Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Bill Belichick
Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:50 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 9:58 am
 

Pats release Underwood day before Super Bowl

T. Underwood (AP)

By Josh Katzowitz


INDIANAPOLIS -- While much has been made of Bill Belichick’s seemingly happy mood since the Patriots arrived here for Super Bowl XLVI, at least one of his former players has to be mighty upset with him tonight.
 
Latest from the Super Bowl
That’d be wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, who was released from the squad about 24 hours (!) before New England faces the Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. In his place, the Patriots have signed rookie defensive end Alex Silvestro to the active roster.

As the Boston Herald points out, Underwood almost surely would receive a Super Bowl ring if the Patriots win and that the move was not disciplinary.

Speculation has centered on the Patriots perhaps wanting an extra defensive linemen to move into the rotation and that, without Underwood in the lineup, Chad Ochocinco most likely will be active for Sunday’s game.

Underwood’s classy reaction, via Twitter? “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”

But even though the Giants can't claim Underwood via waivers (they couldn't do so until Monday), I honestly love the idea presented by the New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch, who writes “Giants should ... hire him as a "quality control coach" like Josh McDaniels. I'm serious.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 4, 2012 10:00 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 11:18 am
 

CBSSports.com's Super Bowl XLVI predictions


Super Bowl XLVI Preview: Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another title?

Gregg Doyel

I've never felt so good about a pick in my life, because I've never seen anything as rock-solid as the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. The Giants have already beaten the Patriots this season, at New England, and they did it despite the unavailability of leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw and 1,000-yard receiver Hakeem Nicks. Plus, the Patriots weren't playing that game with receivers Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater forced to play key roles at defensive back, as will be the case Sunday.  

Forget what Vegas is saying. Everyone else is saying the Patriots will lose ... which is why I feel 100 percent certain that the Patriots will win. When everybody's convinced they're right, I'm convinced they're wrong. History shows people just aren't that smart.

Final score: It'll be a slugfest, but the Patriots will win 42-38.

Mike Freeman

Initially, I thought the Giants would actually beat the Patriots handily. Eli Manning would look at the Patriots defense, lick his chops, and light that defense on fire. Tom Brady would get harassed, an injured Gronk would be controlled, and Wes Welker would have a solid though not dominating day. It was all shaping up to a healthy Giants victory.

Then at the beginning of this week the Giants started chirping. And chirping. And chirping some more. It was a jab-fest for them with the team’s main message being they could get to Tom Brady both physically and mentally.

Normally, as Tom Coughlin would say, talk is cheap but this is Brady who thrives on talk and doubters. I’ve seen it happen with Brady on more than a few occasions. Not to mention the Patriots are on a revenge tour. I think the Giants would have been better served shutting the hell up. I know they are talkers. I know the Giants thrive on emotion and yapping but don’t pull on SuperBrady’s cape.

The Giants will still win but their mouths just turned this game from a comfortable win for them into one of the tightest Super Bowls ever.

Final score: Giants, 28-27

Clark Judge

I’ll take the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, and here’s why: Because they’re more balanced than New England, they’re hot, they’re confident and they have the pass rush to flummox the usually unflappable Tom Brady.

Oh, yeah, they also won their last two vs. the Patriots – including a 24-20 defeat this season.

But it’s that pass rush that convinces me. The Giants can bring pressure with their defensive line, allowing everyone else to drop into coverage, and if you don’t think that will affect Brady you weren’t watching the Giants shred Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Brady struggled in his last two starts vs. New York. He was sacked seven times, hit on countless other occasions and had more turnovers (4) than touchdown passes (3). He also lost both games. That counts for something, and I say it counts for a Giants’ victory.

Final score: Giants, 24-17

Pete Prisco

Quarterback and pass rush.  

That's the key to winning in the NFL these days. Get a great thrower and have a lot of guys to knock down the other team's thrower. The New England Patriots have the great passer in Tom Brady, but they lack the great pass rushers. The New York Giants have a very good passer in Eli Manning, but they have a lot of pass rushers.

Full Super Bowl Coverage
That's why the New York Giants will win Super Bowl XLVI. This time, unlike the last time they played in a Super Bowl, the Giants aren't huge underdogs. What I can't figure out is this: Why they aren't they favored.

The Giants are the better team. 

It's a tribute to Brady that the Patriots are here, but in watching him play the Giants in the past, he isn't the same Brady when he faces that the New York defense. Like I wrote this week, the Giants seem to be in his head. In the Giants' victory this season in Foxboro, Mass., Brady looked ordinary.  

That's the big edge for the Giants. They have the pass rushers. They don't fear Brady. They rattle him. That's why the Giants will beat the Patriots again in a Super Bowl. 

The NFL is all about quarterback and pass rushers -- and the Giants will show on Sunday. 

Final score: Giants, 31-24

Paul Dehner

Forget Gronkowski's ankle. Forget Aaron Hernandez. The defining story line of Super Bowl XLVI will be how the Patriots offensive line handles the intense Giants pass rush. Recent history of all New York's opponents on their postseason run insists that's more of a fleeting wish than a likelihood. The Giants have pounded every quarterback in their way into submission and eventual defeat. Tony Romo was sacked six times, Matt Ryan twice, Aaron Rodgers four times and Alex Smith three. The opponent didn't matter.

Tom Brady's only the next in line. When Brady can't throw, the Pats don't go. The Giants front four is coming and there isn't too much Brady can do about it. Jason Pierre-Paul and the rest of the Giants own the rare ability to disrupt timing -- the ultimate equalizer in the new, pass-happy NFL. They'll do it again on Sunday. That's the reason they'll loft the trophy.

Final score: Giants, 21-17

Alex Raskin

Another scoreless first half — like the one the New England Patriots and New York Giants had back in Week 9 — is improbable, but another defensive battle isn’t. Everyone is rightfully talking about each team’s respective high-powered offense. However, this game will be won on the defensive side of the ball and the Giants are up to the challenge.

New York has forced and recovered five fumbles in the postseason and the secondary has played significantly better since the Week 15 loss to the Washington Redskins. Throw in the Giants’ reliable linebackers and fearsome pass rush, and the advantage swings heavily in favor of the NFC Champions.

The Patriots’ defense intercepts passes and buckles down in the red zone, but the Giants’ big-play offense has a way around that. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham allow quarterback Eli Manning to throw touchdown passes from anywhere on the field by going over or underneath opposing coverages.

Final score: Giants, 24-16

Will Brinson

It absolutely terrifies me that everyone -- and I mean everyone -- is on the Giants bandwagon. Eighty-five percent of the public money is on the Giants. Almost everyone at CBS is picking the Giants. Everyone outside of Boston is picking the Giants. It makes sense, because New York's front four is going to get pressure on Brady.

The Patriots best offensive weapon, Rob Gronkowski, is going to be limited. And how are the Patriots going to defend Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham? Not with Julian Edelman playing defensive back. Of course, the problem with all this is that the entire world's betting against the combination of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. That's somewhat illogical. Two things are going to make this a very close game: Gronk's ankle forcing him to stay in and block and Vince Wilfork turning into an animal for the second straight game. (Wilfork's my darkhorse for MVP.) In the end, though, it's going to come down to who has the ball last and I think it ends up being Eli.

Final score: Giants, 27-21

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Super Bowl Coverage (AP)

Josh Katzowitz

Seems to me like the buzz this week in Indianapolis is how the Giants will beat the Patriots for the second time this season. And for reasons I’m having a hard time explaining, I don’t think that will happen. Give New England coach Bill Belichick two weeks to figure out how to beat the Giants, and I think he does it.

Obviously, New York has some solid advantages. The Giants front four will provide plenty of issues for the Patriots as they try to keep Tom Brady untouched. Eli Manning shouldn’t have a problem picking on New England’s secondary. And assuming Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t 100 percent effective, New England’s offense will be a little less versatile.

So, really, the Giants should win.

But I can’t pull the trigger on predicting them to do so. And I don’t know why. Which, I guess, isn’t much of answer why I’m picking the Patriots to win. I just kinda think they will.

Final score: Patriots, 24-22

Ryan Wilson

It's hard to believe that Vegas has had New England as the favorites for nearly two weeks now because almost everybody likes New York. Never mind that Giants have issues in the secondary and Tom Brady is a future Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl winner, New York's front four somehow makes up for all that.

Four years ago, the Pats came into this game undefeated and unstoppable. The Giants' pass rush changed all that. And that's what happened this season, in Week 9, when the two teams met. We get the feeling that New England won't be able to protect Brady on Sunday either.

Meanwhile, Eli Manning is playing the best football of his career even without much of a running game behind him. The Patriots' defense has been better in recent weeks but they still struggle in both phases. And that's bad news if Brady isn't his usual self.

Final score: Giants, 24-21

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:28 pm
 

Coughlin not concerned Giants are too cocky

                                     (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The seven days leading up to the Super Bowl feels more like seven months when you're looking for stories that haven't been beaten into the ground by Wednesday. It must be even more interminable for the coaches and players who have to endure it.

Before the Patriots left New England, Tom Brady told fans gathered at a pep rally that “We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and "hopefully" we have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”

The New York media ran with Brady's words -- ESPNNewYork.com's headline: “Brady planning victory party," The New York Post: “Tom’s taunt,” and the New York Daily News went with: “Tom’s talkin’ trash.”

Brady, of course, was asked about it once he arrived in Indy.

“Well, it was a pep rally,” he said smiling. “People were pretty excited. Certainly players were excited. I know 25,000 fans who were there were excited as well. It was great to see the support. We get great support, home and away, and hopefully we have some Patriots jerseys in the stands next Sunday night.”

Full Super Bowl Coverage
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck echoed Brady's sentiments when asked about it at Tuesday's Media Day: "Man, it was a pep rally," he said. "What was he supposed to say? I don’t think it’s Tom doing anything but getting fans riled up."

On Friday, it was Giants head coach Tom Coughlin's turn. He was asked whether he worries about his team being too cocky.

“I’m not sure what you’re referencing," he said. "I know that there are one or two quotes out there, but, to be honest with you, I don’t know that either one of them is any different than Tom Brady’s quotes. I think it’s just a matter of our team has played good football against a great football team. We always focus our team on confidence enough to get there and confident enough to get back. That’s the way we look at it.”

Mercifully, there's just one more day until the Super Bowl is here.


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:50 am
 

Like Coughlin, Belichick has no plans to retire

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

By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Earlier this week, CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms said that he tells players that when they think their career is over to "play two more years. ... Because the rest of your life is a long time."

Full Super Bowl Coverage
No idea if that tenet holds for head coaches, too. On Friday, in his last meeting of the week with the media, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked if there was a chance he'd retire should New England win Sunday. It would be Belichick's fourth championship since 2001 and further solidify his Hall of Fame credentials on a career in coaching that began with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.

“Right now, I’m really thinking, ‘What’s the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?’ I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have," he said. "I enjoy all the aspects of the job. I enjoy the team-building, the drafting, the free agents, team acquisitions, those kind of things.

"I enjoy bringing in the young players and working with guys who haven’t been in the NFL and teaching them the basic fundamentals in how to become a professional football player for the New England Patriots. I enjoy working with the veteran players, the Tom Bradys and the Vince Wilforks and the Wes Welkers and all those kind of players that can do really special things because of their not only talent, but experience."

He continued: "I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis. Not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. I enjoy all of it. It beats working. It’s fun to address those challenges on a daily basis, so right now I’m really focused on the game and that’s where my energy is going to go, toward doing the best I can for the New England Patriots against the Giants on Sunday.”

If Belichick's words aren't convincing enough, his newfound effusiveness appears to be. So for now, the 59-year-old ain't going anywhere, sharing the sentiments of his counterpart Sunday, Tom Coughlin.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco asked Coughlin after the Giants beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game if, at 65, he had any thoughts on calling it quits.

Retire to do what?” Coughlin said. "I feel good … I still love what I do."


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:06 am
Edited on: February 5, 2012 10:06 am
 

Belichick: Gronk hasn't experienced setbacks

Gronk got a question or two about his ankle Thursday. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Another day, another couple of questions about the status of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. After Gronkowski was limited in Thursday’s practice -- the big news, of course, being that Gronkowski and his high ankle sprain actually did practice --coach Bill Belichick said Friday morning that he didn’t have setbacks and that he “was OK this morning.”

Considering Gronkowski participated in drills for the first time since his ankle injury in the AFC championship game and came away feeling fine is obviously good news for New England. The fact he didn’t have any negative effects this morning is even better news. The next step: practicing again today and, again, not experiencing any setbacks.

“Rob has worked extremely hard,” Belichick said. “He’s been in treatment morning, noon and night. Hopefully he continue to progress. He’s coming along, and he’s moving in the right direction.”

[Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Asked to elaborate on what exactly Gronkowski did at practice, Belichick said, “He was limited. He did some of the things that we did in practice, but not all of them.”

Then, a deadpan: “Is that what you were looking for?”

Gronkowski was slightly more verbose after Thursday’s practice.

"It's definitely huge, significant," Gronkowski said. "Obviously I want to get out there, I want to get some practice in before the Super Bowl. I want to do as much as possible, whatever I can do before the game. We'll see how I am feeling, talk to the training staff, talk to the coaches, put it all together."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 8:02 pm
 

JPP: Brady reacted to pressure that didn't exist

                                     (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The last time the Patriots and Giants met in the Super Bowl, quarterback Tom Brady was sacked five times. On Wednesday, Brady was asked about the implication that he can be rattled in the pocket.

"It wouldn't be the Super Bowl if they (the Giants defense) weren't trying to knock me down or knock me out … but our offensive line gets paid too," he said. "We're going to try to eliminate (bad throws) … we had too many of those last time (against the Ravens). We're not going to be able to win the game playing like that."

The Pats and Giants met earlier this season too, and while Brady was sacked just twice, it was the perceived pressure that forced him into mistakes -- at least to hear Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

“I think it will have much impact on his performance because if you look at Week 9, when we played them, it’s like he felt us," Pierre-Paul said during Thursday's media availability. "When we looked back on the film, we watched the film, and we didn’t really rush like we can rush as a defense. He was throwing balls on the ground and stuff, but like I said, it’s going to be a battle. We have to get there. We have to. …

"(Brady) did react to pressure that didn’t exist, and he was just throwing the ball places where there wasn’t even a receiver there. Imagine us getting there even faster and actually doing our jobs and getting hits on him.”

Brady has a short history of underwhelming performances against the Giants (he's also played poorly in the games just prior to facing the Giants, too), but he's also one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history and a three-time Super Bowl winner.

[Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Following the Patriots' conference championship win over the Ravens two weeks ago, Brady said he "sucked" and promised owner Bob Kraft that he would "play a lot better" in the Super Bowl. Good news for New York, however: turns out, Brady's human. Pierre-Paul was asked if the Patriots quarterback was was a god.

"He's not," he responded.

Which was made clear from watching him play against the Giants.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:30 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:31 pm
 

EoF on the scene: Super Bowl XLVI, Radio Row

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

By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Radio Row has gone from a ghost town to hopping in 24 hours. Almost all of this had to do with Tim Tebow (who we somehow missed) and Madonna (who we didn't). Enjoy.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:11 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 12:13 pm
 

Former Jet Ihedigbo only looking ahead to Giants

                                        (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- James Ihedigbo spent his first three NFL seasons with the Jets playing for Rex Ryan and trying to beat the Patriots' brains in. Now with New England and about to play in his first Super Bowl, the fourth-year safety isn't interested in talking about the past.

"I've refrained from talking about the Jets because that's not what this games about," Ihedigbo told CBSSports.com. "This game's about us, the hard work we've put in to get to this point."

While many of the storylines have been about the state of Rob Gronkowski's ankle and how Tom Brady will deal with the Giants' pass rush, the Patriots' defense has their own issues. Chief among them: stopping Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, as well as a revitalized New York running game.

"The Giants are a very explosive team," he said. "Nicks and (Ahmad) Bradshaw didn't play the last time we saw them and that adds more explosiveness to their offense. You look at how well (Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs) have run the ball in the playoffs and it's been very effective for them. They may not have run the ball well in the regular season but in the playoffs they really stepped that up so our ability to stop the run is going to be key in this game."

For some perspective, the Giants ranked 20th in rushing efficiency during the regular season, according to Football Outsiders. Against the Falcons in the wild-card game, New York rushed for 172 yards, but just 95 against the Packers the following week, and 85 against the 49ers in the conference championship game.

Full Super Bowl Coverage
Clearly not the same running attack the Giants brought with them to Super Bowl XLII (they ranked fourth in the league in rushing efficiency that season), but Jacobs thinks he and Bradshaw will be an important part of any success the offense has this Sunday.

“We can keep them off balance. I think we’re good enough for any team… to prove that we can go out there and make a difference in this football game," he said. "Everyone’s been talking about tight-ends, wide receivers, quarterbacks and so on and so forth and it’s kind of good for the first time being a part of the New York Giants football team that the running backs are being talked about. We as running backs are going to embrace that, because it never has happened. We’re going to try to take it and stay under the lights for a little bit and be on top of the lights on Sunday.”

The Patriots defense has been maligned for much of the year but that unit has played better of late, too. As the unofficial leader of the secondary, Ihedigbo knows that the previous 20 weeks don't matter. Just the next three days. 

“I definitely have taken on a leadership role," he said Thursday. "I’ve played in a lot of big games in my young career in the NFL and those guys understand that. We all understand what it takes to win and what’s asked of each other. The bar is set high for all of us, because the way we play determines whether we win or lose. We play well, we win. If we don’t play well, it’s not going to be a good game.”


New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin spoke with the media on Thursday about the importance of building on their victory in 2007 and staying focused for the upcoming game against the Patriots.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com