For former Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees admitted that Sunday's game will be wrought with emotion.
"Its always an emotional day," Peas said Thursday. "Im not going to lie about that and act like its just another game. Its a big game for me. I think I mentioned it once before: Its kind of like when you go out and you play golf against somebody and you want to win, but when you play your brothers, you really want to win. Theres a lot of friends over there on the other sideline, a lot of old colleagues, a lot of players that I coached. So yeah, sure its an emotional game. It always is."
Pees did not seek to renew his contract with the Patriots after the 2010 season. He became the linebackers coach in Baltimore for two years before being named defensive coordinator in January. He said on Thursday that his relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick is still very good.
"My relationship with him is great," he said. "We still speak on occasion when were playing a team thats a common opponent and we arent playing each other. In certain years, well discuss things. Its a great relationship. The biggest thing I have taken from him, as Ive taken from all the head coaches, all the head coaches I have worked for, John Harbaugh included, they all have their different ways of doing things, and they are all good. So, what you do is you kind of try to steal a little bit of attention to detail, or whatever it might be, within your personality. You take all those things from every head coach I have been with."
When Danny Amendola told the world on Tuesday that he's better than Tom Brady at ping pong, the quarterback must have been listening.
On his Facebook page, Brady published a snarling image of his face Photoshopped onto the body of a table tennis player. That paddle he broke after losing to Amendola three years ago? It's fixed, Brady explained in the caption. And he's ready for a rematch.
Talk about intimidation.
Vince Wilfork will be one of many well-known athletes to strip down and pose nude for photographs in ESPN The Magazine's's Body issue, joining a group that includes Cubs pitcher Jake Arrietta, Broncos defensive end Von Miller and Heat guard Dwyane Wade.
Judging by his latest tweet, the former Patriots defensive lineman -- who is listed at 325 pounds -- is getting pretty comfortable with the idea of becoming a model.
Now it's up to Tom Brady to play match-maker, it seems. Gisele retired from the runway last year so maybe her people are on the lookout for some new talent.
Bill Belichick released a statement on Buddy Ryan's passing Tuesday afternoon.
"Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan," Belichick said. "It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family."
Belichick is certainly very familiar with Ryan's legacy and the tradition Ryan passed down to his sons Rex and Rob. The Patriots coach has competed against all three.
Rex Ryan has squared off with Belichick during his time as head coach for the Jets (2009-14) and Bills (2015-present), and their matchups go back to Rex's days with the Ravens (1999-2008) when he was a defensive line coach and then defensive coordinator.
Rob Ryan, like his brother, got his first NFL break when his father was the head coach of the Cardinals in the mid-1990s. His second break, though, came from Belichick. He joined the Patriots staff during Belichick's first year as head coach in 2000 and coached linebackers for four seasons in New England. He has since competed against Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints. Rob joined Rex in Buffalo this year to serve as an assistant on the staff there.
For Belichick's thoughts on the impact of Buddy Ryan's famous "46" defense, we dug up some of his comments from a 2012 press conference that you can find here. He called the combination of Ryan's scheme and the talented players Ryan had at his disposal as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears "pretty unblockable."