|Bill Belichick on D&H: ‘Fortunate’ to coach great players en route to 200 wins||09.15.14 at 6:23 pm ET|
With the win, Belichick became the seventh head coach in league history to win 200 games. Belichick credited those he was able to coach as he reached the landmark win total.
“That means I coached a lot of good players, that’s what that means,” Belichick said. “Those guys are the ones that win them. They go out there and they’re the ones who make the plays. I’ve been very fortunate to coach a lot of great players.”
Continued Belichick: “When I got into coaching, it certainly wasn’t for the money. It was because I enjoyed the game and the competitiveness of it and all that goes with football. Twenty-five dollars a week, that isn’t why you do it. But things have worked out well financially since then, so I have no complaints about that. But that’s not why I got into it. As a head coach you just try and have the best year you can have each year. I don’t think in 1991 I was thinking about 2014. I probably wasn’t thinking about 1993 too much either. I was probably thinking about 1991. That’s kind of what our job is, year to year and week to week. So right now I’m just thinking about Oakland.”
The absence of running back Adrian Peterson from Sunday’s game forced the Vikings rely on backup tailbacks. Belichick said the change did not affect the Patriots’ defensive scheme in any way.
“They still have good quality backs,” Belichick said. “I think that Norv [Turner], the system that he runs is still pretty much his system. I think it would have been no different if a player got hurt on the first series or first quarter of the game. They would probably do what they would kind of normally do with the other 10 guys. It’s really hard to change an entire offense or defense when one guy goes out. It’s easier to try and replace whoever that person is and work around it the best you can.”
|Robert Kraft’s longstanding friendship with Roger Goodell could be tested||09.10.14 at 10:35 pm ET|
While the future of the embattled NFL commissioner is in doubt, over the years there’s no question as to where he’s stood with Patriots ownership.
Since Roger Goodell first assumed the job in August 2006, he’s always had a staunch ally in Patriots owner Robert Kraft. In the days after Goodell took the position, Kraft called Goodell’s ascension from NFL intern to commissioner “pretty special.”
“He is ready for this job,” Kraft told USA Today. “It’s nice to know, you give 25 years to an organization, you’re trained hard, you work hard and you wake up in the middle of the night worrying about things, and your dream comes true, sort of like me buying the Patriots. Roger becoming commissioner is pretty special.”
Despite the fact that Goodell popped Bill Belichick with a $500,000 fine and the Patriots $250,000 and a draft pick in the wake of the Spygate scandal just over a year later, Kraft and Goodell have never publicly been at odds. In fact, according to some accounts, with a possible labor stoppage looming, Kraft was one of the driving forces in awarding Goodell a new contract after four years on the job.
“We’re going into a major negotiation. It will be very difficult probably in many ways and we want to have someone who has his own views, who’s going to have to make some hard decisions that maybe some of us won’t like,” Kraft told The Associated Press in a 2010 telephone interview.
“But in the end, I think we’re confident that he and his team will do what’s for the best long-term interest of the league,” added the Patriots owner. “Having stability in our management team is critical.”
The nice words have been returned in kind on several occasions over the last few years. In a joint appearance at UMass-Lowell commencement in 2010 when the commissioner received an honorary degree, Goodell was effusive in his praise of Kraft.
“Robert Kraft has given this area and this region a lot to cheer for,” Goodell said, while adding he considered Kraft a “friend and mentor.”
|Robert Kraft says Roger Goodell ‘had no knowledge’ of Ray Rice video||09.09.14 at 9:48 am ET|
Patriots owner Robert Kraft defended Roger Goodell, insisting the commissioner had not seen the video of Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator when he made the decision to suspend the Ravens running back for just two games this past offseason.
In an interview on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, Kraft responded to accusations that the NFL had a copy of the video months ago.
“It’s really unfortunate and I know our commissioner has taken some heat. I just want to say that I spoke with him yesterday when this came out, not knowing what was going to happen and knowing I was coming in here, and he didn’t, he had no knowledge of this video,” Kraft said.
“The way he’s handled this situation himself, coming out with the mea culpa in his statement a couple of weeks ago, or 10 days ago, and setting a very clear policy how we conduct ourselves in the NFL, I thought was excellent. Anyone who’s second-guessing that doesn’t know him.”
Do you think NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had previous knowledge of the Ray Rice video?
- Yes, he had to have seen it earlier (46%, 182 Votes)
- Surely someone with the NFL watched it, but I can believe that it was kept from Goodell (34%, 134 Votes)
- No, I believe that he had not seen it, because if he had he would have suspended Rice longer (20%, 79 Votes)
Total Voters: 394
Kraft predicted that Rice, who on Monday was released by the Ravens, would have trouble finding another job in the league. He said the Patriots certainly would not consider him.
“I don’t think he’ll play another NFL game,” Kraft said. “I’ll be shocked if some team would pick him up.”
Added Kraft: “I think anyone that witnessed that video yesterday has to be outraged and really disgusted to see someone associated with [the NFL] doing something like that. Anyone who’s a real man doesn’t hit a woman.”
|Patriots valued at $2.6 billion, second behind only Cowboys in NFL||08.20.14 at 11:47 am ET|
The Patriots continue to be one of the most valuable commodities in sports.
The Cowboys are surpassed by only the soccer superpower Real Madrid ($3.4 billion) in terms of overall net worth among all global sports franchises. Thanks in part to Cowboys Stadium (a.k.a. “JerryWorld”), Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has seen his value rise by 36 percent over 2013.
The Cowboys top Forbes’ rankings by a healthy margin for an eighth consecutive season, having risen in value by $900 million over the last 12 months to become the only NFL team worth more than $3 billion.
Here’s the top 5 franchises in the NFL:
1. Cowboys $3.2 billion
2. Patriots $2.6B
3. Redskins $2.4B
4. NY Giants $2.1B
5. Texans $1.85B
The Cowboys have the NFL’s highest revenue ($560 million) and operating income ($246 million). This year, Jones added something new and different – partnerships with a worldwide luxury watch and cruise line, an NFL first.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are seven teams are worth less than $1 billion: the Chargers ($995 million), Bengals ($990 million), Raiders ($970 million), Jaguars ($965 million), Lions ($960 million), Bills ($935 million) and the Rams ($930 million).
|Bill Belichick wants to see if this Patriots team (like several others) can show ‘mental toughness’||08.19.14 at 10:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick hasn’t seen much losing in his career as a head coach, especially in New England.
The only sub-.500 season Belichick has endured with the Patriots was his first, when the 2000 team went 5-11. The next season, his team started 0-2 but ended up as Super Bowl champions. He’s been a record-setting winner ever since.
In Cleveland, of course, it was different. He had losing seasons in four of his five seasons by Lake Erie and endured the most arduous end to a season imaginable. So, Belichick does remember what losing was like. And he remembers something else, a bad feeling in training camp and preseason usually is never followed by a successful regular season.
On Tuesday, he explained why.
“I think it’s probably just an overall feeling,” Belichick said. “Just the way that the team works, the way they respond to the things they’re asked to do in camp and how they handle some of the tests that they’re put through. It’s a grind. It’s tough. It’s a very competitive situation. It’s a challenge for the team ‘ not just the players – but the entire organization to handle all the things you have to handle in training camp, without something kind of internally being a problem and being ready to go.”
There was no bigger potential distraction than what the 2013 Patriots had to deal with heading into camp, when star tight end Aaron Hernandez was released after being charged with the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. But that was dealt with on the first day. There was the forearm injury of Rob Gronkowski and whether he would be ready to start the season. That actually became a bigger soap opera but eventually he returned and the team rolled to a second straight 12-4 season and a third straight trip to the AFC championship.
In 2011, owner Robert Kraft lost his wife Myra over the summer after helping negotiate the end of the labor impasse. That year, inspired from the start, the Patriots overcame the Ravens in the AFC championship and nearly overcame Rob Gronkowski‘s bum ankle in a heart-breaking Super Bowl loss to the Giants. The seed of toughness of the 2011 and 2013 teams were sowed in the summer.
“You have to be able to show some mental toughness, some ability to block out distractions and focus on your job and improving individually and as a team and all those things,” Belichick reminded everyone Tuesday. “If you can do those over a training camp period of, call it six weeks, then it’s probably a pretty good indication that you have a chance to do it during the year. If you don’t, then it’s probably an indication that when the pressure really comes on during the season, which the pressure is going to mount for the team as the season goes, I’d say the likelihood of it all just magically coming together without a legitimate foundation, I haven’t had a lot of great experience with that.”
In 2001, the Patriots started 0-2, lost their starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe to a life-threatening injury and had an offensive lineman in Joe Andruzzi, whose brother helped save lives at Ground Zero on 9/11. The Patriots somehow managed to overcome the distractions and play with the right kind of emotion, finishing 11-5 en route to a stunning Super Bowl win that started a dynasty.
Of course, Belichick has seen the flip side when his 1995 Browns were submarined by owner Art Modell‘s mid-season announcement he was moving to Baltimore in 1996. The City of Cleveland was devastated and that Browns team could never recover, finishing 5-11.
|Jason Cole on MFB: Robert Kraft ‘laying the foundation’ to try to convince Darrelle Revis to stay long term||08.06.14 at 12:29 pm ET|
Cole reported Tuesday that the Patriots have had initial discussions with Revis regarding a contract extension after an impressive showing early in training camp.
“They haven’t started negotiating, so let’s peel it back a little bit,” Cole said. “I will say that Robert Kraft is laying the foundation and the work for trying to convince Darrelle to stay here long term. He’s doing the thing that he’s best at, which is schmoozing people and making people feel like they should buy into the Patriot Way and all those kinds of things that Kraft is excellent at. But as far as terms of getting to the point of talking about dollars and cents, they haven’t gotten that far.”
Added Cole: “It’s more like, ‘We love how you’ve done this offseason and we love how you’ve done in camp. You would look great in a Patriot uniform for the rest of your career.’ All of those little things that you put into somebody’s mind that make them think that being a Patriot long term is in the best interest of themselves, not just of the Patriots as a team.
“That’s probably why Robert Kraft is the best businessman in the league. He’s really good at convincing people to do things his way and making them understand, at least from his viewpoint, that you’re actually good for them, too.”
|Robert Kraft: NFL should push for team in London by end of decade||07.17.14 at 9:21 pm ET|
Robert Kraft said Thursday the league “should work very hard” to have a team in London before the decade ends.
Kraft made the comment today at a conference of television critics in California. The Patriots owner, who has been a longtime advocate of having a team overseas, has pushed for his team to play in the games in London on several occasions — New England has played games at Wembley Stadium in 2009 and 2012.
In all, the league will play three regular-season games in London in the coming season, with the Jaguars, Falcons and Raiders hosting contests at Wembley. Regular-season games have been played in London annually since 2007.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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