Tag Archives: Tom Brady

The Patriots Need to Protect Their Jewel(ian)

Image result for julian edelman injury

By Ben Kelley

November 25, 2019

Ben is a first-year undergraduate BGSU student from Uniontown, Ohio. He is a sport management major and a journalism minor. His primary interests include professional and collegiate football.

The New England Patriots are desperate to get some sort of offensive consistency. Despite quarterback Tom Brady’s undisputed ability to throw the football, the Patriots have struggled to get players who can catch the football. The instability has meant that there’s a different set of receivers available to Brady each week, and the instability is seemingly growing.

At the beginning of the season, the Patriots lined up former Pro-Bowlers Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, and Julian Edelman at the wide receiver position. By Halloween, Brown and Gordon were cut, Thomas was traded, Mohamed Sanu was acquired from the Atlanta Falcons, and two undrafted rookie receivers – Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski – were being thrust onto the field. Receiver Philip Dorsett has offered consistency; however, he’s currently nursing a concussion while Sanu faces an ankle injury (Mason, 2019). Olszewski’s season has ended due to injury, and rookie N’Keal Harry was recently thrown into the mix (Cox, 2019). In short, only one wide receiver has been available to Brady each week – Julian Edelman. Edelman has capitalized on the opportunity, with 112 targets, 76 receptions, 809 receiving yards, 4 touchdown catches, one touchdown pass, and 15 passing yards in twelve games (“Julian Edelman,” 2019).

Antonio Brown, on the other hand, has only played one game in 2019. (“Antonio Brown,” 2019). His season has been engulfed with drama-infused antics – including sexual assault charges. The NFL swiftly hit Brown with an investigation, and after his release from New England, NFL teams have avoided signing Brown. However, Brown is showing optimism that the investigation is siding in his favor. On November 19th, Brown posted an apology on social media to the Patriots organization for the drama he brought to the team. By November 21st, rumors started swirling that the Patriots are doing their due diligence on Brown, with the team possibly exploring bringing back a much-needed familiar face (Williams, 2019).

Brown’s possible return is already being labeled as the answer to Tom Brady’s growing frustrations with the offensive struggles. Against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, the Patriots had to rely on field goals, a trick pass from Edelman, and a stout defense to win the game with a  score of 17-10. After the game, Brady kept his press conference short and concise, with the media claiming that the addition of generational talent Antonio Brown would clearly help ease Brady’s frustrations (Brinson, 2019). However, the possible addition of Brown should not be looked at as a move for the sake of Tom Brady. It should be viewed as an addition for the sake of Julian Edelman.

Edelman arguably needs Brown more than Brady does. Edelman is currently on pace for around 100 receptions this season, and at 33 years old, he needs some relief (“Julian Edelman,” 2019). Aside from Edelman’s heavy workload this year, he was also nursing a minor shoulder injury ahead of the Patriot’s contest against the Dallas Cowboys (Mason, 2019). If Edelman suffers a more serious injury, the Patriots would be forced to get creative with moving the ball down the field at a time when the team already struggles with doing so. A deep playoff run without Edelman’s skill set or experience would certainly hurt the Patriots and possibly frustrate Brady even further. Adding in Antonio Brown would help relieve the pressure being put on Edelman and give the Patriots – and the defenses they face – a second receiver to focus on.   

References

Antonio Brown. (2019). Pro Football Reference. Retrieved from https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BrowAn04.htm

Brinson, Will. (2019, November 19). Antonio Brown rumors: Everyone thinks WR coming back to Patriots after Brown apologizes to Robert Kraft. CBS Sports. Retrieved from https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/antonio-brown-rumors-everyone-thinks-wr-coming-back-to-patriots-after-brown-apologizes-to-robert-kraft/

Cox, Z. (2019, November 19). NFL rumors: Patriots plan to place Gunner Olszewski on IR to add Isaiah Wynn. NESN. Retrieved from https://nesn.com/2019/11/nfl-rumors-patriots-expected-to-place-gunner-olszewski-on-ir-to-add-isaiah-wynn/

Julian Edelman. (2019). Pro Football Reference. Retrieved from https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/E/EdelJu00.htm

Mason, C. (2019, November 20). Julian Edelman returns to injury report, Phillip Dorsett and Mohamed Sanu didn’t participate in New England Patriots practice. Mass Live. Retrieved from https://www.masslive.com/patriots/2019/11/julian-edelman-returns-to-injury-report-phillip-dorsett-and-mohamed-sanu-didnt-participate-in-new-england-patriots-practice.html

Williams, C. (2019, November 21). Report: Patriots have “kicked the tires” on Antonio Brown. Pro Football Talk. Retrieved from https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/11/21/report-patriots-have-kicked-the-tires-on-antonio-brown/

Interview with Jerod Cherry

Je’Rod Cherry played safety and on special teams for 4 different teams  over the course of his nine-year NFL career. Cherry is best known for his special team work for the Patriots when they won three Super Bowls in 4 years. After his football career Je’Rod Cherry got into broadcast media and in 2009 became a talk show host  for WKNR 850 in Cleveland.

I had the privilege of meeting Je’Rod Cherry and other former NFL player like Pro-Bowlers Michael Turner and Greg Jones at our annual NFL Journalism Boot Camp.

Here is my full interview taken on April 22nd with Je’Rod Cherry.

Q: How do you think the media narratives about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick differ from the people they actually are?

One thing people don’t know about Bill Belichick is that he’s isn’t just a dark anti-social old guy. Belichick has a great sense of humor and can be a warm, caring person as well. What you see is what you get with Tom Brady. He’s just a great classy guy who everyone respects.

Q: You played on some bad teams, and on one of the greatest dynasties of the last 20 years. What were some of the differences between the good teams and the bad teams as far as the locker room atmosphere?

Good teams had a common purpose. Good teams won for each other while other teams had too many “me-first” guys. The Patriots instilled a culture that brought people together for the purpose of winning ball games.

Q: You said on radio and at the Bootcamp that you feel that if a player truly wants to win they’d play through concussions? Could you expound on this statement?

Football is a physical sport. You have to sacrifice your body just to be competent. Sometimes there are situations where you may be hurt. You have to make a decision about whether you value your long-term health or team. The guys that are willing to risk injury and long term health have more determination and warrior spirit needed to play football at the highest level.

Q: What do think is the most distinct characteristic of the Cleveland Media? How does it compare to Boston’s media or the national media?

The difference between Boston and Cleveland is that the Cleveland media speak there mind more. Cleveland media is more hopeful and can be positive.

Q: What was the best advice you’ve received about transitioning from football to the broadcast world?

Approach it the same way you would when you play football. If you study hard and work at it you will have a long successful career, just like you would have in football.

Robert Kraft Asks Goodell for Patriots’ Draft Pick

Even though Tom Brady won the “Deflategate” debate, the Patriots still lost. Last fall, the NFL stripped the Patriots of a first round and a fourth round pick in the 2016 NFL draft. As first reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots has asked Roger Goodell for the reinstatement of the Patriots’ first round draft pick. Goodell, in response to “Deflategate,” fined the Patriots and confiscated the Patriots’ picks. Goodell had said that he would reconsider if new evidence was brought forth. Robert Kraft was quoted saying:

“I personally wrote a letter to the commissioner responding to his comment that if any new facts came up, he would take them into consideration. I personally believe that when the league made their decision they did not factor in the Ideal Gas Law. They admitted that publicly. They had a full year of being able to observe Tom Brady play with all the rules of whatever the NFL was, and make any judgments there. We have laid it out pretty straightforward and now it’s up to them to decide.”

At this point, the Patriots first pick in the upcoming NFL draft is 60th overall. It is very difficult for teams to maintain success in the NFL without strong evaluation and execution in the NFL draft. Last fall, Robert Kraft called Goodell’s decision “the harshest penalty in the history of the NFL.” Many think though Goodell has some sort of agenda as he has been very unusually firm with the Patriots throughout the process.

It seems unlikely for change to occur from the commissioner, who Richard Sherman recently called “just a suit” when talking about the new rule changes Goodell wants to implement in the NFL. but Sherman even continued to say “it sounds like something somebody who’s never played the game would say.” Similarly, there is a motion with the NFL and the NFLPA to lesson Goodell’s power to discipline player’s off the field incidents. It is possible that this recent public pressure at the expense of Roger Goodell could force his hand to loosen the penalty on the Patriots in hopes to recover what is a poor public image. It is difficult to predict the final outcome as Goodell has been inconsistent with the way he has handled issues, but Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization hopes things will fall their way.

Patriots 2015 Campaign: Out for Revenge?

By Josh Roeloffs

Before the Patriots preseason opener, Rob Gronkowski was asked, in response to deflategate, if he thinks Tom Brady is “more motivated and focused because of everything that is going on,” and Gronk laughed it off, making the point that Brady is always focused and motivated regardless of what’s going on.

How many times have you seen or heard the headlines, “Patriots Starting Revenge Tour” or “Patriots will be out to get their Revenge?” Obviously a Patriots’ player would have said that they were out for blood this season. The media wouldn’t just make this into an episode of the Road Runner would they?

When you take a closer look, a Patriots’ player has never even mentioned revenge once in an interview. Just like Gronk was practically asked if this would motivate Brady, he replied like it was obvious. It won’t.

Sure! The Patriots may have a little extra motivation, but is it necessary to label a season as a “season of revenge.” Possibly a more engaging story would be how Tom Brady’s start of the season could lead to an MVP and another deep push in the playoffs for his team; or if the Patriots can win another Super Bowl, how it will affect the Patriots’ relationship with the NFL or the fans.

So far this season, the Patriots have been phenomenal. Heading into their bye week, the Patriots are 3-0 and, first in the league in yards per game, second in the league in points per game, first in pass yards per game, and third in the league in interceptions. Already beating the Steelers, Bills, and Jaguars, the Patriots hope to keep this early momentum going.

Coming out of their bye-week, the Patriots will be facing the Cowboys on October 11th. The Patriots will be looking to improve their record to a perfect 4-0 in the first quarter of the regular season.

As the season comes closer to the mid-way mark and closer to a time in which the Patriots can truly make a statement, Tom Brady was asked about the whole situation by NBC sports, he replied by saying, “I need to be tough enough to overcome controversy.” It’s important when playing for a team as popular and publicized at the Patriots to keep composure like Brady mentions.

At the end of the day, the Patriots are heading into week five unbeaten and ready to play some football and compete at a high level in the NFL.

Did the Media Cover the Wrong Story Following Super Bowl XLIX?

By Nick Muhl

February 3, 2015

I feel the need to start out my story by saying this: what a fantastic Super Bowl.

It was truly a back and forth game, ending with a 10-point fourth quarter comeback by Tom Brady and the Patriots. Nobody said it was going to be easy, it never is for the Patriots in the big game.

The defending champion Seattle Seahawks did their best impression of the New York Giants, but came up short of repeating as champions and robbing Brady and Belichick of their fourth Super Bowl title.

Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews not only caught his first pass of the NFL season, but three more totaling 109 yards and a touchdown. Beastmode did as Beastmode does, Lynch ran for 102 yards and a 4.3 per carry average. The Legion of Boom’s defense held the Patriots to 57 rush yards.

Even then, Brady looked to have solidified his fourth title, joining Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with his touchdown to Julian Edelman with 2:02 remaining.

Then came the insane catch by Jermaine Kearse, who was able to pull down a David Tyree-esque catch to bring the Seahawks in scoring range.

Second and goal following a Lynch handoff and the clock ticking under 35 seconds, Belichick trusted his defense and decided against calling a timeout and giving Brady and his offense another chance at a possible tying field goal.

We all know what happened next. Wilson threw the ball on a goal-line pick play, and Pats defensive back Malcolm Butler picked it off to seal the Pats victory.

Immediately following the electric turn of events, Chris Collinsworth and his fellow NBC Super Bowl broadcasters commented on their disbelief that Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll decided against giving their star running back Marshawn Lynch the ball on a second and one.

Social media, newspaper headlines, online blogs, all giving their input on the terrible job Pete Carroll did. From what I hear, there now crowning it “the worst play call ever”.

As football fans know, you can’t play the “if” game. Well IF this player didn’t get hurt, IF he caught that one pass, IF we had a different quarterback, ect. Consider it an un-written law of football fandom.

Sure, we could look at the play over and over again and wonder why didn’t Carroll run it with Lynch? It could be the fact that everyone thought that was the play call and he wanted to catch them off guard. It could be that the Seahawks have run that play call before during the 2014 season and is a standard inside the five yard line call for the Seahawks.

It could be a lot of things. The fact of the matter is, Malcolm Butler did his homework and the Patriots won the Super Bowl. However, it seems to me all the major media wants to discuss is the “what if” Lynch got the ball. Who says the New England d-line doesn’t claim Super Bowl glory and stuff Beastmode?

That’s the beauty of football.

“Worst Play Call Ever” will continue to be spread and numerous articles will continue to be written all criticizing Carroll’s play call.

Brady and Bellichick’s fourth Super Bowl, Brady’s 37 completion Super Bowl record, Bellichick trusting his defense, there all the second story. After the worst play call ever.

The media covered the wrong story.

And I haven’t even mentioned yet that the Super Bowl ended in a brawl.

Deflategate: Another Patriots Scandal

By Kia Tyus

January 29, 2015

By now everyone in the sports world is aware of the current scandal with the Patriots. Just in case you don’t know, the NFL launched an official investigation on the New England Patriots to determine if the Patriots were using deflated footballs. The NFL concluded that indeed, 11 out of 12 footballs used on the Patriots side of the field during the AFC championship game were deflated.

You may be wondering why is that such a big deal? In fact, it has been said on ESPN that if the ball is deflated it makes it easier for players to grasp and catch the ball.

The Patriots are denying their claims to have had any knowledge of deflating footballs. Finally, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is sticking up for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots organization.

Originally, people felt that the Patriots would not be punished because of Kraft’s relationship with Roger Goodell. But, after Kraft addressed the media, it is clear that his relationship with Goodell is not intact.

Dan Wetzel wrote an in-depth article about how Kraft felt about how the NFL is handling the matter. Apparently, Kraft feels like the professionalism in the NFL is lacking majorly. Kraft feels that there are too many leaks within the NFL and that leaves for major assumption with the public.

Kraft is tired of people trying to make a big deal out of something that he feels the Patriots have nothing to do with. And Kraft wants a formal public apology from the NFL when the Patriots are cleared of all allegations.

Kraft also feels that the public is assuming that the Patriots deflated the scandal because of the Spygate case of 2007.

I personally feel that someone within the Patriots organization deflated the football. Someone with power instructed someone who works with equipment to deflate footballs. I just don’t believe that the Patriots had nothing to do with the scandal; that is just hard to believe. Obviously, the Spygate case will play a factor when it comes to the public’s opinion of this current scandal. Many such as myself believe that if you cheat on such a big scale you can surely do it again.

I enjoyed reading this article because Wetzel goes in-depth about how Kraft flat out feels disrespected by people who he thought were his friends.

What are the Issues with “Deflate-Gate?”

This piece is another in our ongoing series of posts written by those in academia. This piece comes from Dr. Nancy E. Spencer, a Professor of Sport Management at Bowling Green State University and the faculty advisor for The Maxwell Media Watch. 

By Dr. Nancy E. Spencer

January 25, 2015

Since there is just a week leading up to the Super Bowl, many issues have been raised related to Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess that “Deflate-Gate” will be one of the main discussions. So what are the issues related to Deflate-gate? Since last week’s playoff games, both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have held (multiple) press conferences in which they were asked to comment on what happened.

Bill Belichick held the first press conference, in which many felt that he threw Tom Brady under the bus. In Tom Brady’s press conference he was “peppered with questions for 45 minutes” (Kim, 2015), as seen in this clip. Brady surprised many by saying that he had not yet been questioned by the NFL. He was asked directly if he was a cheater, to which he replied, “I don’t think so,” adding that this wasn’t about ISIS. What do you think? Were Tom Brady and/or Bill Belichick telling the truth? Whether or not they were telling the truth, someone must have known about the footballs being deflated. So who bears responsibility? And what should be the consequences? And why didn’t someone (like D’Qwell Jackson) say something during the game?

Earlier reports suggested that D’ Qwell Jackson noticed that the football that he intercepted seemed to have less pressure than usual, so why didn’t he (or someone else) report it? Jeff Darlington spoke to Jackson, who said that since that was his first interception in a playoff game, and the pass was thrown by Tom Brady, he wanted to keep the football as a souvenir. Time will tell whether Jackson eventually receives the football as a keepsake. For now, the NFL has confiscated all the footballs in order to examine whether they were purposely deflated.

On Saturday, Bill Belichick held another press conference, saying at the outset that in the past few days, he had dedicated himself to learning more about “bladders, air gauges, stitching, pressure, game day ball preparations,” and so forth (Stone, 2015). He provided this explanation to account for the difference in air pressure: “We all know that air pressure is a function of the atmospheric conditions. It’s a function of that. So if there’s activity in the ball relative to the rubbing process, I think that explains why when we gave it to the officials and the officials put it at say [12.5 psi], if that’s in fact what they did, that once the ball reached its equilibrium state it probably was closer to [11.5] psi” (Stone, 2015, para. 5). Since I am not schooled in how ‘rubbing a football’ might affect the air pressure, I turned to the “Science Guy” (Bill Nye), who basically said that Belichick “didn’t make any sense” (Schwartz, 2015). I must say that I am more inclined to believe Bill Nye’s assessment than the other Bill guy.

Given that the science of air pressure may not fully explain what happened to produce under-inflated footballs, how do you think this issue should be settled? Should players, teams, and/or coaches be punished? If so, what should be the penalties? Should penalties be applied before the Super Bowl? Will this controversy ultimately put a damper on the Super Bowl? And/or will it affect the outcome?