By: Ian Logue
Tom Brady wants to play into his 40’s and former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana beleives he should. (USA TODAY Images)
A little lighter edition on this Friday as we close out the week, and here’s a quick rundown of some news and notes for this morning:
MONTANA’S ADVICE TO TOM BRADY, “PLAY AS LONG AS YOU CAN”:
Tom Brady talks all the time about the fact he wants to play into his 40’s, and one of his idols believes Brady should do his best to make sure he can prolong his career.
Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana made an appearance on NFL Network’s Total Access Wednesday and talked about Brady and Manning’s desire to play into their 40’s.
“I say play as long as you can, because the minute you get out, no matter how ready you think you are, you say it’s time and [then] when I was leaving Kansas City, as soon as that season started the next year I was going, ‘why did I do that?’ ” Montana said via Zuri Berry of Boston.com. “I should have continued to play.
“Your body tells you something and your mind tells you something, but in reality, physically as long as you can play, I would play because it’s quitting cold turkey,” Montana continued. “You can’t go out with that kind of excitement in anything else that you’re gonna do. I always say, I wish everyone could play on a Sunday afternoon, just one game. Just so they would understand what if feels like, win or lose. [To see] what’s it like on a field on Sunday. Then you would never say, ‘why is that guy still trying to play at his age.’ [Then] you’ll understand the excitement of the game and there’s nothing like it.”
WELKER TALKS BELICHICK, OTHER TOPICS:
Former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was in studio Friday morning to join 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb and talked about a variety of topics, including his relationship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
As most fans likely remember, the play where Welker came over the middle and hit then Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib caused an injury that took him out of the game.
Bill Belichick said after the game, “It was a key play in the game. Obviously, he’s a key player for us.”
The next day he was more vocal, saying, “It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open. I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that, it’s not for me to decide.
“It was one of the worst plays I’ve seen. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
No discipline ever came, and the irony is that the two players are now teammates.
Welker was asked if he and Belichick’s relationship is contentious.
“I don’t think so. Not on my part,” said Welker. “I’m fine. I’ve got all the respect in the world for Bill and what he’s done as a coach. I’ve really learned a lot from him in my time in New England. I don’t see it that way.”
Another interesting part of the interview was the fact Welker addressed all of the pre-snap calls by quarterback Peyton Manning, and was asked how much of it was real, which Welker replied that not all of it serves a purpose.
“You pay attention to it all just in case,” said Welker. “A lot of times we’re going so fast it’s kind of nice to get a breather, so keep on doing that crap up there to get us a little more time. A lot of it serves a purpose, but not fully.”
OVERRATED AND UNDERRATED “NFL HEARTBREAK”
Yahoo! Sports’ Shutdown Corner has an entry looking at tough losses that they believe are both overrated and underrated, and there were a couple of Patriots-related ones that stood out.
One was the Super Bowl loss that cost New England the chance to be 19-0, which in the piece points out wasn’t a surprise because “you could see the cracks in the armor” and that “the Patriots were playing tight. They knew it.” It also called the playoff victories over the Jaguars and Chargers “ugly gut-check games”.
From the article:
So losing in the Super Bowl wasn’t stunning. Yes, on paper, the Patriots were the far superior team and should have won. They played well enough to do so, with fluky plays such as Asante Samuel dropping the biggest gift of an interception with 1:20 left followed by David Tyree’s miracle catch.
On the flip side the “Tuck Rule” game against Oakland was also discussed, although the notion that it cost the Raiders is downplayed significantly:
We won’t even get into the fact that the Raiders had plenty of chances to win the game. They had the ball with less than three minutes left and couldn’t pick up a first down, for instance. There were opportunities.
Tough loss for the Raiders? No doubt. Bad call? Nope. Conspiracy? Haha, please. Cost the Raiders a Super Bowl? Very doubtful. Just a tough loss. Those happen all the time. Get over it.
So there you have it.
DURON HARMON FOCUSED ON BIG OPPORTUNITY:
With the team releasing Steve Gregory this offseason, the opportunity is there now for safety Duron Harmon to potentially earn himself a role as the starter in New England’s defense.
Harmon, who saw his playing time gradually increase as the season went on last year, has himself poised for an opportunity to step into Gregory’s shoes, but he’s not taking it lightly.
“There are no starters right now,” Harmon said via Andy Hart of Patriots.com. “My mentality is just trying to get better each and every day and just try to put myself in position to make plays when I’m out there on the field.”
For now Harmon’s goal is just to play better in his second season, which he called his most “important year” as he tries to take the next step.
“Your second year is your most important year,” Harmon said. “You want to make that jump. Because you have all that learning experience and now you want to put those learning experiences into you knowing football and knowing different situations that make you a better football player.”
PATRIOTS TICKETS GO ON SALE JULY 15TH:
The team announced Thursay that tickets for the New England Patriots’ 2014 home games will go on sale and become available to the public on July 15 at 10 a.m.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets should go online to ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can’t be purchased in person at Gillette Stadium, and Visa is the only acceptable method of payment.
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