Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: December 31, 2011 5:00 pm

Welker fined $10K for wearing wrong kind of hat

WelkerBy Josh Katzowitz

Wes Welker is an investor in Bonk Breaker energy bars, so forgive the Patriots receiver if he wore a hat advertising that product in postgame interviews last week after the Patriots beat the Dolphins. He’s just a man trying to drum up a little exposure for one of his products.

The NFL apparently didn’t appreciate his entrepreneurial ways.

As Welker reported on his Twitter feed, the NFL fined him ($10,000) for wearing the hat, which confused Welker, who wrote, “Thanks for warning me the other 16 weeks I wore the hat.” The official violation was for wearing an unauthorized hat during a postgame interview.

Welker, though, got off easy. At least, he, unlike Brian Urlacher, wasn't fined $100,000 for a hat violation.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 5:20 pm

Report: Tom Brady has sprained shoulder

BradyBy Josh Katzowitz

Tom Brady’s shoulder has been the most mysterious body part in the NFL for the past three days, and it seems clear that somehow something is wrong with it. After all, he missed Wednesday’s practice for “non-injury” shoulder X-rays and appeared to be favoring it as he threw to receivers Thursday.

He was listed as probable on Friday’s injury report, but NFL.com’s Albert Breer has bad news. Breer’s sources tell him that Brady has a sprained left shoulder, and though it is not an “instability problem” and it shouldn’t keep him from playing, Brady’s presence on Sunday will be guided by how well he can handle the pain.

"If they're not out there, there is either another player ahead of him or we're not confident they can go out there [healthy]," Bill Belichick, the question-dodger, said today when asked about Brady's status. "It's as simple as that."

The Patriots, when they face the Bills, still have something to play for Sunday. A win or tie would wrap up a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, meaning they’d have home-field advantage all the way until the Super Bowl. Whether backup Brian Hoyer could beat Buffalo in order to seal that scenario, that’s the question Belichick probably will have to weigh between now and kickoff.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 3:18 pm

Belichick dodges questions about Brady's status

By Will Brinson

The Patriots are in an interesting position on Sunday against Buffalo, as they still need to win (or have Baltimore and Pittsburgh lose, which is unlikely) to clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, but they're dealing with an injury to quarterback Tom Brady that makes him a risky start against the Bills.

Which may explain why, according to our Patriots Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard, Bill Belichick was dodging questions about Brady's status for Sunday's game.

"If they're not out there, there is either another player ahead of him or we're not confident they can go out there [healthy]," Belichick said when asked about Brady's status. "It's as simple as that."

That is simple, especially considering the fact that we know Brian Hoyer, Brady's backup, is not as good as Tom Brady.

So if Brady doesn't play, then Brady's shoulder issue -- which we mentioned earlier in the week and which we brought up again when he appeared to be favoring it -- is much more problematic than we thought.

Of course, Brady was present in the portion of practice that the media got to see and Belichick's emphasized, once again, that New England is playing to win.

"Every game is important and there are important things in this game," he said per Bedard. "We’ll prepare for this game just like we have the last 15. That’s the best way I can put it."

So what Belichick is saying (by way of not saying it) is that Brady might not be healthy. And if he's not there, then Patriots fans can start getting worried.

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Posted on: December 29, 2011 7:05 pm

Was Brady favoring his shoulder at practice?

By Josh Katzowitz

As we told you earlier today, it appears Tom Brady missed Wednesday’s practice for shoulder X-rays, though strangely, he was listed on the practice report as a “non-injury issue.”

Yes, getting shoulder X-rays possibly because Brady's shoulder got “dinged” in last Sunday’s game vs. the Dolphins sounds an awful lot like an injury issue, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Thursday, "If there was an injury then it would be on the injury report."

Either way, Brady returned to practice Thursday, and on the injury report, he was listed as limited because of a, ahem, shoulder injury.

But you can judge for yourself how much Brady’s shoulder might affect him Sunday vs. the Bills, because the Boston Herald provided  practice video of Brady throwing for you. And yeah, it does appear (at least, to my amateur eyes) that Brady is favoring his left shoulder as he makes throws. Which probably isn't what the Patriots want as they prepare to head into the postseason.

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Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 9:48 am

Did Tom Brady miss practice for shoulder X-rays?

By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, Tom Brady did not participate in practice with the rest of the Patriots team. That wouldn't be entirely shocking, perhaps, but for the fact that New England listed him as out for "non-injury related issues" despite reports that Brady missed practice to have X-rays on his shoulder.

The report of the shoulder X-ray comes from Tom Curran of CSN New England, who reports that Brady "dinged" his shoulder late against the Dolphins, had it "checked for separation" and was told that "all is set."

Brady likely injured the shoulder when he took a shot from linebacker Cameron Wake on a one-yard touchdown throw in the second half.

But again, on the injury report, Brady's listed as a "non-injury issue," so it's a bit confusing.

There's also the fact that talking to the press on Wednesday afternoon, neither Brady nor Bill Belichick were asked about Brady's shoulder injury. (And, of course, neither one offered anything to the press, though Belichick using the phrase "if ifs and buts were candy and nuts every day would be Christmas" was pretty funny.)

That will likely change on Thursday, provided both/either are available to the press.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 1:34 pm

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 16

Posted by Will Brinson

Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 16 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  Brees  Byrd Janikowski Schwartz
Judge  Brees  Grant  Akers Coughlin
Prisco Rodgers  JPP Seymour Coughlin
Brinson  Brees  Bills  Akers Coughlin
Katzowitz  Cruz  Mayo Seymour Coughlin
Wilson  Brees  Bills Janikowski Coughlin
One. More. Week. It's terrifying, isn't it? Anyway, before we get to that, let's hit up the (slightly delayed) Week 16 Eye on Football Awards.

On offense, only one voter steered away from record-breaker Drew Brees and there's definitely an argument for Aaron Rodgers. But Brees breaking Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a season gave him the nod for the Eye on Offense Award.

On defense, the Bills defense as a whole picked up the Eye on Defense Award thanks to their evisceration of Tim Tebow and the Broncos.

Another record-breaker, David Akers, gets the nod for the Eye on Special Teams Award based on a tiebreaker in a three-way race with a pair of Raiders.

And Tom Coughlin nearly got the clean sweep for the Eye on Coaching Award with the way he handled his business against the Jets.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Drew Brees Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Don't like how the Saints did it but Brees still deserves credit for reaching it. The record is more about perserverance than anything else. Brees was told he'd never make it this far. He wasn't good enough. He's too short. His arm is weak and he proved so many people wrong. That's the best part of this story.
Drew BreesDrew Brees, QB, Saints
It's not the four touchdowns or the lopsided defeat of Atlanta that puts him here. It's breaking Dan Marino's record for single-season yardage. It took someone 27 years to make it. The least we can do is acknowledge him with this award.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Rodgers throws five touchdown passes against the Bears to lock up home-field advantage in the playoffs and get the No. 1 NFC seed for the Packers. Can we give him this award every week?
Drew BreesDrew Brees, QB, Saints
Didn't particularly like the way the Saints gunned for or celebrated the record, but that's on Sean Payton and Brees, and if the Falcons wanted to stop them, they should have. So give Brees his due credit for walking down one of the hardest-to-break records in sports.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Victor CruzVictor Cruz, WR, Giants
Cruz talked trash before Saturday’s Jets game and then backed it up with a 99-yard touchdown reception that was a marvel? It’s hard to believe that last season, Cruz was not even supposed to make the team. Now, he's one of the most exciting receivers in the game.
Drew Brees Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Brees broke Dan Marino's 27-year-old passing record and was even accused of running up the score in the process. The accomplishment along with the whining from the Falcons makes him worthy of the honor.
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Jairus ByrdJairus Byrd, S, Bills
The Buffalo defender returned a Tim Tebow pick 37 yards for a score in a Bills blowout. I'll go ahead and resist the temptation to do a Tebow joke here. It's just really too easy at this point.
Larry Grant Larry Grant, LB, 49ers
He starts for the injured Patrick Willis and finishes with 11 tackles, second best on the team. None, however, was more important than the last -- with Grant forcing a Tarvaris Jackson fumble that sealed a San Francisco victory and, in all likelihood, a first-round playoff bye.
Prisco Brinson
Jason Pierre-PaulJason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants
Pierre-Paul had two sacks, three quarterback hits and four tackles. He was all over the field in the Giants victory over the Jets, which was critical to Coughlin's team staying alive for the playoffs.
Jairus ByrdBills DST
The Bills handed Tim Tebow his first-ever four-interception game and returned two of the picks to the house in a surprise beatdown of the Broncos. That they did it a week after giving up 200 rushing yards to Reggie Bush is all the more impressive/shocking.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jerod Mayo Jerod Mayo, LB, Patriots
As bad as the Pats defense has been this year, you have to give credit to Mayo for making a difference in New England’s comeback win against the Dolphins. Mayo recorded 13 tackles and his first two sacks of the season to keep the Patriots alive for a No. 1 AFC seed.
Chris Kelsay Chris Kelsey, LB, Bills
This goes to the Bills defense, which intercepted Tebow four times (including two pick-sixes), but Kelsay had two sacks and was in the Broncos backfield all day.

Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
Sebastian JanikowskiSebastian Janikowski, K, Raiders
Kicked the game-winner against the Kansas City Chiefs to keep their postseason hopes alive. I remember when Janikowski was nothing but the source of fat jokes. Now he might be the best kicker in football.
David Akers David Akers, K, 49ers
Here's another guy who sets a single-season record, kicking 42 field goals ... with one game still to play. Akers had four in the 49ers' defeat of Seattle, with his last the game winner. I can't imagine where the 49ers would be without him. I know where Philadelphia is.
Prisco Brinson
Richard SeymourRichard Seymour, DL, Raiders
He blocked two field goals, including the potential game-winner on the final play of regulation against the Chiefs. Oakland won the game in overtime to keep their playoff chances alive.
Dan BaileyDavid Akers, K, 49ers
Andy Reid was off on Akers career -- the Eagles didn't want to pay the man and all he did was kick the most field goals in a single season in NFL history (42). The 49ers don't have the season they're having without Akers being so steady on the special teams end of things.
Katzowitz Wilson
Richard Seymour Richard Seymour, DL, Raiders
He was the Chiefs worst nightmare, blocking two field goals -- including the potential game-winner -- to keep Oakland in the hunt for a playoff berth and to eliminate KC. Even if his on-field temper gets him into trouble occassionally, the 11-year vet still has the ability to make big-time plays.
Sebastian Janikowski Sebastian Janikowski, K, Raiders
Janikowski's game-winner in overtime against the Chiefs kept the Raiders' playoff hopes alive and the kicker finally got his first Pro Bowl trip this week.

Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Jim SchwartzJim Schwartz, HC, Lions
He exercized the ghosts of the pathetic Matt Millen by getting the Lions in the playoffs. It's quite the achievement by Schwartz in a surprisingly short amount of time.
Tom Coughlin Tom Coughlin, HC, Giants
After listening to Rex Ryan and the Jets talk all week, he and his club respond with a 29-14 defeat that puts them one win from the playoffs. Not only did Coughlin outlast the Jets, he survived a sideline collision that had him limping. The Giants take a cue from their coach: "No toughness, no championship."
Prisco Brinson
Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, HC, Giants
With his team's season on the line, Coughlin led his team to a victory over the New York Jets. Coughlin has been good at getting his team ready for big games. He has another this week against the Cowboys.

Tom CoughlinTom Coughlin, HC, Giants
The only guy involved with New York football who refused to talk any trash this week? Coughlin. He let his team do the talking for him on the field, knocking around the Jets enough to create questions for Little Brother, and giving the Giants a shot at a division title and a playoff berth.
Katzowitz Wilson
Tom Coughlin Tom Coughlin, HC, Giants
Whether he’s on the hot seat or not, Coughlin still managed to keep his team level-headed in the face of a torrent of trash-talk from the Jets in a city rivalry game. The Giants just have to beat the Cowboys in order to take the NFC East title. It seems like people forget how good a coach Coughlin is, but on Saturday, he taught Rex Ryan a lesson.
Tom Coughlin Tom Coughlin, HC, Giants
He began the week by proclaiming that "talk is cheap" only to listen as various members of the Giants called out the Jets. The difference between them and Rex Ryan's squad? The Giants backed it up Saturday. And if they beat the Cowboys in Week 17 they'll win the division.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:08 pm

This is what Brady's future house looks like

Brady's mansion

By Josh Katzowitz

Just because he’s one of the best NFL quarterbacks of all time and just because he’s married to one of the most beautiful women in the world and just because he can wear Uggs on his feet and his hair like teenage pop stars and not be punched in the face, that doesn’t mean Tom Brady has the perfect life.

Far from it, actually.

After all, he has to wait until the mansion (pictured above) that he bought has finished being built before he can move into its luxury. So yeah, his life kind of stinks right now.

As the Boston Globe points out, the mansion, nearly 22,000 square feet in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, is almost complete. When it’s finished, the home will feature eight bedrooms, a covered bridge, a six-car garage, and a lagoon-shaped swimming pool.

Until then, Brady will be slumming it, probably on somebody’s couch. Hey man, nobody said life was easy.

Photo courtesy of Whittle/Splash News (via the Globe)

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 2:08 pm

Report: Mankins has sprained MCL, to miss Week 17

New England hopes to get Mankins back for the playoffs. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins injured his left knee during Saturday's game against the Dolphins, and on Tuesday sources told the Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport that Mankins has a sprained MCL. 

Mankins will miss New England's Week 17 matchup with Buffalo. It'll be the first game he's missed due to injury in his six-year NFL career; he sat out seven games to begin the 2010 season as part of a contract dispute. The Patriots need to beat the Bills to earn homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. A loss Sunday coupled with a Steelers win over the Browns and a Ravens loss to the Bengals would make Pittsburgh the AFC's No. 1 and the Patriots would drop to No. 2.

For now, though, the biggest issue is getting Mankins back for the postseason. He's the Patriots' best lineman and anchors a unit that has struggled at times this season to protect Tom Brady. Rapoport writes that Mankins will not need surgery, and he hopes to return to the lineup the weekend of January 14th (the Pats will have wild-card weekend off because they earned a bye) for the AFC Divisional game.

Mankins suffered the injury Saturday after his left knee collided with a helmet. He wanted to return to the game but head coach Bill Belichick kept him on the sidelines.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com