Suggs figures to bring the sizzle


Suggs figures to bring the sizzle

No player in the NFL combines the ability to run his mouth and the ability to back it up like Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.

The self-proclaimed "T-Sizzle" from "Ball So Hard University" is a legitimate NFL Defensive Player of the Year hopeful after his 15-sack season.

And one of his favorite talking points in recent years has been Tom Brady.Suggs believesBrady gets extra protection from officials because he's an NFL golden child. And Suggs thinks Brady's kind of a baby.

The genesis of this belief came in 2009 when Brady just back from a knee injury that cost him the 2008 season had a stumbling Suggs take a dive at his repaired knee.

Brady as the video linked above shows was immediately demanding a flag and seemed to get one on request from referee Ron Winter.

After losing a tight one in New England that day, Suggs and Ray Lewis railed about Brady getting preferential treatment. The play and their reaction spawned a week of cluck-clucking about Brady demanding flags and quarterbacks being overprotected.

Last October, the Patriots beat the Ravens 23-20 in New England. Brady and Suggs jawed during the game.

What did they talk about? "He was trying to tell me how to bag a Hollywood actress, Suggs said. "He said, If you want to get a Hollywood actress, take my seminar on Saturday. . . . He was going over the Dow and the economy and politics. He doesnt really talk football that much.

Suggs also said after that game the Patriots better hope they don't see Baltimore again. To which Brady shot back, "Well, he had his chance so maybe if he gets another chance he can try to back those words up. We play those guys a lot and theyve only beat us once . . . they talk a lot for only beating us once in nine years.

Another sideswipe came from Suggs in December when he said he left Brady off his Pro Bowl roster. And then, last January on SIRIUS, Suggs again circled back to Brady saying, "Man, this guys got the world. Hes winning Super Bowls and dating supermodels. It dont get much better than that . . . rules made for him. He gets to tell the referee when to throw the flag."

Suggs said after Sunday's win over the Texans that the Patriots are a pretty team. The Ravens are ugly.

For more on Suggs read this terrific feature by ESPN's Elizabeth Merrill. She's one of the best feature writers out there.

Injury report: Amendola out for Ravens game, Bennett questionable

Injury report: Amendola out for Ravens game, Bennett questionable

Wide receiver Danny Amendola was officially listed as out on the injury report for the Patriots' Monday night home game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Amendola injured his ankle on a punt return against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. It will be the first game he's missed this season. The Patriots signed veteran wide receiver and kick returner Griff Whalen during the week.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle, shoulder) is among the Pats listed as questionable, along with special teams ace Matt Slater (foot), who missed the Rams game, safety Jordan Richards (knee), linebacker Elandon Roberts (hamstring) and cornerback Eric Rowe (hamstring).

Whalen, part of Colts' infamous fake punt play, settles in with Patriots

Whalen, part of Colts' infamous fake punt play, settles in with Patriots

FOXBORO – Griff Whalen was at the epicenter of one of the stupidest, funniest, most “did that just happen?!” plays in NFL history.

So indescribable it never even really earned a name, it was the fourth-down gadget play the Colts tried to run against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football in the first meeting between the teams after Indy ran to the principal’s office to start Deflategate. 

Whalen was the center on that play (I tried to call it “Fourth-and-Wrong” but it didn’t take) and the millisecond between him snapping the ball and the three players processing that the ball had indeed been snapped is perhaps my favorite moment of the past several seasons. 

Whalen is a Patriot now, brought in this week in the wake of Danny Amendola’s knee injury presumably to fill Amendola’s role as a punt returner and wideout. The Colts released him last January, the Dolphins picked him up and cut him at the end of training camp and the Chargers had him on their roster from mid-September until releasing him last month after eight games, two catches and 22 yards. He returned kickoffs for San Diego but no punts since 2015.

The primary area of need for the Patriots is on punt returns. Rookie Cyrus Jones’ transition to appearing comfortable remains glacially slow. It was Jones’ muff last week that brought on Amendola in relief. When Amendola hurt his ankle on a late-game return, the Patriots were forced to decide between Jones, wideout Julian Edelman (who doesn’t need extra work) and making a move.

Whalen is a move they made.

The slight and baby-faced Whalen indicated he had fielded some punts in practice, saying it went, “Fine.” Punt returns are something he’s done “since I was a kid.”

His first impression of the team was, "A lot of what I expected to see. A lot of detail. A lot of effort in practice. Good coaching all-around. I am excited to be here. I was excited to come into a good team that I’d gone against a few times. Hopefully come in and help out the team with whatever I can.”

I asked Whalen if he saw much of the commentary or creativity last year’s failed play spawned.

“I wasn’t paying too much attention,” he said. “When it’s during the season guys are pretty locked in on what they’re doing inside the building. But I heard more about it later on afterwards.”

Asked if he’d heard anything about the play since being here, Whalen replied, “I haven’t. Kinda was [expecting it].”

The Patriots will be hoping Whalen remains as productive for them on fourth down this year as he was in 2015.