Curran and Mayo: The odd couple

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Curran and Mayo: The odd couple

Yes, they talk football. But after 2 12 years on weekly interviews on 'Quick Slants', Comcast SportsNet's Tom E. Curran and Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo talk so much, much more . . .

ON FASHION
Curran: "This is my sweater that I wore to cheer you up (after Sunday's loss to the Seahawks)."

Mayo: "Your Bill Cosby sweater. I like it."

Curran: "I thought you would feel better . . . "

Mayo: "Really Christmas-y, Christmas-y."

Curran: ". . . if I wore a silly sweater."

Mayo: "That's not silly, that's . . . just dumb."

Curran: "Do you feel better, though?"

Mayo: "I do feel better about calling your sweater dumb. That makes me feel better."

Curran: "Look, it's always difficult after a loss. It's hard for me to know exactly which way to go with you 'cause, well, it's a nice intimate setting at the Renaissance Hotel, where the interviews are taped and I don't want to make you irritated. But I thought today I would commiserate. "

Mayo: "Great word."

Curran: "Thank you.

Mayo: "But let's get it straight. It's difficult after a win coming to watch you dressed like that. Just being honest."

ON ATHLETIC COMPETITION
Curran: "I play men's softball and sometimes I'll play flag football and there's times that we lose. And I know what it feels like. There's a lot of things you wish had gone differently, there's a lot of things you say, 'What could I have done?' I know what you're feeling."

Mayo: "You look like a born loser. You look like you were a loser coming straight out, out of the womb."

Curran: "No, I was not!"

Mayo: "For guys like us, you know, New England Patriots, it is difficult, and at this point all we can do is change the page and move on."

Curran: "This was good for 2 12 years, and now it's just going downhill . . . ."

WITH APOLOGIES TO MAMA CURRAN
Mayo: "We say guys like you were beat at birth. That's how we say it. "

Curran: "Beat at birth??"

Mayo: "You were beat at birth. When I see a guy like you across from me, I'm like, 'Ah, he was beat at birth'. "

Curran: "My mother watches this show."

Mayo: "Sorry."

Curran: "He doesn't mean it."

Mayo: "Sorry, Mama Curran."

Curran: "Perfect."

MORE FASHION, AND MORE APOLOGIES TO MAMA CURRAN
Curran: "Did Sunday's loss at Seattle make for a long flight home?"

Mayo: "It was a very long flight home."

Curran: "I can appreciate that."

Mayo: "If I had that sweater, it would have been shorter."

Curran: "You could have wrapped it around you, swaddled yourself . . . "

Mayo: "Exactly. Or used it as toilet paper. However you want to use it."

Curran: "My mother actually knitted this sweater, too, Jerod."

Mayo: "Sorry, Mama Curran, for the second time in this show."

Curran: "Been great so far."

ON DINNER
Mayo: "Do you know what? To be honest with you, I don't pay attention to the media. I've said this time and time again on this show. I don't pay attention to you . . . "

Curran: (To the camera) "He just shows up to talk to the media."

Mayo: " . . . I don't pay attention to what anyone has to say. It's like right now, I'm just talking to the camera. I don't even feel you right here beside me. So at the end of the day, it's all about the New England Patriots and getting better."

(Curran takes a sip of water and blows over towards Mayo.)

Mayo: "I can smell your breath." To the camera: "He had jalapenos."

Curran: "Not yet."

MORE ATHLETIC COMPETITION
Curran (after Mayo had finished praising the Jets): "Yeah, you didn't mention the quarterback, though, did you?"

Mayo: "Mark Sanchez is a good player. And no matter what you say, he's playing well these last couple of weeks. So he's a dangerous player."

Curran: "He throws balls where they shouldn't be! Did you see the touchdown . . . "

Mayo: "Can you throw better than him?"

Curran: "Yeah!"

Mayo: (Stares stone-faced at the camera.) "My face says it all."

STILL MORE FASHION
Curran: 'You know, you're wearing your throwback uniforms this week. You look good in red?"

Mayo: "I do."

Curran: "Did you know that? Did I just break the news to you?"

Mayo: "You did. You did. I do look good in red. But I also look good in blue."

Curran: "You do. Well, you'd also look good in a Christmas sweater."

Mayo: "Probably not."

AND MORE MAMA CURRAN
Curran: "You know, Mom, I'm not happy with this way this thing went, either. So we're going to end it here, we're going to reconvene next week after the Jets game, and we're going to talk some more, different, football stuff."

Mayo: "And knit a new sweater, Mama Curran, please. So we'll have something to talk about."

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

It came against a rookie quarterback. It came against an offense that averages a league-worst 15.0 points per game. It came against an offense that has fewer yards than any other. 

Still there are signs that Bill Belichick is pretty pleased with where his defense is after beating the Rams 26-10 on Sunday. One came on Wednesday when Patriots.com published its "Belichick Breakdown" for a closer look at a handful of plays from the team's most recent win.

Belichick called his team's third-and-eight stop with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter "probably one of the best good, team defensive plays we've had all year."

The Patriots show a five-man front, but linebacker Kyle Van Noy feigns a rush only to drop into coverage.

"Van Noy in here does a good job on the rush," Belichick said, "and also on the coverage on the back. Just good team defense. Good pass coverage down the field. The quarterback really doesn't end up having a lot of time, but there's no one to throw it to right away."

Belichick noted that all four rushers -- Chris Long, Trey Flowers, Dont'a Hightower and Rob Ninkovich -- all are able to pressure Jared Goff on the play. Combined with strong coverage in the secondary, the Rams nver really had a chance.

Belichick said it looked like a "tidal wave" of defenders bearing down on the quarterback.

"Long wins here . . . on the inside spin," Belichick said, "and Trey Flowers and Hightower both win on the little twist game inside. Then that's Rob with good speed-to-power on [Rams tackle Rob] Havenstein on the outside. Four good rushers. Plus a fifth guy...Van Noy getting that two-for-one on the guard and the back.

"Good team defense. That's great to see. A lot of hard work an execution on the practice field to make that happen."

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- They sounded like a couple of old pals. 

First it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spoke of Ravens coach John Harbaugh during a conference call like one of his favorite fellow lacrosse dads.

"John and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said, adding that Harbaugh's love for the sport is just starting to blossom. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light."

Belichick added that the two might be closer if they weren't competing so often, both in-season on the field and for free agents in the offseason. 

"As you know, we get into a situation like we’re in now where they have a good team, we have a good team, we’re playing a big game on Monday night," Belichick said. "Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That’s what it is and that’s what we all signed up for. We all know that’s a part of it.

"When we’re not going head-to-head, which isn’t very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation."

During his press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh echoed Belichick's sentiments. Belichick was famously one of Harbaugh's biggest supporters earlier in his career, calling the Ravens on Harbaugh's behalf when the franchise was looking for a new head coach. And if only they weren't so frequently competing against each other, they might be even closer, Harbaugh indicated. 

"I feel like we have a good relationship," Harbaugh said. "Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach -- greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title.

"And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around.  [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."

The recent history between their respective franchises is rife with emotion: There was Baltimore's irate reaction to Belichick's unusual formations in the AFC Divisional Round two seasons ago; there was the Ravens' supposed involvement in sparking Deflategate; and there was Harbaugh's subsequent denial. But Belichick and Harbaugh made it sound on Wednesday as if all's good between them.