Suggs: 'What beef (with Brady)?!'

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Suggs: 'What beef (with Brady)?!'

FOXBORO - Tom Brady's the kid in the front row, pen poised over his notebook ready to take down every word he needs to succeed. Terrell Suggs is the kid at the back of the room wadding up paper and throwing it off the side of Brady's square squash when the teacher's back is turned. At least those are the boxes Suggs has tried to put the two men into. On Wednesday, when the dog-and-pony show for the AFC Championship game kicked off, Suggs was asked about his ongoing beef with Brady.

"What?! No, theres no beef," he said incredulously.

He then explained (as we did earlier in the week) that it all began when Brady appeared to a get a flag-on-demand from Ron Winter in 2009. "I guess the genesis of that, it was the incident in 09, where I almost hit him below the waist. Ive gotten over it. Thats where it all started, but you grow and mature. As you all can clearly see, I am not the same guy I was back in 09. I am definitely 20 pounds lighter, too. We had a lot going on. We had a lot going on that year. Like I said, I am pretty much over it. I respect him. Like I said before, I said it Sunday, when it is all said and done, they are going to speak about three quarterbacks: Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning and him. Theres really no beef.

That's a pretty amazing turnaround from the way Suggs has spun it in the past. But there's always been an element of jest to everything Suggs has said about Brady through the years. He seems to save his legitimate ill humor for the field.

The matchup between Brady and Suggs, who had 14 sacks this season, has been labeled "Suggs vs. UGGs" in a nod to the comfy boots Brady endorses.

"Whats that mean? He wears UGG boots?" asked Suggs."I heard they are really comfortable. Maybe he can get me some. Ill take some. Ill send him some Ball So Hard gear, Ball So Hard T-shirts.

Even during all thebouquet-tossing, Suggs kept his guard up from buying in too much. Asked if he heard Bill Belichick's praise for Ed Reed as being the best player he ever coached against, Suggs said, He has said that to us before, and then constantly threw the ball back there at him. I dont know how much that holds weight."

The success of the Ravens defense hinges greatly on how fast their pass rush can get to Brady. Can their corners and linebackers mess up the receivers' timing long enough for Suggs and Co. to get to Brady?

"You dont want anyone, particularly this guy, to get into a seven-on-seven matchup with your defensive backs, especially when they have a 6-12, 260-pound tight end that runs about a 4.5 (Rob Gronkowski). You dont want him back there just like, Oh, were just going to play catch today. You dont want him to zone in, get in his zone, so to say. So, I think pressure is going to be crucial, but its always crucial. But, particularly when you are playing these type of quarterbacks, its pivotal.

Love,

T-Sizzle.

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

FOXBORO – Back in March, Eric Weddle batted his eyes longingly at the Patriots. The two-time All-Pro safety’s time was done with the Chargers and he wanted to spend his NFL autumn with a team that had a chance to win it all. 

He didn’t land in New England, but he didn’t too badly, winding up with the usually competitive Ravens.  

On a Thursday conference call with New England media, Weddle confirmed that there was mutual interest expressed. 

“Obviously, I was interested,” he acknowledged. “I have nothing but high regard, respect and admiration – and envy, quite honestly – of the success of the New England Patriots over the years. Obviously, battling them in my career, it’s always been a great game. I love the way they play, love the foundation, love everything about it. It was definitely on my radar. There were talks both ways, it just didn’t end up [working out].”

The numbers massed at the position with Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played a role in the two sides not being able to reach accord, according to Weddle. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin [McCourty] is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Weddle’s New England attraction apparently wasn’t love that bloomed late in his career. Toward the end of his conference call, Weddle said, “I’m still wondering why they just didn’t draft me in ’07; I could have been still playing there now.”

As reporters puzzled for a moment trying to recall the 2007 first-rounder, Weddle chipped in with the answer: “[They took] Brandon Meriweather.”

Khudobin simply ‘has got to be better’ for Bruins

Khudobin simply ‘has got to be better’ for Bruins

BOSTON – There wasn’t much for Anton Khudobin to say after it was all over on Thursday night. 

The B’s backup netminder allowed four goals on 22 shots while looking like he was fighting the puck all night. It was one of the big reasons behind a tired-looking 4-2 loss to the lowly Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

The loss dropped Khudobin to 1-4-0 on the season and puts him at a 3.02 goals-against average and .888 save percentage this season. Three of the four goals beat Khudobin despite him getting a pretty good look at them. The ultimate game-winner in the second period from John Mitchell just beat him cleanly on the short side. 

Matt Duchene beat Khudobin from the slot on a play that was a bad defense/bad goaltending combo platter to start the game and MacKinnon ripped a shorthanded bid past the Bruins netminder to put Boston in a hole against a woeful Colorado team. 

Afterward, Khudobin didn’t have much to say, with just one good performance among five games played for the Black and Gold this season. 

“Four goals is too much. That’s it,” said a to-the-point Khudobin, who was then asked how he felt headed into the game. “I don’t know; too much energy…yeah, too much. I don’t know. I just had a lot of energy and I think it just didn’t work out my way.”

Khudobin didn’t really expand on why he had too much energy, but perhaps it’s because the compacted schedule has really curtailed the team’s ability to hold team practices on a regular basis. Or maybe he was just disappointed it took him a week to get back between the pipes after playing his best game of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Either way Claude Julien said that the Bruins needed better goaltending on a night where they weren’t at their sharpest physically or mentally, and Khudobin clearly wasn’t up to the challenge this time around. 

“We needed some saves tonight and we didn’t get them. He’s got to be better. A lot of things here that we can be better at and take responsibility [for],” said Julien. “But at the same time, you got to move on here. To me it’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, and we would have had a chance. Now we’ve got to move forward.”

Clearly, the Bruins have no choice but to move on with a busy schedule that doesn’t let up anytime soon, but one of the lessons learned from Thursday night is that the Bruins need to get better backup goaltending from a collective crew (Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban included) that’s won just once in eight games behind Tuukka Rask this season.