown lead disappear.
“We needed a boost. That’s exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking I was going to take it to the house,” James said. “I just kept telling myself that I was going to get down there. I believed in it, and it happened.”
On the very next drive for the Patriots, Tom Brady was sacked twice and Zoltan Mesko was forced to send the ball back to San Francisco. It was the first drive that the Patriots didn’t score on since midway through the third quarter.
James said that they couldn’t let the fact that they had blown a huge lead get to them, because they knew who they were up against, and whose territory they were in.
“They’re a great team. You know, Tom Brady is a great quarterback, and they have great players. You have to keep fighting; nobody said it was going to be easy,” he said.
“Great return by LaMichael,” 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said on Sunday night. “… Not where he was supposed to go with the ball, … but he saw what we saw, kicked it out to LaMichael and then LaMichael made a huge play.”
|Randy Moss: I still have a lot of love for Patriots, but I’m with Niners now||12.12.12 at 9:17 pm ET|
Randy Moss said Wednesday he’s still got fond memories of his time with the Patriots, but now, he’s a member of the 49ers.
The former New England wide receiver, who called Foxboro home from 2007 until the early stages of the 2010 season, said that he didn’t want to compare the two organizations “because whatever I say is going to be the wrong thing to say,” but said that the Patriots still hold a place in his heart.
“Basically, I’ll leave it at that I still got love and respect for the New England Patriots and everything we did as a team. But now, I’m a 49er, so hopefully, like I said, we go up there Sunday night and give it a good game,” said Moss, who caught 259 passes for 3,904 yards and 50 touchdowns in 52 regular-season games with the Patriots.
“Hopefully, we can complement our defense, [but there’s] no telling what’s going to happen,” he added. “But like I said, we have to play complementary football, and I think if we do that and try and not let Tom [Brady] and the [New England] offense run the score up on us, I think it’ll be a good game.”
Through 13 games, the 35-year-old Moss has 21 catches (on 37 targets) for 326 yards and two touchdowns for San Francisco. His best all-around outing of the year came in the season opener against the Packers, when he had four catches (on four targets) for 47 yards and a touchdown. Despite the dip in his numbers, the Niners praised Moss on Wednesday, with San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh saying he’s been a “great teammate.”
“He’s a good teammate,” said linebacker Aldon Smith. “He’s a guy I looked up to as a kid growing up, and being able to be in the locker room and sit next to him is cool. It’s a dream come true.”
“He’s done a nice job,” said Harbaugh. “He’s been a contributor, he’s produced, and he’s been a great teammate.”
He’s also getting a lot of respect in New England. Safety Devin McCourty spent training camp and the initial stages of the 2010 season as a teammate of Moss, and recalled Wednesday how the veteran receiver helped him grow up on a daily basis as a young defensive back.
“He’s still a very, very good receiver,” said McCourty. “I learned a lot just going against him when he was here. You see him out there, and he’s still able to make plays. I think one of the special things about him is that he’s still able to get vertical and run by guys. I guess one good thing is that we have some familiarity with him, and that can help us a little bit. But he’s still a very good receiver.”
“He does a great job of reading defenses,” said Wes Welker. “He knows when he’s about to get the ball and he knows when to kick into high gear and get open and make plays. He really understands defenses, how they’re trying to play them and how to attack them.”
“I think Randy looks like Randy. He’s the greatest deep ball receiver I think that’s ever played,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “Nobody runs better patterns or has a better feel over the deep part of the field like Randy Moss. I still see him doing that. Because of his ability to do that, it certainly opens up a lot of other things as well because you have to respect the ability to stretch the field and go deep and get behind you.”
|Mike Lombardi on D&C: ‘I think it’s going to be New England and Denver’ in AFC||11.30.12 at 10:29 am ET|
NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to preview Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins game and discuss news from around the league. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Heading into Sunday’s game with the Dolphins, Lombardi said that the Patriots have to figure out a way to run the ball against a Dolphins team that a lot of people credit as having a better defense than they actually do.
“People say that all the time,” Lombardi said. “But when you study the team, and you’re in a nickel formation, they allow five yards per carry. So, the reality of the situation is if you want to be in two backs and you want to show how tough you are, and you want to try to prove a point and you want to prove that they can stop the run, line up in two backs and run the ball at them. You won’t have any success. So, you have to solve the problem, you have to be divergent in your thinking. So, what teams have done is spread them out, get in nickel and see if they can force the run in nickel, which fits the Patriots perfectly.”
Tom Brady and the Pats are coming off a Thanksgiving night victory over the Jets. Lombardi said that Brady is a patient quarterback and that it will benefit the Patriots in Sunday’s game.
“I think what Brady is able to do is make the right decisions almost all the time,” Lombardi said. “Since the Seattle game when he threw the ball to Deion Branch and he should’ve probably thrown it to [Rob] Gronkowski or [Aaron] Hernandez on a crossing route, you rarely see Tom take a chance that’s not there. Sometimes you get upset that he doesn’t try to at least throw it up the field, but Tom always is doing what’s best for the offense. … I think Tom plays a patient game and that really helps when you play a team like San Francisco or when you’re going to play Miami. Patience is a virtue. You’ve got to be able to continue on up the field and not always kind of try to be desperate, and I think he does a great job of that.”
Added Lombardi: “I think he’s having a great season. It’s swept under the carpet because of the running game of the Patriots. … But I think now he’s throwing the deep ball better than he has pretty much in the last three or four years.”
|Bill Belichick and Nick Saban hanging at Pebble Beach||02.11.12 at 6:29 pm ET|
By Greg Cameron
Just six days removed from last Sunday’s Super Bowl loss to the Giants, Patriots coach Bill Belichick hit the links as a part of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am as the amateur playing partner of PGA golfer Ricky Barnes. Currently, the pair sits in a tie for seventh place in the tournament heading into Sunday’s final round.
After teeing off on the famed course’s par-3 17th hole, Belichick and University of Alabama coach Nick Saban, who was playing with former Crimson Tide golf standout Bud Cauley in a foursome with the perpetually hoodie-clad coach (including during play on Saturday) and Barnes, spoke to CBS Sports’s Jim Nantz and Sir Nick Faldo. In addition to being critiqued on the finer points of their golf swings, both coaches, who are long-time friends talked about their time playing together in the tournament and blowing off steam after Super Bowl XLVI.
On what it was like playing together at Pebble Beach:
BB: “Oh it is. It’s awesome. It’s great to spend time with Nick and the pros here at Pebble Beach. It’s a great weekend.”
NS: “This is a fantastic place I’ve never been here before. This is my old friend and pal, and one of my real mentors in coaching and it’s great to be able to spend time with him as well.”
On playing so well with Barnes in the tournament despite not playing much golf in recent months:
BB: “Ricky Barnes has been playing great. He’s having a great tournament and he’s been carrying me the entire time out here. He’s going to have a back massage out here tonight.”
On what it’s been like after last week’s Super Bowl and the reactions from the gallery:
BB: “The reaction out here has been great. The fans have been great and it’s fun to be out here. It was a tough loss, a tough couple [of] days. But Pebble Beach is a great spot to take your mind off of some of the other problems we had.”
On making the cut with Barnes:
BB: “It’ll be fun. I’ve never done that before and played here on Sunday. I’m looking forward to that.”
Belichick is joined in the Pebble Beach field with other entrants with NFL ties including 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, Packers quarterback and newly minted league MVP Aaron Rodgers, former Jets coach and ESPN analyst Herm Edwards, and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who is playing with Tiger Woods this weekend.
Here’s video of Belichick and Saban chatting with the CBS crew after their round Saturday:
|Setting the scene: Patriots-Colts||12.04.11 at 10:18 am ET|
FOXBORO — Sunny skies and pleasant temperatures in the low 50s are expected for the first 1 p.m. kickoff (CBS, WBZ-TV) of the season at Gillette Stadium as the 8-3 Patriots host the 0-11 Colts. This is the ninth straight season the two longtime AFC rivals have met in the regular season. Despite Indianapolis going through an abysmal season, it’s also a streak that will grow to 10 since the Patriots are scheduled to play all four AFC South teams in 2012.
The field is freshly painted after six Massachusetts high school Super Bowl games were held on the field on Saturday. Crews worked overnight to lay down new lines on the field and the electric fans were in full motion until just before 10 a.m. to dry the paint.
This is the first time the Patriots have faced the Colts without Peyton Manning under center since Nov. 30, 1997 at old Foxboro Stadium, when the Patriots beat current 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Colts, 21-16 at the RCA Dome, when the Colts were still AFC East rivals of New England. Appropriately, the Colts fell to 1-12 that day while the Patriots improved to 8-5 on their way to the playoffs.
In the 19 games since then, the Patriots managed a 12-7 record against Manning, including 2-1 in the playoffs.
Manning did make the trip to Foxboro after getting an exam on his surgically repaired neck this week. He will be on the sidelines trying to offer help Dan Orlovsky, who is the third Colts starting quarterback this season. Kerry Collins started and lost the first three games before getting hurt. Curtis Painter went winless in his eight chances as starter.
There is a great deal of symmetry here as Tom Brady made his first career NFL start against the Colts on Sept. 30, 2001 at Foxboro Stadium when he led the Patriots to a 44-13 pounding of the Colts. He is 6-3 in his regular season career against Indy, with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and a career passer rating of 99.0.
As for injuries on the Patriots side of the ball, starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is out with a right foot injury. He will be replaced by one of two rookies. Nate Solder could start in that spot or Marcus Cannon, who made his debut against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 21, could get his first NFL start if the Patriots choose to keep Solder in as a tackle eligible on power plays, like third-and-short.
Nick McDonald was signed off the practice squad on Saturday afternoon and will be active this afternoon, providing insurance at center for Dan Connolly (groin) and Ryan Wendell (calf), both of whom are trying to play through nagging injuries.
The Patriots are a remarkable 37-5 in the month of December since 2001. The next-closest team in the NFL, over that span, is Philadelphia, which is 32-12. Three of those five losses have come to the Dolphins and the Patriots are 18-1 in the month of December at Gillette since the stadium opened in 2002.
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