|Tom Brady on early-season success: ‘The Super Bowl isn’t played in Week 1′||09.30.15 at 2:36 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Tom Brady can read a schedule. He can also read a calendar. Before taking off for his bye week, the Patriots quarterback made it clear Wednesday that, while it’s great to be 3-0, there’s a lot that can change, good and bad, over the course of 16 regular season games.
“It’s a long season, so you try to do it over the course of a year as opposed to, you know, the Super Bowl isn’t played in Week 1,” Brady said, offering proof of his perspective on the hot start. “Even though you’d love to be in mid-season form at that time, it doesn’t always happen that way. So you’ve just got to believe in what you’re doing, believe in your process, and I think that we’ve been pretty consistent here for a long time based on what our OTAs are, training camp. It’s not like one year it’s different from the next, but I think you gain trust in what you’re doing based on the past results that we’ve had that, OK, we’re on the right track.”
Certainly, in setting a franchise record with 119 points in the first three games, Brady and the Patriots offense would appear to be on that right track. Despite not earning offensive player of the week honors in any of the first three wins, Brady has been the best offensive player in the AFC to start the season, while he and Aaron Rodgers have arguably been the two best offensive players in the NFL. Brady has completed 72.2 percent of his passes, thrown for over 1,100 yards (no other QB has 1,000), fired nine touchdowns and hasn’t been intercepted. Only Rodgers is better with 10 TDs without an interception.
But Brady knows that Bill Belichick is always looking for improvement. On Wednesday, Belichick noted that the offense has been taking too many penalties, many of which have come on illegal formation calls.
“This is how we’re going to be coached,” Brady added. “This is the expectations we have for what a practice should look like. Regardless of who’s in there, this is the level that we need to get to if we want to be able to compete on a week-by-week basis against really good football teams. We’re going to be challenged throughout the whole season. Every game has its different challenges. There are different matchups. There are different, you know, just situations in the game that come up that everyone has to be prepared for. And obviously the more veteran players you have at certain positions, the easier that may be or may appear to be. Sometimes it’s maybe a bit more challenging.”
|Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘New England dictated’ Seattle’s decision to pass on goal line||02.06.15 at 1:08 pm ET|
The most talked-about play of the game is the Seahawks‘ decision to throw the ball on the goal line instead of letting Marshawn Lynch run. The play resulted in the Malcolm Butler interception that sealed the victory for the Pats.
“I thought the real key part of that play was that New England brought on its goal-line defense, and when New England brought on its goal-line defense, that was when Seattle went to the three-wide receiver package,” Schefter said, adding: “The bottom line for that is that New England dictated to Seattle rather than Seattle dictating to New England the type of play that was going to be run. … Obviously that worked out very very well for the New England Patriots.”
Schefter expressed a belief that Seattle coach Pete Carroll is receiving too much blame for the play call.
“If they had thrown a touchdown there, I promise you people would have said, ‘Look at how smart Pete Carroll is, and how creative, and going outside the box, and running their play on that spot,’ ” Schefter said. “But it didn’t. If the play worked no matter what he ran, he was going to be brilliant. And if it didn’t work no matter what he ran, he was going to be ripped.”
“[The Patriots] have done this in a free agent era that is designed to promote and implement and have parity,” Schefter said. “This league is built for everybody to finish 8-8, for teams with great players to lose great players. And yet New England during that time has still managed to find a way to go to six Super Bowls. … The only one of those dynasty type of situations that we’re talking about that’s had to fend off the salary cap and the parity that the league always is striving for.”
Leading up to the Super Bowl, the Patriots were under scrutiny for the Deflategate controversy.
“There are people in the Patriots organization, multiple people, that are adamant that nothing happened, they did nothing wrong, this is an overdone, blown-up situation that got carried away when they did nothing,” Schefter said.
“I don’t think that they’re going to exercise the $20 million option,” Schefter said. “I’ve always thought that to be unlikely. So I think they sit down, they try to get something worked out. … If they don’t and he gets out in the market — you can take this to the bank — the Jets and the Bills are going to make major runs at him.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
“Tom [Brady] is the one after we won the first Super Bowl who said that the one that’s sweetest is the next one,” Kraft said, adding: “I think that it felt good, but I think those emotions come at the minute and you experience them but then you’re focused on what’s going to happen in the future. And if you’re lucky enough to win another one, I think that one feels probably in the moment sweeter than anything you’ve experienced before.”
Added Kraft: “The bottom line is we had a hell of a Super Bowl game. … It was an awesome football game, and ultimately, that’s what the National Football League is about. Just incredible competition and entertainment.”
“You got to see why Tom Brady is the greatest of all time,” Kraft said. “Whether we had won or lost that game, it didn’t matter. To go to nine AFC championship games and six Super Bowls, and now to have won four, in an era of a hard cap and unrestricted free agency and coaching staff turnover. These other guys he gets compared to played in a totally different era where you had much greater consistency and there were fewer teams in the league and the level of competition just wasn’t what it is now. And, you know, that fourth quarter is Tom Brady, and he is as great a competitor as has ever played the game, he’s the greatest leader, he is the greatest quarterback. … He deserves it and the team deserves it.”
In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Brady and the Patriots were brought under scrutiny for Deflategate.
“It was more a feeling of displeasure at how the whole thing had started and been handled,” Kraft said when asked about the controversy, adding: “Throughout that week, there was just a lot of stuff that was in the media which we didn’t feel was appropriate. You’re supposed to be, in the world, innocent until proven guilty.”
“I think we’re about to get started on the offseason,” Kraft said. “He is under contract for next year. I realize that it’s probably, people understand that that’s a placeholder. We’ll get to work on trying to make that happen and hopefully both sides will want to make a deal and we’ll get that done. He’s been everything and more since he’s been here.”
For more Patriots news, go to the team page at weei.com/patriots.
|Report: Seahawks DC Dan Quinn to be introduced as Falcons coach Tuesday||02.02.15 at 1:45 pm ET|
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was one of several other candidates to be interviewed for the job.
Seattle has reached the last two Super Bowls. The Seahawks beat the Broncos to become champions last year. Quinn’s defense, which has become famous for the Legion of Boom secondary, has been one of the main reasons for the team’s success.
Recently, Seattle coach Pete Carroll offered his opinions on Quinn.
“He’s had a great history,” Carroll said. “He’s a great communicator. He’s a fantastic teacher. He’s got a real toughness about him — innovative. He has all of the attributes of being a successful guy moving forward, so when that time comes we will expect to see him land one of those jobs and we will look forward to playing against him.”
Quinn will be replacing Mike Smith, who was fired at the end of this season, in which the Falcons went 6-10.
|Super Bowl XLIX sets viewership record||at 12:48 pm ET|
In Boston, the game received a 61.0 rating, the highest in Super Bowl history for this market.
The ratings peaked between 10 and 10:15 p.m. ET, when the Patriots completed their comeback and stopped the Seahawks on the goal line with an interception by Malcolm Butler. Between those times, the ratings reached 52.9.
|Seahawks favored over Patriots for next year’s Super Bowl||at 10:55 am ET|
Despite scoring 14 unanswered fourth-quarter points and winning Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, the Patriots are not the favorites to win next year’s championship.
The Patriots are next on the list, with 6-1 odds.
After recovering from a 24-14 deficit heading in to the fourth quarter, the Pats held off Seattle in the final minute of Sunday’s game with an interception on the goal line by Malcolm Butler. However, the late-game heroics were not enough to convince Las Vegas oddsmakers that the Patriots can repeat.
Additionally, the early spread given by Westgate gives the NFC a 2.5-point advantage.
According to Westgate, division rivals of the Pats in the AFC East have much larger odds to overcome if they are to win a championship next year. The Dolphins are given 30-1 odds, the Bills are listed at 50-1 and the Jets are 100-1, the fifth-longest odds in the league.
|Adam Schefter on MFB: Deflategate leaves NFL in ‘no-win situation’||01.30.15 at 1:12 pm ET|
Schefter discussed how the close relationship between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be affected by the Deflategate controversy.
“The majority of fans outside of the New England area, they don’t like the Patriots, they don’t want to believe the Patriots, and they think the Patriots did wrong,” Schefter said. “And you have this public at large that wants to see New England hung for this. And then you’ve got Roger Goodell’s biggest supporter owning that football team. So it leaves Roger Goodell and the NFL in a real no-win situation. … The challenge here may be if there is any evidence to make sure that all sides are satisfied with the outcome of this particular case.”
Last Saturday, coach Bill Belichick held a press conference addressing the controversy and passionately defending his team and organization.
“No. 1, Bill Belichick truly believes that his team did no wrong,” Schefter said. “There may have been something that went on, but I don’t believe that he had any idea that anything happened. I really believe that.”
Added Schefter: “I think [Belichick] wanted to make it very clear that he didn’t know about it and I think No. 2, he wanted to put everything that he had out there defending his team in the strongest manner possible so that they could go to Scottsdale and then say, look, I did two press conferences last week, I answered all these questions, and before the week kicks into high gear, he’s got it out of the way.”
“You can’t go into a game thinking of the enormity of it,” Schefter said. “You can’t think that this game has more significance on our legacy and this season than anything else. … It has a ginormous feel. It feels different, but you can’t approach it that way, you just have approach it like it’s Week 1 or Week 8 or Week 12 or whatever it may be.”
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