|Does Bill Belichick think Ty Law belongs in Canton? ‘Really no weaknesses’ in his game||01.05.17 at 12:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There is no one more qualified to speak to the greatness of Ty Law and his Hall of Fame credentials than Bill Belichick.
The Patriots coach had Ty Law for six seasons over two stints in New England. The first time, in 1996, Belichick worked with Law every day as his position coach.
From 2000 through 2004, Belichick had Law as the shutdown corner in his secondary. Law would finish his career with two stops with the Jets, one with the Chiefs and one in Denver. On Tuesday, he was selected as one of 15 modern-day finalists to be considered for the 2017 Class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The announcement of those chosen will be made Feb. 4, the Saturday before Super Bowl LI in Houston.
“Great. Great player. Really no weaknesses in Ty’s game,” Belichick said Thursday. “Strong, physical tackler, jam receivers, good coverage players, great hands, interceptor. Really enjoyed coaching him in ’96 as a position coach and really spending a lot of individual time with him as his coach.”
Law was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) in the 1995 draft by the Patriots. By the second year, Belichick recalled Thursday, that Law was among a pretty good secondary that made it to Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans.
“We had a good group that year,” Belichick said. “Lawyer [Milloy] and Otis [Smith] and Tebucky [Jones] and Scooter [McGruder] and those guys. It was good. A good player.”
Law was a three-time Super Bowl winner and four-time Pro Bowler. Was he among the very best or possibly the best for a period of time?
“Pretty good,” Belichick answered. “When you start changing the rules because of the way he plays, there’s probably something to be said for that. They didn’t change them, change them. We all know what happened.”
Belichick’s reference, of course, is to the heightened enforcement of rules in the early 2000s that defensive backs can’t touch receivers beyond the five-yard area off the line of scrimmage. This was due, largely, to the nightmare Law caused Peyton Manning and his receivers like Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne in the playoffs.
|Tom Brady: ‘It was a nice surprise’ seeing Peyton Manning in Denver||12.20.16 at 6:00 am ET|
Thanks to former NFL player Brandon Stokley on social media, it became known Tom Brady and Peyton Manning saw each other both before and after the Patriots’ 16-3 win in Denver on Sunday.
Speaking to Jim Gray on Westwood One Monday night, Brady noted it was the first time the two had seen each other since Manning retired at the end of last season.
“It was nice to see him. It was a nice surprise. I didn’t realize he’d be at the game,” Brady said. “I saw him briefly before the game, and then I saw him after the game with his kids. So it was nice to see his kids are growing up fast, just like mine are.
“He and I have a lot in common over the years. I thought he was just one of the very best to play the position. I always looked up to him and admired him for everything that he accomplished in the league as a great leader for his team. He was just a spectacular player. So I’ve always enjoyed being around him and certainly always talking a lot of football.”
Brady wouldn’t get into specifics with what the two talked about, but it centered around football and family.
“For the most part, we haven’t seen each other in a long time, so it was just catching up, talking about our families, some holiday plans, just a lot of very cordial conversation,” he said. “I really like Peyton. I’ve had a great friendship over the years, and hopefully, it will stay that way for many years to come.”
Added Brady: “There are a lot of things in common that we’ve had over the years, so it’s nice to have someone who can relate to a lot of similar experiences we’ve had. Being that we were in it together for so long at the same time, it’s really a special relationship to me.”
|Tom Brady, Peyton Manning connect after Sunday’s win over Broncos||12.19.16 at 2:10 pm ET|
It looks like Tom Brady had the chance to catch up with an old friend after Sunday’s win over the Broncos in Denver.
— Brandon Stokley (@bstokley14) December 19, 2016
|Tom Brady admits he misses playing against Peyton Manning||12.16.16 at 6:47 pm ET|
The last time the Patriots faced the Broncos they fell 20-18 in the AFC title game on the road when Denver was led by Peyton Manning.
Following the season, Manning retired after 18 years in the league, so for the first time in Tom Brady’s career he doesn’t have to worry about facing Manning.
Thursday night on Westwood One’s pregame show prior to Thursday Night Football, Brady admitted he misses facing Manning because of the high level of competition.
“I do miss playing against him because he was such a great player and he always led such great teams,” Brady told Jim Gray. “It was always one of the biggest challenges facing someone of that caliber on the other side of the ball. Denver still has a great team. They’ve been playing well all season. Their season is coming down here, they have three games left and I am sure they want to finish strong and we’re on the schedule. They have a couple of division opponents after us, so I think both teams are putting a lot into this one.
“Whether Peyton is out there or any other quarterback, my approach is going to be the same because I play that defense and that is one of the toughest defenses in the league that we face.”
Brady said the altitude in Denver never gets to him as Gray noted he trains at Yellowstone National Park in Montana during the offseason.
“That is great training for me and I actually love being at that altitude training,” he said. “It certainly gets you in great shape. Going to Denver, I haven’t noticed much over the years. Maybe a little bit in pregame warmups, but once the game is going on you don’t think about anything but the guys in the other colored jerseys.
“It’s not going to be the crowd. It’s not going to be the altitude. It’s not going to be the weather. It’s going to be about how well we play. There’s no excuses I will ever make for playing at a high altitude or in any weather condition. It’s about our level of execution, our level of mental toughness, our concentration. It’s going to be at an all-time high in order to beat these guys this weekend.”
New England claimed veteran wide receiver Michael Floyd off waivers Thursday and when asked about it Brady seemed to give a reminder everyone needs to earn their spot on the team.
“We really have a great group of skill players,” Brady said. “If he can fit in then great, but I obviously love the players I’m playing with.”
|5 other records that are within Tom Brady’s reach||12.05.16 at 3:00 pm ET|
With Tom Brady setting a new mark for most career wins for a starting quarterback on Sunday, the Patriots’ signal-caller is now able to put the next round of records in his sights. Provided he stays healthy for the next three years, here are five more individual marks than could fall to Brady before he ultimately decides to retire.
Most passing yards: Brady is currently fifth all-time; he has 60,498 for his career, while old pal Peyton Manning is tops at 71,940. This is probably a pretty tall order, especially when you consider Drew Brees is also between him and Manning, at least at this point. (The New Orleans quarterback has 64,816 career passing yards.) But if Brady has another two years of 4,000 yards, he’ll at least be in Manning’s neighborhood.
Most touchdown passes: Brady has 447 career touchdown passes, and is fourth on the all-time list. (Manning is tops at 539.) He’s 92 behind Manning. With the understanding that Brady appears ticketed for approximately 30 touchdown passes at a year at this point, if he banks another 10 between now and the end of the season, he’d still be a couple of years away. In the meantime, his stiffest competition may be Brees, who is third overall with 458 career touchdown passes.
Most passes completed: Brady is fourth overall at 5,161, while Brett Favre is tops at 6,300. Over the last decade or so, Brady has averaged between 300 and 400 completed passes a season, which means that mark could also be another three years away. (Again, this is a situation where Brees could end up finishing ahead of him — he’s third overall at 5,722.)
Most passes attempted: Brady is fifth overall at 8,094, with Favre tops at an absolutely ridiculous 10,169 passes attempts, 2,075 ahead of Brady. (Favre is almost 800 attempts ahead of Manning, who is second at 9,380.) All things being equal, this may be the toughest mountain to climb for the Patriots quarterback, as he’s averaged almost 400 attempts a year the last five years prior to 2016.
Career passer rating: This is certainly manageable for the Patriots quarterback, even though he’s currently in fourth place (97) and the three guys ahead of him in Aaron Rodgers (103.5), Russell Wilson (100.3) and Tony Romo (97.1) are all still active. He’s need at least one more really terrific year, but it’s certainly plausible to see him finishing on top here before it’s all said and done.
|Tom Brady just had best 4-game stretch of any 39-year-old quarterback in NFL history||10.31.16 at 8:59 am ET|
Tom Brady put the capper on his first four games back with the Patriots this season with a masterful performance Sunday against the Bills, going 22-for-33 for 315 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 137. After four games, he’s 98-for-134 (73 percent completion rate), to go with 1,319 yards, 12 touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 133.9 — the best quarter-season for any 39-year-old quarterback who has ever played. Here’s a look at the five others that might have been in the conversation before this year.
Warren Moon, 1995 Vikings — Weeks 9-12 (against Packers, Cardinals, Saints and Lions)
100-for-161 (62 percent), 1,301 yards, 14 TDs, 2 INTs
QB rating: 111.3
(Team goes 3-1)
Brett Favre, 2008 Jets — Weeks 1-4 (against Dolphins, Patriots, Chargers, Cardinals)
87-for-124 (70 percent), 935 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs
QB rating: 110.8
(Team goes 2-2)
Doug Flutie, 2001 Chargers — Weeks 4-7 (against Browns, Patriots, Broncos, Bills)
79-for-134 (59 percent), 953 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
QB rating: 87.7
(Team goes 2-2)
Jim Plunkett, 1986 Raiders — Weeks 5-6, 10-11 (against Chiefs, Seahawks, Cowboys, Browns)
44-for-74 (59 percent), 646 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT
QB rating: 118.4
(Team goes 4-0)
Peyton Manning, 2015 Broncos — Weeks 2-5 (against Chiefs, Lions, Vikings, Raiders)
96-for-149 (64 percent), 1,059 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs
QB rating: 82
(Team goes 4-0)
|At roast of Rob Lowe, Peyton Manning takes Deflategate-related shot at Tom Brady||08.30.16 at 8:30 am ET|
At a Comedy Central roast of Rob Lowe that is set to air this weekend, former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning — a friend of Lowe — got in a quick jibe at the expense of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) August 29, 2016
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