|Rob Gronkowski: Bill Belichick and I are similar because we both love the beach||02.04.17 at 12:17 pm ET|
HOUSTON — On Friday afternoon on Radio Row, Rob Gronkowski did a short Q&A session with fans sponsored by TD Ameritrade. There weren’t too many hard-hitting football questions, though.
The tight end, who is on injured reserve after having back surgery in December, was walking fine and seemed to be feeling good.
One of the questions was how he and Bill Belichick are similar despite their different personalities.
“I really haven’t seen him outside of football that much, but whenever I do, whenever I see pictures of him he’s always out on the beach, or fishing,” Gronkowski said. “I like going to the beach, too. I like doing little activities like that so I would say we’re similar in that way — we both love the beach.”
Gronkowski also talked about Tom Brady and how it doesn’t seem like the quarterback will be retiring any time soon.
“I’m around Tom Brady all the time and he talks about playing forever,” he said. “How can I retire before Brady?”
Local reporters attempted to speak to him afterwards, but he had a busy schedule and couldn’t stop to talk.
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) February 3, 2017
|Patriots list 7 players as questionable for Super Bowl LI, including Martellus Bennett, Dont’a Hightower||02.03.17 at 4:14 pm ET|
HOUSTON — There were no changes to the Patriots injury report on Friday.
All seven players who were limited on Thursday were limited on Friday and are officially listed as questionable for the game on Sunday against the Falcons.
Alan Branch (toe) said he will play, while Bill Belichick said on Thursday he expects Nate Ebner (concussion) to play as well.
Here is the complete Patriots injury report, and final one before Super Bowl LI.
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
DL Alan Branch (toe)
DB Nate Ebner (concussion)
LB Dont’a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DT Vincent Valentine (back)
|Carl Banks breaks down exactly how Bill Belichick will approach the Falcons: ‘I think you’ll see more in coverage’||at 2:48 pm ET|
HOUSTON — Expect the unexpected.
That’s been the theme of Bill Belichick defenses in the Super Bowl against high-powered offenses.
As defensive coordinator of the Giants in Super Bowl XXV against the “K-Gun” Buffalo Bills, he featured a defensive line of just two players and dared the Bills to run Thurman Thomas while his linebackers and defensive backs were beating up on Andre Reed and James Lofton. The plan produced a 20-19 win, a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and earned Belichick his first head coaching job in Cleveland the next season.
In Super Bowl XXXVI, he assigned Willie McGinest to trail all-purpose back Marshall Faulk and beat him up as much as possible to take him out of the passing game as much as possible. Meanwhile, he played bump-and-run coverage on Issac Bruce, Az Hakim and Tory Holt. That produced the first Patriots Super Bowl win, 20-17, and kicked off an unprecedented dynasty in the modern NFL that continues today.
So now, 15 years later, Belichick has another huge task – coming up with a plan to contain Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu while keeping tabs on running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
Carl Banks was a Pro Bowl linebacker on Belichick’s two Giants teams that won Super Bowls. He has a unique perspective on exactly what Belichick might be planning this time around.
“I think it’s just basically he’s just going to focus on assignment football, fundamentals,” Banks told WEEI.com Friday. “That’s the probably the first thing he addressed. And then he goes in and shows how his team could be hurt by their key players.
“Everyone talks about Belichick taking everyone’s best player away. Well, I think their players take the best player away, and I think that’s going to be the key this time because when you have a player who’s sometimes better than the defense the you’re playing against them, it really comes down to fundamentals at that point.”
How will Belichick pick and choose who to take away Sunday?
“He won’t. He’ll put his defense in place and it’s really going to come down to making tackles. It’s fundamentals because playing assignments and playing fundamentals is what really will help them curtail their best players. You’ve got to make tackles.”
Read the rest of this entry »
|Tim Tebow: ‘The Patriot Way’ is actually the truth||at 2:46 pm ET|
HOUSTON — Although Tim Tebow didn’t last long in New England, he was around long enough to realize ‘The Patriot Way’ is a real thing.
“When people talk about the Patriot Way, it’s not a cliche they’re just trying to use. It’s actually the truth,” Tebow said on “Good Morning Football” Friday. “It’s a different level. It’s a different level of focus, of study, of preparation than a lot of other teams. That’s also another reason why they keep going to the Super Bowl.”
Tebow said the way they do things catches on with players because they see how successful it is.
“When you preach something for long enough, people are going to buy into it,” Tebow said. “They’re going to start to believe in that. I think the leaders so bought into that so many years ago, everybody else is forced to, right? When the culture’s a certain way, the outliers, they’re going to fall in.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Julian Edelman to people who say he copies Tom Brady: Like T. Swift said, I am just going to shake it off||at 2:32 pm ET|
HOUSTON — The popular narrative is Julian Edelman tries to be Tom Brady.
Both have their brands, both are either married to or dating supermodels and Edelman is always trying to do things like Brady.
On Thursday, Edelman was asked about people who say he tries to copy Brady with what he does.
“What, that we’re both from the Bay Area? I don’t understand,” Edelman said. “If someone wants to hate on that, work hard like another guy and do that then like T. Swift said, ‘Haters are going to hate, players are going to play. I am just going to shake it off.'”
Edelman also revealed a secret about Brady’s “Be like water” social media post. Apparently, Edelman deserves credit for that.
“Tom stole that from me, by the way,” Edelman said. “He stole that from me. I’ve been saying that for like — we have the same agent, so he could have actually gotten it from my agent, because my agent actually told me that.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Chris Hogan in The Players’ Tribune: ‘Patriots aren’t satisfied with anything less’ than Super Bowl||at 2:23 pm ET|
The AFC championship game may have been a breakout performance for Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan, but as he wrote for The Players’ Tribune on Thursday, that victory is nothing compared to the one the Patriots are going for on Sunday.
“Tom Brady said, ‘Good job tonight, Chris. Now let’s go win one more,'” Hogan wrote. “One more. And that’s really the difference here in New England. Winning the Super Bowl is always the goal. It’s championship or bust, every year. The Patriots aren’t satisfied with anything less, and they expect to win.”
Hogan caught nine passes for 180 yards in the AFC title game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to help lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons.
After playing with Buffalo for the past three seasons, and seeing the Patriots success from afar, Hogan wrote the Pats were everything the Bills wanted to be.
“We weren’t the biggest fans of the Patriots, but we respected them,” Hogan wrote. “They were everything we aspired to be as an organization. They were winners. And each time we played them, it reminded us what we were all trying to be.”
Hogan’s story has become well-documented since his big game, with references to his lacrosse history at Penn State and his one season of college football at Monmouth.
Several members of the Patriots are appearing in their first playoffs, and Hogan is also looking for his first title in a long time.
“I haven’t won a championship of any kind since high school, and the celebration then wasn’t a huge production,” Hogan wrote. “We didn’t have confetti. So winning the AFC championship was the first confetti-worthy moment of my life. I was really just enjoying the moment, trying to take it all in. But I couldn’t help but be excited. I mean … we were going to the Super Bowl. I was so hyped I could barely contain myself.”
The last time the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, Rob Gronkowski took on Marshawn Lynch in “Mortal Combat X” on Conan O’Brien’s “Clueless Gamer” segment and it was hilarious.
This year’s edition maybe doesn’t quite live up to that, but it’s still very good. This time Tom Brady takes on Conan and Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney in “For Honor” and proves that he is just as much of a winner in video games as he is in football, dispatching both opponents in violent fashion.
The best part, however, is Gronkowski and Lynch returning for a rematch, which Gronkowski wins to cap off the Patriots’ video game dominance. LeGarrette Blount and Erin Andrews make guest appearances as well.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Aaron Hernandez May Be Cleared in Double-Murder Trial Due to Deleted Text
- Robert Kraft Comments on Tom Brady's Super Bowl Jersey Being Returned
- President Donald Trump to Host Patriots at White House on April 19
- Darrelle Revis Reportedly Expected to Return to Patriots If He Plays Next...
- Biggest Needs New England Patriots Have Yet to Address This Offseason
- Super Bowl 49 Champion Bryan Stork Retires from NFL at 26 Years Old
- Tom Brady Super Bowl 51 Jersey Theft Timeline Revealed on Video