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IT guru Dan Famosi: The most important Patriot you don’t know 09.19.14 at 10:56 am ET
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Bill Belichick has embraced the use of a tablet on the sidelines in games. (Getty Images)

Bill Belichick has embraced the use of a tablet on the sidelines in games. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Without technology, most in today’s society would be lost. Without Dan Famosi, Bill Belichick would be lost when it comes to preparing his team in today’s NFL. That’s what the Patriots coach admitted Friday when heaping praise on the Patriots IT guru.

“We’ve had to adjust to new methods of technology, teaching, apps and different things we’re not familiar with that our players are that will help them,” Belichick said.”I think the apps are certainly convenient. Guys can be getting treatment in the training room and watching iPad. It’s a lot easier than when I came into the league when you had to take a projector and a roll of film home and watch it. Now everybody has that. They have the access to it where before they had to take our film and put it on VHS, not that any of our players would know what a VHS is.

“They would pop it in their TV and watch it. That’s what we had to work with. We progressively worked through those stages and now we’re into another stage. It’s been very educational for me and I’d say I’ve learned on a lot of our IT people, like Dan Famosi. He’s done a tremendous job in coordinating all of this. Also, our coaches who have, in some cases, have used it with other teams or organizations they’ve been with. It’s been brought to our attention this is how another team is doing it and then one of our coaches or scouts will then go and find out how somebody else is doing it and see how we can apply it to us.”

Starting in the preseason and now in the regular season, the Patriots coaching staff has started to use Microsoft Surface tablets [pictured] on the sidelines. That’s a move Belichick would never consider if he didn’t feel his staff was prepared for going into games.

And before a play is called on Sunday, Famosi is the guy Belichick turns to if he needs a play, team or player on film processed on his tablet device for distribution to the team or even his coaching staff.

“Dan’s really been the guy for us who has taken all that stuff to the level that we’re at and just daily handling all the moron coaches like me who can’t turn it one or can’t get from one view to another to our players, the compatibility and accessibility of all the information,” Belichick said. “There’s a ton of information, and being able to access and utilize it is the key to doing that. We spend a lot of time on it and the organization is committed to it but on a daily, hands-on basis, he does a tremendous job.

“You think about people like Paul [Brown], Vince Lombardi, Sid Gillman in a picture, I think of them next to a projector with a film running. I have still a lot of films in my personal possession. I don’t even know if I have anything to watch them on. It’s been obviously a huge change. Film technology and teaching and being able to do cut-ups and I do something and I can share with somebody else.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Dan Famosi, IT, New England Patriots
Jerod Mayo, Don Jones return as 10 limited at Patriots practice 09.18.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo returned to full participation in practice Thursday after being away Wednesday due to the birth of his third child.

Safety and special teams player Don Jones returned Thursday after nursing a hamstring issue that caused him to miss Wednesday. Jones was one of 10 Patriots listed as limited. That list also included tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee), linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh) and offensive lineman Ryan Wendell.

For the Raiders, linebacker Sio Moore (ankle) and receiver Rod Streater (hip) missed their second straight day of practice. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hand), corner Carlos Rogers (knee) and defensive lineman Justin Tuck (illness) all returned after missing Wednesday.

Here’s the complete report:

Limited
S Don Jones (hamstring)
DE Michael Buchanan (ankle)
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
OL Dan Connolly (knee)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
WR Julian Edelman (back)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)
DT Sealver Siliga (hand)
RB Shane Vereen (shoulder)
OL Ryan Wendell (knee)

Read More: Carlos Rogers, Don Jones, Jerod Mayo, Justin Tuck
Tom Brady says he and Charles Woodson ‘have never talked about’ the ‘Tuck Rule’ game at 12:33 pm ET
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FOXBORO — There was a certain amount of rich irony when Bill Belichick spoke this week about what he sees as the continued greatness of 37-year-old defensive back Charles Woodson.

“Woodson really doesn’€™t look like a 17-year veteran, I’€™ll tell you that,” Belichick began. “He makes plays all over the field –€“ very aggressive, fast, instinctive, strong tackler, tough. Just couldn’€™t say enough about how impressed I’€™ve been watching him on film. The Raiders have real good team speed. They’€™re a big, physical team. We have a lot to get ready for in terms of their scheme and personnel.

“I think Coach [Dennis] Allen has done a good job there defensively with emphasizing the turnovers. They caused a lot of fumbles last year. I think it was the fourth-most in the league or something like that. They do a good job of turning the ball over.”

Of course, it’s the one turnover that Woodson thought he caused on Jan. 19, 2002 that will haunt him and the Raiders forever. Charles Woodson came on a corner blitz and sacked his former Michigan teammate in the snow of old Foxboro Stadium. Woodson stripped the ball from Tom Brady and Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert recovered. With 1:43 left in the fourth and the Raiders leading, 13-10, in the AFC divisional playoff game, all hope appeared lost for the Patriots.

Brady and Woodson were best of friends at the University of Michigan. They were separated by just two locker stalls. Brady even threw to Woodson a little while the two were with the Wolverines. This Sunday will mark the sixth time the two have met in the NFL but Brady says the two have never discussed the way their first encounter ended.

“I don’€™t think we’€™ve ever talked about that, but I remember it very well, and I’€™m sure he does, too,” Brady said Wednesday. “He was making plays back then, and he’€™s still making plays the same way. He’€™s got long arms, a really strong tackler. He’€™s been a ball hawk his entire career.”

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Read More: Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers, Heisman Trophy, Michigan Wolverines
Tom Brady posts old resume on Facebook: ‘Thought I was going to need this after the 5th round’ at 10:08 am ET
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Tom Brady posted a copy of his 1999 college resume on Facebook on Thursday.

Tom Brady posted a copy of his 1999 college resume on Facebook on Thursday.

FOXBORO — There must be something nostalgic in the air in Foxboro this week.

On Wednesday, Bill Belichick spent nearly 15 minutes of his 27-minute press conference waxing poetic about his eighth-grade football playing days and the influence of the “Single-T”, “Wing-T” and “Wishbone” offenses. On Thursday, Tom Brady, apparently inspired, posted a copy of his resume from 2000 just before his was taken with the 199th pick in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.

As part of the pop phenomenon “Throwback Thursday” or #TBT, Brady held the resume in one hand and took the picture with the other. He then wrote: “Found my old resume! Really thought I was going to need this after the 5th round. #tbt”

Brady was acknowledging the fact that he was somewhat nervous after not being selecting in the first five rounds of the 2000 draft before the Patriots selected him and changed the course of his life and football in New England forever.

Highlights of the resume include his work at Merrill Lynch in Ann Arbor, where he “assisted” the Senior Sales Broker, was “exposed” to upper-level management and company strategy and “programmed inventory control and reporting systems” for clientele.

He also listed his work in researching stock and mutual fund reports while updating client portfolios while gaining knowledge of broker activity and day to day administrative duties.

Brady resume also highlights his academic achievement while earning a Bachelor of General Studies from the College of Literature Science and the Arts from the University of Michigan, graduating in Dec. 1999 with a 3.3 (4.0 scale) GPA.

Under “ADDITIONAL,” Brady itemizes his achievement as team captain of the ’99 Wolverines and the fact that he “guided the football team as starting quarterback to 1998 Big Ten Championship and postseason bowl victory.”

 

Read More: Facebook, Merrill Lynch, New England Patriots, NFL Draft
Bill Belichick waxes poetic about his youth and how it influenced his coaching at 9:59 am ET
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Bill Belichick is always teaching and planning. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick is always teaching and planning. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick loves to talk football, especially the history of football.

That was certainly apparent this week when he was asked about the art of the unbalanced offensive line, putting an extra tackle on the end of the line and leaving just two linemen on the opposite side.

Stephen Belichick, Belichick’s father, wrote “Football Scouting Methods” and was on Navy’s coaching staff for 34 years in Annapolis. It was there that Belichick began to soak up all kinds of football knowledge that he makes use of today.

“In a way I really feel lucky because the one year, in eighth grade I played for the T-Birds in Annapolis,” Belichick said. “It was the Ford dealership. I think it was 110-pound football and so we were the T-Birds and so our coach played college football at Clemson so we ran the single-wing. That was our offense. Whatever year that would have been, call it ‘€™62, somewhere in there, ‘€™63, whatever it was.

“So, for a whole year I got to experience what a single-wing offense was. It was pretty interesting, just being a lineman, which that was the game really, was the blocking play, the blocking patterns and the calls. That’€™s kind of all he knew, was to run the single-wing. So we ran the single-wing. Really looking back on it, it was a great experience I never would have gotten otherwise just because it was kind of going out of, hardly anybody was running it.

“Lawrenceville [N.J.] ran it and when I played at [Phillips Academy] Andover in 1971, Coach [Ken] Keuffel down there, I think he might have been the last one to run the single-wing because he ran it all the way through his career at Lawrenceville. So we actually played against it when I was in high school. The principles and the elements of it are interesting. I’€™m glad I got to experience it. I got to experience the wing-T in high school, the single-wing in Pop Warner football, the Wishbone in college and my exposure to all the NFL stuff since ‘€™75.”

1975 was the year Belichick entered the NFL with the Baltimore Colts. The modern-day Colts used an unbalanced line often against the Eagles on Monday night while the Patriots – featuring Cameron Fleming – have used it frequently in their first two games as they look to bolster the protection in front of Tom Brady while also strengthening the running game.

That’s all the daylight Belichick needed to begin his lecture.

“I’€™d say the main issue you get into would just be the commitment you make to it,” Belichick began. “Putting an offensive lineman in for a tight end, I would say you’€™re going to get less of a defensive adjustment, normally. I would say you’€™d get less of a defensive adjustment because the spacing is still the same, it’€™s just who is that guy? It’€™s a lineman instead of a tight end, but if it was a blocking tight end or lineman, how much difference is there? I’€™d say there’€™s a smaller degree of grade of adjustment for the defense.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, option, Phillips Academy
Rob Gronkowski says earning Tom Brady’s trust ‘takes a long time’ 09.17.14 at 6:25 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The two buzzwords flying around Gillette Stadium this week are “balance” and “trust.” Balance in play-calling and distribution, according to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, will lead to a more efficient and productive offense.

Trust in the receiving corps will lead to Brady looking over all of his passing options and not zeroing in on just one or two targets.

Balance, as we saw on Sunday, can be found by tweaking play-calling from week to week. Earning Brady’s Trust, as Rob Gronkowski pointed out Wednesday can be something altogether different.

“It’s takes a long time,” Gronkowski said. “I’ve been here a few years now. You just have to go out there every practice, work hard, work overtime, stay after practice, get the same chemistry down. It’s just the chemistry with Tom, it’s the chemistry with the other wide receivers, with the timing. Chemistry with the offensive linemen. It’s just overall working together as a whole, as a unit.”

Gronkowski has earned Brady’s trust by becoming the most dependable red-zone target while also getting himself open many times in key third-down situations and holding onto the ball in traffic. But Gronkowski, who has caught eight passes on a season-high 17 targets over the first two games, knows he and Julian Edelman (15 targets) can’t do it all. Tom Brady acknowledged Wednesday that distribution starts with the quarterback and goes from there. If the Patriots are to be the offense everyone expects, then contributions need to come from receivers such as Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and Tim Wright.

“Definitely,” Gronkowski said when asked if balance would make his life easier. “It will open up holes for everyone on the offense. That’s why you want to click as a whole on offense. You want everyone to be on the same tempo. You want everyone to be on the same page so everyone has equal opportunity when their number is called to make that play. If you’re working together, you know the sky’s the limit if everyone’s clicking. That all starts in practice. You have to keep working hard, keep doing reps in practice and we have to be all on the same page and go out there and be a unit.”

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Read More: Gronk, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Rob Gronkowski
Mike Petraglia, Chris Price preview Patriots-Raiders and what Tom Brady has to do to spread wealth at 2:30 pm ET
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FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Patriots’ home opener vs. the Oakland Raiders. The pair talk about how Bill Belichick has adjusted his offensive line to provide a spark to the running attack, Stevan Ridley’s resurgence and the need for Tom Brady to start distributing the ball in the offense.

Read More: Chris Price, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders
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