Tag:Bill Belichick
Posted on: February 7, 2012 7:04 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 7:05 pm
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Charles Barkley lost $100K on Super Bowl?

Sir Charles should've bet that the first score of the Super Bowl would be a safety. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It's too bad Charles Barkley didn't bet that the first score of Super Bowl XLVI would come by way of a safety. It would've offset the $100,000 he eventually lost.

During a radio appearance before the game, Sir Charles explained his decision to put 100 large on New England.

“I’m a big believer in ‘In God We Trust,’ and I trust in Belichick, bro," Barkley said via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I’m going with the New England Patriots. … I’m almost changed the plane to go to Vegas because I wanted to get the 2.5. … Three scares the hell out of me.”

Barkley was also asked about a host of prop bets, none of which he got right (though he pushed on two!), and predicted a final score of 31-17, New England.

"I tell you, I don’t think it’s going to be close," he said. "As quiet as it’s kept, New England had the worst defense ever to make the Super Bowl, but if you look back at the playoffs, they’ve been one of the best defenses in the playoffs and I think that’s going to continue.”

Well, Chuck was right about one thing: the Pats' defense wasn't the reason they lost. It was some combination of Justin Tuck, Tom Brady and Wes Welker.

Barkley weighed in on the second biggest storyline of Super Bowl week, too: Peyton Manning, who appears to have played his last game for the Colts.

“My first opinion is I don’t think Peyton Manning should play football again. You’re talking about a neck," Barkley said. "I know he’s got a couple young twins. I don’t think he should play football at all. But I think the Colts have got to let him go. You can’t pay two quarterbacks. First of all, the team’s not going to be very good next year, to be honest with you, so why would he want to play on a bad team?”

And that's a question we could very well be asking when Peyton signs with the Dolphins or Redskins. The answer, obviously: they paid him a ton of money.

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:16 pm
 

Patriots sign Underwood to futures contract

Underwood is back in New England after the team cut him the day before the Super Bowl. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

Tiquan Underwood was one of the highlights of Super Bowl Media Day, talking about his high-top fade and even taking time to pay homage to Kid 'n Play. Four days later, the Patriots released the wide receiver to add depth along the defensive line.

Why did head coach Bill Belichick not come to this realization at some point sooner? Most likely, he didn't want to give the Giants an opportunity to sign Underwood. Whatever, the decision was panned (especially since defensive lineman Alex Silvestro, signed to replace Underwood on the roster, didn't see the field Sunday).

There is good news, however: Underwood got a full Super Bowl share (and would've received a ring had New England won), and on Tuesday the Pats re-signed him to a futures contract for 2012.

In this third year out of Rutgers, Underwood managed just three catches for 30 yards in six games last season. There was speculation that he might make the Super Bowl active roster over veteran Chad Ochocinco, who arrived in Foxboro in August and struggled ever since. Ochocinco ended the regular season with 15 catches and a lone touchdown, played just one snap in the playoff win over the Broncos, was inactive a week later against the Ravens, and had one reception for 21 yards against the Giants in the Super Bowl.

If nothing else, karma has repaid Underwood for handling things so well. When his release was announced Saturday, he took to Twitter saying, “This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION … I Been Thru A LOT…But There Are Ppl In This World w/ More Serious Problems So I Cant Hang The Head….Thank You Lord #Blessed . . . Good Luck To The New Enland Organization, The Coaches, & All My Teammates… #PatsNation.”

Added bonus: Gisele wasn't talking about him when she called out the Pats' pass catchers. So there's that.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:46 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 10:50 pm
 

Belichick is 'real proud' of 2011 Patriots team

Despite the way the season ended, Belichick is "real proud" of this Pats team. (AP)
By Will Brinson

The way that one game -- or even one play -- changes historical perspective in the NFL is fascinating. Eli Manning can do no wrong right now and Tom Brady can't really do anything right. The Patriots are a team that hasn't won a title in seven years, which might make them chokers.

Giants 21, Patriots 17

But that's not stopping Bill Belichick from expressing that he's "real proud" of this season's Patriots team and all they accomplished.

"[I'm] real proud of them," Belichick said. "I thought they worked hard all year, they competed well all season. We won a lot of games and even the ones we didn’t win, we fought right to the end and played very competitively. We did that last night, just came up a little bit short. I have all the respect in the world for the team and all the players and what they’ve done for over six months.

"It’s not about one game or one play or anything, it’s the whole body of work. I really, really enjoyed coaching this team and have a lot of respect for them."

Look, Belichick should be proud of this team. Despite having no vertical offense and having no defense whatsoever, they managed to land the No. 1 seed in the AFC, run the table in the playoffs and get within a play or two of winning their fourth Super Bowl with Belichick running the show.

Earlier in the season, there was an argument to be made that this was Belichick's finest coaching job to date. Suddenly it's not because they couldn't close? That seems odd.

But it's the nature of the beast in the NFL, particularly when the hype machine runs 24/7. Still, you can't fault Belichick for being proud of a team that overachieved despite significant weaknesses, especially when they nearly won another Lombardi Trophy.

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:39 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 6:41 am
 

Welker takes Super Bowl loss the hardest

Welker reacts after his drop in the fourth quarter. (AP)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are many people in the Patriots organization suffering the pains of losing a Super Bowl right now; Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft all certainly feel an inordinate amount of pain over the loss. But no one's taking it harder than Wes Welker.

It was Welker who had a shot at closing out the game, but dropped a critical catch on a high-but-catchable pass from Tom Brady.

"It's one of those plays I've made a thousand times," a somber Welker said Sunday. "Just didn't make it."

Take a look at the play. Brady misses the throw. If he hits Welker in stride, it's a touchdown and it's ballgame. But it's still on Welker to make that catch.

"The ball is right there," Welker said when asked if he was looking for it on the other shoulder. "I've just got to make the play. It's a play I've made a thousand times in practice and everything else. It comes to the biggest moment of my life and I don't come up with it. It's discouraging."

Welker even went so far as to say that he held himself personally responsible for the dropped pass. Brady didn't exactly refute him, but he also pointed out how important Welker is to the team.

"Wes was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him," Brad said. "He went up to try and make it, as he always does, and we just couldn't connect. He's a hell of a player. I'll keep throwing the ball to him for as long as I possibly can. He's a phenomenal player and teammate and I love the guy."

Bill Belichick echoed that sentiment, shrugging off any potential for making Welker the goat.

"I didn't get a real good look on it," Belichick said. "I'm sure he did his best. He's caught a lot of passes for us."

Belichick's right, because the Patriots don't make the Super Bowl in either 2007 or 2011 without Welker. He has been their most consistent offensive threat for the past five years, catching 554 balls for 6,105 yards and 31 touchdowns in that time.

That he could suddenly become a goat for the Pats because he dropped one catch isn't realistic. Just don't try telling him that.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:01 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:48 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

C. Blackburn's interception of Tom Brady helped change the game for New York (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS – Eli Manning did it again.

Four years ago, Manning proved he was one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the game, leading the Giants to the shell-shocking Super Bowl victory against the undefeated Patriots, and at Super Bowl XLVI, he cemented himself as one of the most-elite signal-callers in the game.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Manning is an all-timer, maybe a future Hall of Famer. Maybe not quite as good as brother Peyton. But Peyton only has one Super Bowl ring. Now, his younger brother has two.

Losing for most of the second half, Manning, with 3:46 to play, led the Giants on a nine-play, 88-yard drive to pull off the 21-17 upset of the Patriots.
Eli Manning was the Super Bowl MVP (AP)

Once again, Manning beat Tom Brady in the final game of the season. Once again, Giants coach Tom Coughlin knocked off New England’s Bill Belichick in the most-important contest of the year. Once again, Manning needed to be clutch in the final minutes with his team trailing the favored Patriots, and yes, once again, Manning delivered the victory.

Not surprisingly, he was the Super Bowl MVP and led a 9-7 team to the NFL title -- the first time that's ever happened.

While there were no David Tyree moments -- not one receiver caught the ball off his helmet -- Manning’s first throw of the final drive was a 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham that advanced the ball to midfield. From there, it was a 16-yard pass to Manningham, a two-yard throw to Manningham and a 14-yard throw to Hakeem Nicks.

After a seven-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw, Manning completed a four-yard pass to Nicks to set up the Giants game-winning score.

But here was a potential problem: with 57 seconds remaining, the Patriots simply allowed New York to score a touchdown so they’d get the ball back, and though Bradshaw tried to stop himself, his momentum carried him into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown.

"These guys never quit," Manning told NBC's Dan Patrick on the field afterward. "We had great faith in each other. ... It just feels good to win a Super Bowl, no matter where we are."

On fourth and 16 deep in his own territory, Brady kept the game alive by throwing a first-down ball to Deion Branch. After back-to-back incompletions, Brady took the final snap of the game with 5 seconds to play, and though his Hail Mary attempt was batted around in the end zone, it fell harmlessly to the turf to seal the Giants win.

For the first 26 minutes of the second half, the Patriots were in control of the game and seemed likely to get New England its first Super Bowl title since 2004.
Ahmad Bradshaw tried to stop himself from falling into the end zone but ultimately couldn't. (AP)

Many of the pregame storylines -- the Giants were going to pick on the Patriots secondary all night, New England’s offense would be much less dynamic without a completely-healthy Rob Gronkowski and the New York defense would spook Tom Brady once again -- hadn’t panned out.

Instead, after falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter, Brady was fantastic on the final drive of the first half, completing all 10 of his passes. Though Jason Pierre-Paul stuffed Danny Woodhead on second and goal from the 3 for a 1-yard loss, Brady, with all kinds of time provided by his offensive line, found Woodhead for the four-yard touchdown pass to give New England a 10-9 lead at halftime.

The 14-play, 96-yard drive tied a Super Bowl record for longest drive, and that momentum continued in to the third quarter. Though Madonna elongated halftime with her mostly-panned performance, the Patriots came out hot in the second half, as Brady went 6-for-6 on the first drive of the third quarter and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Except for his performance in the first half, New England's offense struggled behind Tom Brady. (AP)
On those two game-turning drives, Brady was 16 of 16 for 154 yards and two touchdowns, and he proved that many of those pregame prognostications were inaccurate.

Except the Patriots offense didn’t do much of anything else after that.

Gronkowski, like we thought, wasn’t much of a factor except as a decoy and a blocking tight end. Even with the best tight end in the game suffering from a high ankle sprain, New England’s offense, especially went it went to no-huddle, was dynamic enough in the middle of the game. Brady did try to go deep to Gronkowski early in the fourth quarter, but Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn intercepted him.

But after that strong output in the drives sandwiching intermission -- Brady completed a Super Bowl-record 16-straight passes -- New York’s defense stopped the Patriots.

The Giants couldn’t have had a better start defensively after the Patriots forced a punt and New York punter Steve Weatherford dropped a kick at the New England 6. On the first Patriots play from scrimmage, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck got good pressure, and Brady released the ball across the middle of the field before he took the hit.

But officials penalized him for intentional grounding, and since Brady was in the end zone when he threw the ball, it was ruled a safety to give New York a 2-0 lead -- the second time this postseason the Giants had opened a game with a safety.

Giants 21, Patriots 17
On the next drive, Manning, who started the game 9 of 9 for 77 yards and a touchdown, found Victor Cruz for the 2-yard score to give New York a nine-point advantage. At that point, New York had run 17 plays to the Patriots total of 1.

But toward the end of the second quarter, the Patriots started playing better.

Still, the Giants kept themselves in the game. Even though New York fumbled three times, they managed to recover two of them and the other was wiped out by a Patriots penalty. After falling behind 17-9, Lawrence Tynes kicked a 38-yard and a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter to cut the lead to 17-15.

After the game, Coughlin was asked by NBC to talk about how he matched the Super Bowl total of his mentor, Bill Parcells.

Said Coughlin: "I'm not about comparisions."

Fair enough, but we know enough to say this. Coughlin shouldn't ever have to worry about his job security in New York again, and Eli Manning never should have to worry about being overshadowed by his brother.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 8:15 pm
 

Sloppy Pats somehow lead 10-9 at half

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS --  The Patriots should be absolutely beside themselves with relief right now. They weren't dominated by the Giants in the first half, per se, but they made a slew of mistakes that could've led to a lot more points for New York. Instead, a 96-yard drive -- tying a Super Bowl record -- by Tom Brady resulted in a 10-9 New England lead at the half.

The biggest mistake from the Patriots was an inexplicable Brady throw away from his own end zone that handed the Giants two points when he drew a safety. (Whether or not a receiver was supposed to be in the area remains to be seen.)

New England later recovered a Victor Cruz fumble, but it was negated by a penalty on the Patriots for having too many men on the field. Two plays later, the Giants scored.

In a game where the biggest advantages for the Patriots are supposed to come at quarterback and coach, it's unfathomable that the Patriots would make those kind of mistakes, particularly in a Super Bowl.

And yet, somehow, they're still leading at halftime. That's partially on the Giants too, of course, because they didn't convert on the chances the Pats offered. But that wasn't a Belichickian performance for most of the first half.

The good news is the Pats managed to get Rob Gronkowski involved on the final drive as well, when he caught a 20-yard pass that sparked the Patriots offense and pushed them to the 35-yard line. If Gronk's a factor at all in the passing game (he wasn't until that catch), it drastically changes the dynamic of what the Giants can do on defense.

But more importantly, the Pats need to clean up the sloppy play. If they make those same mistakes in the second half and the Giants take advantage, they second half won't have the same result as the first.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 1:19 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Belichick tells reporter Gronk WILL play in SB

Gronk should get plenty of questions on Friday as well. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- All week long, the buzz here has been whether Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski would play and, if so, how effectively he would perform. We now have the answer to that first question at least.

Latest from the Super Bowl
Coach Bill Belichick told the NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan that Gronkowski “will definitely play.”

He also said he’s not sure how much playing time Gronkowski will get because Belichick hasn’t seen him perform at full speed in nearly two weeks.

The announcement isn’t a surprise -- the Giants have said all week they fully expected Gronkowski to play, and the fact the Patriots released receiver Tiquan Underwood on Saturday was another indication the Patriots were comfortable with their pass-catching units.

But until we have an answer to the second question, it’s still unclear just how much Gronkowski can help vs. the Giants.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:05 pm
 

Underwood will get full Super Bowl share

By Josh Katzowitz

While the Patriots release of receiver Tiquan Underwood on Saturday set Twitter on fire -- and in a mostly negative way toward New England and Bill Belichick -- it’s not all bad news for Underwood.

Latest from the Super Bowl

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reminds us, the CBA states that a player who was on a team’s roster for eight games for that season is entitled to a full Super Bowl share. That means Underwood will receive $88,000 if New England beats the Giants. If New York wins, Underwood still would take home $44,000. He also can count on receiving a Super Bowl ring if the Patriots win the title.

Underwood was active for six games in the regular season and twice in the postseason, combining for three catches and 30 yards.

Underwood, it should be noted, had a classy response after the news was released, writing on his Twitter account, “This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION.... I Been Thru A LOT...But There Are Ppl In This World w/ More Serious Problems So I Cant Hang The Head....Thank You Lord … Good Luck To The New Enland Organization, The Coaches, & All My Teammates... #PatsNation”

He also texted this to ESPN’s Ed Werder: "I don't want to be a distraction to the game or the New England Patriots.....i will say this, The New England Patriots are a GREAT Organization. I wish them nothing but the best today. This season has been dedicated to Myra Kraft (MHK) Mr Kraft's wife....w/ that being said i hope they pull out the victory in honor of her & because the coaches & players have worked so hard this season for the opportunity to play in Super Bowl 46. Go Pats!!!! #PatsNation"

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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