Belichick puts bow on season; Deaderick has surgery


Belichick puts bow on season; Deaderick has surgery

By TomE. Curran

Calling in to WEEI's Big Show Thursday afternoon, Bill Belichick tepidly relived many of the issues of a great season gone bad at the end. "A lot of good things happened in the regular season," Belichick said from Hawaii where he's coaching the AFC Pro Bowlers. "In the end it comes down to how you play and in the end we didn't play well enough in our postseason opportunity . . . We just didn't get it done."There wasn't a lot of new ground brokenand Belichick wasn't quite enlivened by the conversation. He did acknowledge that the Patriots' mortal wounds were self-inflicted. Speaking of the team's first two offensive drives, which ended with an interception then a field goal, Belichick said, "Those two drives, we pretty much went right down the field. We had more to do with us not having a 14-point lead than the Jets did. But we just didn't capitalize on those opportunities andI think that probably gave them some more confidence and gave them the confidence to keep doing what they were doing defensively, even though we moved the ball well and could have put them in a much tougher position than we did."Belichick also circled back for what figures to be the final time on an array of issues that haven't quite been put to bed. On the benching of Wes Welker for the Patriots' first offensive drive, Belichick said he was merely doing "what I felt was the best thing for our football team." On the slow pace of the Patriots' second-to-last possession of the game, Belichick said, "There were a couple of times they subbed personnel and that affected how we called the play. It was a situation whereI know Tom Brady wanted to have things right so we didn't miss an assignment. There were a couple of times that might have slowed us down a little. Had we scored anything at all, then it would have been a one-score game with a decent amount of time to go and timeouts to use on defense." Asked about the particulars of the failed fake punt, Belichick said, "We definitely made a mistake on the play. Without going into a long explanation, suffice to say it was a mistake . . . Patrick Chung, who audibled for the fake feels badly about that. It was one play. There were opportunities to overcome that." As for an overriding feeling he's left with from the season, Belichick said, "My main expectation for this team was to improve and try to get better from the first week through the end of the year . . . I felt like our team did get better and did work hard. That needed to happen and did happen. The overriding thing was the team improving over the course of the season. There were a couple ups and downs . . . but on balance as a team we got better over the course of the year."

The agent for rookie defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick said on Twitter that his client underwent surgery Thursday, and Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, citing a source, reported it was a "clean-up" operation on the shoulder that bad been bothering Deaderick late in the year.Tom E. Curran canbe reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”