Curran: Brady seems to know engine's running too hot


Curran: Brady seems to know engine's running too hot

LANDOVER, Md. - Things got heated on the Patriots' sideline Sunday afternoon. Check it out one more time here. The play that precipitated the uncommon explosion was an end-zone pick thrown by Tom Brady with 6:37 remaining and the Patriots ahead, 34-27. Brady, looking to Tiquan Underwood running the back line of the end zone, floated a third-and-goal pass from the 4-yard line that was snatched by Josh Wilson. So the Patriots, with a chance to go up two scores, now had to hang on. Ultimately, they did. But the next six minutes were hairy on the field and hot off of it. Brady, seated on the bench, seemed to tell Underwood that he needed to go get the ball. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien disgustedly seemed to tell Brady it wasn't Underwood's fault. Brady fired back at O'Brien, O'Brien peeled off his headphones and gestured at the field, Brady fired back again and then backup quarterback Brian Hoyer stepped between the men to cool things. Didn't work. O'Brien circled back again and then receivers coach Chad O'Shea and head coach Bill Belichick stepped in. So what happened?"I threw a pretty bad interception so he wasn't happy about it," Brady explained. "It was probably a long line of coaches and players that were pretty pissed at me after that, but Billy got to me first and he let me have it. I deserved it . . .
"We're both pretty emotional guys," Brady said. "That's what I deserve. You make bad plays, you're supposed to get yelled at by your coaches. Certainly not the first time and probably won't be the last. Can't do it in that situation and it was just a stupid play by me."In the locker room, Hoyer asked if the scene had been caught on camera. When toldthat it had,Hoyer said that the coach and quarterback were "hugging each other" a few minutes later. Regardless if that was hyperbole,Brady andO'Brien did sit andlook at defensive photos together within minutes of the dustup. Brady was wise to not escalate the O'Brien confrontation by getting to his feet because then it would have almost certainly gone from verbal to physical. Brady seemed to have an edge to him on the field all game. His tendency to upbraid receivers openlyin recent years - a departure from earlier in his career - was in full flower as he went at Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez and showed disgust with a BenJarvus Green-Ellis drop. It seems to be a trait great quarterbacks develop later in their careers. Theyare evolved in reading defenses. They have the luxury of standing back and watching a play develop from a clearer vantage point than a receiver running a route with a defensive back on him. A decision that seems clear to a player like Brady may not be so clear to a player like Hernandez or Underwood. Brady's engine runs exceptionally hot and that's what makes him great. He's driven. But he's starting to toe the line of showing up teammates too often. Given Brady seemed pretty chastened after the game, it will be interesting to see if he taps the brakes and returns to using a more gentle hand with his receivers. He certainly was sounding a little more introspective. Yelling happens. Arguments happen. With expletives. And accusations. A football sideline isn't a normal office and nobody's running to HR. "It's football, man. It's emotion. That's athletics," Brady explained.
The difference is that it's a scene rarely seen on the Patriots' sideline.

Wilfork on Body Issue: 'Looking forward to what the locker room's going to say'


Wilfork on Body Issue: 'Looking forward to what the locker room's going to say'

ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue won't hit newsstands until July 8, but Vince Wilfork gave people a not-so-little preview of what to expect this week.

The former Patriots defensive lineman, who is listed at 325 pounds but said he's weighed as much as 350 pounds, sat down for an interview about his size that landed on on Thursday.

"I just think it's a good idea for people that are bigger-boned," Wilfork said when asked why he posed nude for the Body Issue. "If people can look at me, a guy that's 325-plus, doing an issue like this, I'm pretty sure that they might have a little confidence.

"There will be critics, just like with everything else. I think a lot of people will get a laugh out of it, I'll tell you that. I'm looking forward to what the locker room's going to say. But at the end of the day, I'm perfectly fine with who I am as a person and what I have accomplished. It shows a lot of my personality."

You can read the full interview here, as well as watch a video that shows Wilfork in all his modeling glory.

Brady, Gronkowski make Top 10 of NFL Network's Top 100


Brady, Gronkowski make Top 10 of NFL Network's Top 100

Ask a football fan in New England, and he or she might tell you that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are the top two players in the NFL. A random NFL player might not be as generous, but on balance, Brady and Gronkowski's peers consider the Patriots stars to be among the top 10 talents in the league. 

The NFL Network announced the final 10 players to be included in their annual Top 100 list, a list voted on by players, and both Brady and Gronkowski made the cut.

The order of the top 10 has been determined, but has not yet been announced. Brady and Gronkowski are in the running for No. 1 alongside Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Luke Kuechly, Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers and JJ Watt. 

The weekly series, which has counted down Nos. 100-11, will end on Wednesday, July 6 with two, one-hour episodes on NFL Network at 8 and 9 p.m. Highlights of each player will be featured, as will interviews with some of their teammates and competitors. 

"He plays with a chip on his shoulder he’s always had," Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins said of Brady, "that really separates him."

Of Rob Gronkowski, Texans corner Charles James II said, "He's a glitch on Madden."

The only other Patriots players included in the Top 100 were Julian Edelman (who came in at No. 87) and Chandler Jones (No. 48). Jones, now a member of the Cardinals, was the only Patriots defender involved. 

Corner Malcolm Butler, linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower and safety Devin McCourty all had an argument to be included but were left off. contributors Gregg Rosenthal, Chris Wesseling, Maurice Jones-Drew and Ike Taylor put together their own individual Top 100 lists to supplement the one voted on by current players. Rosenthal included Collins (No. 64), McCourty (No. 73) and Butler (No. 99) in addition to Edelman (No. 84). Wesseling included Collins (No. 43), McCourty (No. 88) and Hightower (No. 91), but not Edelman. Jones-Drew included both Edelman (No. 62) and Butler (No. 95). Taylor included only Edelman (No. 89).