McCourty: 'My teammates saved my life'

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McCourty: 'My teammates saved my life'

FOXBORO - Had the Patriots lost to the New York Jets on Sunday, there's no doubt that Devin McCourty would have been criticized more for his fourth-quarter fumble, than he would have for his first-quarter touchdown.

It was quite a day for the Patriots cornerback, who played the entire game at safety.

In the opening minutes of the first quarter, McCourty answered a Jets 76-yard touchdown drive with a 104-yard kickoff return that tied the score at 7.

Still, after the Jets tied it at 23 with a little more than two minutes left in the game, McCourty fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and New York recovered, leading to another Jets field goal and a Jets 26-23 lead with 1:37 left to play.

New England's offense answered with a strong drive which led to a tying field goal of their own, sending the game to overtime, where the Patriots eventually won, 29-26.

"My teammates saved my life today," said McCourty. "I made a bad mistake in the fourth quarter. I've just got to do a better job holding onto the ball. Today was like a total team win. We just kept fighting Things didn't go our way the whole game. Today we made enough plays when we needed to, to get the win."

McCourty's early touchdown marked the first kickoff he returned for a score since his senior year of college at Rutgers. And it was just how you'd draw it up.

"It was kind of, I think, what a special teams coach would love to see," said McCourty. "I ran the ball, made one cut, and everyone else got blocked, except for the kicker. So, when your kickoff return team does that, and blocks everyone except for one guy, as a returner, you have to score right there.

"All our returners, we know if we get up to the kicker, we've got to beat him."

McCourty beat him, but it was old news once he fumbled on the kickoff in the final minutes of the game.

"The fourth quarter is so important," said McCourty. "My goal is to try to play mistake-free in the fourth quarter. That's a big one. It's not defensively, but it's something I really work on. I'm a big part of that kickoff return team. I think my teammates just did a great job, because on that touchdown, no one touched me. I just have to work on my responsibility, and that's holding onto the ball."

As he said, McCourty's teammates saved him. And more specifically, Rob Ninkovich saved him, sealing the deal on New England's win with a sack and a fumble recovery in overtime.

Because of the win, the Patriots won't focus on McCourty's fumble. They'll thank him for the early touchdown instead.

"It's tough, but I think that Dev's a great player for us," said Ninkovich. "And it's just a tough spot for him, obviously, because I know how much of a competitor Dev is. And we were alright. We bounced back from it. We had a touchdown that we wouldn't have had, if it wasn't for him."

Brady legal team granted 14-day extension

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Brady legal team granted 14-day extension

Tom Brady’s legal team, including recent hire former US Solictor General Ted Olson, have been granted the extension they were seeking for the deadline to file for a rehearing in the Deflategate case. 

Despite the NFL’s opposition - lawyers for the league requested Monday that the motion be denied - the court ruled Tuesday in favor of the NFLPA and Brady. They now have until May 23 to file the request for a rehearing or rehearing en banc with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which last week reinstated his four-game Deflategate suspension.

Once Team Brady makes the request, the court still has to agree to take up the case again. And while many legal experts speculate the odds of that happening are low, this case has continued to confound observers as it has played out. 

 

Massarotti: Moving on from Garoppolo makes me nervous

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Massarotti: Moving on from Garoppolo makes me nervous

Tony Massarotti says if the team thinks Jimmy Garoppolo has something, don’t trade him because Tom Brady has more time left than they thought.

NFL wants Brady, NFLPA to move it along with their rehearing request

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NFL wants Brady, NFLPA to move it along with their rehearing request

UPDATE, 4:55 P.M. : Despite NFL opposition, the court rules for Tom Brady’s legal team and grant them until May 23 to file a request for rehearing.

It looks like the NFL is finally ready to put this whole Deflategate thing to bed. And now that it's won the most recent court decision, the sooner the better, it seems. 

Tom Brady and the NFLPA requested a 14-day extension to file their petition for a rehearing in front of the entire Second Ciruit Court of Appeals, which would double the normal amount of time typically granted to request a rehearing. 

But the league made a court filing on Monday saying "there is no need" for an extension beyond the normal 14-day window.

"The first pre-season game is just over three months away," wrote Paul Clement, co-lead counsel for the NFL. "Time remains of the essence."

Last week, the Second Circuit's three-judge panel ruled that Roger Goodell was within his rights as commissioner of the NFL to punish Brady with a four-game suspension due to Deflategate. As a result, district judge Richard Berman's initial decision on the case was overturned and Brady's suspension was reinstated.

Soon after the ruling was handed down, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah joined the Dan Patrick Show and explained that Brady and his team expected to have two weeks to put together its rehearing request. He did not, at that point, make reference to wanting extra time.

"I think the process now, we want to try to figure out and weigh all the options," Atallah said. "I think we'll do that in the next couple days. We have 14 days from the time of the decision to take any action or pursue any further appeal if we want, and I think we'll probably take up most of that time."

As soon as the request is filed, according to Pro Football Talk, it will act as a stay on Brady's suspension. That means he'll be eligible to play until a) the request is denied or b) the request is accepted, heard by the whole Second Circuit, and the ruling goes to the NFL.

If Option B is the scenario that plays out, it could take months, meaning it's possible Brady could play the entire 2016 season before a ruling comes down.