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Mike Petraglia reports on Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Day 2 of Patriots at Super Bowl LI 01.31.17 at 4:09 pm ET
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HOUSTON — The Patriots continued their media availability Tuesday at the JW Marriott with Bill Belichick speaking on a number of different topics including his father. Mike Petraglia reports from Houston.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots, nfl
Tom Brady gets a protective necklace from Gisele for Super Bowl LI, and the best questions asked on media night at 9:28 am ET
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Jan 30, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during Super Bowl LI Opening Night at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady during Super Bowl LI Opening Night at Minute Maid Park. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

HOUSTON — No one cares more about the well-being of Tom Brady than his wife.

And to help in that regard, the Patriots quarterback Monday revealed at media night that Gisele gave her No. 1 man a silver necklace this week to wear while he prepares for Super Bowl LI, and presumably in the game itself.

Brady revealed the necklace when asked he thoughts on the adage, “behind every great man is a great woman.”

“That’s a wonderful question. I’ve just been very blessed to find a wonderful woman, a wonderful partner,” Brady said. “You’re right about that. She does everything. She gave me this right before I came down for protection so I’m wearing it. She’d be very happy I’m wearing it because she doesn’t like anybody hitting me so she always says, ‘throw the ball really fast.. really fast’ so that’s what I try to do.”

As for his kids and their love of football and sports?

“Well, I think they probably get most of it from their friends, not necessarily [from] dad because when they’re with me they don’t want to talk too much football other than to say, ‘Dad, the Atlanta Falcons are really good,” Brady said. “They’re a really good team. I don’t know if you can beat them.’ I think mostly hearing from their friends at school.”
“LeBron. Tight end. Split him out, throw it up and he’d come out with a lot of them.”

Brady did let it be known that he’s the reason his son Jack had a monster year in fantasy football, giving him the advice to draft Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman.

“I was part of the reason he picked Devonta Freeman early in the season. He said, ‘Dad, you’re going to have to help me pick my team.’ I was lining it up, and I’ve always been a fan of his. I’ve watched, actually, a lot of Atlanta’s offense over the last few years just watching different concepts and how they move the ball,” Brady said. “He’s someone that just stands right out. Between the receivers and their passing game and then what they do with their (running) backs, it’s incredible. Devonta and Tevin Coleman are both great players. They make a lot of big, explosive plays.”

Brady talked a lot about family on Monday, including his great relationship with father, Tom Sr., which caused him to tear up as he battled to stay composed.

Here are some of the best of the rest from Brady on Monday:

Who would you take if you had one game to win, you or Joe Montana? “Joe.”

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Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Devonta Freeman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel Live
Tom Brady refuses to address Donald Trump friendship: ‘I’m not talking politics at all’ at 12:16 am ET
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Tom Brady turned aside all questions on his relationship with President Donald Trump Monday night in Houston. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

HOUSTON — Tom Brady received a reprieve from old teammate Willie McGinest, who opened the hour-long media session with a one-on-one interview with the Patriots quarterback for NFL Network.

McGinest joked that he was going to ask about Donald Trump and the quarterback’s friendship with the President.

“Not you Willie,” Brady said with a smile “You’re not the one who’s supposed to ask that.”

Brady was not as lucky once the rest of the hungry reporters began firing off their questions. At least four times Brady was asked about his support of Trump and each time he responded that his focus was on Sunday’s Super Bowl and that he is “just a positive person” and he just “wants the best for everybody.”

“I’m not talking politics at all,” Brady said to the final Trump question of the night.

Why?

“Why? Because I just want to focus on the positive aspects of this game and my teammates and the reasons why we’re here,” Brady answered.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point and I just want to focus on positive nature of two great teams competing on the highest level. We’ve worked really hard and don’t want anything to take away from that.”

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Donald Trump, New England Patriots, nfl
Tom Brady fights off tears talking about his dad: ‘My dad is my hero’ 01.30.17 at 11:34 pm ET
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HOUSTON — Tom Brady may have had his tongue in cheek and been giving his dad some grief when he went on WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan Monday morning to inform the world he’s putting a media muzzle on Tom Brady, Sr.

But when the subject came up again Monday night at Super Bowl opening night at Minute Maid Park, there was no joking, only the somewhat unsuccessful attempt to fight off tears.

“Who’s my hero? That’s a great question. I think my dad is my hero because he’s someone that I look up to every day,” the Patriots quarterback said when asked by a boy atop a man’s shoulders during the hour-long session in what is short-centerfield of the baseball park.

As he battled welled-up tears, he just repeated, “my dad.”

It’s somewhat appropriate that Brady worked in a baseball reference.

“I loved baseball growing up and he’s someone who would play catch with me,” Brady said.

Clearly, Brady has been affected by his father’s pain from watching his son’s trials and tribulations through Deflategate. Brady, Sr. went as far as to suggest NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not worthy of sharing the stage with his son should the Patriots prevail Sunday night.

The first time Brady became publicly emotional on a national stage talking about his father was during the NFL Films documentary, “The Brady Six” chronicling the six quarterbacks taken ahead of him in the 2000 NFL draft.

During that documentary, Brady explains how he and his parents walked with him around the block as he was tormented while waiting to be chosen. He was eventually taken sixth (199th overall) and, in explaining his wait and his parents’ support, Brady broke down and cried during the filming.

 

 

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, nfl, Super Bowl LI
Mohamed Sanu recalls his old Rutgers roomie Logan Ryan: ‘We’re going to have fun out there Sunday’ at 9:44 pm ET
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Mohamed Sanu answers a question from rapper J.B. Smooth. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

HOUSTON — Sunday will be the best kind of reunion for former college roommates Logan Ryan and Mohamed Sanu.

The two are meeting on football’s biggest stage after spending time living together at Rutgers.

Sanu, the star No. 2 receiver for the Falcons, was taken by the Bengals in 2012 while the Patriots took their hard-tackling cornerback the next year.

What will it be like if Sanu lines up against Ryan on Sunday in Super Bowl LI?

“I don’t know,” Sanu said Monday night at Super Bowl opening night at Minute Maid Park. “We’ll just have to see. It’ll be fun to go against him. We’re going to have fun out there on Sunday.”

Sanu was not about to reveal any trade secrets or game plan info so the questions center on what kind of roomie Ryan was to live with.

“Logan was a great roommate, a very clean guy. Very, very clean. We rotated,” Sanu said of the cleaning chores.

There was something else the two had very much in common.

“I was always on time,” Sanu said. “I hate being late. That’s why we always gelled. We’d always wake up around the same time and take off and get to meetings on time.

“We watched a lot of movies together. I tell you that. We didn’t really cook together. We went to the dining hall a lot.”

And as for chores?

“We just made sure the house was clean,” Sanu said. “We just made sure there was not a big mess. We clean up after one another, just made sure the house was clean.”

Any roommate fights over their time at the State University of New Jersey?

“Nah, none of that,” Sanu laughed. “We send a friendly text to one another, send each other the “eyes” emojis and told each other we look forward to seeing you.”

Sanu welcomed those questions after being asked by rapper J.B. Smoove “if it’s true” that his first name got him stopped at airport security with new presidential order.

“Nah,” Sanu said without skipping a beat.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, J.B. Smooth, JB Smooth, Logan Ryan
Patriots officially arrive in Houston for Super Bowl LI, Alan Branch rides a scooterboard at 5:39 pm ET
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HOUSTON — The Patriots arrived in Houston for SB LI on Monday afternoon, landing around 2:45 p.m. CT, about 45 minutes ahead of the original 3:30 p.m. itinerary. As soon as the Delta charter pulled up in front of the media section on the tarmac at George Bush International Airport, airport personnel rolled over a pair of stairs, one in the front and one in the rear of the aircraft.

As soon as the stairway in the front was in place, the plane’s flight crew flew a pair of Patriots’ flags, one out of the front of the plane and the other in the front doorway.

Owner Robert Kraft and son Jonathan were among the first to deplane, then head coach Bill Belichick. Tom Brady deplaned along with backup Jimmy Garoppolo, from the rear.

The highlight was defensive tackle Alan Branch motoring from the rear doorway to one of the six buses that lined up to take the Patriots on their way from the airport 18 miles south to downtown Houston.

The Patriots checked into their hotel, the J.W. Marriott and then will prepare for Monday night’s Super Bowl Opening Night, featuring the massive media availability at Minute Maid Park. The session was affectionally called “a circus” by Belichick on WEEI’s Dale and Holley program earlier in the afternoon.

The team will have its media session, then a light day resembling a regular off-day on Tuesday, before getting ready for Wednesday’s standard practice at the University of Houston. For the Patriots, Monday’s plane ride of just over three hours was a continuation of a busy day. They began the festivities with a 9 a.m. ET rally outside Gillette Stadium, where owner Robert Kraft, quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick spoke.

Read More: Alan Branch, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, nfl
How advice from Vince Wilfork could pay big dividends for Devin McCourty and Patriots D in Super Bowl LI 01.27.17 at 6:50 pm ET
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Jan 22, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) runs the ball against New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) during the second quarter in the 2017 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Devin McCourty will once again play a big role in the Patriots secondary in Super Bowl LI. (James Lang/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Years before “Do Your Job” became part of the football lexicon in 2014, Vince Wilfork, still with the Patriots, had his own take on keeping to your responsibilities when he was trying to get his message across to the Patriots secondary.

Asked Friday about the need to recognize pass versus the run in light of the Falcons weapons in both areas, Devin McCourty recalled what Big Vince once told him in his second season.

“I remember Vince telling me that back in, I think 2011. He came in and told the whole secondary, he said, ‘We’ve got the run. If you’re supposed to be deep, stay deep.’ He said it with a little different choice of words, but that stuck with me,” McCourty said. “The key to any big game is a guy that’s supposed to be playing the deep middle part of the field not making a tackle in the run game for two yards. If you do that, you’re wrong. I don’t care really how it was drawn up. You’re wrong. I think that’s always the key when you play an offense like this that’s so balanced. Guys just have to do their job. You have to play your assignment, whatever that is and whatever defense it is, you’ve got to just play your assignment.”

In other words, “Guys that are up front that the defense dictates different roles for us, and if you’ve got to play the run, you play the run, and if you’ve got to play the pass, you play the pass,” McCourty said.

The key for the Patriots will be taking care of running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman close to the line of scrimmage before they get to the second level.

“They’re tough. It’s hard in this league when you let these guys, if they get in the open field and you’ve got to have one or two guys just try to bring them down in a one-on-one situation,” McCourty said. “It’s tough. Freeman is very elusive, so is Coleman. Those are guys that it’s not even just breaking runs, it’s when they split out and they run a route that a receiver runs and he catches the ball. Now you’ve got to try and tackle him, so they’re both very elusive and tough in space, so it’s going to be tough.

“If I’m in the deep middle I’m not going to be two yards [off the line of scrimmage], but even trying to get on that 10 yards is going to be tough. It’s something that we talk about a lot in the secondary of trying to be a good secondary tackling team, trying to get all four or five of us that’s on the field, if a run breaks through getting as many guys to the runner and trying to get him down.”

And McCourty said don’t expect the Patriots to go overboard trying to fool Matt Ryan with different looks. Ryan was 34-of-54 for 421 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a Patriots’ 30-23 win back on Sept. 29, 2013 in Atlanta.

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Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Devin McCourty, Matt Ryan, New England Patriots
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