|Tom Brady on D&C: ‘Our expectation is to go out there and be a great offense’||08.25.14 at 9:25 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning and talked about his confidence in the team’s offense, NFL injuries, doing brain exercises and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Patriots offense struggled at times last season as Brady got used to a new group of receivers. There remains concern that this offense has some issues that will limit its effectiveness, but Brady said the Patriots continue to tune out criticism from outside Gillette Stadium.
“Truthfully, we’ve never really paid attention to the external voices that are out there,” he said. “We just try to focus on what we need to do, what our job is. Because the only people that can really affect what we do are the people that are inside that offensive meeting room.
“We have high expectations. We’ve had some great offenses over the years, and our expectation is to go out there and be a great offense, and that’s one that doesn’t turn the ball over, one that plays physical and smart, makes great decisions and plays great situational football. I think we did a great job of that — we’ve always done a great job of that over the years.
“Coaches talk a lot about situational football, making the plays when it really counts. There’s a lot of games that are decided by three points or less, and the teams that are the ones that win those games — the ones that are three points or less — those are the ones that are the ones that you’ve got to look out for. Teams that really find a way to win, teams that find a way to lose — hopefully we’re one of those offenses that finds ways to win when we have the opportunity.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that have made contributions thus far over the course of the OTAs and the preseason games. We’re going to need that over the course of the year, because it’s a long year. All the guys that are active in that skill group are going to need to be performers for us at whatever level, whatever role they make for themselves. Hopefully we can be one of the top offenses in the league. But we’ve got to go out there and earn it. No one’s going to make it easy for us.”
One of the keys to the Patriots offense clicking early is the players staying healthy, something Brady noted has been a positive in the preseason.
“We’ve done a really good job over the course of the preseason. I think one of the most important things we’ve done is that we’ve all been out there practicing. I think there’s guys that have really made a great commitment over the offseason to get ready and prepare themselves to be out there every day to make the improvements,” Brady said.
“All the skill guys, the receivers have all been out there almost every day practicing, had a lot of opportunities over the summer to work, and the spring, and it’s the same thing. Hopefully we can get some other guys who haven’t been out there back in the mix so that they can incorporate themselves into the offense and we can really see where we’re at — guys like [Aaron Dobson] and [Rob Gronkowski].
“It is fun for all of us to go out and execute well. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
|Tom Brady thanks Wes Welker for mentoring Julian Edelman, develops chemistry with Danny Amendola||08.05.14 at 9:34 pm ET|
After a scorching practice against the Redskins Tuesday in Richmond, Brady thanked Welker for helping to develop Julian Edelman, a working relationship that continues to blossom in the Patriots passing game.
Brady was asked Tuesday if he feels he’s getting close to the same chemistry with Edelman that he had with Welker.
“Well, it’s hard to compare,” Brady said. “I think Wes was such a special player for our team and I was fortunate enough to play with him for that period. But Julian in his own right has worked his tail off. I think he really had a great mentor in Wes, someone he could really look up to.
“They play a little bit similar; different players, but they both work extremely hard. Football is so important to the both of them and I think that really wore off on Julian. Julian has worked his tail off to get where he’s at. I think he’s really taken advantage of every opportunity that he’s gotten, Julian has. I’m really proud of him. He keeps coming out and making plays and he’s done such a great job being so dependable and reliable for our team, it’s great to have him.”
What has been obvious so far in training camp practices is that Brady’s favorite target not named Rob Gronkowski is Edelman. Brady and Edelman have been clicking. Edelman has made play after play and Brady has rewarded him by looking in his direction time after time.
That doesn’t mean Brady won’t poke a little fun at Edelman and Danny Amendola, who showed flashes of brilliance on Tuesday in the marathon practice in Richmond.
“I’ve got some of the little pygmies out there like Julian and Danny and it’s nice to have a little bigger guy out there from time to time who has a bigger catch radius,” Brady said. “Hopefully, Danny and Julian don’t get mad at me for saying that. They won’t. They know I’m joking.”
That “little bigger guy” Brady refers to is Brandon LaFell, who has been getting a few more looks on the first team when not catching passes from Ryan Mallett.
“He keeps making more plays,” Brady said of LaFell. “He’s done a great job. Today he made a lot of plays out there. He’s understanding better and better. He’s a veteran. He’s savvy, knows how to run the routes, big body, big frame, makes a lot of tough catches.”
|Bill Belichick on report Patriots had Jets playbook: ‘Talk to Mike Pettine’||06.19.14 at 12:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Here we go again.
In the latest edition of Monday Morning Quarterback on SI.com, columnist Greg Bedard reports that new Browns head coach and former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine believes that old copies of the Jets playbook, circa 2011, may have wound up in the hands of the Patriots.
“The initial playbook itself is actually quite thin, and that’s by design,” Pettine told Bedard. “I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it. We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”
Pettine told Bedard that there was a story circulating that at Wes Welker‘s wedding in 2012, Tom Brady laughed with Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith (Welker’s college roommate at Texas Tech) that the Patriots “may or may not” have had possession of some Jets defensive playbooks.
“It didn’t shock me because Rex would give them out like candy anyway,” Pettine continued. “He gave one out to [Alabama coach Nick] Saban and I was like, ‘Don’t you know Saban and Bill [Belichick] are pretty good friends? I have a feeling it’s going to end up in New England.’ ”
Belichick, who told reporters he was allowing just three questions before leaving for the summer, was asked about the charges after Thursday’s final minicamp session. Belichick was specifically asked if he has ever had the Jets playbook at some point.
“[Go] talk to Mike Pettine. I don’t know,” Belichick offered.
Darrelle Revis played for Mike Pettine as recently as 2012, when he tore his ACL in September in a game against the Dolphins. Revis was also asked about the playbook charges after Thursday’s minicamp. He laughed and was somewhat more insightful when asked if he knew the Patriots may have had the playbook.
“No, I don’t know anything about that,” Revis said. “I don’t know. I don’t even know how to answer that. If they did, they did. If they didn’t, they didn’t. At that point, it really doesn’t matter. You still have to go out there and compete and go out there and win the game.”
|Tom Brady, Kliff Kingsbury and Mike Tyson hang out at the Preakness||05.17.14 at 10:21 pm ET|
This one is pretty self-explanatory from the title of the blog post, so we won’t go too much into detail. Turn it sideways and you’ll see the Patriots quarterback, the former heavyweight champ and a former Brady backup (Kevin O’Connell should be so lucky). They were all hanging out at the Preakness Saturday.
UPDATE, Sunday, 12:51 a.m.: Initial reports were that Wes Welker was part of the photo, but after a closer look, it was determined that Welker wasn’t present.
|Churchill Downs: We overpaid Wes Welker $15K after he won at Derby||05.16.14 at 9:08 pm ET|
Remember this picture of a happy looking Wes Welker handing out $100 bills after the receiver cashed in at the Kentucky Derby earlier this month? Turns out, the former Patriots wide receiver made the money as the result of some error on the part of Churchill Downs, and the racetrack said Friday it wants its money back.
TMZ is reporting Welker was overpaid by almost $15,000 and wants the money, adding that the track claims it was due to a machine malfunction, and has sent the wide receiver a letter looking for the loot.
Welker went on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday and said they’ll have to “get in line.”
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|Wes Welker really enjoyed himself at Kentucky Derby||05.05.14 at 12:32 pm ET|
It looks like Wes Welker had a lot of fun at the Kentucky Derby over the weekend — the former Patriots receiver was spotted handing out $100 bills after he cashed in.
‘ Jeff Novak II (@Jeff_Novak) May 3, 2014
|Tom Brady going to the Derby, Devin McCourty goes back to Rutgers and Patriots kicking tires on college wide receivers||04.14.14 at 12:29 pm ET|
1. Tom Brady is going back to the Kentucky Derby. According to this report, the quarterback is expected to make the trek to Churchill Downs this year, along with current teammate Vince Wilfork, ex-Patriot Wes Welker and a boatload of celebs. This year’s Derby takes place on May 2 and 3, so expect more of these pictures sooner rather than later.
2. According to our pal Dan Duggan, Devin McCourty was back in New Jersey over the weekend to watch the Rutgers spring game, and it’s clear that he continues to have a major impact on the Scarlet Knights. Some current Rutgers defensive backs talked about the impact that McCourty, as well as several other former Rutgers guys who play for the Patriots
“When I really started getting deep into my recruiting process and really starting to narrow down where I want to go, I started paying attention to what position I wanted to play and I started realizing Rutgers put a lot of defensive guys in the league, especially in the secondary,” current Rutgers DB Nadir Barnwell. “I definitely want to go to the next level, so this is definitely a good place to be. They’ll definitely take my game to the next level.”
“I still don’t get why they don’t get some of the best defensive backs every year, just if you watch what they’ve been able to do and what guys have done throughout the league,” McCourty said. “We definitely take pride in it. We have a lot of guys that play in the secondary in the NFL and hopefully it continues.”
3. More pre-draft receiver buzz around the Patriots: South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington has drawn interest from multiple teams around the league — according to Mike Garafalo of Fox Sports, that includes New England. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, he’s already had a workout with the Patriots. The 5-foot-9, 196-pounder had 49 catches for 775 yards and eight touchdowns last season with the Gamecocks. Ellington, who also started as a point guard with the USC basketball team, projects as a slot receiver with great speed at the next level. (He’s also the cousin of Cardinals running back Andre Ellington.) Here’s some video on him:
In addition, the Patriots have already had a follow-up visit with University of Washington wide receiver Kevin Smith. The 5-foot-11, 214-pound Smith, who suffered a torn ACL in December 2011, became a huge part of the UW offense last season,, finishing with 50 catches for 765 yards and four touchdowns. Known for his sure hands and positive locker room influence, Smith is a former high school basketball standout who also has special teams value as a kick returner.
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