Tag Archives: Antonio Brown

Tom Brady Tweets Out His Support For Antonio Brown

Robert Alvarez
March 6, 2020 at 10:31 pm ET

Full disclosure, this is about as peak an offseason story as you’re going to get but its 2020, and social media conversation will always have a way of making waves, so here we go.

In 2019, Tom Brady and Antonio Brown were teammates for a whopping 11 days, but despite the short time together, and Brown’s off the field issues, the two have remained friendly and supportive of each other.

That same support was back on full display Friday evening, when Brady replied to a Brown tweet regarding his life struggles with a simple, but to the point heart emoji.

What does it mean? Are they reuniting? Let’s break this tweet down.

Just kidding, we shouldn’t do that (you will anyway) , but don’t expect any answers, at least not anytime soon.

Here’s what we do know, over 18 professional seasons Tom Brady has always been regarded and praised as highly supportive of his current and even ex teammates and Friday night was no different.

So let’s go with that, the tweet was a simple show of support, that’s it.

Now that we’ve addressed it, let’s get to free agency already! 12 days to go.

New England Patriots News 02-09, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
February 9, 2020 at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 02-09 and AFC East notes this week.

 Quick Hitters For the Pats, the Super Bowl, and the NFL:

Slow Time of Year at PFF?- With the annual Pro Football Focus (PFF) top 101 players for 2019, the NFL’s Defensive MVP, Stephon Gilmore ranked 22nd, which raised a few eyebrows, mostly locally but a few nationally as well. The author of the piece Sam Monson, who should be familiar around these parts further raised the hackles of local fans by ranking SF 49er CB Richard Sherman 13th overall. 

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this was “more probable than not” designed to specifically generate conversation/outrage which will boost clicks. It has been a while since Monson was on Boston sports radio, so that should be remedied quickly as well. 

Halftime damnation – Nothing brings out the flakes, crazies, and loons more than a big national event. The Super Bowl also has its looney tunes and this year the #1 contestant was the latest “look at me” person who is suing the NFL for $867 trillion dollars for risking his eternal damnation and “his place in heaven.”

The activist, who, rather than change the channel, watched the entire Shakira/J-Lo halftime show and was outraged at the “porn” of it. I think what made it worse was that WEEI gave him exactly what he was looking for, a spot on the sports radio dial. Proof once again, that no stupid deed goes unpunished. 

Kyle Shanahan – The coach of the 49ers was taking an awful lot of heat for abandoning the running game similar to what he had done in Super Bowl LI with the Falcons against the Patriots. And there is certainly an argument to be made on that. Especially when they were at midfield late in the game.

However, the argument can also be made, that he called a perfect play when Emmanuel Sanders blew by the coverage and was easily open for a touchdown. If Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t overthrow him it is an easy touchdown. Even if it is slightly underthrown, Sanders is in a great position to either make the catch or draw a long pass interference penalty. 

In both games, the defenses for Shanahan’s teams wore down late. With the Falcons, the Patriots offense ran so many plays, they were completely gassed by the 4th quarter and by overtime, once the Patriots won the coin toss, there was little doubt that the Falcons were going to give up points. New England outscored them 31-0 down the stretch. Kansas City outscored them 21-0 in the 4th quarter with all three scores coming in a 5.5-minute span.

While Shanahan certainly deserves some of the blame there, for the ignoring of the running game and going away from Kittle and Deebo Samuels, if Jimmy G. connects with Sanders, we’re saying what a great call it was.  

Rob Gronkowski – The Patriots’ former tight end can’t stand being left out of the conversation for very long and is taking great delight in tweaking the fans with cryptic messages about returning to the team in 2020. And his latest comment on Tom Brady’s Instagram post where he was talking about 31 weeks to prepare before the next NFL season begins, Gronkowski responded.

The even more interesting and funny comment was from Snoop Dog who offered to play WR for Brady during his offseason workouts in response right below Gronk’s.

Tom Brady – The Patriots’ QB was the subject to a massive amount of rumors in recent weeks and we’ve barely scratched the surface. One story, by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, said that the Patriots would be willing to go to $30 million dollars to keep him in Foxboro. 

The Patriots were very upset that the information got out according to several local outlets including NBC Sports Boston, who reported it first. But the fact of the matter is, the Patriots dug themselves into this hole and have to reap what they sowed. Back in 2017, it was they who opted to go year-to-year with Brady in regards and his contract.

Brady Pt. 2 – I wrote a piece last week for SOFREP.com, which is a military news site on if the TB12 method of training would be of benefit to Special Forces soldiers, to help them prepare, perform, and recover faster and more efficiently. And if they can continue the work to keep themselves more pliable while deployed. I went to the TB12 Sports location in Foxboro and worked with the staff there as well as interviewed them and am a convert. Those principles are now part of my daily routine. Brady even commented on it from his Instagram account. You can read it here: 

Chandler Jones – The Patriots traded Jones back in 2016 and in an interview with Jeff Howe of The Athletic, he had some interesting things to say about the trade and his time with New England. 

“At the time, I didn’t understand,” Jones said. “That next year, they won the Super Bowl, so I did understand what was best for the team — saved money, and they actually went and won. There were no hard feelings at all. I understood it’s a business and it was what was best for the team.”

“The New England Patriots taught me pro football,” Jones added. “I feel like there’s no other organization you would have to have those guidelines in order to step into the world of football. As a young player, you learn on and off the field how to be a pro. There’s no other place where you would rather start your career than there, for sure.”

4th & 2 Podcast – If you’ve haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, this week, we spoke with Miguel Benzan aka @Patscap about the different scenarios facing the team this offseason. Please do check it out.  

Remaking the Tight Position:

The Patriots really need to revamp and retool the tight end position. After Rob Gronkowski’s retirement last spring, the Patriots thought they had addressed it enough to have good blocking and decent enough production in the passing game. They were wrong on that assumption. 

Ryan Izzo was supposed to be the answer for the blocking tight end to replace the departed Dwayne Allen. He had spent his rookie season on IR but 2019 was not a good one. His blocking was subpar and after he suffered a concussion that caused him to miss some time, he was a healthy scratch for the entire second half of the season. 

The team inked Matt LaCosse and Ben Watson in free agency with the hope that those two could combine to produce similar numbers to what Gronk had produced in 2018. Again, they were wrong. LaCosse disappointed and Watson played nearly the entire season with a partially torn Achilles tendon. 

What now? Watson is a free agent but he’s made it clear that he’s retiring. With the Combine coming up shortly, the team will be scouring the list of tight ends that will be working out in Indy. And free agency will be looming before that. One name that fans shouldn’t go crazy pining after is Gronkowski who continues to stir the pot (see above).

A couple of players at the Combine that would seem to be a fit at first glance with NE are Vanderbilt’s Jared Pinkney, LSU’s Thaddeus Moss, (son of Randy),  and Dayton’s Adam Trautman. More to those guys as the Combine and draft prep goes along.

Among the free agents hitting the market, the four biggest names are the oft-injured Tyler Eifert, Hunter Henry of the Chargers, Eric Ebron of the Colts and Atlanta’s Austin Hooper, who is probably the best overall fit, but probably won’t be coming here. He’ll be commanding big bucks on the open market and I don’t see that happening for two reasons. A. the Patriots don’t have that much cash to spend and B. without the QB situation resolved, it is going to be hard to sell New England to an offensive weapon. 

One other free agent to keep an eye on is Greg Olsen. The 35-year old that played for the Panthers would be a short-term fix at his age but still could be a nice mentor to a young tight end if they opt for one in the draft this year. 

Salary Cap Relief… Where Can Some of the Money Come From:

The Patriots can use some help with the salary cap and if things work out for them, they’d get an additional $12.25 million dollars without cutting contracts to some veterans or having to rework the cap on others. 

As I mentioned earlier above, Miguel Benzan, @Patscap on Twitter was on our PatsFans podcast this week and we spoke about getting some relief and he mentioned two specific contracts that could give them some extra room. 

Antonio Brown was due a $9 million dollar signing bonus from the Patriots. After his actions that caused him to be released and his numerous meltdowns on social media and his arrest in Florida, it would seem that they’d at least have a good chance of recouping it back. And 9 million is nothing to sneeze at. 

Aaron Hernandez and a $3.25 million roster bonus question are still not resolved even seven years after his release and then his subsequent murder conviction. The Patriots and the Players’ Association are at odds over this “guaranteed” bonus installment which is ridiculous that it is still unresolved. 

Just these two moves alone would give the Patriots another $12.25 million in salary-cap space, which if it goes in their favor (and I have my doubts that it will), will give them a lot more flexibility in 2020. 

No AFC East Notes this week 

________________

“So, how was your week?”

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

 

Five Thoughts Following the Patriots Playoff Loss to Tennessee

Ian Logue
January 5, 2020 at 1:17 pm ET

Saturday night’s loss to the Titans was certainly disappointing, leaving the Patriots on the outside looking in and marking the start of an offseason full of questions.

Here are some thoughts following this one:

1) A lot of the headlines this morning centered around Titans running back Derrick Henry’s performance Saturday night, who finished with 182-rushing yards during the Patriots frustrating Wild Card playoff loss to Tennessee. However, as good as Henry was, give the Patriots defense credit for eventually settling down and limiting the damage after a fast start.

Henry picked up 49-yards on the first drive on 7 carries and finished the first half with 106-yards, but New England’s defense did a decent job in the second half, coming up with several stops that were key in keeping the game close, including a big turnover thanks to a fourth-quarter interception by Duron Harmon. However, the biggest issue in this game was the simple fact the Patriots couldn’t come up with the plays they needed to score touchdowns instead of kicking field goals.

New England was 1-for-3 in the red zone Saturday night, including just 1-of-2 on goal to go. Considering this one was being played at home, it was surprising to again see them struggle the way that they did.

Anytime a Tom Brady led team has a defense hold the opponent to 14-points, that should be good enough to win the game. Saturday night, it obviously wasn’t but as much as people will talk about Henry’s performance, the defense gave it their all out there and just didn’t get any help on the other side of the football.


Brady and the offense got into the end zone just once Saturday night.

2) The 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line early in the first half was a frustrating sequence, especially when they tried three times and couldn’t punch it in.

The first play saw running back Sony Michel dropped for a 1-yard loss, followed by a run by Burkhead that picked up a yard and put them back at the 1-yard line. However, on 3rd-and-1, they tried running Michel again and Tennessee’s defense was able to break through and drop Michel for a 2-yard loss.

Oddly enough, that was the first time all year the Patriots failed to punch it in facing a 3rd-down on the opponents’ one-yard line, with the offense having scored all three times on their three previous attempts. Brandon Bolden scored in the second quarter back in their October meeting against the Giants on a 3rd-and-1, while Michel scored twice in the same situation in a road game against the Jets a couple of weeks later, with 1-yard TD runs in the second and fourth quarter.

For whatever reason, this year’s offensive line just wasn’t able to provide the same push as last year’s group, which was also obviously missing Rob Gronkowski’s terrific blocking ability. But their inability to score at that point in the game was probably one of the biggest moments in the contest because instead of going up 17-7, New England settled for just a field goal. That took the pressure of Tennessee, who ended up marching down the field and punching it in on their next possession, which gave them their final offensive points of the evening and it ended up being enough to win the game.

3) This has been mentioned before but one of the most frustrating aspects of the later part of this season was the fact the Patriots just didn’t have the offensive skill players to come up with big plays in key situations, which was probably the most notable difference from past seasons.

2019 will probably mark the gutsiest performance of Julian Edelman’s career, with the veteran receiver putting forth an unbelievable effort over the final half of the year. While Edelman had a key drop Saturday night, one thing worth noting was the fact that he appeared to suffer a hand injury after making a diving attempt prior to that play.

Edelman finished the night with 3 receptions for 30-yards as well as two carries for 12-yards, which included a touchdown.

But aside from Edelman, the Patriots never had anyone else step up. Rookie N’Keal Harry had some good moments, but he was targeted 7 times with just two receptions. Mohammed Sanu’s performance was a disaster, with Sanu finishing with just one catch on five targets, including the ball going off his hands on their final possession and ending up in the hands of Logan Ryan, who took the interception into the end zone for the touchdown.

Phillip Dorsett became a non-factor down the stretch after suffering a midseason injury and he was a dismal 1-of-4 catching the football Saturday night, with his one reception going for just six-yards.

You can’t win football games that way and it’s just amazing given how deep they were in the preseason that things turned out the way they did. One would have to believe this will definitely be a focus this offseason heading into the 2020 season.


It would be hard to imagine life without Brady.

4) Listening to Brady after the game on Saturday night, he sounds like a player who is really hoping to return next season.

Brady was asked about his future after the game and said that he doesn’t know what the future looks like and also called any chance of retirement “unlikely”. I posted this on our message board last week but going back to before the start of the season, the sense I get is that something was seemingly said during the negotiations that may have upset him, which appeared to lead to the sequence of events where we heard about the “no franchise tag” clause after this season, his house going up for sale, etc. Brady’s an emotional guy and he’s not the type of player to become greedy and selfish, and there were moments for the first few weeks where he was lauded for not appearing to be happy after wins. That makes me think there was possibly something more behind the scenes playing a factor.

It’s been a long, frustrating year and things might have turned out differently had it not been for two players completely blowing up in their face. For Brady, the situations with Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon, two guys who he invested a lot personal time and energy with, were obviously the most frustrating. Both players each imploded in their own ways and both, most notably Brown, would have certainly been helpful Saturday night. Instead, they lacked playmakers and couldn’t come up with key plays to come away with the win.

For now, it sounds like Brady wants to come back but that there might be a concern about whether or not the team wants him back at whatever number he and his agent are looking for. As a result, that will probably lead to an offseason that will likely be fairly interesting.


Will Belichick be here in 2020?

5) Another report after the game that raised some eyebrows came from Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal, who indicated that like Brady, Bill Belichick’s future may be in question.

According to Bedard, there are rumblings that hadn’t previously been heard and that any move by the head coach would likely have to come “soon”.

“There have been increasing NFL rumors that perhaps Belichick is not as wedded to Foxborough as many of us, certainly me, thought. Is Belichick setting up a final test on whether he has complete control of the football operations? I think Belichick would be OK with Brady being back, but not at the expense of the rest of the team. There are four openings out there and they won’t last forever. If Belichick is contemplating a move, it would have to come soon. There’s no solid intel, but some rumblings I hadn’t heard before. So I don’t rule anything out,” wrote Bedard.

“For the record, my money is still on Bill and Tom being back together again for Year 21.”

As frustrating as that would be to see him leave, unfortunately, the timing sort of makes sense. If Belichick was to start over with another franchise, making a move now would be the logical choice. At age 67, if he planned on coaching for another 4-5 years, it would make sense to do it now vs in another few years when he turned 70. The big question that we’d have to wonder about is where a potential landing spot might be. Obviously, everyone knows about his affinity for the Giants and the other franchise that seems to be gaining steam appears to be the Cowboys, with many within the Dallas media pushing for owner Jerry Jones to throw however much money it might take to get him there.

Needless to say, this should set up an interesting few weeks. One would have to believe if it is going to happen, Bedard is probably correct in terms of a move needing to be made fairly quickly. Hopefully, it’s just noise but if the unthinkable does happen, hopefully, we’ll at least find out fairly quickly whether or not we’re finally about to experience an end of an era with either of the two greatest pieces of this franchise to begin 2020.

SCHEFTER: Patriots Won’t Bring Back Antonio Brown

Ian Logue
December 8, 2019 at 11:54 am ET

There are many Patriots fans out there who may be hoping that embattled receiver Antonio Brown might make a return to New England, but it appears that the door for that option may finally be closed.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, sources told him that the Patriots will not re-sign Brown, which should end that speculation.

Brown was terrific in his one outing with the Patriots, finishing with 4 receptions for 56-yards and a touchdown down in Miami in their blowout win over the Dolphins back on September 15th.  But that would be his only appearance with the team after sexual assault allegations had earlier surfaced and Brown made the mistake of texting one of his accusers with language that was deemed potentially threatening, which ultimately led to his release.

The league has since conducted an investigation and over that span, the possibility existed that Brown would have been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which would have potentially made him ineligible to play even if he was still on the Patriots’ roster.  But Brown has also since had outbursts on social media where he took shots at owner Robert Kraft, which certainly didn’t help the situation.  Brown has since apologized, but the damage was done.

In the meantime, it sounds like Brown may soon be eligible to return to football and his agent believes there are teams out there who “would love to sign him” once all of this is resolved.

Either way, it appears that a return to New England won’t be an option.  The only concern now could possibly be that once Brown becomes eligible to play, the possibility exists that he could potentially land on a roster of a team the Patriots could face in January, which could see him lining up against his former team in the postseason.

New England is currently preparing for a critical game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium later this afternoon at 4:25 pm.

5 Thoughts on the Patriots Win Over the Jets

Ian Logue
September 23, 2019 at 8:44 am ET

The Patriots came up with a big win on Sunday, improving to 3-0 on the season thanks to another solid defensive effort during their victory over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Here are some thoughts on the win.

1) New defensive coach Jerod Mayo has been terrific during three games and it’s clear that his addition to the staff has been a perfect fit. The players in his group have seemed to really respond to the former linebacker and it’s something that can’t be overlooked. Every single one of them collectively is playing with some high energy, swarming to the football and they’ve just been relentless through three games. It certainly seems like Mayo deserves some of the credit, especially when you take a look on the sidelines and see him interacting with the players.

Sunday saw New England’s defense completely shut the Jets down, holding them to 0-for-12 on third down along with 0-for-1 on fourth down while also holding them to just 105 total net yards. The Jets actually finished the game with just 6 first downs, 4 passing, 2 via penalty and zero rushing first downs.

They didn’t allow an offensive touchdown for a third-straight week and for the most part, they even kept the Jets from really crossing midfield for most of the game. Granted, the most recent two victories have come against both the Dolphins and Jets, two teams that will likely finish in the bottom part of not only the AFC East, but likely the league as well. However, good teams are supposed to beat up on inferior teams and the Patriots showed no mercy on Sunday. Save for the pick-six by rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham and the muffed punt by Gunner Olszewski that the Jets recovered in the end zone, New York never really put together any serious scoring threats.

What’s even more crazy is the fact they’re not even playing their best football yet and should only get better as the season progresses. If that’s the case, one can only imagine how much better they could be by the end of the year.

2) It was another frustrating outing for kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who had a tough start at the beginning of this one after missing an extra point on the team’s first touchdown.

That would be his only miscue of the afternoon, as he would hit his remaining kicks. Gostkowski admitted after the game that he’s just trying to get his “rhythm and timing” back and calls his issues a “work in progress”. For those who only see the missed kick on the surface, one thing to keep in mind is the fact that it’s also likely a matter of still getting comfortable with new holder Jake Bailey, who took over for the departed Ryan Allen.

After his initial miss, Gostkowski hit his next three extra points along with his lone field goal attempt, a 37-yarder. There are some calling for the team to make a change but given the state of kickers around the league, along with considering the context of the transition he’s dealing with, it’s still a little premature.

With plenty of football still yet to play, Gostkowski remains a player who deserves the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully, he’ll be able to settle in over the coming weeks as the Patriots appear poised for another run.


Meyers has quietly been a nice addition to the offense.

3) Antonio Brown’s departure may end up being a blessing in disguise since his absence Sunday allowed more playing time for Jakobi Meyers, who overall played pretty well.

Meyers caught two passes for 38-yards and ended up being a nice compliment for a group that saw Julian Edelman go down in the second quarter with an apparent chest injury. We learned later on after the game that Edelman actually suffered a rib injury and x-rays were negative, which was good news. Fortunately, having a speedy receiver like Meyers in the line-up kept the pressure on the Jets defense and he delivered.

The biggest question with Brown likely would have been his future beyond this year, with Meyers likely having been a player who might have suffered had Brown stayed with the team for the entire season. There’s no question that Brown’s athleticism and ability would have been a solid addition to the offense, but Meyers has shown enough early on where he could be a player who might prove valuable down the road in key moments behind guys like Edelman and Josh Gordon.

Needless to say, while losing Brown hurt them from a football standpoint, the bright side is his departure could end up making Meyers a better player by the end of the season. If that comes to fruition, that should be terrific news for an offense that has already scored 30+ points through three games.


Michel scored another touchdown on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)

4) One of the biggest topics of discussion that will likely come up this week will be Sunday’s performance of Sony Michel, who had a difficult time getting any positive yards against the Jets. Michel carried 9 times for just 11-yards and scored a touchdown, but averaged a mere 1.2 yards-per-carry. However, one of the biggest things that stood out was the fact his production had more to do with the struggles with New England’s offensive line, which had difficulty all afternoon creating any holes for him to run through.

Injuries have obviously been the problem, with the team fairly banged up and going with newcomer Marshall Newhouse at left tackle, while Marcus Cannon gutted out Sunday’s game. Ted Karras also got the start at center.

The group did a serviceable job but it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a bit of a work in progress as they continue trying to deal with those issues. While Michel struggled, he was still part of the success Tom Brady had in the play-action part of their offense as they still did a good job of keeping New York off balance.

One would expect Michel’s production to improve as the offensive line settles in but it’s safe to say that there will be some criticizing the rookie this week. After a season with a pretty dominant group, it will be interesting to see how he adapts as the Patriots continue working out the kinks up front.

5) If Jarrett Stidham has any hope of being the long-term answer behind Tom Brady, Sunday’s game was a reminder that he obviously has his work cut out for him.

Stidham entered the game with just over eight minutes left to play with the team up 30-7 and things didn’t exactly go as planned. He completed a pass to Dorsett for 11-yards, but was dropped for a 7-yard sack on the next play and then two plays later was picked off after overthrowing Brandon Bolden and the ball landed right in Jamal Adams’ hands, who took off 61-yards the other way for the touchdown.

That saw Bill Belichick yank Stidham out of the game and reinsert Brady, who finished the contest.

It’s safe to say that will go down as a “teaching moment” for the rookie, who squandered what will likely be one of his few moments to see playing time this season. They say you can’t succeed until you suffer some adversity. Hopefully, this will be a moment he’ll look back at as a turning point in his development that will keep him from making a mistake like that down the road.

The Patriots will now spend this week getting ready for a trip to Buffalo as they’ll battle the unbeaten Bills next Sunday.

Brown Goes Off, Takes Shots at Patriots Owner Robert Kraft on Twitter

Ian Logue
September 22, 2019 at 11:39 am ET

Following his release from the Patriots, Antonio Brown tried to do the right thing and remain classy on his way out of town.

Sunday morning, all of that went out the window and it appears he’s ready to let everyone know what he really thinks.

Brown fired off a series of Tweets Sunday unloading on everyone, with the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger and even Patriots owner Robert Kraft in his crosshairs.

The receiver even went so far as to say he’s done with the NFL, voicing his frustration about the money likely being withheld from him due to what’s unfolded both in Oakland and here in New England so far this season.

But the biggest surprise was the shot he took at Kraft, with Brown Tweeting, “Kraft got caught in the parlor,” referring to the story over the offseason surrounding the owner’s alleged visit to a Florida massage parlor, “AB speculations fired different strokes different folks clearly”.

https://twitter.com/AB84/status/1175764859176312838

Here are the rest of the Tweets:

https://twitter.com/AB84/status/1175768716648374272

Brown’s attitude was different on Friday, with the veteran wideout saying the right things following his release, including Tweets where he twice thanked the team for the opportunity.

What a difference a couple of days makes.

New England Patriots News 9-22, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 09-22 and AFC East notes this week. 

Game Day,.and the Patriots face off against their old rivals from the AFL, the New York Jets. But something tells me the pregame shows will not be focusing on the game as much as the off-field drama. Let’s all hope that it isn’t the case and we can get all get back to paying attention to the games.  

 Quick Hitters For the Pats and the NFL:

Antonio Brown – lasted just 11 days here in New England, his actions that came to light on Thursday night spelled the end of his short tenure here. We’re not getting into the entire fiasco again, it has been played out ad nauseam elsewhere. It was, however, intriguing, to see the possibilities with him in this offense. That’s the sad part of all of it, his football skills are incredible. C’est la vie. 

Marshall Newhouse – will have a lot of eyes on him this afternoon as he protects Tom Brady’s blindside. Look for the Jets to test him early and often today. Isaiah Wynn’s turf toe will keep him on the shelf until late November and the veteran offensive lineman has a chance to carve out a nice roll and payday for himself. 

Damien Harris – may see his first NFL game action today. With James Develin likely to miss the game this week, he hasn’t practiced, the Patriots will definitely miss their big lead blocking fullback. But it may give the rookie Harris the opportunity to get some game reps in against the Jets. We’ve been excited to see what he can do since they drafted him in May. 

NFL Top 100 Plays – had a couple of Patriots plays in there and two [at least here] were not truly given their due. Malcolm Butler’s interception in the Super Bowl came in at a very respectable #5 but that play was the difference between the Patriots winning or losing Super Bowl XLIX.  None of the top four had that kind of drama, in our humble opinion. 

Adam Vinatieri’s 45-yard field goal in the swirling snow in the old Foxboro Stadium was to me the greatest kick in NFL history. At #18, I believe was woefully underrated, but perhaps my Vinatieri bias is showing. The Philly Special [illegal formation] at #10? LOL Child, please…

My favorite anti-Patriots play was and always will be that Barry Sanders run [#59] where he turned the Patriots defense inside out with an amazing run. Absolutely amazing.

Dante Scarnecchia – Loved to see the Patriots make the assistant coaches available this week, especially Scarnecchia who is a legend in these parts. I could watch him talk all day long. “Continuity is more important than anything right now.” Asked about how tough it is to get new players up to speed, “I don’t do anything, I just coach.” 

The Patriots Passing Game is Just Fine Thank You:

After the Miami game, many were comparing the Patriots passing attack to the 2007 team that ran roughshod over the league when Tom Brady passed for 50 touchdowns and the team went undefeated in the regular season. Now many of the same people are sounding the alarm bell, “the Patriots are back in the same boat they were a few weeks ago!” To quote Joe Kenda here… well my, my, my.

No one is doubting the on-field abilities of Antonio Brown, which are huge. But the rest of the group remains intact and there is help on the horizon if the need arises. And to think the loss of one player makes the entire group go from all-time mention to “uh-oh Houston we’ve got a problem here” is just crazy talk. 

The top three of Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Phillip Dorsett is just fine. And with Dorsett back as the #3 option for WRs, he’ll get more looks in the passing game where he’s caught the last 23 passes thrown his way. Rookie Jakobi Meyers who had a strong summer and flashed in very limited reps in the Pittsburgh game is now guaranteed to get some more reps now after being inactive last week. 

The Patriots still have rookie 1st-round draft pick N’Keal Harry on IR and he can return after Week 8. The Patriots signed Cam Meredith and placed him on PUP, he can return after Week 6. Meredith in 2016 caught 66 passes for the Bears. In 2017 he suffered a bad knee injury and was lost for the season. He came back and played very sparingly for the Saints last year and caught nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. It is unknown if he can ever recapture his magic of three years ago. 

Harry, on the other hand, is the big, [6’4, 225] rookie wide receiver that the Patriots really like. He’ll be coming back later this year and is eligible to return Week 9 when the Patriots take on the Ravens.

Brady Jumps On the Bandwagon About Too Many Penalties:

The Thursday Night Football broadcast was notable for not only the rain deluge that the teams had to play thru but the number of penalties that were called. The NFL had said that it was cracking down on the amount of holding that has been going on and the TNF game was notable for it. 

The refereeing crew led by Shawn [Baby Guns] Hochuli called 20 penalties in the game, 15 in the first half and eight of those were for holding. Social media was abuzz with the number of calls [12 of which went against Tennessee]. Tom Brady then lit a fire under it all when he went on Twitter to bash the league for the number of flags. 

I’m turning off this game I can’t watch these ridiculous penalties anymore #TENvsJAC
Too many penalties. Just let us play!!!!  #TENvsJAC
@TomBrady

Can We Wait Until A Player’s Career is Over Before Discussing HOF?

The Giants announced that they were moving on from an aging Eli Manning to the young Daniel Jones at QB this week. This immediately set off the HOF debate for Manning the Younger as to whether or not he’s worthy of a bust in Canton. Can we just wait until Manning, you know, actually retires before having this debate?

Because the NFL is a fickle business and there are no guarantees here. Even though many predict great things for Jones [including here], no one knows how he’ll fare while facing the top defenses against the teams he’ll be facing, including the Bucs today. 

Manning is by no means done just yet if Jones struggles or gets hurt, see Nick Foles, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian et. al. in just the first two weeks of the season. Manning may find himself right back in the starting lineup. And his story hasn’t been finished. What is the rush anyway? Can’t we all just hold our collective horses before getting into these needless debates before the last chapter is written? 

NFL Schedule Week 3, Who Are Your Winners:

How are you feeling about the games this week? We have a post on our PatsFans Forum where our readers can predict the slate of games for that week. I did it on our weekly Sunday column here and will post it up below. Here is the link if you’d care to pick your own: https://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/picks/

Last Week: 10-6
Season: 21-10-1

TNF Tennessee over Jacksonville 0-1 

Dallas over Miami
Buffalo over Cincinnati
Patriots over New York Jets
Philly over Detroit
Colts over Falcons
Minnesota over Oakland
Baltimore over Kansas City [Upset special]
Packers over Denver
NY Giants over Tampa Bay [Welcome Daniel Jones!]
Cardinals over Panthers
49ers over Steelers
Seattle over New Orleans
LA Chargers over Houston
SNF LA Rams over Cleveland
MNF Bears over Redskins

Early Thursday Night Football pick Philly over Green Bay

Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:

Bills Riding High After 2-0 Start Behind Josh Allen:

The Buffalo Bills and the fanbase are getting really excited about this team’s chances after an impressive 2-0 start to the season behind the solid play of 2nd-year QB Josh Allen. The team was down 16-0 in the Meadowlands against the Jets in Week 1 when Allen led a 17-point comeback win. Last week, after the Giants closed with a score to make it a one-score game late, Allen led a touchdown drive to put the game and the Giants away. And the guy who was specifically brought in to help Allen, Cole Beasley is loving life in Western New York. 

“You know, everybody sees Josh making throws and extending plays with his feet but they don’t really see how he remains level emotionally throughout the mini highs and lows of a football game. It got as bad as it could really get in Week 1 and he remained the same guy the whole time, still pushing the unit, still competing, still leading,” said Beasley on Uninterrupted 17 Week’s podcast. 

“That’s a good sign for a guy as young as he is and that’s really exciting to see and that’s hard to find. You know, a lot of guys, under pressure, you know you always want to see what a guy is about when he is dealing with adversity. He handles it very well. You can’t even tell if he’s going through a bad time or a good time. That’s a great thing to see from a young guy and it is easy to follow a guy like that.”

With a win today versus Cincinnati and a Patriots victory over the Jets, that would set up a meeting of 3-0 teams in Buffalo in Week 4. Then things will really get crazy in Buffalo. 

Rosen Finally Getting a Chance With the Dolphins:

The Miami Dolphins are starting QB Josh Rosen today when the face off against the Dallas Cowboys. And things won’t be easy as facing the Cowboys’ defense is a daunting task. But for Rosen and the Dolphins who invested a 2nd-round pick for him this year, it is time to see what he can do. 

Head coach Brian Flores has seen steady improvement in Rosen all summer.  “There’s been a lot of improvement. That’s something that we’ve focused on really since he got here – reading defenses, making quick decisions, pushing the ball downfield when it’s the right time to do those things, getting in and out of the huddle, managing the game correctly, limiting mistakes and turnovers and things of that nature. I think mentally, he’s processing all of that a little bit better. I think he’s ready to go.”

While the management has made it clear they are tanking for Tua, Rosen has 14 weeks to show them that they already have a franchise QB to build around. Then all of that draft capital can be used to build around him and not Tua…stay tuned. 

Jets Have to Play Mistake-Free Football Today:

The New York Jets are 23 point underdogs today as they face off against the Patriots for the first time in 2019, and their QB situation has a lot to do with it. Sam Darnold is out for at least a month with an illness [Mononucleosis], backup Trevor Siemian was knocked out of the first quarter of MNF with an ankle injury that resulted in him going on IR. So it is up to 3rd string QB Luke Falk. 

They have to play error-free and that begins with Falk. But all of the players know it as well. “We can’t make no mistakes,” DT Steve McLendon said. “Zero. You almost got to play perfect.”

Expect the unexpected today. Trick plays, weird formations etc. The Jets are playing with house money as the Patriots have dominated in recent years, winning 14 of 16 and 10 in a row at Gillette. The last three have been ugly with the Patriots out-scoring the Jets 105-12 in those matchups. Le’Veon Bell throwing a pass? Flea flickers? It is kitchen sink time injury-depleted Jets. 

________________

“Yeah, I think I’ve already addressed this, so we’re going to get ready for the Jets here. I’m happy to answer any football questions, but I’m done with the rest of it..” – Bill Belichick on the incessant questions about Antonio Brown and not on the Jets game.

________________

“So, how was your week?”

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

Brown Only Has Himself to Blame for his Ruined Patriots Opportunity

Ian Logue
September 21, 2019 at 11:49 am ET

They say for some people, they’re their own worst enemy and that certainly appears to be the case for now-former Patriots receiver Antonio Brown.

The embattled, if you can really even call him that, receiver saw his tenure with the Patriots come to an end on Friday afternoon after new allegations came out, causing the team to decide to cut ties with him. A pattern of behavior was beginning to emerge and while nothing had yet been proven in court, the evidence appeared to be enough that the Patriots didn’t want to be a part of that journey.

The timing of the allegations against Brown, which began the moment he came to New England, were a topic of discussion that left many people questioning the validity of the accusations. After reportedly being caught off guard to begin with when this all started, the Patriots still clearly felt that it was worth at least trying to give him the benefit of the doubt based on whatever additional information they were given.

But Friday’s revelation was hard to ignore regarding the text messages allegedly sent by Brown, which coupled with the evidence against him, put him in enough of a light where it was clear there was more to this than many initially thought. While Brown made them better from a football standpoint, New England suddenly found themselves having to make a tough decision to cut ties with him and they wasted no time in doing so.

Bill Belichick said little Friday during his press conference but what he did say spoke volumes.

“I know there are questions about Antonio,” said Belichick to start the press conference. “We take all the situations with our team very seriously and there are some things that we are looking into.”

He said a lot by saying very little, revealing that they were bothered by the situation, which was telling. Rather than completely dismissing it and moving on to the Jets (he did later walk off the podium after the Brown questions persisted), it was obvious they may have believed there was more to the story than maybe had been aware of.

Not long after, the news came out that they had let him go.

Reports following the release indicated that both owner Robert Kraft and Belichick were united in the decision, which also tells you that internally the information they had gathered left them confident enough that parting with Brown was the right decision.

What’s crazy is the fact that prior to Friday’s report, Brown appeared as though he might make it through all of this from a football standpoint. Despite his allegedly disturbing pattern of behavior, it looked like the way the process had started to play out may have allowed him the opportunity to survive the season.

Unfortunately, rather than focus on football while letting things play out on their own through his legal team, Brown instead appeared to have taken things to the next level and reportedly sent some alarming texts to one of the accusers. While many will argue the severity of the words contained in those texts, it doesn’t change the fact that the mentality and intent behind them were troublesome enough where the Patriots couldn’t simply just look the other way.

As a result, that marked the end of Brown’s time with the Patriots and it will probably go down as a massive missed opportunity for a player who already looked completely different in this offense compared to when he was in Pittsburgh. Brown’s four receptions against Miami along with his touchdown were likely just a glimpse of what he was probably capable of. It’s just too bad that his decisions off the field ended his season before it ever got started.

Needless to say, when Brown looks back at this time he’ll hopefully realize he’s only got himself to blame. As for the Patriots, they didn’t need him to begin with and they’ll take the field Sunday against the Jets and then simply get ready for their next opponent, just like any other season.

Unfortunately for Brown and his impending legal troubles, he’s simply now on his own.

Patriots End Brown’s Tenure Amid New Allegations, Release Veteran WR

Ian Logue
September 20, 2019 at 5:10 pm ET

The Patriots may not have known about Antonio Brown’s troubles when they first brought him in, but after learning about new allegations against the receiver Friday, they apparently decided enough was enough.

According to published reports, the Patriots parted ways with Brown Friday afternoon, amid multiple allegations against the former Steelers wideout, with the latest report involving Brown allegedly harassing one of the women in question via text.

At that point, it appears the information the Patriots received was enough to make them decide to cut ties with Brown, who appeared in last week’s contest down in Miami where he caught 4 passes for 56-yards including a touchdown.

The Patriots released a statement, which included, “We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”

Brown thanked the team in a social media post:

For now, the train here in New England moves on while Brown deals with whatever else may still be yet to come for the embattled receiver.

As for the Patriots, they’re on to the Jets.

Patriots Players To Watch, Week 3 Against the Jets

Steve Balestrieri
at 8:00 am ET

The Patriots return home to face a New York Jets team that has been bitten badly by the injury bug. Here we are in Week 3 and the Jets are already on their third starting QB due to illness/injury. They are also banged up at other positions. The Patriots meanwhile are pretty healthy with the difference being on their offensive line. Both tackles Isaiah Wynn [IR] and Marcus Cannon are expected to miss this game. 

These divisional matchups with the Jets whether here in Gillette or in the Meadowlands are always intriguing and must-watch television, regardless of records. This week will be no different as the two teams face off for the first of two meetings. The second, in New Jersey, will be on October 21. Expect a loud and raucous crowd this week.

Here are our Patriots players to watch this week down in Gillette Stadium as the Patriots look to improve to 3-0 this week. 

Antonio Brown: 

Much of what we originally were looking for concerned on the field questions. Now, in light of more of the off-field drama concerning him and text messages supposedly sent to one of his accusers, it is now a question of whether he’ll even play or not. 

[From earlier on Thursday], Brown had good production last week in Miami with four receptions for 56 yards including a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady, considering he was only on the team for three days of prep. There were obviously some areas where he and Brady didn’t have their timing or chemistry down which is understandable at this early juncture. 

Now with another week here in the system, we want to see how far their timing has come along and what the Patriots have in mind on how to use him. Bill Belichick has intimated during his presser earlier this week, they were putting in plays to take advantage of his strengths.

Chase Winovich:

The Patriots rookie isn’t considered a starter per se, but his playing time in the early going warrants his inclusion here. He’s such an intriguing guy as well as a player and his motor which runs firewalled on every play makes your eye watch him whenever he’s on the field.

He had 1.5 sacks down in Miami and the QB for the Jets Luke Falk isn’t particularly known as a mobile guy. The Jets have had issues with pass protection and it will be interesting to see if Jerod Mayo and Belichick put Winovich in a position to make some splash plays this weekend. 

Winovich has shown the veteran-like ability to temper his instinctive aggressive play and play within the system or as Belichick likes to say “Do Your Job”. As the season wears on, we expect bigger and better things from him. And a matchup with the rival Jets is a great area to start.

Marshall Newhouse:

Who? Do you ask? Many fans might not know his name yet but with Isaiah Wynn out the team will turn to the 10-year veteran to protect the franchise’s [read Brady’s] blindside. He had an even performance, albeit on a short week of preparation in Miami but now he’s had a chance to get up to speed and will be working with the master of offensive line play Dante Scarnecchia. 

Scarnecchia is a stickler for his players being fundamentally strong and despite the rash of injuries along the offensive line, we never worry too much about the line because Coach Scar always seems to get it figured out. Even still, we’ll be watching Newhouse on Sunday as the Jets like to bring overload blitzes and create pressure rushing just four with a variety of techniques. Protect #12 and the Patriots generally win. 

Stephon Gilmore:

Gilmore’s name was thrust in the limelight this week when Jalen Ramsey, who demanded a trade from the Jaguars said in a social media post that there is no doubt who is the best cornerback in the league. Of course, Patriots fans responded with “he plays in Foxboro” which created an entirely different conversation…ugh.

However, Gilmore, who is among the quietest and soft-spoken of corners in the league, certainly doesn’t lack for confidence. But he doesn’t feel the need to beat his chest like so many of the others often do. 

We look for him to be covering the Jets Robby Anderson this week and Gilmore has no doubt heard the chatter. We look for him to have a big game this week, where you may not his name called once.

Julian Edelman: 

Edelman has been the go-to guy for Tom Brady for a number of years including three Super Bowl wins. Now with the Antonio Brown signing, Edelman isn’t getting much chatter surrounding his game, which is still outstanding in the short/intermediate area.  

Don’t think for a second that Edelman is unaware of it. Not to say that there are any hard feelings between him, Brown, or Brady.  There’s not. But coming home to Foxboro with everyone talking about AB this and AB that [including here], it is bound to stoke the already considerable competitive fire.

Edelman is virtually impossible to stop in the short area when he works out of the slot. We look for him to have a very big game and be heavily involved in the passing game this week.  

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Check back with PatsFans.com for all of our pregame and post-game analysis. And if you’re a wiz at predicting the NFL slate straight up, register for our message board and then post your picks every week. We’ll see who is the top dog at the end of the season. That page can be found here: https://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/picks/

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news.