Archive for September 11th, 2010

Statements From Patriots Owner Kraft & QB Brady on His Contract

The Patriots just released statements from Patriots owner Robert Kraft and quarterback Tom Brady with reactions to the signing of the veteran’s new four year contract.

Brady and the Patriots agreed to terms on a four-year $72-million contract that was announced on Thursday night, and also includes $48.5-million in guaranteed money.

Kraft said in the statement, that the team is fortunate to have Brady, and he’s glad this new deal will help continue his tenure heading into the next decade.

Thanks to his new contract, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be a New England Patriot through 2014.

“We have been very fortunate to have Tom Brady as the quarterback of the New England Patriots for the past decade,” said Kraft. “I am glad that this contract extension will allow his tenure to continue well into the next decade. Tom has been a terrific representative for the Patriots and a great leader for this franchise. Since he first arrived, no player has worked harder and been more driven to succeed than Tom. His core values have kept him grounded, despite his many successes, and he remains a consummate professional, both on and off the field. It is much easier to reward a player for his professional accomplishments when you have such respect for him personally and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tom and for everything he has accomplished in his life. There is no one that I would rather have leading this team and I am happy to reward him with this contract extension.”

Brady has dodged questions all week regarding his contract, and in his own statement he says that it’s because he didn’t want it to serve as a distraction to any of his teammates.

“I have never been comfortable talking about my contract and certainly didn’t want discussions of my contract negotiations to serve as a distraction to any of my teammates as we have been preparing for the Cincinnati Bengals and the start of the 2010 season,” said Brady. “However, I do want to express my appreciation to Mr. Kraft and Jonathan Kraft for extending my opportunity to play for the New England Patriots. I am grateful for all that the Kraft family has done for me, both personally and professionally, and for all they have done for my family. Not only have I had the good fortune of playing for just one franchise, I have also played for the greatest head coach and with some of the best teammates a player could ever ask for. My teammates, both past and present, are the main reason why we have accomplished so much over the years. I love playing in New England and appreciate all the support that our fans give us. I look forward to tomorrow’s game and the start of another exciting season.”

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STUDY: Traffic at Gillette 2nd Worst In NFL

For any fan wondering if the traffic problems in Foxboro on gameday are as bad as it gets for any NFL city, there’s finally an answer to that question.

Almost, but not quite.

An independent study by GPS company “TomTom” ranked Gillette as the 2nd worst venue due to traffic slowdowns on football game days in the NFL behind only the Washington Redskins.  Coming in next was AFC East Rival Buffalo, who was actually tied with New England. The data they used was based on the percentage of traffic slowdowns on the day of those events.

According to the report as first published by USA Today, in Washington, there is a 57% reduction in speed from the normal pace in the roads around the stadium. New England and Buffalo have speed reduction rates of 55%. 

One of the more recent discussions has been the fact that the NFL is trying to come up with ways to enhance the game day experience, since they’re beginning to notice that many fans are losing interest in coming out to the stadium on Sunday.  Considering that HDTV makes watching it at home so good to start with, along with the interest in Fantasy Football, they’re trying to get creative to give fans a more complete experience when they’re at the game.

The problem in Foxboro has always been the traffic, which only recently became better around 2002 when they changed the infrastructure following the opening of Gillette Stadium.  The problem is it’s still terrible (it took me two hours to get onto the highway after leaving following a U2 concert last year) and if you factor in the high cost of parking, it can make for a frustrating and expensive afternoon before you’ve even entered the gate.

Unfortunately, “it is what it is” and there are no current plans to change it down in Foxboro.  As for the rest of the cities they have their own issues, but here is how the rest of them rank:

1 Washington, 57%
2 New England, 55%
2 Buffalo, 55%
4 Dallas, 41%
5 Jacksonville, 39%
6 Carolina, 37%
7 Miami, 36%
8 Tennessee, 35%
9 Green Bay, 33%
10 Atlanta, 31%
11 Philadelphia,29%
12 New Orleans, 29%
13 Houston, 27%
14 Minnesota, 27%
15 St. Louis, 27%
16 Cincinnati, 26%
17 Detroit, 24%
18 Indianapolis, 24%
19 Pittsburgh, 21%
20 New York Giants, 21%
21 Chicago, 20%
22 Denver, 20%
23 Baltimore, 17%
24 Cleveland, 14%
25 San Francisco, 13%
26 Seattle, 9%
27 New York Jets, 8%
28 San Diego, 1%
29 Oakland, -10%

Note: Results from Arizona, Tampa Bay and Kansas City not included due to limited sample size.

Have you been to the games and experienced a wait down in Foxboro?  Please feel free to post your thoughts in the comment area below.

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Some Quick Patriots Notes for This Morning

Some notes along with some articles you may want to check out on this Saturday morning:

Starting things off, looking at the Bengals press release, here are a couple of potential milestones that could happen tomorrow at New England’s expense:

Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens needs just 49 yards to join Jerry Rice and Isaac Bruce as the only players with 15,000 receiving yards.

Chad Ochocinco also only needs 48 yards to become the 33rd player to hit 10,000 receiving yards.  With both of these players likely being matched up against 2nd year cornerback Darius Butler and rookie Devin McCourty at different points of the game, it will be interesting to see if they reach them.

Owens and Patriots receiver Randy Moss are also in a battle this year for the NFL’s all-time touchdown record.  Moss is 4th with 149, while Owens is fifth with 147.  That will be another interesting side note to watch tomorrow should either of them reach the endzone.

As for a couple of articles to check out, here are a few you may find interesting this morning:

“Absolutely. Absolutely. I’ve been saying to people, this is our 17th season [owning the Patriots] and in that period I’ve had one wife and two quarterbacks [Brady and Drew Bledsoe] who have started the season and it should be over 20 years where we have only two quarterbacks who start the season,’’ by the time Brady’s extension expires, Kraft said.
“I think stability and continuity are important if you want to have a winning situation,’’ said the owner. “You always have to upgrade and bring in young talent, but you also have to have seasoned veterans and we’re lucky to have one of the greatest players in the history of the game, in my opinion.’’

As I mentioned yesterday, be sure and tune in for NFL Countdown tomorrow, as Kenny Mayne is featuring Wes Welker in this week’s “Mayne Event”.  According to a press release from ESPN Mayne’s concept for Welker’s speedy recovery is that he “made a deal with the devil”.  It should be entertaining.

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