|Heath Evans on M&M: ‘Terrell Suggs, shut your mouth and speak the truth’||02.28.13 at 1:21 pm ET|
NFL Network analyst Heath Evans joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to defend Tom Brady against critics of the quarterback’s new contract and call out Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs for being “an absolute fool” in his latest attack on the Patriots.
Brady generally has received high praise for his restructured contract, although there is a faction that is critical of him for setting the contractual bar lower. Some Boston media members sounded off on Brady on a local TV show Wednesday.
Said Evans: “There’s two parts of the media I never want to be equated with. One, I don’t know what I’m talking about, which those people don’t know what they’re talking about. I don’t know who they are, but you can tell them they can call me and apologize any time they want for not knowing what they’re talking about.
“And then two, the idea that they actually think this is going to affect other people’s contracts. Here’s the thought: In 2015 our cap changes. The cap is going to increase $20 million a year. So if Tom is still playing lights-out football like I expect he will be, he’s going to go right back to the table and get a whole bunch more guaranteed money. He’s not affecting his overall purse very much as long as he’s still playing well, which — we’re betting on Tom Brady, he’s going to be here.
“They make news out of nothing. This isn’t news. This is one of probably the greatest quarterbacks of all-time saying, ‘Hey, I want to put myself in a position in my twilight years to win another ring or two, or at least get back to the big dance and have a chance.’ That’s exactly what he did. We should applaud Brady for what he’s doing.”
Added Evans: “It’s stupid media, and I don’t ever want to be a part of that.”
Suggs, the Ravens veteran who blasted the Patriots after the AFC championship game, joined The Big Show on Wednesday and insisted “the other 31 teams hate the New England Patriots” due to their arrogance. Evans, who played fullback for the Patriots from 2005 until 2008, dismissed Suggs’ comments.
“He’s an absolute fool. He is,” Evans said. “Maybe he’s one of the best pass-rushers that we’ve seen in a long time, but he’s a fool if doesn’t believe that [teams respect the Patriots]. For me, I say things that I believe in. … I just speak the truth. And the truth is, people are scared to death when they step on the field to face Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Wes Welker, a healthy [Rob] Gronkowski, a healthy Aaron Hernandez, defensively Jerod Mayo is one of the best middle linebackers in this game, Vince Wilfork, there is no match for him.
“Terrell Suggs, shut your mouth and speak the truth. Are you a heck of a player? Absolutely, an amazing player. But give me a break. I watch this film, I watch how people move and react according to what the Patriots do. I watch this whole league sit back and try to copy them. Heck, [Ravens tight ends] Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta is a formula of what New England is trying to do.
“So, give me a break. Don’t just get on airways and speak nonsense. Watch game tape, know this game inside and out, and then speak your opinion based on facts that are truly evident to everyone across this business, that knows this business inside and out. When people come out speaking that nonsense, it screams of insecurity. It screams of the fact that, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we actually beat them again, somehow we got lucky and actually did it, and whoo-hoo, and now we’ve got a Super Bowl ring.’ That’s what it says to me.”
|Terrell Suggs: ‘I guarantee the other 31 teams hate the New England Patriots’||02.27.13 at 4:34 pm ET|
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs joined The Big Show on Wednesday, discussing his frustration with the Patriots and explaining why he called them “the most arrogant pricks in the world” after Baltimore defeated New England in the AFC championship game.
“Do I apologize for what I said? No. Do I mean what I said? Yeah,” Suggs said. “Could I have worded it a little better? Probably, but the fact of the matter is you can’t really consider it a rivalry because you have a few more championships than we do, but this has been steaming for a while.”
Suggs pointed to the way Patriots players behaved when the teams met in the 2007 season as why he doesn’t like them, adding that the league bent over backward to accommodate Tom Brady after his season-ending injury in 2008.
“There was the whole invention of the Brady rule,” he said. “Years before, I hit Drew Brees and I accidentally tore his knee up. No rule was made. Of all the quarterbacks in the NFL who got their knees blown out when they got hit — Carson Palmer got his knee blown out — but then one guy got hit and changed the whole rule for the NFL?”
Suggs said that he doesn’t feel the Patriots “respect anybody,” and that he “guarantees the other 31 teams hate the New England Patriots.”
He also added that players who have played in New England share stories of what’s wrong with the organization, though he wouldn’t specify.
“The NFL is not very big,” he said. “You think we don’t talk to guys that have played for the New England Patriots, that have been on the New England Patriots that have been like, ‘Oh, it’s been like this.’
“It ain’t just me. Why did Bart Scott say the same thing? You think it’s just us? You think it’s just got something to do with us? No. This is because we have inside information. We know.”
For more on the Patriots, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Terrell Suggs may hate Patriots, but he has ‘utmost respect for No. 12′||01.21.13 at 1:55 am ET|
FOXBORO — Terrell Suggs insists he may hate the “arrogant” Patriots but he has nothing but respect for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick after the Ravens beat the Patriots, 28-13, in the AFC championship Sunday at Gillette.
“All B.S. aside, all ego and arrogance aside,” Suggs said in referring to the Patriots, “that is one hell of a ballclub. You’ve got to play perfect to beat them. We did damn near just that to win this game. I’m speaking to you with so much humility because it’s a great victory for the city of Baltimore and the Ravens.
“If we went through somebody else, it wouldn’t have been the same. It is a rivalry between us and them, me and ’12′ but even enemies can show respect and they get the most.”
Did he get a chance to seek out Brady afterward?
“I didn’t,” he said. “I was too busy looking for my wife and celebrating with my fans.”
Suggs said what made the win so special was avenging the loss in New England 12 months earlier.
“Any other team with this win would have been unjustified,” Suggs said. “Especially how the game last year ended, and who 12 (Tom Brady) is, and who their head coach is, and who their owner is. Between these two teams, you won’t get another battle like this between two AFC opponents. We have the utmost respect for them.”
Suggs went into a tirade against the Patriots after the game, walking off the field. How would he characterize the emotion?
“It is still surreal,” he said. “What we did as a unit. But let’s not be fooled, that team isn’t done. It will probably be these two teams at it again next year.”
Are the Patriots truly arrogant?
“They have the right to be,” he added. “You have three titles and six appearances, with 12 (Tom Brady) under center, they have the right to be. We respect them. That is it, even enemies can show respect.”
“We still got one more win we aren’t satisfied. We know we match up real well with them. We are probably the only team in the AFC that matches up good with the boy number 12 over there and his coach. They are a good ball club, but we have a good one ourselves.”
FOXBORO — The first thing Terrell Suggs did after leaving the Gillette Stadium field and entering the hallways after the Ravens’ 28-13 beating of the Patriots was shout, all the way to the locker room, “Tell them to have fun in the Pro Bowl! Arrogant f***ers.”
Suggs was overheard taking verbal shots at the Patriots, and was captured by Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel on his Twitter feed, calling them “the most arrogant pricks in the world, starting with [Bill] Belichick on down.”
Wetzel also tweeted that Suggs said, “That’s funny, ever since Spygate they haven’t been able to win.”
Suggs and the Ravens avenged a playoff loss in Foxboro last year with a convincing 28-13 win on Sunday night that included a second-half shutout of the league’s top-ranked offense in points per game. Afterwards, Suggs spoke several times with reporters, and eventually toned down his distaste for New England by paying tribute to the former AFC champs.
“That’s a hell of a team out there. That’s a hell of a ballclub,” Suggs said. “But not to take anything away from the men in this locker room. We went out there and we played a game, and both sides — offense and defense, and special teams — played damn near flawless, and that’s what you have to do to come here and beat a giant. All praise be to God.”
When asked if he was surprised at all by the win over the Patriots, Suggs answered with an emphatic, “Nope.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Peter King on M&M: Joe Flacco ‘fearless about throwing the ball deep’||01.18.13 at 2:00 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday morning to preview the NFL’s conference championship weekend.
King, who predicts a 31-26 Patriots victory over the Ravens, is leaving open the possibility of an upset.
“The Patriots have been so good in these championship games, so consistent,” King said. “It’s not going to be their mistake that’s going to beat them, if history is a judge. It’s going to be the Ravens playing well if they win.”
Joe Flacco‘s ability to test the Patriots secondary with the long ball is one of the keys to this game.
“I just think he’s a very good deep-ball thrower,” King said. “Throwing the deep ball twice to Torrey Smith and once to Jacoby Jones six days ago is why the Ravens won that game. If he doesn’t take chances downfield, they’re sitting home right now and it’s New England going to play at Denver on Sunday.
“We talk about players, who’s elite, who’s not elite — I don’t know who’s elite and who isn’t. All I know is that in this game — I don’t think Joe Flacco’s ever going to have the kind of great completion percentage or anything like that that’s going to make him one of the top-rated quarterbacks, but I believe that his team is always going to have a chance for a very simple reason: He’s fearless about throwing the ball deep and he’s the best deep-ball thrower both on percentage and in yardage in the NFL this year.
“I think the Patriots secondary is really going to have a lot to do with whether they move on.”
On the other side of the ball, the aging Baltimore defense will attempt to contain New England’s uptempo offense.
“They better have a lot left in their tank,” King said of the Ravens. “After having a much tougher road in the playoffs, obviously, than New England has had, they better have a pass rush on [Tom] Brady left, particularly when it comes to Paul Kruger. I think he’s the guy that — because right now Terrell Suggs just really isn’t himself, and I don’t know that he is going to be himself in this postseason at all — I think they have to rely on Paul Kruger to get to Tom Brady and do some damage. … In my opinion, that’s going to have a lot to do with who wins and loses this game — how much the Ravens have left in their tank.”
|Tom Brady: The Purple Palace is ‘a little different’||09.19.12 at 2:47 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Tom Brady knows what type of atmosphere he’s entering on Sunday night at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore harbor.
The Patriots escaped last January with a 23-20 win in the AFC championship when Sterling Moore broke up a TD pass to Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff hooked a 32-yard field goal wide left.
He knows the Ravens and their fans will be out for blood this time.
“Well, we went on the road to Tennessee and that was the opener and they’ve had a bunch of sellouts, so I think we’ve had a little experience on the road,” Brady said Wednesday. “This place is a little different.”
This place is the “Purple Palace” – the place that nearly ended the Patriots perfect regular season in 2007 on a Monday night, when the Patriots escaped, 27-24, when Brady found Jabar Gaffney in the corner of the end zone with 44 seconds remaining and Mark Clayton was tackled two yards shy of the end zone on a desperation heave at the end of the game. This is New England’s first trip back since.
“We’ve only really played there one time, which was a tough battle, a 60-minute game,” Brady said. “It always comes down to the end with these guys. I don’t know if we’ve ever had an easy game against these guys. They make you earn every yard you get. Certainly, communication is an issue when you go on the road. We’ll be pumping the crowd music in at practice today – you’ll hear that from downtown Foxborough with how loud that is – but we’ll be trying to simulate not being able to hear and still doing a good job of communicating and really being on the same page. That’s part of winning on the road. You’re bringing however many guys with you – 53 plus some coaches – and that’s really all you’ve got on the road and hopefully that’s all we’ll need.”
Other subjects the Patriots quarterback touched on included Deion Branch, Wes Welker, his unfamiliarity with Kellen Winslow, Julian Edelman and the Ravens defense without Terrell Suggs (out rehabbing an Achilles injury).
Q: Can you talk about your good friend Deion Branch being re-signed today and what his role will be?
TB: Well, Deion has just been a great player here for a long time, so it’s always great to see him back. There’s just a lot of stability. He’s that kind of player: dependable, consistent. So, we’ll see what kind of role he plays. Read the rest of this entry »
|Catching up with … the Ravens||06.06.12 at 1:26 pm ET|
Part of a continuing series that takes a look at what some of the Patriots’ biggest competition in the AFC is doing this offseason. We’ve already looked at the Jets. Here’s a glance at Baltimore.
The last time we saw the Ravens, they were losing to New England in a classic AFC championship game at Gillette, a 23-20 contest that almost ended up going into overtime if not for a missed 32-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff at the end of regulation. (If Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore doesn’t break up a last-minute pass for Lee Evans in the end zone, Baltimore likely has that game won.) The Ravens ended the regular season with a 12-4 mark and the division title — a good year for many teams — but the loss to New England remains a bitter pill to swallow for a proud franchise that continues to set a very high bar.
Who they added: The Ravens went after some really intriguing players in the draft. They got Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw in the first second round, and he’s a guy who will be expected to contribute more than your average rookie — the departure of Jarret Johnson in free agency, and the injury suffered by Terrell Suggs (which he may or may not have suffered playing basketball and could keep him sidelined for the bulk of the 2012 season) will put a lot on Upshaw’s plate. In addition, they picked up interior offensive lineman Gino Gradkowski (Delaware), who should eventually become Matt Birk’s successor at center. And they used a sixth-round pick on Miami wide receiver Tommy Streeter, a prospect the Patriots had been sniffing around during the pre-draft process. In addition, they added free agent cornerback Corey Graham (formerly of the Bears) as an extra defensive back and special teams contributor.
(For what it’s worth, the Ravens kept restricted free agent corner Lardarius Webb in the fold with a six-year, $53 million contract extension. And everyone’s favorite defensive back, Bernard Pollard, got a three-year, $12.3 million contract extension.)
Who’s gone: The Ravens lost six defensive players — including the aforementioned Johnson (Chargers) and defensive end Cory Redding (Colts) — in free agency.
How they feel about the Patriots: “It was a tough loss. We were a catch, a field goal, whatever, we were that away from the Super Bowl. Now, we’ve got to go prove to a lot of people and to ourselves that we can do the same thing again, but end up in the Super Bowl.” – Pollard on the loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship game
Analysis: Again, there’s no reason to think that the Ravens won’t be among the AFC’s elite in 2012 — there’s just too much talent and smarts on both sides of the football. But there remain plenty of questions. The core of the defense — Suggs (when he returns) Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata — all remains in place, but the group is another year older. How much longer can this world-class defense sustain its current run? How will the franchise settle the contract situations of running back Ray Rice and quarterback Joe Flacco? And can the Ravens shake off the hangover that comes with a bitter playoff defeat?
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