Ravens' Pees on slowing Brady: 'Hire Tonya Harding'

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Ravens' Pees on slowing Brady: 'Hire Tonya Harding'

FOXBORO - Dean Pees knows a thing or two about Tom Brady.

Pees was the linebackers coach for the Patriots for two seasons (2004, 2005) before being promoted to defensive coordinator when Eric Mangini left for the Jets after the 2005 season. He remained at that post until after the 2009 season, when he left to join the Baltimore Ravens.

Still with Baltimore as a defensive coordinator, Pees has had to do what he used to do in practice: figure out a way to stop Tom Brady.

But stopping Brady is impossible -- check the stats. What about simply making life uncomfortable?

Pees was asked how to do just that on Thursday.

Hire Tonya Harding," he said jokingly, getting laughs from reporters. "If they were getting off the bus, Id spray water outside the bus and hope it freezes. (laughing) He is who he is. I went against him up there in practice for six years. Hes as competitive of a person as Ive ever been around. He can give you this little boyish look on TV, but he is a very, very, very competitive guy.

"He didnt even like losing in practice. The more we rode him on defense because I had a couple trash-talkers the harder he played. He is who he is. Hes going to play well. You expect him to play. We have to do the best job we can, fundamentally, to disrupt him and do some things to him. I have a lot of respect for him. He is a Hall of Fame quarterback.

And he's coached by a Hall of Fame coach, all of which Pees knows too well. By coaching with Bill Belichick, Pees is expected to know a bit more about his approach to games, his style, and tendencies.

"I think the thing that you know about Bill, if youve ever worked for him, is the fact that when he looks at another team, whatever youve done in the past, if there has been a weakness, you better shore that one up, because thats what hes going to go after," Pees said. "There are some guys that are going to go out there and theyre going to run Power O no matter who the heck lines up, no matter what your front is. Well, Bill might not run a certain play against us at all that he has shown for the last three weeks, but he is going to run a play or a pass or whatever based on something that they have seen on film that they think is a weakness for us. Hes going to try to exploit either a person or whatever, a scheme that we have on defense, and he is going to do the same thing on offense on both sides of the ball.

So just how extreme will Belichick go in looking to exploit the opposing team? All the way into the Super Bowl.

"There were games that we played 4-3 and then there are games we never played 4-3 and played 3-4," Pees said. "The 2004 Super Bowl, we played a defense with five linebackers on the field that we hadnt played, ever. So, it was a matter because of Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and how we were going to take him and Brian Westbrook out of the game. So, it was more specific to things like that. Thats what Belichick does and is phenomenal about.

Report: Garoppolo to start tonight vs. Panthers

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Report: Garoppolo to start tonight vs. Panthers

Jimmy Garoppolo will start at quarterback for the Patriots and Tom Brady will come off the bench tonight in their preseason game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, ESPN's Mike Reiss reported.

For more on the game, here’s five things to watch from CSN Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran and five Patriots who can help themselves tonight from Phil Perry.

 

Farrell: Red Sox ‘optimistic’ Andrew Benintendi can return in 2016

Farrell: Red Sox ‘optimistic’ Andrew Benintendi can return in 2016

Red Sox manager John Farrell said rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi sustained no further structural damage to his knee, other than the previously diagnosed sprain, after injuring it on the basepaths against the Rays.

Farrell said the team is optimistic that Benintendi, placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday, will be able to return before the end of the season. Watch the video for more. 

Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

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Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

The Bruins’ new practice facility has been years in the making and they will finally get to officially open the doors to Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton next month. 

The B’s players will start informal captain’s practice skates at the new facility on the New Balance property in these final days of August, but the team announced on Friday that the new facility will be officially opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, team president Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney and a number of players will be on hand for the opening ceremony and ensuing open house for the media. Also planning to attend from New Balance will be Owner and Chairman Jim Davis and NB Development Group LLC Managing Director Jim Halliday, along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. 

Following the formal portion of the event, Warrior Ice Arena will host the “Boston Youth All-Star Game featuring Bruins Alumni” which will feature local squirt players from the Boston communities of Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston and West Roxbury mixed in with members of the Bruins alumni. 

The Youth All-Stars will team with Bruins alumni and they will play the first official game before the ice is turned over to the current Bruins players for their training camp later in the month.

The Warrior Ice Arena gets its name from the Warrior brand of hockey equipment that is now a division of New Balance and comes with a 79-foot high Warrior hockey stick that greets visitors at the front entrance doors.

Warrior Ice Arena will be the B’s new and permanent practice home after the Bruins spent 25-plus years practicing in the suburbs of Boston at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.