I think we’ve all heard enough about the Jets/Patriots trash talk this week leading up to the game. The Jets, as always, started it and Bill Belichick finished it. Or at least he thought he did when he issued a “no trash talk” order to his team. After all, that is the Patriot way. Belichik, Brady and company are honestly more worried about doing their talking on the field and not through the media.
But Brady’s favorite WR, and a player who totally epitomizes what it means to be a Patriot, Wes Welker tested those boundaries with a tongue in cheek interview taking shots at Rex Ryan’s foot fetish. I, for one, thought it was hilarious. Bill Belichik, however, apparently did not.
News just came down as Jim Nantz reported prior to kickoff that Wes Welker will be benched to start the game because he ignored Belichik’s orders. We don’t know at this point how long that benching will last. It could be a play, a series, or a quarter, but it is yet another example of just how strict of a program that Belichik runs.
In response to the week long trash talk event, Wes Welker came up with the most original, clever, hilarious, and obviously light-hearted response earlier in the week. He took subtle shots at Rex Ryan’s foot fetish by referencing toes, feet, foot, foot soldiers, etc. multiple times during his media session the other day. Pretty hilarious if you ask me.
But not if you ask Bart Scott. Scott, the Jets linebacker and extension of Rex Ryan as they both have nearly the same personality, was none too pleased. In fact, when asked about it by Newsday reporters he offered this:
“I’ll tell you what, Be very careful what you say about our coach. His days in a uniform will be numbered. Put it like that.”
Now Bart loves to talk and he is a bit of a hot head, but would he really take Welker’s joking comments to the next level by actually trying to hurt the man? There have long been stories of bounties placed on the heads of certain players and Rex’s father, Buddy is actually said to have originated this practice. So is it impossible? No. But my guess, as is usually the case, is that the guy who does the most talking does the least when it comes down to it.
I’m sure Bart is just trying to send a message to Welker and the rest of the NFL that his coach’s sexual fetishes are off limits as far as trash talk goes. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the back and forth through the media… I can’t wait for kickoff.
The New York Post often has interesting and controversial front pages… but this one takes it to a whole new level. As we approach the Divisional playoff game between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots, there has been no shortage in drama and entertainment.
It all started when Rex Ryan got the week going with a Rex vs. Belichick press conference and then Jets CB Antonio Cromartie kicked it up a notch calling Tom Brady an A-Hole. Brady and Belichick refused to partake in the pre-game trash talk, deflecting back to the game at hand as is their nature. I think we all know by now that they tend to do their trash talk, and damage, on the field.
Wes Welker followed up with the most interesting, humorous and original form of trash talk yesterday where he repeatedly mentioned the words foot, feet, toes, etc. in his interview with the press. A very clever and fun loving shot at Rex Ryan and his wife’s foot fetish videos.
The New York Post front page follows up wonderfully with a Star Wars based cover featuring the usual cast of characters. You just gotta love the picture of Michelle Ryan, Joe Namath as Yoda, and Bill Belichick as the dark lord himself. How fitting….
The Jets, as always, have been popping off at the mouth all week trying to bait the Patriots into a war of words. It started with Rex Ryan’s attempt to make the game about him vs. Belichick. Belichick shrugged it off, and as always, focused on the task at hand. Antonio Cromartie then went off on a profanity laced tirade about the Patriots Tom Brady calling him an “asshole” and saying “F*CK HIM”.
New England reporters asked Brady if he had heard about the comments and repeated them back to the surefire MVP. Brady, in perfect Patriots form, shrugged them off by saying “I’ve been called worse”. He went on to add that “I’m sure a lot of people feel that way.”
Brady then immediately went on to praise Cromartie and Revis and the Jets secondary, quickly focusing back in on the game. People wonder why and how the Patriots are so good year in and year out. Maybe it has something to do with their ability and willingness to worry about the game at hand, rather than the pre-game trash talk and antics…
I, personally, hope Brady hangs half a hundred on Cromartie and the Jets.
Another day and yet another Jet popping off at the mouth leading up to the Divisional playoff game. Jets CB Antonio Cromartie told the New York Daily News that he hates Tom Brady and then went on to call the league’s MVP and one of the best QB’s in the history of the NFL an asshole.
Cromartie apparently took offense to the 45-3 beatdown they suffered at the hands of Tom Brady and the Patriots the last time they met. Specifically, Cromartie is upset at Brady’s “post-touchdown antics” where Brady reportedly pointed at the Jets sideline following a TD pass that put the Patriots up 38-3.
Rex Ryan, as always, started the talking earlier in the week when he tried the “It’s Personal” angle for the second straight week telling the press that the game was all about him and mastermind Bill Belichick. Cromartie was asked Tuesday by the Daily News if he’d ever seen Brady pointing after the Patriots score. He offered the following:
“We see that a lot. He does it a lot. That’s the kind of guy he is. We really don’t give a damn, to tell you the truth.”
When asked what kind of guy Brady is… Cromartie responded “An asshole.” “F*CK him.”
Well those are awfully strong words by a guy who’s job it is to stop Brady and the Patriots from scoring in the first place. Maybe if Cromartie is so upset by what Brady does following a TD pass he should focus on stopping Brady FROM THROWING TD PASSES!
Going into this weekend’s Wild Card matchup between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts, Rex Ryan, as always, lead the charge with his mouth. It’s no secret that Peyton Manning had owned Ryan both with the Ravens and the Jets going into the game and Rex Ryan made it clear to everyone that he took it very personally. He also took the opportunity to get a subtle jab in at Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who they are obviously set to take on in the Divisional round of the playoffs after beating the Colts.
Well, I guess you stick with what works as Rex Ryan is yet again opening up the Monday morning press conference with an “It’s personal” quote. When asked about the week 13 beat down at the hands of the division rival Patriots, Rex added this:
“The plan might have looked good on paper, but it wasn’t realistic. When we had to make the adjustments, we couldn’t execute.”
“I was outcoached in that game. Belichick will go down in history as maybe the greatest football coach in the history of this game–or gonna be close to it. He was at that level that week, and I was not. For whatever reason, I never had my team prepared the way it should have been prepared, and that falls right down on me. “
“I recognize that this week, this is about Bill Belichick vs. Rex Ryan. There’s no question. It’s personal, it’s about him against myself, and that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
“When you look at it, both teams are very even. So this is going to be about me raising my level against Bill Belichick. I recognize that he’s the best, and all that, but I’m just trying to be the best on Sunday, and I plan on being the best coach on Sunday.
“He’s going to get my best shot and if he slips at all, we’re going to beat them.”
I can’t say that I agree with his thoughts, but Rex popping off at the mouth and making everything about him should be no surprise by now. Most say that all his talking is done as an attempt to take the pressure off his team and these comments would be consistent with that theory.
He’s trying to make it about him and Belichick as opposed to his defense vs. Tom Brady or his young QB vs. Belichick’s defense. That’s all fine and good, but there is at least a part (and a large part) that derives from Rex loving him some Rex. There is no question that Rex loves to hear himself talk and he loves to take shots at the opponent and have the spotlight on himself. I don’t mind it at all, but I wonder how Jets fans are taking it. Each and every week. Each and every time he steps up to the podium.
Hey, it’s great entertainment and he gives incredible quotes nearly every time he opens his mouth. Which is very, very often. I guess he thinks that the “it’s personal” angle worked for him last week for one of the only times he’s had success against Peyton Manning so it’s worth a shot against the league’s best team this week.
Some people love him, and some people hate him, but regardless of what you think about Tom Brady, there is no denying that he is an incredible QB. Not only is he one of the best in the game today, he’s well on his way to becoming an all-time great to be mentioned in the same breath as Montana, Elway, Marino, Manning, Bradshaw, Unitas, etc.
As great as he is and has been, Brady may just be having the best single season in his career. Yes, even better than the 50 TD season during the 18-1 2007 season. That season, Brady orchestrated one of the greatest offensive attacks in the history of the NFL, but given the current circumstances, I truly believe he’s having a better year in 2010.
If you look at the overall roster and other teams in the AFC East and the AFC in general, I believe Brady is doing more with less and against far superior competition than in 2007. Sure, the numbers aren’t quite as gawdy, but they are still amazing. While leading the Patriots to a 10-2 record which is the best record in the NFL along with Atlanta, he has passed for over 3,000 yards with a nearly 67% completion percentage and 27 TDs with just 4 INTs. Brady has also lead the Patriots to victories over the Jets, Steelers, Ravens, and Colts.
You can argue whether or not this is a better season than his 2007 campaign, but you can’t argue that he’s having an MVP caliber season and that’s not really the point anyway.
More interesting to me, is why he’s having such a great season.
5. Knee Recovery:
Following the record breaking 2007 season and a near miss at perfection, Brady suffered a horrendous knee injury in the Patriots’ first game of the 2008 season against the K.C. Chiefs. He literally needed to have reconstructive knee surgery and he also had multiple setbacks during his rehab process. It was unknown whether he would even be able to play in the 2009 season. He fought back and played well enough to get the Pats into the playoffs, but he was definitely not the same. As they say for serious knee injuries, it will likely take 2 full years to recover fully and that would seem to be true in this case as well. Not just physically, but psychologically it takes time to recover and regain confidence and to trust the knee after an injury like that and it seems that it affected him last season. From what we’ve seen on the field this season, there is no doubt that he’s finally back to 100%.
4. Randy Moss:
This is a classic case of addition by subtraction. While I have always been a pro-Randy guy, I can no longer defend him. I was one of the people screaming at the Pats to pay him because they needed his deep threat and big play ability to stretch the field for Brady, Welker, and Hernandez. I thought that even though he can be a headache, his physical talent was so overwhelming that you just had to deal with him. Boy was I wrong. Not only did Moss fail to perform in New England, with a top 2 QB and a proven system that he knows very well, but he has been mostly useless in both Minnesota and Tennessee as well.
I still think he could have produced in New England if he were motivated, the reality is that he was disgruntled and he was hurting the team. An unhappy Randy Moss can be very distracting and stressful for everyone in the organization. Couple this with his poor effort and production and you see why the Patriots seem to be better than ever after trading him to the Vikings.
3. Contract Extension:
An often overlooked reason behind Brady’s success and confidence is his contract extension that he signed in September making him the NFL’s highest paid player. Brady is in the final year of his current deal this season and with the Patriots history of contract negotiations, there was some doubt as to how this would end over the summer. No one could see Brady going somewhere else, but lets face it… New England is cheap!
No one knew how long it would drag out and if it would be a distraction for Brady and the organization and if it would end badly. Their ability to get this deal done in September is a HUGE reason behind the Patriot’s current success and Brady’s MVP-like season.
2. Offensive Line/Running Game:
Do the Patriots have the best line or running game in the NFL? No. Can they line up and pound it down your throat? No. But they do have a very good pass blocking offensive line and as we saw in the 2007 SupberBowl against the Giants, if you can get to Brady with your front 4, you have a great chance to win. They have been great in pass protection and that goes for the running backs as well. RBs and TEs are critical in protection schemes and they have typical Patriots players in these roles. Smart, tough, physical, and flat out football players.
They don’t have a single legitimate starter at RB, but they have several very good players who are doing what is asked of them. Between BenJarvus Green-Ellis (The Lawfirm) and 5’6″ Danny Woodhead, the Patriots have an effective running game if nothing else. If necessary, they can run the ball enough to keep defenses honest, take pressure of Brady at times, and punch the ball in on the goal line.
1. Deion Branch/Wes Welker:
Wes Welker has been Brady’s “Go-To” guy and security blanket since he arrive in New England. Welker is a huge part of the reason that Brady can pick apart pressure packages and he is one of the few true “Blitz Busters” in the NFL. He is a huge cause of Brady’s success and the reason he is so comfortable and confident.
The re-acquisition of Deion Branch has also proved to add to Brady’s confidence and comfortability. Branch isn’t half the WR Moss is physically, but he fits perfectly into the New England offensive system and he and Brady have incredible chemistry and confidence in one another. Many believed he was foolish to leave the Patriots in the first place and I tend to think both sides regret not getting a deal done, but he’s back and making Brady better than ever.
Bonus Reason: Gisele
Hey, look… it doesn’t suck to be Tom Brady! Giselle is just one of the reasons for that. For any mortal man, going home to that every night would be a huge distraction from getting your work done, but it’s working for the “Golden Boy”. Plus, I can’t pass up an opportunity to throw in a few Gisele pictures just for the hell of it.
We’ll have to see if Brady winds up winning the MVP and he certainly has some stiff competition in Mike Vick, Phillip Rivers, and in my opinion, Matt Ryan. There is no question, though, with the Patriots record, who they’ve beaten, how they’ve beaten them and with Brady’s numbers, he has to be the front-runner right now.
Josh McDaniels learned under the tuteledge of the great Bill Belichick as QB’s coach and then Offensive Coordinator in New England. McDaniels got his shot as a young Head Coach in Denver and has since shown that he’s trying to mimic the Patriots system as much as possible. News from the Denver Post is just another example of that as a Denver Broncos have been accused of taping their opponents.
Chief Operating Office, Joe Ellis confirmed to the paper that the NFL is reviewing accusations of filming the San Francisco 49ers back in week 8. Broncos Director of Video Operations, Steve Scarnecchia, is on what is being termed a “personal leave of absence” while the investigation takes place.
The game in question is the annual NFL game in London England where the Broncos lost 24-16. Accusations say the Broncos taped a walk-through practice session the day before the game.
McDaniels certainly learned a great deal from one of the best coaches in the NFL and apparently he minored in espionage in addition to his football studies. We’ll see how this plays out, but at the very least, there is some smoke coming from Denver Colorado.
Bill Belichick, aka “The Hoody“, is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the NFL despite any personal feelings you may have toward him. He has made a living as a defensive genius and one of his trademarks is to take away the opposition’s best player. He has repeatedly sacrificed other areas of his defense and allowed other players to have some degree of success in order to completely eliminate the top weapon of the other team.
Heading into this week’s game, Belichick is game planning to stop one of the most physically gifted, talented, and dangerous offensive players in the game. Calvin Johnson. Despite being shut down nearly completely by Darrelle Revis a couple weeks ago, Calvin is easily one of the top 2 or 3 WR’s in the NFL.
When addressing reporters today, Belichick gave one of the more interesting soundbites I’ve heard this week. He has no doubt been scheming hard core to try to limit Calvin Johnson as is his M.O. What he’s seen in the past and on film this year, though, has clearly impressed the SuperBowl winning coach. The Hoody had this to say about Calvin Johnson:
“He’s never covered. It’s like Shaquille O’Neal going for a rebound against two point guard
Belichick is similar to Phil Jackson in that he never says something without an agenda behind it. He definitely works the psyche of his team as well as any NFL coach today and I’m sure this was said partly to get a point across to his team and maybe even to get into the mind a little bit of Calvin Johnson.
But it’s 100% correct. Calvin Johnson is a FREAK! This man is listed at 6’5, 240 pounds and he’s one of the fastest players in the NFL. In the rookie combine in 2007, Calvin was clocked at 4.33 which is not that far off from who I believe to be the fastest player in the NFL, Chris Johnson. He’s not only big and fast, but he’s incredibly strong and he has natural ball skills. CJ is as good with the ball in the air as any other WR in the NFL.
Belichick is dead on with his assessment as it doesn’t really matter what kind of coverage you have on the guy because the tallest DB any team is going to have is 6’2″. And that’s a BEST CASE scenario. You can scheme and game plan and even execute your defense perfectly and there will be times that you still can’t stop the man because he will just out-run, out-jump, or out-muscle your defenders.
Since his AFC East rivals, the New York Jets had incredible success in slowing CJ down earlier in the year, I’m sure Belichick will copy as much as he can. The reality for the Patriots, however, is they don’t have a Darrelle Revis or the pass rush of the Jets.