Tag:Tom Brady
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:17 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 9:44 am
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Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Eli didn't mind going to Manningham. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It's always fascinating to see how NFL sausage is made: Sound FX and NFL replays do just that. There's a particularly interesting nugget from Sunday's Super Bowl that occurred in between "The Drop" by Wes Welker and "The Catch XLVI" by Mario Manningham.

Bill Belichick, talking to the Patriots defense, told them how to handle pass protection. He wanted them to bottle up Giants wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and "make 'em go to Manningham."

"This is still a Cruz and Nicks game," Belichick said on the sideline. "I mean, I know we're right on 'em. It's tight. But those are still the guys. Make 'em go to Manningham. Make 'em go to Pascoe. Alright? Let's make sure we get Cruz and Nicks."

You know how this works out, right? Not well: Eli Manning slung a teardrop towards the Patriots sideline that Manningham somehow managed to real in ... right in front of Belichick. Belichick challenged and lost.

"He caught it," a dejected Tom Brady said in the Sound FX video.

Thought not for any real fault of either Belichick or his defensive backs. Manning got what he admitted was a bad look at Manningham (after he looked to Cruz and Nicks, who were covered) and just made an unbelievable throw into an unbelievably tight window. I can still see the ball in the air when I try to envision it. There's no way he should've completed that pass.

And it's probably a matchup that Belichick would take again.

H/T: Ultimate NYG

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 11:56 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:50 pm
 

Harrison: Gronkowski 'disrespected himself'

Gronkowski was a maniac on the floor. Harrison did not approve. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

There was plenty of blame to go around In the hours and days following the Patriots loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. For the most part, it seemed like a collective knee-jerk reaction from media and fans (and family members) not accustomed to losing. Of course, this is what happens when the hometown team wins three Super Bowls in five seasons and Tom Brady begins his postseason career by going 10-0.

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Depending on your perspective, any number of people were at fault for the outcome: Brady, Wes Welker, Bill Belichick, the defense and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was limited by a high-ankle sprain.

But it wasn't Gronkowski's lack of production, or even that he didn't battle Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn for a Brady arm punt that became an interception that upset his critics. It was his after-game exploits that got some folks worked into a lather.

In case you missed it, Gronkowski, along with teammate Matt Light, were spotted dancing (topless, no less!) at an Super Bowl party hours after the game.

Scandalous, we know.

(If the sarcasm dripping off that last sentence isn't obvious enough, we'll just repeat what we said on the Pick-6 Podcast: what's Gronkowski supposed to do? Sit in his room and cry himself to sleep? Will that make him a better player for the Pats' next game in six months? No? So what's the problem then?)

This makes no difference to NBC analyst and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who is very upset with Gronk's decision to gyrate his hips after a loss.

“I guarantee you this, if Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour or myself had been at that party, [Gronkowski] probably would have got his head rung,” Harrison told ESPN 1000 in Chicago (via PFT). “There’s no reason for that to happen.”

Oh god. Nothing like an old-timer invoking old times. Yes, Rodney, we know. You had to walk 10 miles to practice, uphill each way, you didn't have shoes and it always snowed.

(Worth mentioning: back in September, the aforementioned Bruschi happily called out Chad Ochocinco for tweeting. We have yet to hear his mock outrage over Gronkowski blowing off steam early Monday morning.)

Harrison wasn't done. 

“When we lost the Super Bowl, any of my Super Bowl losses, I was so devastated the last thing I ever wanted to do was party, let alone dance or take off your shirt,” Harrison said. “It’s just immaturity. It’s not right. He made a mistake and I’m sure he feels absolutely stupid about it at this point. There’s a time and place for everything.”

Rodney's right: there is a time and place for everything. Time: after the season is over -- check. Place: party where music is played and dancing is encouraged -- check.

This is almost as ridiculous as Gronkowki having to apologize for having his picture taken with a porn star. Almost.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 8:42 pm
 

Report: Tom Brady's injured shoulder not serious

Tuck's sack changed the complexion of the Super Bowl. (AP)
By Ryan Wilson

We wrote about this moments after the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI: Tom Brady pre-Justin Tuck sack was a completely different player than the one after Tuck took him to the Lucas Oil Stadium Turf late in the third quarter.

Brady completed 20 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns (this includes breaking Joe Montana's Super Bowl record for consecutive completions) before Tuck got a hold of him. He was 7 of 17 for 75 yards with an interception afterwards.

At the time, we figured Brady had aggravated a left shoulder injury and that, in part, had something to do with the abrupt drop-off in production. That Brady slowly made his way to the bench and was surrounded by team doctors as they checked him out (not to mention the sight of Brian Hoyer getting loose) only confirmed the suspicions.

Well, on Wednesday, the Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport shared what he knows:
Brady landed hard on his left shoulder, aggravating the sprain from earlier in the season. The key word is “sprain.” This is the same injury that forced him to miss a practice during the AFC Championship week, an ailment he needed to manage. The aggravation didn’t lead to major injury, though, and Brady did not need to come out of the game for treatment. It also is not believed to be the kind of injury that will need to be dealt with much in the offseason.
Put differently: Tuck's hit hurt like hell but didn't cause lasting damage. Hoyer told Rapoport that “I don’t know if I’ll ever meet someone as tough as he is."

(Clearly, Hoyer hasn't met Gisele.)

After the game, one in which Brady sat dejected at his locker for a very long time, he finally spoke about the play that probably decided the outcome: the Brady-to-Welker throw-that-wasn't with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"Wes was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him," Brady said. "(Welker) 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 possible can. He's a phenomenal player and teammate and I love that guy."

For his part, Welker didn't make excuses.

"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."

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: February 8, 2012 3:44 pm
 

Jacobs: Gisele needs to 'be cute and shut up'

Jacobs and Gisele are probs not BFFs. (AP)
By Will Brinson

It was really only a matter of time until someone on a football team got mad at Gisele Bundchen for her comments about Tom Brady's inability to catch his own bleeping passes. But no one expected it to be a member of the Giants.

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It was though -- Brandon Jacobs came out and, according to the New York Post's Brian Costello, had some words for Mrs. Brady.

"She needs to continue to be cute and shut up," Jacobs said, when asked about Gisele's comments.

Soooooo. I guess we know where Jacobs won't ever be playing, huh? Actually, although Jacobs comments are technically "rude," and certainly out of line, it's his delivery -- and not the message -- that needs tweaking. He just could've phrased things better, like his teammate Osi Umenyiora.

"That’s her husband," Umenyiora said. "I mean she’s supposed to stay out of things like that. But at the end of the day that’s their relationship and she has the right to say whatever she wants to."

That's the thing; it's not like this is a "women have their place" issue, although Jacobs makes it sound that way with his comments. It's just a "don't create a rift between your husband the quarterback and the rest of the team by screaming about how bad they suck to fans and reporters" thing.

It doesn't do anyone any good for the wife of the quarterback to come out and take shots at the quarterback's targets, since it really only serves to recreate a scene out of a sports movie. The results are, almost always, a rift between the quarterback and his teammates.

Except there's usually a few more games to sort their issues out and win the big game.

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 8:00 pm
 

Antrel Rolle on Patriots: 'It wasn't their time'

New York's secondary blew a coverage on what turned out to be the turning point in the game. (NFL.com)

By Ryan Wilson

In the hours and days since the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, the prevailing storyline has been about wide receiver Wes Welker and the drop. Except that the play in question -- a fourth-down pass with 4:06 left in the game and the Pats leading 17-15 -- wasn't so much a drop as a poor throw from Tom Brady. We said as much at the time although those sentiments weren't universally shared. (And never mind NBC's Cris Collinsworth announcing that Welker makes that grab "100 times out of a 100." Uh, no he doesn't.)

On Monday, Giants safety Antrel Rolle appeared on 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego to talk about the Brady-to-Welker misfire that set up New York's game-winning drive.

“Well actually there was a communication error on that play," Rolle said via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "That was guys playing two different coverages and we tried to relay the right coverage down, but once you’re locked in…you are locked in. We tried to relay the coverage a little too late. Some guys were playing one coverage while others were playing another, but through it all things like that happen. Things like that tend to get away from you in the game and we just thank god that Wes didn’t make that catch."

Rolle's right. Looking at the replay, before the snap, safeties Deon Grant (No. 34) and Kenny Phillips (21) appear to be relaying coverage information to cornerback Corey Webster (21) and Rolle (26). As Rolle noted Monday, there was some confusion.

Not everybody in the Giants' secondary was playing the same coverage on the play.  (NFL.com)

Welker, in the slot, comes off the line of scrimmage untouched and when Rolle slows up while Welker continues running down the seam, it creates a huge window (see the image at the top of this post). One that on any other day, Brady stripes, hits Welker in stride, with a touchdown the likely result. Just not Sunday night. (After the ball falls to the turf, Phillips turns immediately to Rolle and they talk about the coverage responsibilities on the play.)

"It wasn’t their time," Rolle said. "It wasn’t their time. Everyone has a fair…has a time where…they needed their time. [Sunday] just wasn’t New England’s time. They’re an outstanding football team. One of the best football teams I have ever played against and I don’t like going up against them too much because I know what they bring to the table. With that being said we got to go out there and do what we need to do as a team. Go out there and be the best we can be.”

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:52 pm
 

Man who bet on SB safety to donate to charity

Justin Tuck's safety on Tom Brady won a man $50,000. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

In the immediate aftermath of the first-quarter safety in Super Bowl XVLI, when Justin Tuck forced Tom Brady into an intentional grounding penalty while throwing from the end zone, a few writers in the auxiliary press box started looking up the prop bet odds that surely would pay off in a huge way for at least one person.

Well, a guy named Jona Rechnitz had played a $1,000 wager that a safety would occur, and with those 50-1 odds, he suddenly was $50,000 richer. But not for long.

That’s because as TMZ reports (via Yahoo Sports), Rechnitz plans to donate all the post-tax money to various charities, including one of Brady’s choice. Rechnitz, a big Giants fan, also apparently wants to donate $5,000 to the charity of Tuck’s choice.

Even crazier, Rechnitz -- who owns a capital investment firm in Manhattan and who apparently does quite well for himself -- only makes one Super Bowl bet per year. Luckily for him and his future recipients, this year’s wager panned out rather nicely.

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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 2:22 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 2:24 pm
 

Boston writer rips Brady, promptly feels backlash

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

By Ryan Wilson

Man, let Tom Brady play a poor 20 minutes of football on the biggest stage in sports and the gadflies are there ready to pounce. Never mind that the Patriots quarterback set a Super Bowl completion record earlier in the game, or that a Justin Tuck sack midway through the third quarter changed everything. None of that mattered to the Boston Globe's Eric Wilbur who published a scathing rebuke of Brady's performance literally minutes after his Hail Mary pass fell harmlessly to the turf as time expired.

Giants 21, Patriots 17
A sampling:

"Sorry, Tommy Boy, this one's on you. Your hideous performance led to the Giants' 21-17 Super Bowl title win. How embarrassing for your coach, your teammates, and your fans. … What happened to you?

"What an embarrassment for the Patriots organization and Bob Kraft. So now the Giants have taken Lombardi from you twice, and you haven't looked this bad in a playoff game since...well, two weeks ago against the Ravens. Maybe that moment will actually hit you as you're whittling down water slides in South America looking like Prince Valiant this spring."

Oh boy. So, to recap: Brady, a three-time Super Bowl champ and two-time Super Bowl MVP, and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer is, according to Wilbur, an "embarrassment" and his performance "hideous." We have no idea what Wilbur would do if he was a Jets fan.

But even in a town where expectations for the local sports teams are unreasonably high, there are limits to the criticism. Hours after Wilbur's post was published the backlash began. The Big Lead referred to him as a "Boston-trolling columnist" before dissecting his diatribe sentence by sentence.

ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith wrote that "Brady wasn’t at his best on Sunday, but he wasn’t as terrible as Wilbur thinks. And the suggestion that he doesn’t care is absurd." Smith linked to a piece by Yahoo.com's Dan Wetzel, who recounts an inconsolable Brady sitting at his locker well after the game had ended. And Bruce Allen of BostonMediaWatch.com noted that "Wilbur’s post … reads more like a drunken fan rant than something crafted by a veteran journalist."

Wilbur spoke Monday to 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“I guess because I dared criticize the god of New England," he said via SportsRadioInterview.com. "If he had won that game we would’ve lauded him as the greatest quarterback ever so if he messes up in the game and loses it why can’t he take some of the poison? It seems like fans can’t admit that.”

Asked if, a day later, he still believes what he wrote, Wilbur said, "I still believe it. There were a lot of people saying ‘you know sleep on this and you’re going to look bad in the morning.’ It was a little over-the-top and I admit that but I think that was purposely so just because like I said if he would’ve won the game it would’ve been ‘oh Tom Brady’ so you know what? Let him get a little bit of the criticism.

"I guess that’s what people don’t get," he said. "It was a little over-the-top and purposely so but then again you don’t understand Vancouver writers either so.”

We eagerly await Gisele's response to all this.

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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