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Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:56 pm
 

Report: Rob Gronkowski had ankle surgery Friday

Perhaps we can stop talking about Gronk's ankle for a while now? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the subject of an unholy amount of media scrutiny over the past two weeks, reportedly underwent ankle surgery on Friday to repair the high-ankle sprain that he injured during the AFC Championship Game.

That's according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, who reports that the arthroscopic surgery was successful and that the recovery time for Gronkowski is "expected to be 10 weeks."

Gronk suffered the injury when he was tackled by "Pats Killer" and Ravens safety Bernard Pollard in the AFC title game. Gronk's ankle was the focus of pre-Super Bowl media coverage to an annoying extent and the tight end managed to play, but was essentially a decoy, catching just two passes for 26 yards.

Since then, Gronkowski's been spotted dancing shirtless at the Pats post-Super Bowl party and taken way too much guff from former Patriots like Rodney Harrison.

The fact is, Gronk suited up for the Super Bowl with an injury that many athletes wouldn't be able to play with; he wasn't necessarily effective, but he was still on the field and running routes.

He got his surgery done immediately following the season and though he probably won't get to dance much in the future, there's really no need to criticize him for what he did once the season was over. Unless you want to rip Bill Belichick for playing golf this week too anyway.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:27 pm
 

Chad Ochocinco, meet Chad Johnson once again

By Josh Katzowitz
The player formerly known as Chad Johnson will be Chad Johnson yet again. (US Presswire)
Chad Ochocinco will become Chad Johnson once again. The reason, part I: a woman. The reason, part II: sound financial advice.

As Ochocinco reported on OCNN Twitter (via Yahoo Sports), Ochocinco will transform himself into Chad Johnson again by July 4, so, as TMZ reports, his fiancé Evelyn Lozada* won’t have a made up last name.

He changed his name before the 2008 season, and with his newest surname, his production dramatcially declined from when Chad Johnson was in his prime (particularly in 2010 when Terrell Owens was the top Bengals receiver and 2011 when Ochocinco was barely an afterthought with the Patriots).

*At the Indianapolis airport on Monday afternoon, CBSSports.com colleague and reality TV show junkie Pete Prisco pointed her out to me as we were going through the security line. I wish I could have asked her about this topic.

Eye on Baseball’s C. Trent Rosecrans makes an interesting point on the timing of the name change (if Ochocinco actually goes through with it). Although many of us in the Cincinnati market figured he would change his name back to Johnson after he retired, he might be making the move now because the league is switching from Reebok to Nike as the NFL’s official uniform provider.

With that move, the players won’t have to buy the entire backstock of their jerseys for changing their numbers and names, like they would have if Reebok still supplied the uniforms. Thus, it makes more financial sense for Ochocinco/Johnson to change his name this year, when every player hypothetically could switch numbers and names for free, than it would at any other time he is playing.  

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:08 am
 

Brady told O'Brien he threw ball away on safety

Hard to blame Brady for throwing it away. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Much ado's been made about the safety on the first Patriots offensive play of the game in the Super Bowl last Sunday -- Tom Brady threw the ball to no one while standing in his own end zone. But was intentional grounding the right call? And did some receiver mess up a route that caused Brady to throw the ball where he did?

Turns out, no. Brady actually was throwing it away. On the Sound FX portion of NFL Replay, NFL Films caught Brady telling (former) offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien that he did in fact throw it away after first trying to find Rob Gronkowski, then Wes Welker and finally feeling heat from Justin Tuck.

"I looked to Gronk, I looked to Wes, he dropped and then I felt [Tuck]," Brady said. "I had no place to throw it away. I threw it over his head. I didn't want to throw an interception."

So it's a pretty clear case of intentional grounding, provided Brady was in the pocket (he was) and therefore a clear safety provided Brady was in the end zone (he was). That didn't stop Bill Belichick from arguing the call with referee John Parry through.

Sound FX picked up Belichick calling Parry over and saying "The intentional grounding call ..."

"What's the problem with it?" Parry replied.

"He had a guy coming in there -- he didn't throw it to him. But he had a guy that was coming in there," Belichick said. "I mean, damn."

There are four parts up on NFL.com (if you don't have NFL Network) and all are worth watching. As we noted earlier on Thursday, one clip shows Belichick telling his defense to stifle Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and "make" the Giants find Mario Manningham on their final drive.

Unfortunately for Belichick, that worked out about as well as his attempt to argue that Brady didn't throw the ball away.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:59 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:49 pm
 

Jacobs apologizes for telling Gisele to 'shut up'

Jacobs didn't mean it, Gisele. Well, not all of it anyway. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, the New York media hounded Giants players for their thoughts on Gisele ripping Patriots wide receivers and pass-catchers. Running back Brandon Jacobs, often known for saying some outlandish things, said Gisele should "be cute and shut up."

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It was inappropriate, because you never tell another man's wife to "shut up," and Jacobs apologized for it later on Wednesday.

"Given the fact that it's a colleague of mine's wife, I do apologize for saying that, because I shouldn't have said that," Jacobs said Wednesday on The Doug Gottlieb Show. "It's his wife and I should respect that just as much as anyone else."

Jacobs is correct. If he'd said something like "She shouldn't be saying that about his teammates," he would've been lauded for correctly assessing the situation. Using the phrase "shut up" towards another man's wife just isn't something that flies.

As for the "be cute" part of his statement, well, Jacobs isn't apologizing for that.

"No question, he should take that as a compliment," Jacobs said. "If he finds something wrong with that, then that's his problem."

Theoretically, Gisele/Brady could be upset with "cute" since it's not the typical phrase used to describe "one of the most famous supermodels in the world."

Whatever, they got an apology from Jacobs which is a hard thing to do. And something tells us Gisele/Brady will have enough to worry about own on their own without sweating what someone on another team says.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:17 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 9:44 am
 

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 2:56 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Peyton Manning 'couldn't be happier' for Eli

Eli and Peyton are bros. Literally. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It's not crazy to think that Peyton Manning could've been jealous after watching his younger brother Eli Manning win a Super Bowl at Peyton's home stadium in Indianapolis. But Peyton says he's not and that he "couldn't be happier" for Eli.

That's according to Mike Chappelle of the Indianapolis Star, who caught up with Peyton after the Giants Super Bowl win on Sunday.

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"I couldn't be happier for Eli, prouder of Eli," Peyton said. "I want nothing but the best for him. I think he will continue to win more Super Bowls. There is no envy whatsoever in our relationship. He deserves this."

Peyton was asked if there might be a bit of one-upmanship taking place with their relationship, now that Eli has two Super Bowl rings and Peyton "only" has one. But he insisted that's not the sort of dynamic that goes on in the Manning family.

"Eli and I don't play that game," Peyton said. "The relationship of Eli, Cooper and I is not about trying to rub it in or anything like that. It's about love, nothing but love."

We wrote after the game that, regardless of what Peyton says, it still stinks to see your little brother with more Super Bowl wins than you. And we still believe that. But at the same time, it's not like Peyton's endured some horrible NFL career, floundering in Eli's shadow.

If anything, Peyton's probably thrilled that the world's ready to take Eli out of his shadow; if there's one thing that male siblings understand even more than a rivalry, it's protecting one another.

Eli's safe from criticism for quite a while now. In fact, his only concern might be getting asked too often what Peyton will do in the future.

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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