|Dolphins’ Cortland Finnegan on Tom Brady playing into his 40s: ‘Tell him to wake up from whatever dream he is in’||12.18.14 at 7:48 am ET|
Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan isn’t so sure of the idea.
“He’s asleep,” Finnegan said to to the Palm Beach Post. “Tell him to wake up from whatever dream he is in.
“He can probably do it mentally, but physically, as the game evolves and gets faster and the guys at the defensive end position get bigger, it’s going to be tough. I don’t know that he’ll be able to recover as fast.”
The Patriots are coming off of a 41-13 win over the Dolphins Sunday, a game in which the Patriots clinched their sixth straight AFC East title. Brady went 21-for-35 with 287 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The quarterback is also in the conversation for his third career MVP award.
Finnegan, 30, went on to admit Brady is a good player and is a sure Hall of Famer.
“You’ve got to give him his props,” Finnegan admitted. “He’s a Hall of Famer, one of the best, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s done it with lesser players than other guys.
“He was born in a manger, I’ll say that much. But I’m not sure at age 40 he wants to take a blind-side hit and get back up.”
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|Tom Brady appreciates the ‘amazing’ Darrelle Revis and ponders what makes up an MVP||12.17.14 at 9:58 pm ET|
Brady had no such restrictions on him when he was asked his impressions of what Revis has meant to the Patriots’ defense and the team overall.
“He’s a phenomenal player and I’ve loved playing with him,” Brady said. “I’ve hated playing against him, and I’ve had my fair share of those opportunities. He’s a great teammate. He’s a phenomenal player. I think the thing that I’m so impressed with is his coverage skills without getting penalties.”
Avoiding penalties has certainly been a challenge, not only for the Patriots but everyone across the NFL. Flags are up around the league at the rate of two more per game. But Revis has been able to avoid the laundry being heaved in his direction. He has been hit with just two accepted penalties this season, both for defensive holding. Brady sees that as remarkable considering officials have been on higher alert for illegal contact beyond the line of scrimmage.
“That’s a rare thing to be backpedaling when the guys who are some of the best athletes in the world are running at you as fast as they can with the size and speed of the way the receivers are, and to be able to cover those guys like he does is pretty amazing.”
Brady also spoke of the growth he’s seen from Rob Gronkowski in the five years he’s spent with him. In Brady, Gronkowski and Revis, it could be argued that the Patriots have three players putting up MVP-type seasons. So, what is the difference between a valuable football player as opposed to an outstanding one?
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Week 16 battle between the 11-3 Patriots and 3-11 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. With a win against the Jets and a Denver Broncos loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night in Cincinnati, the Patriots will clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
FOXBORO — Like everybody who watches the Patriots, Tom Brady has seen the fun-loving side of Rob Gronkowski on and off the field.
But Brady also gets a chance to see the more mature side of the Patriots all-world tight end. On Wednesday, Brady said he’s seen his 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end mature into one of the hardest workers on the team.
“He’s grown up a lot over the last five years,” Brady said. “It’s been a lot of fun to see it. His football IQ and understanding of what it takes to be a professional and consistently and dependably be that type of player for our offense that he’s become, has been fun to see. He’s got the size advantage, the speed advantage, and he’s really becoming so aware out there of different coverages and things they’re trying to do to stop him.
“Now, after this time, he and I are really getting on the same page with a lot of things that are adjustments to adjustments to adjustments and that type of thing. It’s just been great playing with him. He’s a huge part of our offense, really gets us going. He’s a threat on third down, he’s a threat in the red area, he’s a threat on big plays any time in the game. He’s a great player.”
What Gronkowski doesn’t always get credit for is his attention to detail in practice and in games. Part of that comes from spending time together after practice and some of it comes from the time Gronk puts in on his own.
“Yeah, it’s a lot of communication. After practice and so forth, we do a lot of things after practice with a lot of guys and you’re always trying to work on things that you didn’t maybe get a chance to work on during practice,” Brady said. “Gronk typically gets a lot of balls in practice, so it’s usually for a lot of the other guys who don’t usually get a lot of balls in practice.
“But he’s always there willing to work on whatever he needs to work on for us to be a better team. Whether that’s a new type of route or a new type of concept that we’re trying to run, that’s what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to get on the same page so you can really anticipate each other and then you can make those plays that end up being really critical. We’ve had a bunch of them this year. The little things always become big things, and to identify what those little things are and make corrections before you get to the game day is what’s really important.”
|Tom Brady is tired of close calls vs. Jets, wants to see Pats play 60 minutes ‘for once’||at 12:42 pm ET|
FOXBORO — He understands the records are what they are heading into Sunday’s Week 16 showdown, but Tom Brady doesn’t want to see the Patriots biting their nails heading into the final minute if they can help it. Brady recalls, of course, the 27-25 escape against the Jets on Oct. 16 at Gillette Stadium, when Chris Jones saved the day with a blocked field goal at the end.
He also recalls last year at MetLife Stadium when the Patriots raced out to a 21-10 halftime lead, only to allow the Jets back in the game and lose in overtime when Jones was called for an illegal play at the line of scrimmage on a field goal attempt.
This year, Brady is hoping for something a little different. More like the “Butt Fumble” game of Thanksgiving 2012 when the Patriots feasted on Rex Ryan‘s Jets, 49-19.
Brady is taking no comfort in New York’s 3-11 record or the fact they’ve lost by two touchdowns in five of their 11 losses.
“I don’t know why those scores go the way they do against other teams,” Brady said. “Against us, they always seem to be close. You just don’t want to go down there and have a bunch of poor execution like we’ve done in the past. I think we really have to focus on our execution and try to go out there and play good for once. I think that’s kind of what we’ve been talking about, playing our style of football for 60 minutes and see what that looks like because we haven’t done a great job against the Jets doing that.
“It’s a great rivalry. We’ve always had some pretty interesting games against them. A lot of them come down to the wire, especially recently. They’ve got a real good defense. They’re good up front, do a great job against the run. We’re going to have to go out and play really well. I know the records are what they are but we don’t look at it like that. I think it’s a good challenge for us. We lost going to the Meadowlands last year. So, we’re anticipating getting their best game.”
The Patriots, of course, are 11-3 and looking for the top seed in the AFC, which they will get with a win over the Jets and a Denver loss in Cincinnati Monday night. But the Patriots QB knows the offense needs to get back to getting off to fast starts, a trademark during their seven-game win streak.
“It’s frustrating for all of us when we’re not scoring the type of points we’re capable of doing,” Brady said of the struggles against the Dolphins in the first half last Sunday. “I just have to focus on what I’ve got to do better, and I can certainly do better in that area, making better decisions, better throws. We’re going to need it this week against this team because they challenge you in a lot of ways. They’ve got a multitude of things that they do. They’ve always done that. They really test your communication. Certainly, execution is something that we look at all the past games we’ve played against them and think, ‘God, our execution just wasn’t very sharp.’ We have to be very sharp this week.”
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|Josh McDaniels, Tom Brady thriving when using play-action: ‘It’s always a good design and a good idea’||12.16.14 at 3:11 pm ET|
Sunday’s second half performance against the Dolphins was dominant.
The Patriots outscored the Dolphins 27-0 led by their quarterback Tom Brady, as the signal caller went 13-for-20 with 205 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the second half of the 41-13 win.
Overall in the game, per Pro Football Focus, Brady was 10-for-12 with 135 yards with a touchdown and an interception when using play-action.
“We definitely used it in the second half maybe a little bit more than we did in the first half,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said on a conference call Wednesday. “I think it’s always a part of what you want to be able to do to complement the rest of your offense. You have a chance to run the football and then try to go ahead and use some play-action to complement your run game.
“I think it’s always a good design and a good idea, but ultimately the credit and the responsibility lies with the players and the execution, and they did a great job of doing that. The line gave Tom [Brady] an opportunity to play action fake and then get his eyes down the field and find some people open in the defense. We were able to get behind them a few times there in the second half to create some chunk plays for ourselves and some momentum.”
For the season, Brady has been one of the most effective quarterbacks in the league when using play-action. According to Pro Football Focus, Brady is 98-for-143 (68.5 percent) with 1,334 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions.
His 1,334 passing yards are the most in the league, his eight touchdown passes are tied for fifth, his 68.5 completion percentage is seventh and his 108 quarterback rating is eighth. The Patriots run play-action on 27.3 percent of their drop backs, which is fifth in the NFL.
“It’s always been a part of what we do,” McDaniels said. “We’ve had weeks where we’ve been very good at it and other weeks where it’s been more limited in terms of what you’re able to do, and some of that is determined by how the defense plays you, too. It definitely played a good role in some of our success in the second half, and hopefully we can continue to do that.”
|Tom Brady responds to Denver DT Terrance Knighton’s Super Bowl guarantee: ‘We’ll do our talking on the field’||at 8:52 am ET|
Denver defensive tackle Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton was very outspoken following Sunday’s win over the Chargers, as he said the Broncos would win the Super Bowl this year — even if Denver had to win at Gillette Stadium to get there.
“I don’t care if New England doesn’t lose again,” Knighton told reporters Sunday. “I don’t care where we have to play. I don’t care who our opponent is. We’re not going to be satisfied until we hoist that trophy. So if we’ve got to go to New England (in the playoffs) and win somewhere we’re not used to winning, we’re going to make it happen.”
“Pot Roast is a big man, and I would never say anything to get him mad at me, but I’ll just say there is a lot of football left to be played,” Brady said. “They’ll have their chance. We’ll have our chance and we’ll do our talking on the field. It doesn’t matter what you say, it matters what you do and my dad always told me, ‘well done is better than well said.’
“In the meantime, we have a lot of football left to be played and it starts this Sunday at the Jets. Nothing is really clinched at this point. There’s still two very important regular season games on our schedule and that is what I am focused on.”
The Patriots have won both games at Gillette Stadium between the teams the past two seasons, but Denver defeated New England in Denver last year in the AFC Championship game. If the Patriots win their final two games, they would guarantee the No. 1 seed in the AFC and have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
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