|What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday: ‘Bill Belichick is the greatest coach ever’||01.19.15 at 1:28 pm ET|
Here’s what the pundits were saying about the Patriots after their win over the Colts in the AFC championship game Sunday:
NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk: “[Bill Belichick] is changing what you call ‘good coaching.’ Good coaching was having a system and finding players to fit it. Good coaching is now coaching the players you have and doing things to make them better.”
NFL Network’s Deion Sanders: “I’ve never seen a matchup that you didn’t check off the New England coaching staff with [Bill] Belichick. He always wins the coaching matchup … [The New England Patriots] have veteran players that they put in the right situations to be successful. They outcoach everybody.”
NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk: “Bill Belichick finds an identity for his team regardless of what it is, who it is, who the players are, and he gets the win. Once again Bill Belichick [and] Tom Brady they’re in the Super Bowl.”
NFL Network’s Deion Sanders: “[Tom] Brady is the attitude of the offense and Bill Belichick is the attitude of the defense. Collectively what these guys do, week in and week out, year in and year out, they’re consistent with who they are.”
NBC’s Al Michaels after the game on the upcoming Super Bowl matchup: “So many great early storylines to think about: Two chess masters, Belichick and Carroll, going head-to-head. Two hugely successful quarterbacks, Brady and Wilson, with vastly divergent styles. Two teams that will come to the Super Bowl with anything and everything in the back of their playbooks — fake punts, wide receivers throwing passes, eclectic formations and who knows what else. In Marshawn Lynch and LeGarrette Blount, the equivalent of identical twins at running back. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman against ‘The Legion of Boom.’ Darrelle Revis matched up against anybody. Richard Sherman matched up against anybody. And two teams that rarely face each other — only three meetings in the last 21 years. These are just the appetizers.”
NBC’s Cris Collinsworth: “This will be a legacy Super Bowl. Will it be Seattle winning back-to-back Super Bowls with a young team capable of many more, or Tom Brady and Bill Belichick winning their fourth? … This is the first Super Bowl in a long time that I have no idea who will be favored.”
NBC’s Tony Dungy: “The Patriots are hitting on all cylinders. They do so much on offense and show so many different looks. Every game plan is a little different, and it’s a huge advantage. … This will be a chess match that boils down to how the Patriots defense will handle the Seahawks run-option offense, and how the Seahawks defense handles the precise, inside passing game of the Patriots.”
NBC’s Rodney Harrison: “The Patriots returning to the Super Bowl is no surprise. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were prepared and the team is confident. There’s no set game plan with Belichick. He’s always trying to find the right mix to win the next game.”
|What pundits were saying about Patriots this weekend: ‘This team just doesn’t flinch’||01.12.15 at 4:15 pm ET|
Here’s a quick rundown of what some NFL analysts were saying about the Patriots before and after Saturday’s playoff win over the Ravens:
Shaun O’Hara on NFL Network after the game on the Patriots overcoming two 14-point deficits to defeat the Ravens: “This team just doesn’t flinch. That’s the biggest thing that came out of that game in my mind. … You look up and you’re down 14 points, but there was no panic, nobody flinched, and the reason why is because Tom Brady doesn’t flinch.”
Sterling Sharpe on NFL Network after the game on the Patriots defense: “I learned that this defense with a bunch of no-name guys other than Darrelle Revis and Vince Wilfork can still get it done. … Darrelle Revis played probably his worst game in his entire NFL career and the New England Patriots made the plays.”
Sterling Sharpe on NFL Network before the game: “You look at Tom [Brady] and this football team, they need to make a statement. They’ve stood up to a lot of the big teams; they took care of the Denver Broncos earlier in the year. I just think this football team needs this victory more than air itself.”
Marshall Faulk on NFL Network before the game on Tom Brady and the Patriots: “That 10-0 [record to start his playoff career], that was Willie McGinest, it was [Mike] Vrabel, it was [Tedy] Bruschi — it was a lot of guys carrying the Patriots on defense. Tom, pretty much it was a lot of showing up, not turning the football over — we’re going to win games. The 8-8 [since], that’s a bunch of Tom Brady-led teams where, ‘Tom, this is on your arm, you have to go out there and win these football games.'”
Marshall Faulk on NFL Network before the game on Tom Brady: “[The Ravens] get to Tom, like the games against the Jets. He’s worried in the pocket. I’ve seen Tom stand in the pocket flat-footed like nobody is going to touch me. In games against the Ravens and games against the Jets [with] defensive coordinators who throw different things at you, I’ve seen Tom just duck sometimes when nobody has been around him.”
Marshall Faulk on NFL Network before the game on the Patriots: “They sound so confident in who they are and what they are as a team. At the Kansas City game, they looked defeated. … How they have answered by not just winning games but taking over the number one seed in the AFC, it’s unbelievable what they’ve been able to do.”
Rodney Harrison on NBC Sports before the game on John Harbaugh‘s comments that Joe Flacco is best QB in the NFL: “If I was in this locker room, I’d get about 30 copies of that newspaper, and put it in Tom Brady‘s locker. It would absolutely upset him.”
|What national pundits were saying about Patriots Sunday||11.03.14 at 1:13 pm ET|
Here’s a quick rundown of what some NFL analysts were saying about the Patriots after Sunday’s game against the Broncos:
Irvin on NFL Network after the game: “Julian Edelman has stepped in and he’s been playing so well. I talked to him last offseason, and he said, ‘Michael, I’ve been waiting on this chance to prove my worth.’ You are proving your worth, Julian.”
Sanders on NFL Network after the game: “There’s only several teams in the NFL who really think that they can make it to the promised land — to the Super Bowl — and [the Patriots and Broncos] are two of them.”
Marshall Faulk on NFL Network after the game: “Jack Del Rio can’t just put guys out there and say go get Tom Brady. No, that’s not going to work. John Fox, being the defensive head coach that he is, they have to come up with a better game plan against a Tom Brady than they did.”
Dan Patrick on NBC’s “Football Night in America” after the game: “Extreme gamesmanship there towards the end. It looked like (Bill) Belichick wanted 50 points.”
Tony Dungy on NBC’s “Football Night in America” after the game: “He’s trying to put up points, John Fox is calling time outs, they’re throwing the ball at the end of the game. I’m not sure what all that was about.”
Rodney Harrison on NBC’s “Football Night in America” after the game: “He preaches they play 60 minutes.”
Harrison on NBC’s “Football Night in America” after the game: “This is a big win for the Patriots, not just to build confidence but … this is a win for home-field advantage. You don’t want to have to go to Denver in January.”
|Michael Irvin: Bill Belichick ‘just a masterful, masterful coach’||10.09.14 at 9:06 pm ET|
“[It’s] masterful how they alter a game plan to use what they have now. He’s just a masterful, masterful coach.” – Irvin on Belichick on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access Kickoff
“This is Bill Belichick. This is what he does. We’re going to win football games however we need to win football games and he doesn’t care what people have to say about it. The points put up against Cincinnati, they sent a message to a young team about if you want to win, if you want to be here, you have to come through us.” – Faulk on Belichick on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access Kickoff
|Marshall Faulk: ‘Bill Belichick has drafted awfully’||10.02.14 at 10:34 pm ET|
On the Thursday Night Football pregame show, analysts Marshall Faulk and Bill Cowher offered their thoughts about the current state of the Patriots. Here are their quotes.
“We have to look at him and say Bill Belichick has drafted awfully. Some of these guys that they’ve drafted, especially receivers to help Tom Brady, they’ve just not even come close to helping. When you think about the best two things that happened to Tom Brady: Randy Moss and Wes Welker. That’s it. They didn’t draft either of those guys.” – Faulk on the Patriots on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access Kickoff
“One of the biggest losses that has gone overlooked is the loss of Dante Scarnecchia. Their quarterback is not comfortable in the pocket, he’s not making connections with the outside receivers. … You can’t underestimate the importance of an offensive line coach.” – Cowher on the loss of Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia on CBS & NFL Network’s NFL Thursday Night Kickoff
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Heath Evans on M&M: ‘Never going to convince’ Marshall Faulk that Patriots didn’t cheat in Super Bowl XXXVI||01.31.14 at 11:48 am ET|
NFL Network analyst Heath Evans, a former Patriots fullback, joined Mut & Merloni from Super Bowl Radio Row on Friday to preview the Super Bowl and respond to Marshall Faulk‘s Spygate comments from a day earlier. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
On Thursday, Faulk appeared on Mut & Merloni and indicated that he holds a grudge toward the Patriots, who upset his Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, implying that they gained an advantage from illegal videotaping.
“When you have that blood, sweat and tears mixed into a lost Super Bowl vs. the Patriots, and then you hear all the conflicting reports about what could be or what was or what wasn’t, the bottom line is that you just start throwing it all, ‘Well, everything they did, they won because they were cheating,’ ” Evans responded. “Well, the bottom line is, we know for a fact as a team that the day when Bill [Belichick] came in and squashed that whole thing, we know there was a whole bunch of other teams that current time, in that day and age in ’07, that were doing the same exact thing. It was just kind of the standard policy that, OK, if you get caught you take the tape and you just kind of let it hush-hush. Well, [then-Jets coach Eric] Mangini had his panties in a wad, kind of broke rank, and end of story.
“You go back to those Super Bowls, Marshall doesn’t know for a fact that anything was done. It’s speculation. Therefore, it’s a non-conversation. If it was facts, then we could argue facts. But opinions? I’m never going to convince Marshall. We’ve had these same conversations.”
Added Evans: “When you’re in it, and your life’s invested in this, and then you feel something has been taken away from you — I look back at 2007 and I listen to some of the conversations that I’ve had with Bill and the conversations we had right after that game. It had nothing to do with taping; it had the fact that we drifted away from our game plan and we fell right into the trap of what the Giants would want us to do. We became a pass-happy team instead of cramming it down [Michael] Strahan‘s throat.
“Well, it is what it is. Now we live with 18-1 for the rest of our lives. There’s nothing we can do about it. But it had nothing to do with taping some signals Week 1 vs. the Jets. We beat them by 40 points. We could have given them all our signals and we still would have beaten them by 25.”
|Marshall Faulk on M&M: ‘Just ironic’ that Patriots have not won another Super Bowl since Spygate||01.30.14 at 1:42 pm ET|
Former Colts and Rams running back Marshall Faulk checked in with Mut & Merloni from Super Bowl Radio Row on Thursday, and he made it clear he still holds a grudge for what he perceives to be cheating on the Patriots’ part before their Super Bowl win over Faulk’s Rams in 2002. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“Here’s the thing: In the NFL, you don’t get fined for nothing. All right? Let’s understand that. OK? We’re smart, we’re businessmen, and it’s about protecting the brand, protecting the shield,” Faulk said. “Now, you tell me, at anything that you do, if you find out somebody cheats you in any little way, that you’re OK with it. I mean, you’re not a competitor. You’re not a competitor if you’re OK with it. I’m a competitor. That’s what I am.
“It’s not like I hadn’t played that team before. It’s not like I didn’t know what they were going to do to me. That’s fine. And up until that day that we found out that information, you had never heard me say anything about that team or about what they did. And I still consider [Bill] Belichick one of the greatest coaches. I still consider Tom Brady one of the greatest players. That team and what they did, and went on that run, it was great. The only thing that bothers me is there’s something that exists that gives us doubt on why the game went the way it did.”
Faulk would not come out and directly say the Patriots cheated — and a story implying a Patriots staffer taped a Rams walkthrough never was verified — but Faulk noted that the Patriots have not won a championship since the Spygate scandal broke.
Said Faulk: “The question is, how did they become a championship team? … Listen, I’m not going to be the only one to say this: Ever since they got fined and, ‘OK, we’re not doing that anymore,’ they’ve won how many Super Bowls?”
Asked directly if he feels the facts lead him to the opinion that the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl since being punished for videotaping opposing coaches, Faulk danced around the question.
“I’m just telling you how I feel about it. If that’s your perception of what I’m saying, then that’s your perception,” he said. “I’m not taking anything away from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady; they’re great. I’m going to continue to tell you that. They’re great. They’ve won, boy, I don’t know how many games, how many AFC championships, eight? … You don’t do that without getting some things accomplished.
“I’m just telling you it’s just ironic that that’s the case.”