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Boomer Esiason on D&C: Super Bowl will be ‘struggle for both offenses’ 01.30.15 at 10:17 am ET
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CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk briefly about footballs, the Super Bowl and what Sunday will bring. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

As a former NFL quarterback, Esiason weighed in on Deflategate, noting that people have been “manipulating the ball for as long as I can remember.”

“It goes all the way back to when I was playing,” he said. “They started playing with brand new balls out of the box, we were all angry about that. Then it was that the home team had to furnish the footballs, we were angry about that. Then it was Tom [Brady] and Peyton [Manning] who went to Roger Goodell back in 2006 and said, ‘Hey, we want to bring our own footballs.’ And I’ve been saying over the last five or six years, I don’t care if they’re underinflated, overinflated, the fact is when you look at those footballs, they all look like they’re 100 years old. They don’t look anything like the balls that we played with. So I think everybody has gained an advantage at the quarterback position.”

Esiason then mentioned that it sounded to him like “the officials didn’t really do their due diligence” in terms of checking the balls carefully.

Aside from the unrelenting talk of deflated footballs, the story this game is that both the Patriots and the Seahawks match up to an astonishing degree. For Esiason, it’s the strength of both secondaries that interests him most.

“I can’t remember the last time both defenses, in terms of the secondaries, had a decided advantage against the wide receivers,” he said, adding: “I think this is going to be a struggle for both of these offenses, and even Tom Brady said it last week, with Seattle, nothing’s easy, and the same thing can be said for the New England Patriots.

“The interesting thing here for me is whether or not Seattle can generate any sort of big play in their passing game. They were able to do that towards the end of the game against Green Bay and certainly did it in overtime. They did it against Carolina, but those secondaries aren’t nearly as good as the New England secondary.”

Esiason, who predicts a 23-20 Patriots victory, stressed that these are “the two best rosters in football” and that the game most likely will be down to the wire.

“This is why you went out and got Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis,” he said. “This is when you take a look at what Russell Wilson has been able to do in his young career. I believe this is going to be a great game. I think it’s going to go all the way down to the fourth quarter. I think it’s a field goal game, and I think the quarterback who has the ball last is going to have a chance to win the football game.”

Read More: boomer esiason, Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady,
Mike Petraglia, Ryan Hannable talk Tom Brady’s health, fire alarms at Patriots complex 01.29.15 at 8:52 pm ET
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PHOENIX — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss Day 4 of Patriots Super Bowl week in Arizona. Tom Brady continues to fight off a cold on the practice field while fire alarms continue to go off at the hotel compound the Patriots are staying at for the Super Bowl. Deflategate continues to be a topic of discussion as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell delivers his state of the league speech on Friday.

Read More: Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots, Ryan Hannable, Super Bowl XLIX
What has Tom Brady done to gain his Patriots teammates’ respect? at 6:49 pm ET
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CHANDLER, Ariz. — Despite Tom Brady‘s elite stature, he doesn’t act like it around the team. Speaking after reportedly restructuring his contract in late December to give the Patriots organization more spending money, he said the only thing he cares about his earning the respect of his teammates.

“I think the motivation is to never let my teammates down,” Brady said. “I want to go out there and be the best I can be for them. Those guys work really hard, and I never want to be the reason why we lose the game. You’€™ve got to put a lot into it and try to go out there every day in practice to try to prove yourself. You earn the respect of your teammates by your work ethic and what you’€™re able to accomplish on a daily basis. That’€™s what football is all about to me.”

So, what has Brady done to earn the respect of his teammates? We asked a number of players on Thursday.

WR Brandon LaFell: “I definitely knew he was great, but on the outside all you see is Sunday’s. I didn’t see what we did Monday-Saturday. When I got here and when I saw us playing a game on the road and we’re flying back and I see him open his laptop and he is looking at film already, I didn’t see that. I didn’t see the amount of work he puts in after practice with our strength coach. I didn’t see the amount of work he put in before practice with our strength coach in the morning. I didn’t know how much detail he took in taking his receivers to the side and have us working on routes and being here and seeing that, that guys works his tail off.”

CB Kyle Arrington: “Tom hasn’t done it yet? Tom doesn’t think he’s done it yet. Leadership. Tom is the ultimate competitor, leader. He’s like Leonidas. You just want to go into battle with that guy. Not comparing that, but as far as leadership goes and the guy you can rally behind whether he’s Leonidas or Braveheart, he’s one of those guys. He’s pretty good.”

WR Brian Tyms: “He showed me his heart, man. I remember a play he had against the Dolphins the second time we played them when he ran for 17 yards and the safety was coming and instead of sliding he dropped the shoulder. I respect that, regardless. He’s 37-38, doing that is amazing to me and the consistency that he shows is that he works hard everyday. You have no choice but to respect that.”

QB Jimmy Garoppolo: “A guy who has been doing it for so long and being so successful at it, he still comes in and he puts in the time, the effort that a rookie would put in. It’s very impressive. That is the reason why he’s so good. To have that mindset is definitely an advantage.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady,
Tom Brady gets into Throwback Thursday spirit with Facebook nod to Joe Montana at 3:17 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged his childhood idol Joe Montana — and the fact that Super Bowl XLIX is just around the corner — with a Facebook post Thursday morning.

Read More: Facebook, Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady,
Bill Belichick on HOF election for Junior Seau on Saturday: ‘It’s obviously got to happen’ at 2:22 pm ET
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Junior Seau pictured here in his final NFL game of a 20-year career, a playoff loss to the Ravens at Gillette Stadium. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Junior Seau is pictured here in his final NFL game of a 20-year career, a playoff loss to the Ravens at Gillette Stadium. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Junior Seau will be elected to the Hall of Fame this Saturday by pro football writers.

At least that’s the assumption Bill Belichick is going on. The Patriots coach couldn’t have made his support for the player and the man more evident Thursday morning, two days before the election takes place.

“Well, it would mean a lot. It’€™s obviously got to happen. I can’€™t imagine having a Professional Football Hall of Fame without Junior Seau in it,” Belichick began. “The one word that comes to me when I think of Junior in life and football [is] passion. He’€™s a very passionate guy, lot of energy, lot of enthusiasm. First guy in the building in the morning, watching film, lifting weights, ready for practice, always loved to practice, flying around on the practice field, energy before the game on the sideline [and] during the game, emotional player, but a smart player.”

Seau was a 10-time All-Pro, 12-time Pro Bowl selection, and named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. The San Diego native played college football at Southern Cal before being chosen by the Chargers as the fifth overall pick of the 1990 NFL draft. Seau started for 13 seasons for the Chargers before being traded to the Miami Dolphins, where he spent three years. Then, before the 2006 season, Belichick finally got a chance to coach one of his favorite players. He did so for the final four seasons of his career.

“[He] was a player that played with a purpose; played with good physical skill; but also good concentration, good awareness. Great team player, very supportive of his teammates, I mean, everybody in the locker room loved Junior,” Belichick said. “They loved what he did and they loved the way that he interacted with the team. He was a great player. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach him. We had a lot of great experiences together.”

Seau retired after the 2009 season Obviously it was the end of his career; things were a little different than when he was in San Diego and so forth. But he brought a lot of energy and passion to our team, and I personally had a very good relationship with Junior. I loved coaching him and he always expressed how much he enjoyed playing on the New England Patriots and that meant a lot to me.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, HOF, Junior Seau, nfl
Rob Gronkowski explains art of ‘Gronk Spike’ at 2:03 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski explained the Gronk Spike on Thursday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski explained the Gronk Spike on Thursday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

CHANDLER, Ariz. — In what has become seemingly a weekly tradition, following every Rob Gronkowski touchdown he spikes the football in the end zone, better known as a Gronk Spike.

The star tight end has wanted to do it since high school, but back in high school he would get flagged for it. Now that he’s in the NFL, he can do it all he wants.

“Oh, the Gronk Spike? I always actually just wanted to do it in high school and college after a touchdown, and it was always a flag, so I had really never done it in college or high school, but when I got to the NFL I finally got my opportunity, and I just always wanted to spike the ball,” Gronkowski said. “I just felt like that trait just went with me, so I did it and it caught on. It’€™s just a good feeling when you get that score and you do your little touchdown celebration to get your team going.”

Gronkowski was asked if there’s a certain technique that he follows.

“There’€™s not really a certain technique,” he said. “You kind of wind up like a pitcher and you just spike it to the ground. Sometimes there are good spikes and sometimes there are bad ones. It all depends on how the ball hits the ground.”

He finished with 12 Gronk Spikes (touchdowns) this season, while hauling in a total of 82 passes for 1,124 yards. It was the second-best statistical season of his career, as he played in 15 games.

With all the hype that comes with Super Bowl week, Gronkowski is chomping at the bit to play the game.

“I just wish the game was today,” said Gronkowski. “I’€™ve been saying that for like the last week ever since Monday hit of last week. We just have to stay patient and stay calm we’€™ve just got to keep doing what we’€™re doing and focusing. The game will come in no time.”

Quarterback Tom Brady is playing for his fourth Super Bowl title, which would tie Joe Montana for the most all-time, and the win would do a lot for his legacy of being considered the best quarterback to ever play the game. Gronkowski acknowledged the game is huge for the legacy of not only Brady, but the entire Patriots organization.

“Oh, no doubt. This game’€™s huge,” said Gronkowski. “It’€™s just based legacies on this game for a lot of players ‘€“ for Tom [Brady], for Vince [Wilfork], for the whole organization, and I feel like it bases the legacy of myself. Having a Super Bowl is huge. It’€™s a lot different than being the MVP or having an award for being the Outstanding Player. Being a Super Bowl champion, I feel like if it occurs, no doubt it’€™ll be one of the greatest things to happen.”

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Rob Gronkowski, Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady
Source: Fire alarms ‘not bothering [Patriots] at all’ at 1:55 pm ET
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CHANDLER, Ariz — It hasn’t risen to the level of Alarmgate yet but there’s been some loud goings on at the Patriots’ Super Bowl hotel the last two night.

But fortunately, the players haven’t been affected. So says two sources close to the team staying at the expansive Sheraton Wild Horse Pass resort.

On Monday and Wednesday nights, the alarms sounded but no Patriots have reported losing any sleep.

One player told WEEI.com that “those things aren’t bothering us at all” and “I haven’t heard any teammates saying anything at all about them.”

It’s not known exactly how or why the alarms are going off. All that’s known is that the alarms in question are located in a corner of the huge compound far removed from the players.

“If there has, I haven’€™t heard it,” Brady said. “I must be sleeping through it, so that’€™s good.”

Read More: Fire alarms, New England Patriots, nfl, Super Bowl XLIX
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