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Rob Gronkowski Post Game Transcript


Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s what Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski had to say after the Patriots won the Super Bowl via the NFL’s PR Department:

(on his reaction to winning the Super Bowl)

“This is an unbelievable feeling. We played such a great team game together. This is the most amazing feeling ever. What a great team victory. It’s unbelievable. This is indescribable.”

(on where he was lining up on the field)

“All over the place. You’ve just got to line up everywhere and just do what we do. Everyone played together well and it was excellent. It was unbelievable.”

(on how the Patriots were able to overcome two costly turnovers)

“We’ve just got to keep looking forward after every drive – score or not score, just keep on moving and just go onto the next drive and just take one play at a time.”

(on what this means for Gronkowski and the Patriots organization)

“It’s unbelievable. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It means everything. This is awesome. I’ve got to go. I’ve got to celebrate.”

Tom Brady Super Bowl Post Game Press Conference Transcript


Tom Brady and the Patriots won their fourth title Sunday night. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s the transcript from Tom Brady’s post game press conference, as provided by the NFL’s PR department.

(on the resiliency that his team has shown all year)

“It’s been a long journey. It’s just a great win. We left it all on the field.”

(on the keys to victory in today’s game)

“Mental toughness.”

(on if he thought this was a game that he would throw the ball 50 times)

“You know, whatever it takes. We were playing a great defense and they’re a great team. Took everything all the way to the last play. Just proud of our effort and our determination. We showed it all year. Every team has a journey and a lot of people lost faith in us early, but we held strong, we held together, and it’s a great feeling.”

(on if he was able to process his emotions going from Seattle about to score to New England getting an interception on their final drive)

“Unbelievable play by Malcolm (Butler). We didn’t call a timeout and the clock was winding down and we realized, you know, this is basically it if we stopped them. I saw the interception and couldn’t believe it. It was just an incredible play. You know, what a play. A championship play. My guys made them. A lot of guys just did some great stuff out there. Took everybody. We knew it was going to take everybody. It was a 60-minute game. Just proud of how everybody played.”

(on if he is thinking about where his legacy fits in NFL history)

“No. I’ve got a lot of football left. It’s hard to play this game and it take a big commitment, a lot of sacrifice. For all the players that have played in the past and I’ve looked up to and admired and a lot of the players now who I look up to and admire – it’s a big challenge and it’s incredible to experience this feeling once and I’ve been fortunate to play on four really great teams, so I’m really blessed.”

(on what it means to have won four Super Bowls and three Super Bowl MVPs like former San Francisco QB Joe Montana and to be compared to him)

“Well, I haven’t thought about…I never put myself in those discussions. That’s not how I think. There are so many great players that have been on so many great teams and we’ve had some great teams that haven’t won it and I think you’ve got to just enjoy the moment. Enjoy (it). We’ve been on the other end of this twice now and being ahead late and not being able to make the plays to win, and, this time, we made the plays to win. Just awesome. What an experience. A lot of mental toughness by our team, a lot of physical toughness. We played against a phenomenal defense and we just ultimately made enough plays. We made a couple of crappy plays – I certainly did – but we made enough plays to win.”

 (on what it means to get those performances out of guys like WR Julian Edelman, WR Danny Amendola and RB Shane Vereen)

“We needed them because without those guys, we don’t win. They stepped up. They did it. They were in there a lot. It was hot. It’s a long game. I don’t know what time it is, but it’s late. But we needed a great play at the end and we got it. Offensively, a lot of guys made huge, huge plays. Defensively, a lot of those guys made huge plays. It’s a great team. They’ve got a great offense, well-coached, great defense – that’s why they’re here and it took a lot to beat them.”

(on what the attitude was taking the field down three points on the final drive)

“We were down 10 and we just said, ‘Look, we’ve got to put one good drive together to get us back in the game.’ We made the plays. We overcame a couple of penalties and made the plays to do it and then got the ball back and then scored again. They had a great drive, made some phenomenal plays, and we made a great play in the end. These games, they’re tough. They go down to the end. Glad we finally pulled it out.”

(on finding wide receiver Julian Edelman on the game-winning drive)

“I saw Jules. I had an opportunity to move up in the pocket, and Jules had kind of a deep in-cut. I tried to drill it to him and he caught it and made a great catch – took a big hit, and that was the key to the whole drive. There were a lot of keys to the game. You single any one play out today, it could be different. Like I said, I give a lot of credit to them. They’re a great team, but we just made a couple more plays than them.”

(on some of the things Seattle did to disrupt the timing of the offense)

“We made some good plays. We had some great drives. Early in the game, I thought we moved in really well. We just stopped ourselves. I threw the interception on the first drive after a great drive, and then we had a third down play, which could have been a really big play, but execution was pretty poor. Going into the second half, I felt like we were ready to do it, and then Bobby (Wagner) made a great interception on the one I threw him. We got behind bad, and then found a way to slug it out and come back. It was a tough day – a lot of energy, a lot of effort. We just made enough plays to win.”

(on going 8-for-8 on the final drive, and if that will be a signature drive in his career)

“I didn’t think about that. A lot of guys – we made great catches. It’s a team effort. There’s never one player. It took the whole team. We blocked great all day against a great front, made a lot of great catches and a lot of critical plays in the red area. A lot of guys overcame a lot of mentally-challenging moments, and I’m just proud of the way we overcame it.”

(on comparing his game-winning drive tonight to his game-winning drive in New Orleans in his first Super Bowl)

“Hard to remember that far back. I’m a little bit older now. You just have to make the plays to win. It was great. We haven’t had many games this year that have come down like this. I’m glad we made the plays when we needed to.”

(on if he thought Marshawn Lynch was going to get the ball at the one-yard line)

“They had a lot of options, so you know, that was their choice. Russell (Wilson) played a phenomenal game. Marshawn played unbelievable. We lost the turnover battle two to nothing and won, and that’s pretty hard to do. I’m glad we did.”

(on what it means to have the most Super Bowl touchdown passes in NFL history)

“However we get them, the goal is to score points, so running it, throwing it – I don’t care. Whatever it took today, that’s what we needed to do. We played against a great defense and they made a lot of great plays. We found a way to get it down there at the end, and I’m just proud of the way our guys played.”

(on the last two weeks being mentally challenging and if he feels any vindication now after all the controversy)

“No. I don’t feel any.”

(on if he’s tired)

“Yeah, it’s a long day. I think we put a lot into it. Yeah, I’m tired.”

(on if it felt at home and at peace on the field after all the controversy surrounding the team leading up to the Super Bowl)

“Well, it’s just a lot of mental toughness. I think the whole team had it. Coach (Bill Belichick) always says, ‘Ignore the noise and control what you can control.’ We had a great two weeks of practice. That’s what it took, and every situation that came up was important – every third down that we made, every short-yardage, every red area possession. So that’s who we were focused on, that’s who we needed to be focused on, and that’s how we got the victory.”


Butler made the play of the night Sunday night against the Seahawks. (USA TODAY Images)

Malcolm Butler went from zero to hero in a matter of three plays, and his game-clinching interception will likely be a play talked about in Seattle for not only the rest of the offseason, but also for years to come.

In New England, had that interception not come to be, fans would likely be talking about the miraculous 33yd catch that Jermaine Kearse made at Butler’s expense after he batted down the pass and it fell in Kearse’s lap.  The majority of the football world likely let out a collective groan wondering if this would be another instance of a near miss in a game in which they battled their way back only to come up short.

But Butler jumped a slant route two plays later and picked off Russell Wilson, ending any bid the Seahawks had for a comeback while sealing a championship for the Patriots.

Tom Brady said after the game he couldn’t believe it.

“I saw the interception and couldn’t believe it,” said Brady. “It was just an incredible play. You know, what a play. A championship play. My guys made them. A lot of guys just did some great stuff out there. Took everybody. We knew it was going to take everybody. It was a 60-minute game. Just proud of how everybody played.”

Butler is now a hero and his team has won a championship as a result.  It’s definitely a nice change from some of what this team has dealt with in recent years, and good for Butler for getting a shot at redemption and taking advantage of it.

Five Reasons Why the Patriots Should Beat the Seahawks Tonight


It’s finally game day, and if the Patriots were ever going to capture that elusive fourth title, having a healthy Rob Gronkowski should be one of several reasons to hopefully allow them to do that against the Seahawks tonight. (USA TODAY Images)

Raise your hand if this has been the longest two week stretch ever.

Having seen Bill Belichick’s teams in the Patriots previous Super Bowls appearances, these are weeks that are generally spent focusing on players, match-ups and analysis leading up to what should be one of the most exciting periods of the year.  We talk about stories about players who overcome big obstacles or hardships to get to where they are, along with other heartwarming tales that help make the week a fun one for fans of both teams.

Yeah…well, not this week.

Instead we got to hear about an accusation involving air pressure in footballs based on assumptions instead of facts.  To top it all off, the officials finally admitted Friday that they didn’t even perform an actual psi check on them before the game and signed off on them, which would lead you to believe that when this “investigation” ends, the NFL is going to be in a tough spot when it comes to trying to prove any wrongdoing.

The result?  We’ve seen and heard Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft more angry and animated than we’ve seen them during their entire 15-year tenure together, with all three delivering some pretty powerful and memorable press conferences over this span.  Those three, along with the entire team, looks to be more united than ever and as kickoff continues to creep closer, it’s hard not to quietly wonder if we’re about to see something special and historic go down later this evening.

Aside from that, here are some actual football-related reasons to believe that may actually happen:

1) Tom Brady’s had a good postseason: Unlike some recent postseasons where Brady hasn’t exactly been “Brady-like”, the veteran QB has played well, completing 66% of his passes along with having thrown six touchdowns.  He’s coming off of a three touchdown pass performance against the Colts two weeks ago in the AFC Championship game and has looked about as good as we’ve ever seen, although one would have to believe having a few more players in his arsenal this time around certainly helps, which leads us to the next reason…

2) A healthy Rob Gronkowski is going to be a difference-maker tonight: One day removed from being named “Comeback Player of the Year”, the veteran tight-end is finally entering a Super Bowl completely healthy, something he didn’t have the luxury of after Bernard Pollard’s tackle in their AFC Championship three years ago made Gronkowski a non-factor against the Giants.  This time around he’s healthy and he’s playing at a level that most of us who watch him week-to-week can’t quite appreciate because of just how good he really is. One of the reasons why he’s so good is the fact that he’s such a good blocker that teams often can’t tell exactly when he’ll sneak out and take off downfield, and that’s one of the things that makes him so dangerous. Plenty of tight ends can catch passes but Gronkowski is such a complete player, and right now he’s really playing at the top of his game. He’ll be a factor tonight, even if he doesn’t have a big night in terms of numbers. His mere presence and the threat he provides is going to open up things for other guys to play well.

3) Patriots Finally Have a Relatively Deep Receiving Core: Tonight this team heads into this match-up with all of their receivers healthy, and all of them are capable of getting open one-on-one and making a play.  Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell are obviously the Patriots’ top pass-catching threats, but tonight could also be a game where we see someone like Danny Amendola come up with a big game against a Seattle secondary that is going to be tough to deal with.  This is the best group the Patriots have taken to a Super Bowl in a while, and with Gronkowski likely to see additional attention, the odds are probably pretty good it’s going to leave someone else open to make plays.

4) Darrelle Revis Will Be an Equalizer Against the Seahawks – Obviously adding Revis has played a key role to getting the Patriots to where they are right now, but it’s hard not to believe that having him in the secondary tonight is going to play a big factor in helping them close out the game if that’s what it comes down to.  As we’ve seen, that’s been an issue in past years when the Patriots have squandered a late-game lead on this stage, but this is the first time we’ve seen guys across the entire secondary making plays and playing at a high level at this point in the year.  Having Revis out there has had such a huge impact and has helped make Devin McCourty even better at the safety position. Guys have said repeatedly that having him on the team have made them better, and with Revis likely able to at least handle his side of the field, there’s certainly enough talent overall to allow them to be effective enough to win.  Overall this secondary has played well when it’s mattered this year, and expect that to potentially become one of the story lines by the time this one is over.

5) Having Vince Wilfork Back is Bigger than You Think for this Defense: It’s hard to believe there were so many people ready to write him off coming off of his Achilles injury last season, and having Wilfork back up front has been so huge for this football team this season.  Having a big, strong, smart veteran player like Wilfork leading other guys around him in the trenches is one of those things that gets overlooked because they do a lot of the dirty work on a play-to-play basis.  He often sees a lot of double teams, which puts the onus on other guys to make plays one-on-one, and this is a group that has been able to do that this season.  They’ll face a big challenge tonight against Marshawn Lynch but if the going gets tough, having someone like Wilfork to help this group weather the storm is just so important, and they’re fortunate to have him out there.

Overall tonight’s game is going to be a good one, but if the Patriots were ever ready to go into a tough game against a good opponent, this is about as prepared as they’re ever going to be.

PODCAST: Patriots vs Seahawks Recap: Hightower as the spy vs Wilson?


Dont’a Hightower and the Patriots defense has quite a challenge ahead against a solid Seattle Seahawks team on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)
Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with PatriotsFourthAndTwo on BlogTalkRadio

With the Super Bowl fast approaching on Sunday, the guys sat down and discussed some of the latest happenings from the situation with deflate gate, to the more important topic of the Patriots’ match-up with the Seahawks this weekend in Arizona.

Here’s a quick run down of this week’s episode:

SOME THOUGHTS ON DEFLATE-GATE:

Steve Balestrieri – “This whole thing has been overblown from the beginning.  I mean, even other NFL quarterbacks are coming out and stating that.  At this point, the NFL’s investigation is a complete disaster.  They have Mr. Magoo running this thing because every day we get a different story and they keep leaking it out to [Chris Mortensen] from ESPN, Jay Glazer from Fox, and they keep changing everything.”

Derek Havens – “I really don’t think the NFL will find anything, but I will tell you that this has kind of opened up a can of worms and the NFL will be changing how they log footballs and pressure, and all that.  There will be more work for the officials now.  Or there’ll be an employee who guards the footballs and does all this stuff from now on, I promise you.  I bet you next year there’s going to be a guy who is not related to either team, who is going to be watching over the footballs, and he’ll be logging each football and it will be numbered, there’s going to be a whole new system now because of this.”

ON SEATTLE’S RUSHING ATTACK:

Steve Balestrieri – “Seattle has the league’s number one rushing offense.  They average 172.5 yards per game, and 5.3 yards per rush, so they have the advantage here, that’s their bread and butter.  I mean, their running game is very good and it’s not only Marshawn Lynch, it’s Russell Wilson.  I think Russell Wilson is the key here as well as Lynch, but that zone blocking scheme that the Seattle Seahawks use is difficult to stop, and the Patriots have had issues with it.  It’s similar to what Miami and the Jets use and the Patriots have seen it before.  But what it does is it stretches the defense horizontally and then your running back has a chance to cut back and find gaps in there.  It’s going to be tough for them.”


I think they’re going to leave [Dont’a] Hightower as the spy.” – Steve Balestrieri
(USA TODAY Images)

ON HOW TO DEAL WITH RUSSELL WILSON AND WHO MIGHT BE SPYING HIM:

Steve Balestrieri – “I think they’re going to leave [Dont’a] Hightower as the spy, and again, I’m not comparing the two quarterbacks, but I look back a the Jets game because the Jets run a similar package of plays like that with Geno Smith and what they were doing with Jamie Collins is they were crashing him down at the hand-off and trying to re-route the play to one side or the other and they left Hightower as the spy and they were keeping his eyes on the quarterback until he knew the play had actually been handed off, so I’m assuming they’re going to do that.  I’m not worried about Hightower being able to keep up with him as long as he stays disciplined.”

ON MISDRECTION PLAYS BY THE SEAHAWKS AND HOW THE PATRIOTS MAY HANDLE THEM:

Russ Goldman – “I would be worried later on in the game if the Patriots were not able to adjust.  If they throw this early, they might have some luck at it, but it’s almost a situation where the more they see it, the Patriots will take care of it.  So actually if they show some of these misdirection plays early, I think it’s actually an advantage to the Patriots later in the game because I think they will be able to adjust to them.”

Steve Balestrieri – “I think if they see it early, they’ll be able to adjust to that later on.  But that’s a definite weapon that they use and they use it very well.  So it’s something that they’ll have to be aware of.  It all comes down to preparation, and we’ll see but that’s something that can definitely affect this game. ”

For an in-depth look at the offense and to hear their predicitions for Patriots vs Seahawks, you can Listen to this week’s Super Bowl Preview or you can download it on ITunes, or stream it using the TuneIn app.

Tuesday’s media day for the Patriots featured some interesting quotes from quite a few players as they met with reporters in Arizona leading up to Sunday’s showdown with the Seahawks.

There were some entertaining moments, including Rob Gronkowski singing Katy Perry’s “Roar”, among some other good quotes from Robert Kraft, Darrelle Revis, LeGarrette Blount, and many others.  Here are some of the highlights:

From Patriots owner Robert Kraft:


“I love being around the guys. There isn’t one guy in our locker room that I wouldn’t be pleased to have at our dinner table.” – Robert Kraft (USA TODAY Images)

– Kraft spoke at length on Tuesday about the admiration he has for the players in the locker room, saying there’s not one player he wouldn’t welcome into his own home.  “After my family, my team is my passion,” said Kraft.  “I love being around the guys. There isn’t one guy in our locker room that I wouldn’t be pleased to have at our dinner table. They’re great guys. I can relate to all of them. That’s just fun for me. I would pay to do it. I guess I am.”

– He also gave some insight into his thoughts of Pete Carroll’s tenure in New England, saying he shoulders part of the blame for their lack of success while Carroll coached the team.  “When I hired Pete, I was coming off my first experience as an owner,” said Kraft.  “He’s pretty special to be around. He’s a lot of fun. He’s not your typical head coach in the NFL. He’s also very smart, and especially in defenses, very capable.  Coming off the situation I had been in – although I had a great coach – I believed in more checks and balances like my other businesses, and I think I handicapped Pete from doing as good a job as he could have done because I was coming off a situation I was reacting to. So, then when I was privileged to hire Bill Belichick, I think my evolution as an owner and trying to understand how to be a good owner and run a franchise, I think I matured to the point where I knew how to set it up and then see how the person performed. I think having Bill Belichick as my head coach, I don’t think I could have a better one. I also think my partner, Paul Allen, has done very well with Pete Carroll. So, it will be fun on Sunday.”

– Kraft also said that Rob Gronkowski’s demeanor in the locker room is a big asset to his teammates.  “He’s really the same guy,” said Kraft when talking about the difference between Gronkowski as a rookie to now.  “In our next life, a lot of people might want to be Rob because he never has a bad day. It’s great for the locker room. When he walks through the locker room, his spirit, sense of camaraderie and no matter how many injuries he’s had, he’s always upbeat and positive. He’s just a great guy to have around. His levity always loosens things up.”

From Cornerback Darrelle Revis:


“We found a way as a team, as a unit, to go out there and stick together and play just tough football and play great ball and we did that.” – Darrelle Revis
(USA TODAY Images)

– On Tuesday, Revis talked about the adversity the team dealt with in 2014, and he’s proud that the Patriots are in the position their in.  “Our schedule was very tough,” said Revis. “It was tough. We played against some great quarterbacks, some great teams. We found a way as a team, as a unit, to go out there and stick together and play just tough football and play great ball and we did that. Overall, we had ups and downs. There was the controversy with deflate-gate and all of that, but that’s adversity. Adversity strikes every time and I think as a team, as a whole, we’ve handled that well. There’s one more game and we are just trying to weed that out and focus on our ultimate goal and that’s holding up the Lombardi Trophy.”

– When asked about the fact Jets fans have to see him wearing a rival uniform, Revis put the blame in that decision on Jets management for letting him go to begin with.  “It’s not really my fault,” said Revis.  “I didn’t make the call. Management made the call at that time and they felt it was best to get rid of me. So that’s the situation. That’s how I look at it.”

– Revis also admitted he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from teammate Devin McCourty.  “Devin, he’s outstanding,” said Revis.  “He’s been outstanding before I got here and he’s continuing to be outstanding. I feel like he’s the best free safety in the league. He has so much range out there. He’s so fast. I think the biggest thing I respect him for and appreciate him is how he studies the game and how he knows the game so well. He’s a student of the game and he works so hard at it. It’s crazy. It’s pretty awesome to get feedback from other guys and see how hard they work.”

From Linebacker Rob Ninkovich:

– Ninkovich talked about his opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, and he’s excited about Sunday’s game.  “Really, having the opportunity is huge,” said Ninkovich. “For me, it’s capitalizing on another great opportunity. We worked very hard to get to this point, so we’ve just got to go out there and play well in all three phrases.”


“We worked very hard to get to this point, so we’ve just got to go out there and play well in all three phrases.” – Rob Ninkovich
(USA TODAY Images)

- The veteran told the media Tuesday that he’s got a good relationship with former Patriots linebacker Roosevelt Colvin.  “He’s a great guy,” said Ninkovich. “He texts me all the time. We talk, and he’s a really good dude.”

– Ninkovich had some kind words for teammate Vince Wilfork, who he admits is one of the players he works very well with.  “Playing with Vince is awesome,” said Ninkovich.  “His experience and his ability to communicate with me during the game is huge. When you’re with somebody, when you’re next to somebody for a long time, the communication has to be really good, but also you really don’t have to talk too much to know what he’s trying to do or what I’m trying to do. That’s maybe a hand signal, maybe looking at him and saying, ‘Hey, I’m doing this,’ and just give him a little eye, and he understands what I’m doing. Having him back this year was awesome. There’s nothing like having a big body next to you that can take up two guys.”

– While talking about his mindset for achieving his goal, Ninkovich said he believes that going after what you’re passionate about is the key to success.  “Just the never giving up mentality and continuing to fight, going after what you’re passionate about and what you aspire to do,” said Ninkovich.  “I think that you can go after your goals and go after things that you want to do. I’m a big believer in putting all your eggs in one basket. Some people say don’t do that, but I put it all on what I want to do. If I don’t make it, then I’m better for going after it.”

– He also admitted that the film “Rudy” is one he watched before the Patriots match-up against Indianapolis.  “I’m not going to lie, I watched it last week before the game just to get me going,” said Ninkovich.  “I’ve been watching that movie since I was a kid.”

From DT Vince Wilfork:

– Wilfork said on Tuesday he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch.  “Yeah, he’s unbelievable,” said Wilfork.  “This team is built to run the football. They are built to play football. You look at this time – everything in a football team you want, they have. They have the right mindset, the physicality, they make plays, their playmakers make plays all the time. It seems like they’re always in tune with the game. They’re a really good fourth quarter football team. They play really, really good situational football. We’re going to have to be at our best the whole game to be successful against this team.”


Insert Caption Text Here.
(USA TODAY Images)

- The veteran talked about what it was like to be sidelined last year with his Achilles, and he missed being out there with his teammates.   “Me being out of football last year, it was one of those things that I never imagined being hurt and being away from my teammates and not being able to be on the field with them,” said Wilfork. “My main goal this year coming back was to make sure I was healthy and help my team win. I think we all play football because it’s a team effort. It’s not just one individual. We have a bunch of individuals doing their job, which leads to team success. My goal to the team was to come back healthy and better than I was and hopefully we can get the job done moving forward. Everything I thought about in the offseason – the way I trained, everything that I did, everything was set up for the team – not just my myself, but as a team. I knew if I was at my best, everybody around me would be at their best. That’s how I approached this offseason.”

– He admitted on Tuesday that he had read about the odds against him making a proper recovery and being able to play at a high level, but that didn’t stop him from proving people wrong.  “I was reading all these stories about a person my age, my size, coming back from this injury,” said Wilfork.  “Sometimes I tell people I’m not human. Don’t put me in that stat, and I believe that. That’s one of the most things that really drove me, just to hear all the gallows saying that I can’t come back off of it because of my weight and my age and all that stuff. When I went to work I went to work. My training staff, they got me right. My people back home in Florida got me right, my wife got me right. I literally killed myself every day to make sure I’m all right (coming off his injury), and I think I’m as strong as I’ve ever been, and I’ve never looked back from it.”

– Wilfork had some nice things to say about his wife Bianca, who he credits for pushing him. “She’s always been my rock. No matter what happened – good or bad – she’s always right there and the one person I can always come to and get the truth. Being out of football last year, she was the one person that really pushed me to the limit. She woke me up every day at 5:00, 6:00 in the morning and we’d work out three times a day. Sometimes we’d go to bed at 10:00, 11:00 at night just because she knew how important it is to me, and I thank her for that. She’s the one who really got me in tune and got my mind to saying, ‘What I need to do now in my career is this.’ We looked at it and said, ‘This is going to be a challenge,’ but at the same time, I’m always up for challenges. She pushed me to the max. I’m very grateful to have her in my life.”


“That’s all I know is hard work.” – Julian Edelman (USA TODAY Images)

From WR Julian Edelman:

– Edelman had some kind words for his former college coach at Kent State, Doug Martin, on Tuesday, giving him credit for believing in him and helping him get to where he is today.  “Huge part. Coach Martin is one of the only coaches who believed in me that I could play quarterback at a Division I level. He’s a part of where I am at right now, so I am very thankful for him.”

– The veteran receiver talked about Gronkowski, who he said is just a lot of fun to have in the locker room.  “Rob is a great teammate,” said Edelman.  “He’s a big goofball, a big baby. All he cares about is football and football. You love having him in the locker room. He makes things fun. He works hard. He’s all about this team. It’s great to have him. He’s one of the best.”

– When asked why the Patriots are so good, Edelman came back with a pretty good answer.  “I don’t know. I think there’s a common factor there, of this guy named Tom Brady,” said Edelman.  “He’s pretty good. He and we have some coaches that work their tails off. The scouting department knowing who they want and all of that kind of stuff. They all work together. I don’t know, you’d have to ask Coach (Bill) Belichick on that one.”

– Edelman also talked about where his work ethic comes from, and he credited his parents for that.  “That’s all I know is hard work,” said Edelman.  “I’ve had a father who I watched growing up that I wouldn’t see in the morning and he’d come home at 5 o’clock at night and he did that every day. I don’t know if that’s from him or it’s in the blood or whatever, but that’s kind of how we do it in my household. My mom has been a hard worker, whatever she had to do, she did it. I guess it would have to go through there.”

From TE Rob Gronkowski:

– A media member tried to bait the tight end into making a bold prediction for this weekend’s match-up.  It didn’t work.  His response?  “The game will be on Sunday.”


“Definitely don’t take the game for granted anymore.” – Rob Gronkowski.
(USA TODAY Images)

– Gronkowski was asked about the experience of being sidelined the past couple of years while he battled injuries, and he told the media he doesn’t take football for granted anymore.  “It’s definitely a tough experience, man,” said Gronkowski. “Definitely don’t take the game for granted anymore. It’s an honor to be out there on the field with my teammates and all. Throughout the whole year, especially this time of the year, going to the Super Bowl, being out on the practice field, helping my team do its job and just going out and practicing hard. I’m super excited for this game Sunday.”

– When asked about battling Seattle’s defense, Gronkowski also said that the opportunity to battle the best defense is “an honor”.  “Always. You always want to play against the best,” said Gronkowski.  “This is what the Super Bowl is played for, going against the best. It’s a great opportunity to see where we’re at when we get out on the field. Definitely an honor to be going against a very good defense.”

– Who’s the worst dancer on the team?  “Julian Edelman,” said Gronkowski. “He’s the worst dancer.”  The best?  “Best dancer? I mean, since I’m the only one who really whips out my dance moves, I’d have to go with myself.”

– When asked when he started feeling healthy, Gronkowski said that in Week 5, everything “just kicked in”.  “Totally back to my old self,” said Gronkowski.  “I mean, coming out of training camp I got competitive and treated my knees all week. It just all kicked in. My body felt good. Going into that Cincinnati game in Week 5, everything just kicked in and I felt good.”

– Gronkowski told reporters that he’s liked having the Microsoft Surface tablets on the sideline this season.  “The tablet? You get pictures right there,” said Gronkowski.  “You get to see the defense right there, right after the play when you come to the sidelines. That’s a pretty cool technology now. You get to see what defense they’re in, where they’re at and then go out to the next series. It’s all on a tablet. That’s pretty cool.”

From RB LeGarrette Blount:

– The Patriots running back said on Tuesday that he has plenty of respect for the Seahawks defense but he’s confident heading into this weekend. “Obviously they’re a pretty good defense,” said Blount. “They were good enough to get here, they were good enough to get here last year, so we are going to put a plan together to hopefully make sure we come out victorious.”


“I’m excited to be a part of something special and be a part of the reason why we’re here.” – LeGarrette Blount
(USA TODAY Images)

– Coming off of his big performance against Indianapolis in rainy conditions, Blount said that it meant a lot that the team trusted him to carry the ball as much as he did. “Just the fact that they trusted me enough to carry the ball that many times and put the game in my hands, it means a lot,” said Blount. “I’m excited to be a part of something special and be a part of the reason why we’re here.”

– Blount had some kind words for Brady, and feels having him as his quarterback always gives them a good chance to win. “Personally, I feel like he’s probably going to go down as the best quarterback to ever play the game,” said Blount. “When he’s on your side, you always have a chance of winning the game, no matter what the score is or who you’re playing against.”

– A lot of has obviously been made of Seattle’s defense, but Blount made it clear he’s not scared of them by any means. “I don’t care about them being the top defense, that doesn’t bother me,” said Blount. “They were good enough to get here, just like we were good enough to get here. They’re not immortal. They can be beaten.”

– The veteran emphasized ball security during his press conference, which is an area he said he’s focused on. “I’ve always been told that you can’t win the game without the football,” said Blount. “If you give the football away you have no control of the game. We have to continue to protect it and continue to have it in our hands as much as possible and don’t let it hit the ground and don’t let anybody else get ahold of it. You can’t win the game without the football.”

– Blount discussed why he’s been such a good fit in New England, but emphasized the fact they have the best QB on their side as one of the key reasons they’ve been so successful. “No, they’re a winning franchise, before I came apart of it and now that I’m a part of it,” said Blount. “They’ve always been a winning franchise and obviously they’ve got the best quarterback in the league on their side and it’s always hard to beat him. Once you have the best quarterback in the league and possibly the best quarterback in NFL history on your side, you always have a chance to win.”


Patriots head coach Bill Belichick strongly denied the allegations against his team on Saturday, and it appears that this latest report may further reinforce the innocence of his football team.

The story surrounding “Deflate-Gate” just got a little more interesting Monday night.

FoxSports’ Jay Glazer had a source on Monday afternoon that told him a Patriots locker room attendant went somewhere else with the footballs in question, adding further fuel to the fire in the league’s investigation that has sparked an unbelievable reaction and exploded into a media story that has gotten out of hand.

Per Glazer’s Tweet, the league seemed to have “a person of interest”, with evidence that may have potentially offered some credence in this whole investigation against New England, who have been battling these allegations since winning the AFC Championship last Sunday after defeating the Colts 45-7 at Gillette Stadium.

Tweeted Glazer, “Breaking news: sources tell @FOXSports the NFL has zeroed in on a locker room attendant w Patriots who allegedly took balls from officials locker room to another area on way to field. Sources say they have interviewed him and additionally have video. Still gauging if any wrong doing occurred with him but he is strong person of interest.”

And that’s where the story takes quite the turn.

Late Monday night ProFootballTalk.com revealed exactly where the attendant went, and it appears he went exactly where many people kidded he might have gone on his way out to the field.

He went to the bathroom.

According to the website, surveillance footage shows he was in there for 90 seconds, which isn’t anywhere near the amount of time required to change the air pressure in a bag of footballs, check them, and put them all back in.

As a matter of fact, it’s barely enough time to do his business and get out of there.  Which now leads to the next investigation the league should look into.

Did he wash his hands before he gave the balls to the officials?

Either way on Monday night, Kraft told the media that if the Patriots are cleared of any wrongdoing in this investigation he expects the league to apologize for putting his organization’s integrity and credibility into question.

Needless to say, it looks like if the ProFootballTalk.com report is true, he may potentially get his wish.


Robert Kraft made some strong statements Monday night, and said he expects an apology from the league if the investigation ultimately finds they didn’t do anything wrong. (USA TODAY Images)

STATEMENT FROM PATRIOTS OWNER ROBERT KRAFT ON MONDAY NIGHT:

“On the plane ride out here, I prepared a few remarks, which I’d like to read to you. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to express what an honor it is to be here and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. I know how difficult it is to get to this game, and I appreciate the work of everyone who helps host the event. We are anticipating a great game against the defending Super Bowl Champ Seattle Seahawks.”

“Given the events of the last week, I want to take a minute to address the air pressure matter, before we kick off this week’s media availabilities. I’ve spoken with coach Belichick. I’ve spoken with Tom Brady. I have taken the opportunity to understand to the best of my abilities what goes on in the preparation of game day footballs and I want to make it clear, that I believe unconditionally that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate in this process or in violation of NFL rules. Tom, Bill and I have been together for 15 years. They are my guys. They are part of my family and Bill, Tom and I have had many difficult discussions over the years and I have never known them to lie to me. That is why I am confident in saying what I just said and it bothers me greatly that their reputations and integrity, and by association that of our team, has been called into question this past week.”

“As I said on Friday in my prepared statement, we welcome the league’s investigation and the involvement of attorney Wells. I am confident that this investigation will uncover whatever the facts were that took place last Sunday and the science of how game balls react to changes in the environment. This would be in direct contrast to the public discourse, which has been driven by media leaks as opposed to actual data and facts. Because of this, many jump to conclusions and made strong accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff, questioning the integrity of all involved.”

“If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team and in particular coach Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week. I am disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported upon. We expect hard facts, as opposed to circumstantial leaked evidence to drive the conclusion of this investigation.”

“In closing, I would like to say to all the fans of the National Football league and especially the amazing fans of the New England Patriots that I and our entire organization believe strongly in the integrity of the game and the rules of fair play, properly, equitably and fairly enforced.”


Pete Carroll is likely hoping for a repeat when his team takes on the Patriots next Sunday in Arizona.

This is the time of year where players are obviously banged up, but the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl certainly isn’t going to keep Seattle All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas out of action next weekend against New England.

Thomas, who injured his shoulder in the NFC Championship game, told the team’s official site after landing in Arizona that when you’ve got the opportunity to prepare for the biggest game in the world, that environment “makes it better” and he expects to be out there against the Patriots.  The veteran missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but participated in the team’s Friday session.

Having already won one championship last year, the Seahawks are obviously focused on trying to make it two in a row, something that hasn’t been accomplished since the Patriots did it in 2003-2004.  It would be quite a feat and Thomas admitted that he felt like he was in a movie and reliving a dream.

“Since I was a little kid, every time I got hurt I always came back in the game,” Thomas told the website. “I played third base on my All-Star baseball team and a lined ground ball hit me in my mouth. I was wearing braces at the time, so my lip got stuck to my braces. I had to go to the emergency room. My dad said, ‘Do you want to play? Do you want to go back and play?’ I was like, ‘Of course.’

“So this is me. I love competing. And I’m just glad. We’re reliving our dream. It feels like a movie.”

CARROLL HAS HIS TEAM FOCUSED:

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has come a long way since his days in New England, and with his team back in the hunt for another title he’s got them in the right mindset as they get set to begin their preparations for their showdown against the Patriots.

Carroll had two words for his team before they headed off to Arizona, which were “stay humble”, trying to remind them of the task at hand.  Carroll’s no stranger to big games, especially having already led them to one title, as well as the success during his tenure at USC which included two national championships.

“I think this is a good challenge,” Carroll said via Seahawks.com. “Like I told the guys today, this is a challenge to maintain the humility that you need, that is necessary. There is so much pomp and circumstance and following and praise and everybody’s patting you on the back and all that kind of stuff.

“We need to stay balanced and stay in the middle, and make sure we don’t sway from where we normally are and hold on to the mentality and the focus that helped us get to these kinds of situations. I think that’s the big deal. We’ve been through the playoffs and the matchups and those kinds of thing and that kind of conversation. But it’s more about how this whole media thing elevates the focus and attention, and we want to do it really well and handle it really well and make sure that we’re ready and capable of playing like we’re capable come game time.”

BENNETT CALLS DEFLATE-GATE “PROPAGANDA”:

Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett hasn’t been paying much attention to the “deflate-gate” story that’s been playing out across the country surrounding the Patriots, and as far as he’s concerned it sounds like he’s not reading too much into it.

Bennett, who told the Seattle Times that he was watching “Dora the Explorer” with his three daughters during Belichick’s news conference on Saturday, feels it’s nothing more than one big story line to add more build up to what should be a tough match-up.

“I think it’s all propaganda, just to get a chance to build the game up,’’ Bennett said via the newspaper. “It’s all inflating the game right now. It’s like just to make it even more worth it than what it’s really about. It’s really just about us, two great teams, playing. I think a lot of people are shying away from that aspect of it. They have the Patriots, who are arguably one of the best teams of this decade, and we’re starting to try to catch up to where they’re at and what they’ve done in the last 10 years. Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches of all time. I think people are forgetting that. The coaches going and the players playing, it’s too much about the balls. Hopefully everybody starts to talk about the game again.”

CARROLL SET TO HAVE A TALK WITH LYNCH:

Marshawn Lynch’s obscene gesture in the NFC Championship game cost his him $20,000 this week, and apparently officials have already warned the team that it will cost them 15-yards in the Super Bowl should Lynch pull the same move next Sunday should he score against the Patriots.

With that in mind, Carroll acknowledged that he’ll be having a conversation with his star running back, and said that the situation will be addressed.

“I haven’t talked to him yet about the thing that came up with the league, but that will be addressed,” Carroll said via ESPN on Sunday when the team arrived in Arizona. “I think he’s going to have a great Super Bowl week and have a great time doing this and playing in this game.”

SEAHAWKS BOOED IN PRO BOWL:

There weren’t any Seahawks participating in Sunday night’s Pro Bowl, but they found out what fans in Arizona thought of them after receiving a less than warm welcome from the home crowd.

There were five players for Seattle who were elected to attend the NFL’s annual All-Star game, but since they’re playing next weekend in the Super Bowl, they obviously declined.  However, they did make an appearance during the contest, with safety Kam Chancellor, running back Marshawn Lynch, cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and linebacker Bobby Wagner each on hand to take in the game.

Midway through the first quarter they were announced to the crowd, who booed them.  Not that it should be that much of a surprise.  With the game being played in the home stadium of the Arizona Cardinals, clearly fans aren’t happy to see their NFC West rivals with an opportunity to celebrate a Super Bowl title on their home field.

That would be the same as the Jets playing in the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.  Fortunately the odds are pretty good that won’t happen, not because Gillette Stadium probably won’t be a host for the foreseeable future, but because that would require the Jets to get there – which is the even less likely scenario.


Outworking their opponents has always been what has made Bill Belichick’s team successful, and Saturday proved that he’s not O.K. with people questioning their integrity. (USA TODAY Images)

After a week of hearing reports with accusations and assumptions about how his team intentionally deflated footballs last week against Indianapolis to clinch another AFC Championship, Bill Belichick had clearly heard enough.

As he walked up to the podium on Saturday (fashionably late, 30 minutes past the original announced start time), he led off the press conference by letting everyone know that he had looked long and hard at the situation learning “more than he could ever imagine” about the topic as it pertains to what goes into the process of testing footballs on gameday.  He spoke sternly and with purpose, bubbling with frustration about a week that was likely spent answering questions internally about things that didn’t involve a football game.

Enough was enough.  At some point Saturday a meeting was held and rather than wait for the NFL to get involved, it looks like Belichick decided it was time to fire back and said he felt that as an organization, “we need to say something.”

And off he went, explaining exactly what he thought had happened.  He went into great detail about a study they had done to simulate the same conditions from both before last week’s game and during, trying to figure out how it could have affected the air pressure in those 11 footballs.  He revealed that the majority of focus when it comes to the footballs is the texture of the ball, which typically undergo a relatively vigorous rubdown (Belichick wouldn’t get into specifics on how vigorous, pointing out they’re “not exactly polishing fine China”) to prep them to get them to where Tom Brady prefers them grip-wise.  They talked to people to try and get a handle on how the loss of pressure within a football could have dropped below what the league deems a legal threshold in an effort to figure out accusations that he admitted earlier in the week were shocking, probably not realizing just how out of hand it would all get.

Granted one day removed from his own retaliation, there are already plenty of media outlets dismissing it as rubbish, although one would have to wager that if you asked them if they’ve done their due diligence of running through the same process to see if it matched what the Patriots found, the likelihood would probably reveal that none of them had.  It’s much easier to sit there and continue to throw rocks at an organization that fired back with a cannon on Saturday, shooting down the conspiracy theories that made it seem as though espionage had occurred somewhere deep inside the belly of Gillette Stadium for 11 of 12 balls to drop below an acceptable level.

Meanwhile, while they’ll quickly dismiss it, it doesn’t change the fact Belichick and the Patriots went to great lengths to reach the conclusions they did.  He also wasn’t speaking about theories and what he “believed” happened.  He told the world what they do every week, and simulated it to try and get down to the bottom of it and the results revealed an answer that no one is going to like simply because the outcome doesn’t help the vultures who were waiting – and many still are – to go in for the kill.

This whole situation has been a waste of time and as a result, rather than being able to figure out how to contain Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch next weekend in Arizona, Belichick had to use the same approach he uses to solve every challenge he faces, and that was to educate himself fully on the situation and solve the problem.  He had to waste time trying to figure out exactly what happened in an effort to ensure the organization doesn’t have to endure some ridiculous penalty by the NFL for a crime they didn’t commit.

That’s the most frustrating part of the situation.  All week the league hung New England out to dry, offering up nothing other than “we’re investigating the matter” and little else while both the national and local media outlets around the country tore apart what the Patriots had done, taking what should have been a monumental achievement and tearing it to shreds.

Listening to Belichick as he got deeper into his statement, that’s the part that seemed to upset him the most.  You could almost hear him getting angrier and angrier as he went on, and the normally restrained coach finally let loose, letting everyone know that he believes his team earned everything they’ve gotten and not only that, they’re the best team in the AFC both for what they did during the regular season, and both games they won to get where they are.  Part of the reason why they’ve reached this point is because they’ve trained harder than anyone to get there, and that’s a point he drove home.


They’re a physically and mentally tough team that works hard, that trains hard, that prepares and have met every challenge that I’ve put in front them. And I know that, because I work them every day.” – Bill Belichick (USA TODAY Images)

“Again, anyone who has seen us practice knows that we make it harder, not easier, to handle the ball and our players train in conditions that a lot of people would recommend that we not drive in,” said an exasperated Belichick.  “That’s what they do. They’re a physically and mentally tough team that works hard, that trains hard, that prepares and have met every challenge that I’ve put in front them. And I know that, because I work them every day.

“This team was the best team in the AFC in the regular season. We won two games in the playoffs against two good football teams. The best team in the postseason, and that’s what this team is and I know that because I’ve been with them every day and I’m proud of this team.”

This was a waste of his time.  Anyone who has ever been accused of something they didn’t do knows how infuriating that is, especially in situations where they’re forced to go to great lengths before they’re exonerated, which often times leads to nothing more than getting them off the hook without even a “sorry” for being accused to begin with.

As it stands, Belichick knows they didn’t do anything wrong and it sounds like he believes they did everything well within the guidelines and shouldn’t be in this position.  As a matter of fact, it sounds like he may have some issues of his own that he’ll be taking up with the league, which should be interesting in terms of seeing how that plays out.

“We feel like we followed the rules of the game to the letter in our preparations, in our procedures, and in the way that we handle every game that we competitively play in as it relates to this matter,” said Belichick.  “We try to do everything right, we try to err on the side of caution, it’s been that way now for many years.  Anything that’s close, we stay as far away from the line as we can.

“In this case I can say that we are, as far as I know in everything that I can do, we did everything as right as we could do it.  And we welcome the league’s investigation into this matter.  I think there are a number of things that need to be looked into, on a number of levels, but that’s not for this conversation, I’m sure it will be taken up at another point in time. And this is the end of this subject for me, for a long time.”

It’s been a long week full of being fired upon from all directions.  The Patriots are already in a no win situation in that even with a win next weekend there will be whispers, questioning the integrity of an organization that hasn’t had a losing season since 2000.  It’s too difficult to imagine a group committed to sacrifice and winning and outworking everyone to get there.  That makes too much sense.

However, each year Belichick figures it out, much like he figured out what happened last weekend that caused the psi in a football to drop and kicked off this witch hunt.   While the game of football may also be considered a science and one that he’s been able to master pretty well over the years, he ended up having to study science itself to solve one more challenge that he shouldn’t have had to deal with.

But like anything else he dealt with it, and Saturday he wanted to let everyone in the media know how wrong he felt it all is.  This will go down as one of the biggest moments in Patriots history simply for the fact that the coach who has established himself as the one of the best ever fought back like we’ve never seen him do before.  As far as he’s concerned, don’t question their integrity.  Don’t question their desire and what it took to get where they are. His team is in this position because they’ve been the best and deserve to be here, and nothing involving psi in a football had any effect on that.

End of story.  We’re on to Seattle.