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Bill Belichick recalls choosing Tom Brady over Tim Rattay: ‘Guess we took the right one’ 08.08.16 at 8:07 am ET
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Tom Brady smiles while signing autographs at camp this week. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Images)

Tom Brady smiles while signing autographs at camp. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Images)

FOXBORO — Back in 2000, when the Hall of Fame Game wasn’t getting canceled because of badly painted turf, the Patriots played the San Francisco 49ers in Canton, Ohio in the very first game of the Bill Belichick era.

The preseason opener featured a pair of quarterbacks taken in the NFL draft that season. The 49ers took a quarterback in the seventh round from Louisiana Tech by the name of Tim Rattay to play behind Jeff Garcia. The Patriots could’ve taken him but chose a quarterback out of Michigan just a bit earlier in the sixth round.

“That was an interesting game because we started out a little bit on the Tim Rattay trail and Dick Rehbein went down there and worked him out at Louisiana Tech,” Belichick said Sunday. “They ran a big spread-offense and he had a lot of big numbers and all of that and we kind of liked him and thought that might be a late-round pick.

“Then we got on [Tom] Brady, so it was kind of Brady and Rattay in that seventh round. Then, as luck would have it, we took Brady and they took Rattay and then they were playing against each other, and so we kind of got a look at that, those two quarterbacks in the sixth round, or whatever Brady was, but the same thing. I guess we took the right one.”

Over eight seasons, six in San Francisco, Rattay went 5-13 as a starter, with 31 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He played for Tampa Bay in 2006 and Arizona in 2007 before retiring. Brady is the most accomplished quarterback in the Super Bowl era, with four rings and six visits to the title game. The Patriots have been to six Super Bowls in that span, winning four while the 49ers have been to one (Super Bowl XLVII), losing it to the Ravens.

That was the year Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott and Howie Long were all inducted, along with Steelers owner Dan Rooney and Dave Wilcox.

“It was a great class that went in,” Belichick recalled. “Because of the five year rule and all of that, a lot of those guys were guys that I coached against or that we battled against those years with the Giants. It was a good group.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2016 training camp, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Tim Rattay
Source: Tom Brady will be on field for Super Bowl 50 02.04.16 at 4:24 pm ET
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Joe Montana, not Tom Brady, named quarterback of the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Joe Montana, not Tom Brady, was named quarterback of the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO — Tom Brady will be at the Super Bowl after all.

Brady will be on hand to be honored as a past Super Bowl MVP, a source confirmed to WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Clark.

The NFL is honoring all previous 43 winners of the award and, despite speculation that Brady would skip the event, the Patriots quarterback will be on the field as a three-time winner.

Brady was the MVP of Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XLIX. Brady and his his childhood hero Joe Montana have three apiece to lead the way. The only other players with multiple honors are Terry Bradshaw (XIII, XIV) and Eli Manning (XLII, XLVI).

Thursday’s report comes on the heels of the news this week that Montana beat out Brady as the Super Bowl 50 “Golden Team” quarterback.

Read More: Joe Montana, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl 50
49ers take Boston College OL Ian Silberman, Titans take BC center Andy Gallik 05.02.15 at 4:16 pm ET
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Boston College offensive lineman Ian Silberman was taken by the 49ers. (Boston College)

Boston College offensive lineman Ian Silberman was taken by the 49ers. (Boston College)

The first Boston College offensive lineman taken in the 2015 NFL draft was not center Andy Gallik. Instead, the 49ers Saturday gave that distinction to BC transfer Ian Silberman. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound right tackle went to San Francisco with the 190th overall pick.

Gallik eventually went 208th overall to the Tennessee Titans with a pick that was acquired from the Patriots in the trade for Akeem Ayers last October.

Silberman transferred to Boston College for the spring (2014) semester after graduating from the University of Florida, following in the path of quarterback Tyler Murphy.

Here’s more on Silberman and Gallik from the Boston College athletic department:

On Gallik:

NOTES: Four-year starting center who has recorded 40 career starts at the position … named Rimington Trophy finalist … two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree (2013, 2014) … voted a team captain.

2014 (SENIOR): Started all 12 regular-season games at center … named one of six Rimington Trophy finalists, awarded to the nation’s top center … earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and second-team honors by the head coaches … also earned All-New England recognition by the area’s writers and named to ESPN.com’s All-ACC Team … earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors after leading the Eagles to 452 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns and 506 total yards in the 37-31 upset of No. 9 Southern California (Sept. 13) … graded out at 85 percent and had three knockdowns in the victory.

On Silberman:

2014 (SENIOR): Started all 12 regular-season games at right tackle … competed in 826 plays, 97.8 percent of the Eagles‘ total snaps … earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference third-team honors voted by the league’s head coaches and earned honorable mention accolades from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association … key member of the offensive line that produced the 14th-best rushing attack in the nation, averaging 251.8 yards per game, second-best in the ACC … the Eagles racked up 500 yards of offensive three times in 2014 and 400 yards twice more … Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andy Gallik, Boston College, Ian Silberman, San Francisco 49ers
Report: Patriots ‘targeting’ Stevie Johnson 03.13.15 at 8:06 pm ET
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Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Patriots apparently really like what they saw from the Bills passing game in the last couple of seasons.

Early on Friday, the Patriots reportedly signed Scott Chandler to add to depth to their tight end position. Later in the day, it was reported by Dianna Maria Russini of NBC4 in Washington, D.C. that the Patriots have their eyes on receiver Stevie Johnson and are ‘targeting’ the wideout.

The 28-year-old Johnson left the Bills after the 2013 season when he was traded by Buffalo to San Francisco. This week, he was released by the 49ers after a disappointing season.

Before 2014, Johnson earned a reputation as one of the better route runners in the game. While with the Bills, Johnson caught four touchdown passes in nine games against the Patriots. The Patriots are looking for another perimeter passing threat to join Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and the recently restructured Danny Amendola.

In seven seasons, Johnson has 31 touchdown receptions and over 4,200 yards receiving. His best seasons came in a three-year stretch between 2010-12, when he caught at least 75 passes and had over 1,000 yards receiving in each season. Johnson would figure to immediately be ahead of Aaron Dobson, Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson and Kevin Dorsey on the depth chart.

Read More: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, NFL free agency 2015, San Francisco 49ers
What Antonio Brown might teach Josh McDaniels, Patriots about Ravens’ approach to Rob Gronkowski 01.05.15 at 9:32 pm ET
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Josh McDaniels is looking forward to the Ravens Saturday in the divisional round. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Josh McDaniels is looking forward to the Ravens Saturday in the divisional round. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With interviews with the Falcons and 49ers out of the way, Josh McDaniels said Monday that his complete focus now is on the Ravens in the AFC divisional round this Saturday. That’s a good thing because after watching the Ravens defense handle Steelers’ wideout Antonio Brown over the weekend, he knows that he’ll need his whole bag of tricks to make sure they don’t do the same thing to Rob Gronkowski.

“They seem to do a good job each week of forcing the offense to do some things that maybe the offense didn’€™t want to do,” said McDaniels on a conference call Monday. “They have the ability to try to take somebody out of the game with different things that they can do in their scheme. They also have good players that they can just cover and match up with the guys they have without doing anything special.”

Cornerback Ladarius Webb was asked to spot Brown Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger targeted the NFL’s leading receiver 14 times, connected just nine times for 117 yards. Take out the 44-yarder in the second half and that’s eight catches for 73 yards. Webb also kept Brown out of the end zone.

“They’€™ve played a lot of good players this year, and really they don’€™t do a lot of exotic things to take them out of the game,” McDaniels said. “They play good team defense. It’€™s one of the best units in the league for a reason. They’€™re well coached, as I mentioned before. They play hard. It’€™s 11 guys playing the same call and executing their assignment on every snap, which makes this a tremendous challenge for us.”

McDaniels will also being going up against old friend Dean Pees, the defensive coordinator in Baltimore who held the same job in New England for four years (2006-09).

“I don’€™t know how much of an advantage it is from one year to the next because Dean is obviously a very good coach,” McDaniels said. “This unit we’€™re playing is very talented. But they don’€™t really stay the same in terms of the things that they use or do in each game that we’€™ve played them.”

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Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dean Pees, Josh McDaniels
Bill Belichick: ‘I don’t really have any control’ over the future of Josh McDaniels in New England 12.31.14 at 10:43 am ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots have seen this before. And so has Bill Belichick.

The Patriots earn a first-round bye and their offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels draws interest from other NFL teams looking to fill a head coaching vacancy.

On Monday, the Falcons, 49ers, Bears and Jets all said goodbye to their head coach. In San Francisco’s case, it was Jim Harbaugh leaving for Michigan. In the other three, it was a case of the team thinking they needed to go in a different direction.

On Tuesday, it was reported that McDaniels agreed to sit down with the Falcons and Niners in New England during the bye week and listen to what the representatives from Atlanta and San Francisco had to offer.

On Wednesday, Belichick was asked what it’s like to have McDaniels wanted again as hot coaching commodity.

“I don’t really have any control over it. We’ll see what happens. We’ve seen this before, multiple times, multiple coaches. We’ll go through the process,” Belichick said.

As far back as 2004, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel interviewed with the Browns for their head coaching job. That same postseason, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis interviewed with Notre Dame. Both left after the Patriots beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots
Report: Josh McDaniels agrees to head coaching interviews with Falcons, 49ers in New England 12.30.14 at 9:26 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Josh McDaniels insisted on Monday that he is “very happy” in New England and would be happy staying with the Patriots.

But since then, he’s apparently liked what he’s heard from two teams with head coaching vacancies. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Patriots offensive coordinator has agreed to interview with the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers this week in New England, while the Patriots continue their bye week preparations for the divisional playoff game on Jan. 10.

The Falcons fired Mike Smith on Monday after he finished with a 6-10 record and was blown out in the season finale at home on Sunday by the Carolina Panthers with the NFC South title on the line. Jim Harbaugh left the 49ers on Monday to take the head coaching job at his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

McDaniels hasn’t held a head coaching job since 2010, when he was fired in Denver midseason after a 3-9 start. McDaniels started his coaching career 6-0 but lost 17 of his next 22 games.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots
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