Brady remembers 'dependable' Gaffney


Brady remembers 'dependable' Gaffney

FOXBORO --- Many talented players have passed through the Patriots turnstile during Tom Brady's 12 seasons with the team. The weeks he matches up against these former teammates ensures a look back during his lead-up press conference.

Week 4, he grimaced and smiled in regard to facing Richard Seymour. Two games ago he had to worry warmly about Asante Samuel. Last week, he watched Adam Vinatieri kick Indy's first three points.

Brady will watch another one of his old favorites work against him in Washington: Jabar Gaffney. The quarterback reminisced easily about Gaffney's worth as a third receiver.

"Jab could do, he does, everything well," Brady said. "He's just one of those guys that, from the day we got him here, was so reliable, dependable because he knew what to do and he did it well. You gain a lot of trust from the quarterback when a lot of those things match up.

"I was bummed when he went to Denver and I was bummed when he went to Washington."

Gaffney had 85 catches for 1,059 yards and eight touchdowns in 43 games with the Patriots. He was signed away during free agency, inking a four-year, 10 million contract with the Broncos in February of 2009, when former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took the head coaching job in Denver.

Brady said he misses Gaffney on the field because of the receiver's versatility and smarts. It could have been daunting for a guy to come in and get reps within a wideout corps boasting Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth (another current, albeit little-used, Redskins player).

But Gaffney got time and Brady says he earned it.

"He came here at a bye week and basically took over the starting receiver position. There's times when you're in the slot and then you've got to go outside, now you're in a bunch of receivers or you're in a combination route with another receiver -- whatever it was -- he'd figure out a way to understand what he had to do and get open."

Once a blessing, now a curse.

Game-planning for Gaffney -- against him -- is a task for New England's defense now. In his first Redskins season he leads wide receivers with 46 catches for 665 yards and three touchdowns. Only tight end Fred Davis has more receptions with 59. That will likely change; Davis has been suspended for four games for violating the league's drug policy.

More targets for Gaffney? Belichick wouldn't be surprised.

"We know Jabar is an excellent route runner, hes a good receiver, very disciplined and dependable guy," the coach said Wednesday. "They change their passing game around from week to week.

"Jabar, we know is a really intelligent receiver and very instinctive. Im sure he handles those things well for them taking routes that they havent really run before and then putting them in for that game and running them the way that it really hurts the team that theyre playing."

This week it's you, New England Patriots. Better keep that trip down memory lane short and sweet.

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Intentionally or otherwise, the guy who allegedly pulled the fire alarm at the Steelers’ hotel Sunday morning may have also provided the average Bud Light-loving Bostonian a new motto. 

“I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan,” Dennis Harrison told police after he was arrested, according to the Boston Globe.  

Citing the State Police report, the Globe wrote Monday that Harrison was talked into pulling the alarm while at a party in Revere, with a friend driving the 25-year-old to the Boston Hilton Logan Airport hotel Sunday morning. 

Harrison reportedly walked up to the second floor and pulled the fire alarm before returning to the car, but his friend and the keys were gone. He was then picked up by police while walking away from the hotel. 

According to the Globe, Harrison pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and setting off a false fire alarm Monday and was released on personal recognizance.

Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'


Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'

Martellus Bennett wanted to party. The nine-year veteran had just stamped his first trip to the Super Bowl, and he was going to celebrate by doing things that would be quintessential "Football Marty." 

He grabbed some pom-poms and danced with Patriots cheerleaders.

He planned to Facetime his brother Michael, Pro Bowl defensive lineman for the Seahawks, and talk trash. "Now I’m going to the Super Bowl, mother[expletive]. Meet me in Houston."

He talked about how he'd do some baking. "Making myself a cake, and I am going to write, 'You're awesome' on the cake, and sit there, and I'll probably eat the whole thing and regret it tomorrow because I have to make sure I make weight."

It wasn't a typical reaction to making it to the final game of the season, not for a locker room half-full with players who have been there before. But it was genuine. And even Patriots coach Bill Belichick, often thought of as the no-fun police captain headquartered at Gillette Stadium, those kinds of emotions were worth appreciating.

"Yeah, I missed all of the dancing with the cheerleaders. Sorry. We’ll have to get a replay on that," Belichick said on a conference call Monday. "But you know, I’d say just in general . . . obviously it was a great win for our team and our organization last night, but it’s great to see the players who have worked so hard take so much satisfaction in their relationship with their teammates and the goal that they accomplished last night.

"Another step in a season where the team has already won 16 games but it was another significant step. When you see them reacting and congratulating each other and celebrating like that, you know you have a closeness on the team that is special. I mentioned that last night and it’s true. These guys, they work hard.

"They put up with a lot from me and they put up with a lot of significant demands and requirements here, but it’s done with the intent to try and produce a good product and a good team. They buy into it. They perform well in critical situations like last night. I take a lot of satisfaction in seeing them achieve that because they’ve worked so hard for it and I think they deserve it, but you’ve got to go out and prove it."

In order to emphasize the point that the Patriots had proved it, that they were more than a group of hard-workers, Belichick referenced a book by Jerry Izenberg that tracked the Giants for a week in 1989 -- when Belichick was defensive coordinator -- titled "No Medals for Trying." 

"This time of year everybody tries hard," Belichick said. "Everybody has a good team that is still playing. You’re only rewarded for achievement. Last night we were fortunate enough to earn that. It’s a great feeling to see everybody have that kind of interaction with each other and feel so good about their teammates and the guys they’ve worked so hard with."