|What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday||12.09.13 at 8:51 am ET|
Here’s a quick rundown of what some NFL analysts were saying about the Patriots before and after Sunday’s game against the Browns.
Sterling Sharpe on NFL Network on the Patriots, before the game: “If they stay healthy, nobody wants them to come to your place or certainly go to Foxborough in the playoffs…This football team’s going be hard to deal with down the stretch.”
Marshall Faulk on NFL Network on Patriots running back Shane Vereen, before the game: “[Shane] Vereen, coupled with Tom Brady, could be the best back they’ve had come out of the backfield since Brady has been there because of his ability to stretch the field.”
Michael Irvin on the Patriots on NFL Network before the game: “I say they are built for the long-haul…Their three losses were all by one possession; they were all tough, [hard] fought games. They would blow everybody out for years and then get in the playoffs and go up against a tough team like Baltimore [who would say], ‘We’ll just be physical with them.’ Now they have this, they have been physical.”
Tony Dungy on NBC after the game: “I get so frustrated watching people not know how to play situational football. But good teams, like New England and Baltimore, know how to keep their poise in the final minute.”
Deion Sanders on NFL Network on the pass interference call on Cleveland cornerback Leon McFadden in the end zone against the Patriots, after the game: “This is suspect. You can call it but it’s really not pass interference…You could call it, but you have to let them play because that’s going to change the game.”
Tony Dungy on NBC, who disagreed with crucial defensive pass interference call on Browns late in the game, on the officials in the Browns-Patriots game: “In the last two minutes, everybody has to play under pressure, including the officials. In this play, everybody didn’t do their job.”
Willie McGinest on NFL Network after the game, on the Patriots moving forward without tight end Rob Gronkowski: “It’s survival mode. They go right back into what they were at the beginning of the year before they had [Rob] Gronkowski when he was hurt; finding different ways to get different guys the football.”
Rodney Harrison on NBC after the game, talking about Rob Gronkowski’s injury: “It’s hard for me to think they can go very far in the playoffs without his production.”
|What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday||12.02.13 at 10:42 am ET|
Here’s a quick rundown of what some NFL analysts were saying about the Patriots before and after Sunday’s game against the Texans.
Sterling Sharpe on NFL Network before the game: “The New England Patriots are the only team that doesn’t care whether they get the No. 1 seed.”
Steve Mariucci on NFL Network before the game: “This team is just getting better and better, and gaining some confidence…This is a very dangerous team and it’s the best team in the AFC.”
Bill Cowher on CBS before the game: “New England can wait for one of the slip‑ups right there because they hold the tie-breaker now over Denver having beaten them last week. From where they’re sitting right now, I think their schedule may be the easiest of those three. Certainly, Denver, look at them there. They should win out. If they win, get by [Sunday]. Right now, New England is sitting there at number two.”
Tony Dungy on the Patriots on NBC after the game: “This team reminds me so much of our 2006 Super Bowl team in Indy. They’re decimated on defense, but they’ve got a great quarterback who’s making plays and keeping them in every game. Tom Brady is the reason they’re winning.”
Marshall Faulk on NFL Network after the game: “The mismatch of [covering] Shane Vereen [in the passing game] will be giving teams trouble [the rest of the season].”
|Michael Irvin on Patriots receivers and Tom Brady: ‘You can tell these guys are not on the same page’||09.13.13 at 10:05 pm ET|
In the wake of the Patriots 13-10 win over the Jets Thursday night in Foxboro, the NFL Network crew of Michael Irvin, Steve Mariucci and Marshall Faulk weighed in on several topics on the New England side of the ball, including Tom Brady‘s visible frustration with his receivers.
On the Patriots’ miscommunication on offense in the win over the Jets:
Irvin: “We saw it a whole lot [Thursday]; a lot of dropped balls, miscommunication – it didn’t look like the New England Patriots we’re used to seeing out here. And we keep talking about sooner or later they’ll come together and they’ll play well together. They certainly didn’t do that [Thursday]. And not only did they drop some balls, there were a few balls that Tom Brady didn’t put to where we’re used to seeing Tom Brady lay the football…On both sides [quarterback and wide receivers], you can tell that these guys are not on the same page.”
Faulk: “There was a special tonight that we ran [during the pregame show] with a bunch of [Tom Brady’s] former receivers who talked about Brady, and just how patient and how much of a competitor he is. All of that patience and all of his competitiveness, he’s going to have to channel that to kind of carry these guys along because they don’t have other answers outside of the guys that they’re playing right now. You’re going to get [Rob Gronkowski] back, fine, and you’ll get [Danny] Amendola back but he moves in for [Julian] Edelman – you still have the two guys [Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson] on the outside. I want to see how Tom continues to put his arm around those guys and bring them along.”
On Brady looking visibly frustrated with dropped balls and miscommunication on offense:
Irvin: “I actually got sick and tired of seeing Tom Brady [being visibly frustrated] when everybody missed the ball because they are young guys. OK, they made a mistake, we know you’re upset – now let me see you take a different approach and try to raise these guys up so maybe they can go back and make plays…I got tired of seeing it. As a wide receiver, I would have said something.”
Mariucci: “Tom’s the captain of this football team and he’s been here for a long time. I hear what you’re saying [directed to Michael Irvin] because there are ways to lead, especially with the quarterback, but we don’t know why [there was] the frustration. Was it those couple plays? Has this been going on in practice? Are they working hard enough? There is certainly frustration right there but he knows enough that these are going to be the guys he’s playing with next week against Tampa so he’ll lift them back up somehow. But he wants perfection. That’s how they got here. He wants perfection with all of his players, I don’t care if they’re 21 or 31.”
Irvin: “You talk about how difficult the offense is – these are young guys, they’re playing in their first couple games in the NFL, their first couple games with these guys. I don’t mind Tom getting down on these guys some time and going after them, but as a receiver I saw way too much of it. I saw way too much of it for these young guys. I didn’t see him do it one time when he messed up. I would have problem with that, regardless whether I’m a Hall of Famer or a young guy. I would have an issue with that. Tom is a great leader, he’s done a wonderful job and I’m sure he’ll lead these guys – I would have issues with that.”
|Former Rams RB Marshall Faulk: ‘I’ll never be over being cheated out of the Super Bowl’ by Patriots||01.30.13 at 11:53 am ET|
Former Rams running back Marshall Faulk, now an NFL Network analyst, said he hasn’t made his peace with the way the Rams lost to the Patriots in the 2002 Super Bowl.
“Am I over the loss? Yeah, I’m over the loss. But I’ll never be over being cheated out of the Super Bowl,” Faulk told CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran on Tuesday. “That’s a different story. I can understand losing a Super Bowl, that’s fine. … But how things happened and what took place. Obviously, the commissioner gets to handle things how he wants to handle them but if they wanted us to shut up about what happened, show us the tapes. Don’t burn ‘em.”
Faulk was referring to tapes the Patriots allegedly made of the Rams’ coaches’ defensive signals before the 2002 Super Bowl, although none of those tapes were ever found and commissioner Roger Goodell said in 2008 that he had no evidence of the Patriots taping the Rams’ pregame walkthrough.
Still, Faulk said he doesn’t believe the game could have gone the way it did if the Patriots didn’t have prior knowledge of the Rams’ plans.
“I understand Bill [Belichick] is a great coach,” said Faulk. “But No. 13 [Kurt Warner] will tell you. Mike Martz will tell you. We had some plays in the red zone that we hadn’t ran. I think we got to fourth down — we ran three plays that we hadn’t ran, that Mike drew up for that game — Bill’s a hell of a coach … we hadn’t ran them the whole year [and the Patriots were ready for them].”
“Bill has done a great job,” Faulk continued. “I love [Robert] Kraft and what he’s done. They almost drafted me. I remember [Kraft's] vision for that organization. I respect everything about that organization. But am I bitter about how that went? Am I bitter about how the league handled them taping people? If Bountygate was that bad and Sean [Payton] got suspended for a whole year? If we want to talk about some unfair assessment of how we’re assessing things? Man.
“If you lost a game and your brother cheated you, you’ll remember that.”
|Bye-Week Breakdown: Wide receivers||10.21.11 at 1:25 am ET|
Over the course of the next few days, we’ll roll out something called Bye Week Breakdown, a position-by-position look at the Patriots as they head into the bye weekend. We’ve already tackled the tight end spot. Now, it’s the wide receivers.
Overview: The Patriots passing game has been the best in the league through the first six games of the season, and a sizable reason for that has been the connection between Tom Brady and Wes Welker.
Welker’s 51 catches and 785 yards make up 32 percent of the Patriots’ receptions and 36 percent of their total receiving yards. (He’s just off the pace to shatter the league records for most catches, but can still break the record for most receiving yards in a season — at this rate, Welker will have 136 catches and 2,093 receiving yards.)
As for the rest of the receiving corps, Deion Branch has provided depth and dependability at the No. 2 spot (he has managed to make at least one important catch through each one of the first six games). However, it’s clear that Chad Ochocinco continues to struggle in the offense, and it will be interesting to see what sort of role he has in the passing game when he returns from the bye weekend.
Meanwhile, Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater continue to serve more as special teams contributors than as wide receivers, getting only occasional snaps on offense, while second-year receiver Taylor Price remains a non-entity with just one snap through six games.
|Vereen is a ‘brilliant’ guy, according to Cal run game coordinator Ron Gould||05.13.11 at 1:09 pm ET|
The latest draft class profile we did was on Cal running back Shane Vereen, who was compared to Marshall Faulk by his position coach while a collegian, Ron Gould. One thing we didn’t include in the story was the statement from Gould about just how smart Vereen is.
“The thing that people don’t understand is that Shane has a great football IQ,” Gould said of Vereen. “He’s a brilliant guy — he graduated from Cal in three-and-a-half years, but he also has a great football IQ . There were things we would discuss, and most guys couldn’t tell you the things he can.”
Another thing about Vereen — he and college teammate Jahvid Best had an “unbelievable relationship,” according to Gould.
“They’re like brothers,” Gould said of Vereen and Best, the latter of whom is now with the Detroit Lions. “They both fed off each other and were fierce competitors. There were things that Shane did that Jahvid liked and vice-versa. They tried to one-up each other, but their relationship is second to none. If Shane scored, Jahvid wanted to score twice and vice-versa. They just fed off each other.”
|Curtis Martin comes up short in bid for 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class||02.05.11 at 8:03 pm ET|
Cornerback Deion Sanders and running back Marshall Faulk led a class of seven new inductees into the NFL Hall of Fame. Those two first-time eligible players were joined in this year’s class by tight end Shannon Sharpe, defensive end Richard Dent, linebackers Les Richter and Chris Hanburger and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol.
Former Patriots and Jets running back Curtis Martin, a finalist for this year’s Hall of Fame class, was not selected for entry into Canton. He reportedly made the cut from 15 to 10, but did not make the next round of cuts from 10 to five Hall of Fame inductees.
Sanders, who recorded 53 interceptions in his 14-year career, is regarded as one of the best — if not the best — cover corners of all time. He also proved a dynamic kick and punt returner and occasional wide receiver during his career with the Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys, Redskins and Ravens.
Faulk, the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1994, Offensive Player of the Year from 1999-2001 and league MVP in 2000, was an impact rusher and receiver, finishing his career with over 12,000 rushing yards and more than 6,000 receiving yards. In 1999, he became the second running back ever to go over 1,000 rushing and receiving yards, and he recorded a then-NFL record 26 touchdowns in 2000.
Martin, who started his career with three straight seasons of more than 1,000 yards rushing with the Patriots before jumping to the Jets as a free agent after the 1997 season, had 14,101 rushing yards in 11 seasons, the fourth most yards on the ground in NFL history.
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