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Johnny Manziel believes ‘The GOAT’ Tom Brady will lead Patriots to Super Bowl vs. Falcons 01.19.17 at 12:50 pm ET
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With an endorsement like this, the Patriots can’t lose.

TMZ Sports caught up with Johnny Manziel recently, and the disgraced former NFL quarterback offered his thoughts on who’ll be playing in the Super Bowl.

“It’s hard to go against the GOAT, Tom Brady,” Manziel said. “I’m a big Kyle Shanahan guy. I’m pulling for Matt Ryan.”

Shanahan is Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, and the presumed next coach of the 49ers. That means Manziel sees a Patriots vs. Falcons Super Bowl.

In the same interview, Manziel said he’s working out five or six times a week, presumably in the hopes of making a comeback.

Read More: Falcons, Johnny Manziel, Matt Ryan, Patriots
Malcolm Mitchell (knee), Chris Hogan (thigh) part of a group of 7 limited for Patriots on Wednesday 01.18.17 at 4:27 pm ET
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Malcolm Mitchell was limited at practice on Wednesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Mitchell was limited at practice on Wednesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan were part of a seven-player group that were listed as limited in Wednesday’s practice for the Patriots. Hogan is dealing with a thigh injury he sustained in Saturday’s divisional playoff win over the Texans, while Mitchell has been sidelined as of late with a knee issue.

Limited Participation
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont’a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

Here’s a look at the Steelers’ injury report.

Did Not Participate
RB Le’Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (illness)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

Limited Participation
LB Anthony Chicikllo (ankle)
TE Ladarius Green (concussion)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)

Full Participation
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
DE Ricardo Matthews (ankle)
RB Fitzgerald Toussant (concussion)

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots, Steelers
Lou Merloni on OM&F: ‘There’s no way Tom Brady will be MVP’ of Super Bowl at 11:57 am ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Love a good conspiracy theory, Patriots fans? Lou Merloni’s got one for you.

Speaking on OM&F on Wednesday, Merloni said what a lot of Patriots fans are probably thinking — the NFL is not going to let Tom Brady win the MVP of Super Bowl 51, even if the Patriots romp, because the league does not want to deal with the spectacle of commissioner Roger Goodell handing Brady the award the day after the game.

“What about the MVP trophy?” Merloni asked. “There’s no way Tom Brady will be the MVP of that game, if they win. It’ll go to Julian Edelman. It’ll go to Dion Lewis. It will go to Trey Flowers. It’ll go to Patrick Freaking Chung before it goes to Tom Brady.”

The Super Bowl MVP is voted on by a panel of 16 writers and broadcasters after the game, as well as in an online/texting vote of fans during the game. The writer/broadcaster ballots are weighted 80 percent and fans the other 20. The league does not technically have a say in the result, but after the way the league conducted itself during Deflategate, there are sure to be questions raised if Brady is not rewarded for a big game.

Of course, the Patriots must get through the Steelers first, but it’s food for thought.

Read More: Lou Merloni, MVP award, OMF, Patriots
Patriots greatness summarized in one amazing chart 01.03.17 at 4:04 pm ET
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Patriots graphicWe know how great the Patriots are around here, but it never hurts to see it laid out graphically.

A user over at Reddit named Portuguese Empire takes care of that (as unearthed by USA Today’s FTW blog) with this handy graphic illustrating division winners since NFL realignment 15 years ago.

Every division has had multiple teams win multiple division titles in that time . . . except the AFC East, which has been dominated by the Pats. Seriously. Look at this graphic. Look at all those little Patriots helmets. There are 13 in all.

It’s fascinating to see the runs of teams like the Eagles in the early 2000s, or the Colts in the early- and mid-2000s, or the Broncos of recent vintage come and go, while the Pats stay remarkably, dominantly consistent.

It’s also worth noting that of the two times the Pats didn’t win the division, in 2008 they actually tied for first with the Dolpins at 11-5, but lost on a tie-breaker.

Read More: NFL Playoffs, Patriots,
Charlie Weis on Kirk & Callahan: Michael Floyd already knows 75 percent of Patriots offense 12.16.16 at 12:30 pm ET
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Former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis joined Kirk & Callahan on Friday and discussed new wide receiver Michael Floyd, who joined the team this week after being cut by the Cardinals following an arrest for suspicion of DUI.

Weis coached Floyd at Notre Dame nearly a decade ago and said his former player should have a considerable leg up on the typical midseason acquisition, because the system he played at ND is similar to the one the Patriots run now.

“How many places can you go to where you’re going to know 75 percent of the verbiage walking through the door?” Weis said. “The verbiage is the same verbiage, with Josh [McDaniels’] tweaks and what’s matriculated over the past decade, the verbiage is still the same. There’s just a 25 percent spinoff in every system. You’ve got a guy who comes in here who doesn’t have to learn the system all over again. Mentally, you’ve got a big advantage over other guys because you already know what to do.”

Perhaps that’s why the Patriots plan on bringing Floyd to Denver for Sunday’s showdown with the Broncos. He could provide another outside threat for Tom Brady, alongside Chris Hogan.

“Learning a pro system takes some work,” Weis said. “You come in in a short time frame, come into one system that has one set of verbiage vs. another. Where he’s coming from, he played under me, he knows all those words.”

Weis is clearly fond of Floyd, the No. 13 pick in the 2012 draft, despite some off-field issues.

“Mentally, I want him to get his life screwed on straight,” Weis said. “He can really help you on the football field.”

Weis even invoked the name of a former Red Sox nemesis to illustrate how athletes should conduct themselves off the field — Yankees great Derek Jeter.

Added Weis: “I’m not downplaying what happened. But I do know this is not a habitual, every-night partier. That’s not who he is. But it really bothers me that these guys make a whole bunch of money and they don’t have the common sense when they have a beer — Derek Jeter told me one time if he ever had one beer he wouldn’t drive. And you wonder why Derek Jeter is never in the papers.”

Read More: Charlie Weis, Kirk & Callahan, Michael Floyd, Patriots
Patriots official Twitter account takes former NFL executive to task over insensitive remarks about Brazilian soccer team killed in plane crash 11.30.16 at 10:43 am ET
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Former NFL executive Joe Browne recently retired after 50 years in the league office, but the Patriots are keeping their eyes on him.

On Tuesday, Brown tweeted — and then deleted — about the deadly plane crash that virtually wiped out Chapecoense, an inspirational Brazilian soccer team.

“NFL club partnership so strong that if there were tragedy similar to Brazilian soccer crash other NFL clubs would restock affected team,” Browne tweeted from his account, @JBeonTheHill.

The Patriots official twitter account immediately fired back, which caused Browne to delete the tweet in question and issue an apology for his “ill-timed and poorly worded” observations.

For those wondering, Comcast’s Tom Curran noted that Browne was no favorite of the Patriots for his perceived bias against the team, and furthermore suggested that rebuking him so publicly via the team’s official Twitter account would not have been done without ownership approval.

Read More: Chapecoense, Joe Browne, Patriots,
Julian Edelman touchdown dance dedicated to dead rapper, not Merton Hanks, in Patriots win 11.21.16 at 11:01 am ET
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Anyone who saw Julian Edelman’s funky-chicken strut following a 3-yard touchdown in Sunday’s victory over the 49ers probably assumed the Bay Area native was sending some love to former Niners safety Merton Hanks, who used to celebrate big plays with a seizure seemingly involving a quintuple-jointed neck.

Not so, as Edelman explained to reporters in San Francisco after the game.

“It was for Mac Dre,” Edelman said. “He’s no longer with us. It was something if you played football in the Bay Area, you know about it. If you don’t, that’s your fault.”

For those who don’t know, Mac Dre was an Oakland rapper who was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting after performing in Kansas City in 2004 at age 34. The move Edelman copied was known as, “The Thizzle Dance,” per the good folks at NESN.com, and it was in honor of the man who gave us such works as, “Stupid Doo Doo Dumb,” and “Heart of a Gangsta, Mind of a Hustla, Tongue of a Pimp.”

Edelman caught eight passes for 77 yards, one score, and one dance in the Pats’ 30-17 win.

Read More: 49ers, Bay Area, Julian Edelman, Mac Dre
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