I think I've got it figured out on Cris Carter. The reason he's so easy to dislike even when he's making sense and not actually trying to be condescending is because he's convinced that everything that comes out of his mouth is profound. Think about it. Have you ever heard Cris Carter waffle? Ever heard him indicate anything less than complete and absolute knowledge on whatever topic he's discussing? I mean, we all do it, we "say for pay" types, but once in a while, I've caught myself shrugging and I've seen other guys say they need more information. Cris Carter? Never. So I guess that explains why, every time he opens his mouth and waggles those pushbroom eyebrows, I want to blow holes in his contentions. This week, Carter was asked about not getting into the Hall of Fame. As Michael David Smith at PFT pointed out, only seven wideouts who began their careers after the 1970 merger have made it into Canton (Michael Irvin, Steve Largent, James Lofton, Art Monk, Jerry Rice, John Stallworth and Lynn Swann). On the outside looking in are guys like Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Carter. Carter chalked the lack of enshrined wideouts to the position being underloved. "I think the modern-day wide receiver, I would say that his skill level is not appreciated. Its not just about the numbers. Its the ability to catch the football and put your talent on display, Carter said in an interview with Michael Irvin. Here's the thing, Cris. Everybody loves watching wideouts play. Everybody marvels at their speed, athleticism and toughness. Nobody with an ounce of sense would contend that wide receiver, cornerback and, perhaps,running back are not the most athletic positions in football. But wide receiver is not an indispensable position. Quarterback is. Defensive end, linebacker, offensive line, quarterback. Critical. The closer you are to the ball at the snap, the more important you are to winning and losing on a weekly basis. Generally. For a wide receiver to be transcendent, he needs the coach to call the play, the line to block it, the quarterback to see it and then throw it. Then and only then does the receiver get his chance to put his "talent on display", as Carter says. Jerry Rice is probably the greatest football player of all time. But even he needed his Walsh, Montana and that Niners offensive line to let the talent shine. Randy Moss will be in the Hall of Fame before Cris Carter because Moss was transcendent, the greatest deep threat in NFL history. Cris Carter is Art Monk without the rings. I mean, Torry Holt has 100 fewer catches in five fewer seasons, 500 fewer yards and a Super Bowl ring. Both were Pro Bowl players and among the best in the league at their positions over six-year stretches. Everybody can tell wide receivers are talented. Everyone has an appreciation for them. But sorry Cris, you aren't the enlightened one here preaching to the unknowing rubes who don't get your subtle beauty.
Tom Brady wouldn't take the bait following the AFC title game. He was told that he must've heard the "Where's Roger?" chants, and so then he must've had a reaction.
"I didn't hear that chant," Brady replied.
WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show took another run at the Patriots quarterback's relatonship with commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday morning. Had Brady thought about what he might say should he come face-to-face with Goodell at Super Bowl LI?
"Hopefully we’ll finish the deal," Brady said. "Hopefully we can finish it off, and we’ll see. Maybe I’ll tell you after. But I don’t want to get into winning something before we’ve won it, because it’s going to be hard to win this thing."
Should the Patriots win their fifth Super Bowl title, Brady probably won't be accepting the Lombardi Trophy from Goodell. That exchange usually takes place with the owner at center stage. Perhaps there's a scenario in which Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft allows Brady to take the stage first, but it would go against what has been Super Bowl protocol.
Brady and Goodell could be forced to share the spotlight on the morning after the Super Bowl, however, when the MVP trophy is handed out. It's a ritual they carried out together on the morning following Super Bowl XLIX, when Deflategate was in its nascent stages.
One would think that the embrace they shared that day -- long before the Wells Report was published and long before Brady and the league were pitted against one another in federal court -- will be the last thing that either man wants to recreate two weeks from now.
During his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, Tom Brady highlighted the thought process that has helped make the Patriots such a successful team under Bill Belichick, and in the process of complimenting his boss, Brady also may have taken a little inadvertent shot at the Steelers. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin noted immediately after the Divisional Round that the Patriots had an advantage in preparing for the AFC title game because they had more time to rest.
"I would say in general on our team we have a sign on our wall that says, ‘Doing the right thing for the team when it might not be the right thing for you.’ That’s just putting everything aside," Brady said. "Ignoring the noise, the positive things people may be saying about you, or the negative things people may say about you. Just believing in yourself and not making excuses.
"There’s always an excuse you can build into why you lose a game. 'We’re only playing on six days rest, we have this person hurt, or we didn’t get that call.' There are a million of them, and they’re all built in and you can pick them all off before the game. I think our coach does a great job of never buying into the B.S. He never makes it about one player. He never makes it about one play. He never makes it about one call, or one situation. It’s all about all of us collectively trying to do the best thing we can for the team to try and help us win. He never lets his foot off the gas pedal so when it comes to our team, you’re brainwashed. That’s just the way it goes."
The numbers support Belichick's approach: He'll be coaching in a 10th Super Bowl, and seven of those have come as the head coach of the Patriots. Both are NFL records.