Ainge all ears, but still '50-50' on possible trade


Ainge all ears, but still '50-50' on possible trade

With the NBA Trade Deadline upon us, rumors that have been swirling for weeks (months!) will culminate at around 3:00 p.m.

The Celtics have been involved in a number of them, and for good reason. They're a team that doesn't appear to have a serious run left in them -- although they've played better of late. On top of that, they've got some players that could potentially bring back enough talent to make Celtics president Danny Ainge pull the trigger.

But so far, he hasn't seen anything worth trading for. Speaking on WEEI Thursday morning, Ainge admitted that there really isn't much out there, but if teams meet his demands as the day unfolds, there could be action.

"I have no desire to move anybody on our team," Ainge said. "I have to look and so far I have nothing. We don't have anything that we're really excited about right now. If somebody steps up and ups their offer today, who knows what might happen by the trade deadline. But I'm prepared and comfortable with letting the season play out and if somebody wants to throw in first-round draft picks, or give quality young players, that's something we have to consider."

The Celtics aren't necessarily "buyers" or "sellers" it seems, just looking to get better any way they can.

"I have not been close because I don't feel like we need to. I don't want to move the guys, but I have to listen," Ainge said. "If something becomes available I'll pull the trigger. But based on some of the offers that we've had, and the interest, it's just not worth it."

So will there be a trade today?

"I think it's 50-50," Ainge said. "It may be a small deal. It may be not as exciting as what people may expect. But we're working hard. We'll work hard the rest of the day until 3 o'clock."

Brady: Patriots have 'Trump' and 'Clinton' play-calls


Brady: Patriots have 'Trump' and 'Clinton' play-calls

When the Giants took on the Rams in London on Sunday, there was a point early in the second quarter when Eli Manning very clearly made a call at the line of scrimmage that was picked up by nearby broadcast microphones.

"Trump, Trump!" Manning shouted. "Trump, Trump!"

Manning insisted that it was not "Trump" that he was saying, but maybe he simply wanted to try to keep one of his team's calls under wraps for a future opponent.

On Monday morning, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, whose relationship with Donald Trump has been well-documented, was told about the Giants call on WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show.

"Oh really?" Brady said. "We got a call like that, too. We got a call. They listen to everything we say. They got the microphones, and they can pretty much hear everything . . . It goes for both teams, but I wish you wouldn't have your whole -- a lot of mechanisms in your offense are based on what you say." 

For anyone worried about equal time, Brady explained that the Patriots aren't strictly leaning to the right with their calls at the line.

"I'm telling you," he said, "Trump and Clinton. Those are our two calls."

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air But and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he held Brown to five catches on nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his way from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Coach Bill Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up 9 catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about.