FOXBORO - When the head coach has to take time out from watching his patchwork defense give up chunks of fourth-quarter yards to a mediocre quarterback during a potential game-winning drive in order to break up a nasty battle between his Hall of Fame quarterback and his offensive coordinator, it would seem to be an unusual occurrence. So, naturally, one would need to ask Bill Belichick how that whole sideline brouhaha worked out between Tom Brady and Bill O'Brien. And how did the head coach deal with the sparring that took place? "We always go and look at the film and talk about it as a staff and a team about the previous game and things we did well and things we need to do better to get ready for the next opponents," Belichick said, a bit of detail that was known by every person in the room. "That's what Mondays are for."At some point, though, this particular Monday was also for making sure that Bill O'Brien doesn't completely lose his mind on the sidelines at a player again during the game. The reasons beingA) it doesn'thelp the team focus on the situation at hand, B) it reveals a whole lot to the snooping, invasive, irritating media abouthow the Patriots 2011lookand theirritation level the quarterback maybe operating at. Upon further questioning, Belichick offered, "Like I said, we do the same things we always do on Monday. We address the game and we move on to the next opponent. We transition off of one game and into the next. Whatever that is, that is. That's what Mondays are for."Wonder if, when watching that game film, Belichick might get a pang of regret that his quarterback was throwing to Tiquan Underwood in the first place. Meanwhile Jabar Gaffney - who was being shopped by Denver during the offseason - was elsewhere on that same film catching touchdowns on that patchwork secondary. Maybe the quarterback wouldn't be so harsh on his wideouts if he had a more competent group and the Patriots sent a fourth to Denver (which they reportedly were asking) instead of a fifth and a sixth to Cincinnati for the right to pay Chad Ochocinco 6 million to be useless. But we digress. ...
He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.
“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.
“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”
More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.
"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.
*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.
*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.
*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.
*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.
*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.
*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.
*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.