|Marshall Faulk still believes Patriots taped Rams’ walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI||02.02.17 at 3:50 pm ET|
HOUSTON — Former Rams running back Marshall Faulk said Thursday he still believes the Patriots taped the St. Louis walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI.
Faulk, and analyst for the NFL Nework, reiterated his long-held belief on Thursday as part of a media availability session with analysts from the NFL Network.
“[The practice] before the Super Bowl. The guy who worked for the Patriots. If you remember, that was someone mysteriously living in Hawaii, who made his way back to the states and delivered the tapes. [Roger] Goodell then watched those tapes and said there wasn’t enough there to deem anything being done.
“Now, I didn’t see what was on the tapes, because we didn’t get to see that. The only thing I could say is that they taped our practice. That was wrong.”
Faulk was asked if he “believed” that was the case.
“I don’t believe anything. I’m just telling you the facts.”
Faulk was asked if he thought that played a role in New England’s 20-17 win.
“I could care less,” Faulk said. “I don’t care about that. Now, what do you want me to say?”
Faulk disputed the idea that he’s been highly critical of the Patriots in the past.
“You can’t criticize facts,” he said. “The only think I’ve criticized them is the things they have been penalized for. That’s it. Other than that. what have I been critical of? I think Tom Brady is awesome. I never said he has a weak arm. Can’t throw. Doesn’t do this. Does more with less.
“I don’t think any one of [his receivers] will touch the Hall of Fame. Gronk might be the only Hall of Fame player outside of Randy Moss that Tom Brady played with in terms of skill guys. defensively, Bill [Belichick] has done a great job of committing 11 guys to do one thing, which is stop the team, and not care about how many tackles, sacks. Am I making the Pro Bowl? Am I going to get paid?”
HOUSTON — Last year after the AFC championship game, LaDainian Tomlinson called out Patriots fans for overreacting to the loss against the Broncos.
“Let me just give you some stats what you guys have done over the years, for crying out loud,” Tomlinson said last January. “Obviously you won the Super Bowl last year. Six Super Bowl appearances, four Super Bowl wins, 10 AFC championship games, 13 division titles, for crying out loud. Over the last — what, since 2001?
“Boston fans, you have more championships than anyone in the freaking United States. And you’re crying over one loss? Come on, quit acting like a petulant child.”
A year later, Tomlinson appears to have changed his mind on them, acknowledging they have a right to be upset with some of the things that have happened to the team over the last two seasons.
“I think they have their — obviously, the Patriots are a great team and their hearts are in it,” he said Thursday at the NFL Network Media availability at the Super Bowl. “Obviously they are going to be mad about anything that goes against the Patriots, obviously. I think they are just passionate fans. I’ve always appreciated going to Gillette Stadium and the fans being loud and all the things that they do throughout the game to kind of get the opposing team off their game. I think some of it they have a right to be [upset]. Some of it.”
Tomlinson was also asked what is worse — deflating footballs, or pumping crowd noise into a stadium?
“Honestly, I don’t think any of them is more advantageous because both of them are misdemeanors,” he said. “As football players we deal with crowd noise all the time in practice. Coaches pump in crowd noise, so we’re used to that. Every team does something with the footballs. Every team — quarterbacks like the footballs [the way] they like them. They do extra things to do try and get a little advantage in gripping the ball. I don’t think one of the other.”
|Lady Gaga on Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime wardrobe malfunction: ‘Are you going to blame that on the Patriots?’||at 2:34 pm ET|
HOUSTON — The last time the Patriots played a Super Bowl in Houston there was the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show.
This year Lady Gaga will be the halftime act and at her press conference on Thursday, she was asked if there were any concerns about one happening this year?
“Are you going to blame that on the Patriots?” she said. “Everything is going to be nice and tight for the game, so I wouldn’t worry about that, unfortunately. Some of you might have been excited for that.”
Bill Belichick actually reminded everyone of it happening Monday night when he was asked about Lady Gaga.
“We’ll be inside at halftime so it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “Last time we were here, it was what’s her face — [Janet Jackson]. That was a great performance.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
HOUSTON — One of the biggest mysteries of the Patriots franchise is Bill Belichick’s contract and how much longer he wants to coach for.
Apparently, owner Robert Kraft knows, but he’s not going to tell anyone.
“We have a pact that we don’t talk about that,” Kraft said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “He knows and I know. But he won’t be done this year.”
Belichick has been the Patriots coach since 2000 and is 64 years old, but doesn’t sound like he’s in any rush to call it quits.
“I don’t really see it as work,” he said this week. “It’s actually beach working. You get to do what you love to do dealing with a lot of great people. I have a great staff. Players work hard and are very cooperative and compliant. They have a great attitude about teamwork, playing unselfishly and working unselfishly.
“Really doesn’t feel like work. Try and give everyone the opportunity to do their job. We have a lot of people that do it very well. A great coaching staff and a great group of players. I have a lot of respect for all of them. I try and stay out of the way and let them do their job. They all do it pretty well.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
HOUSTON — There’s been a lot of attention on Patriots safeties coach Steve Belichick, the son of Bill, this week.
Since Patriots assistant coaches are rarely made available during the season, getting access to Steve all week is something that has never happened before.
On Wednesday, Steve was asked if he would be happy being a NFL head coach?
“Not today. No. I wouldn’t,” he said. “It’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot of responsibility and I don’t know that you really have control of everything under you. I’d want to have control. I like being able to have control on my little safety group. Yeah, I wouldn’t be happy being a head coach today.”
It was an interesting answer, especially coming from a 29-year-old, who is in his first full season as safeties coach. The previous four he was a coaching assistant.
Perhaps he could change his mind with more experience, but for now it seems like he enjoys leading the safeties.
“They’re an extremely hard working group and that they want to learn,” he said.
As for getting into coaching, obviously he learned a lot from his dad, but also his grandfather, who was the one who got Bill into coaching.
“I can’t even put into words how much my grandfather has meant to me,” he said. “He was just an extraordinary example for me. I’m honored to be named after him. He was a tremendous man and just can’t say enough good things about my grandfather. I really miss him.”
So why exactly did Steve get into coaching? It was all about being part of a team.
“I don’t really look at it as I wanted to be a coach,” he said. “It’s just I love being on a team. Football is the ultimate team game. There’s nothing like it. I’m not good enough to play, so I guess I had to coach.”
Bill has talked numerous times of late how special this season has been with both his sons on staff (Brian is a scouting assistant), and it would only make sense for the special season to end with a family picture with the Lombardi Trophy.
HOUSTON — Jim Harbaugh leaves no doubt where he stands on Tom Brady.
The fellow Michigan alum made his feelings clear about the Patriots’ quarterback on Wednesday, when he called Brady “the greatest football player to ever play” at a National Signing Day event in Michigan.
“Tom Brady is the greatest football player to ever play,” Harbaugh said. “When you can play that good, that consistently great year after year after year, game after game after game, nobody’s ever done it. Nobody’s ever done it like Tom Brady has. He’s the best of all-time.”
The two have developed a friendship, likely based on the fact that they share an alma mater. But Harbaugh really went all-in on his feelings for Brady this week, saying he doesn’t get the “credit” he deserves.
“Unbelievable, I don’t think he gets the credit due to him,” Harbaugh told reporters on Wednesday when asked about Brady. “He’s not getting that. That’s his due. He doesn’t quite get it the way he should. I’m looking forward to watching him play [Sunday].”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
HOUSTON — Jamie Collins’ new four-year, $50 million dollar deal with $26 million guaranteed from the Browns took a lot of people by surprise in the football world when it was announced last week.
One player it may have benefited most is his former teammate in Dont’a Hightower.
Hightower will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and will be looking to cash in, as players usually do with their second contracts.
By all accounts, Hightower is a little bit of a better player than Collins is, so he likely will use his deal in his own negotiations.
On Wednesday, the Patriots linebacker acknowledged he was aware of the deal Collins got.
“That was great,” Hightower said via The Providence Journal. “I was excited. That was everything you ever ask for. He’s a great football player — great. He’ll do whatever you ask him to do — covers backs, tight ends, blitzes, rushes, covers receivers. I was really, really excited and really, really proud to see my guy get what he deserves.”
Added Hightower: “I’ve been working, working, working to get into this position,” he said. “Obviously [the Super Bowl] comes first in the line, but obviously knowing that’s going to come up down the road, it’s something that I’ve been working for for five years, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The Alabama product wouldn’t get into what his future holds, as he’s solely focused on the Falcons Sunday night.
“Business is business,” he said. “That’s something that’s down the road. I’m worried about 51. We’ll handle that, and then we’ll worry about all that other stuff later.”
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