Brady bristles against finesse tag

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Brady bristles against finesse tag

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady was asked Wednesday about Rob Gronkowski, specifically, if the tough, rangy tight end gives the offense some edginess. Brady confirmed the idea but he didn't stop there. The question sparked something in the Patriots quarterback.

He almost became defensive.

"Football's all about playing physical. It's a physical sport, and if you're a finesse team you don't usually last very long. And that's what we're trying to be; we're trying to be a physical team that's tough."

Ah. The dreaded "f" word.

Finesse.

"Whether you're on the line of scrimmage and they're pressing you that you get off the line of scrimmage; whether you're running the ball, or whether you're running the ball out at the end of the game; when you're in a third-and-1 situation or a goal line situation. All of those things really relate to the toughness of the offense. And that's stuff we're trying to build on."

He didn't say the Patriots are battling a stigma but the notion is safely assumed. New England is not a ground-and-pound offense. Days before the teams faced off in Oakland, Raiders linebacker Rolando McLain tagged his opponent as "just a finesse team." For what the word is worth in the NFL, he might as well have insulted Belichick's mother. It means the offense is pretty with no power.

Finesse not force. One or the other.

Brady says he knows what makes a team tough. And he thinks his guys have what it takes to cultivate that identity.

"I think it comes down to those situation plays that I talked about. Like, third-and-1, you're not throwing it. First-and-goal on the one, you're not throwing it. Four minutes left in the game and you've got a lead, you're not throwing it . . . Like we did against the Jets, where we ran it 9-of-11, or 10-of-11, times right at the end of the game to end it. That's what it means to be tough and physical."

While the point is well taken, there's evidence to the contrary. Last week in Pittsburgh the Patriots got the ball back with 6:03 left on the clock, down 23-14. Brady ended up with a third-and-1 on the Steelers' 1-yard line toward the end of the drive. He threw the ball. Fourth-and-1, he threw the ball. Ryan Mundy intercepted the pass to Rob Gronkowski but the pick was nullified by a penalty. First-and-1 on the Steelers' 1. Brady threw the ball.

The Patriots got the touchdown. But one yard short and you get three plays on three throws? What does that say about the rush?

"Finesse in football? Yes, it's a dirty word," Brady said. "This isn't a finesse sport, so, you won't go very far as a team."

How far will the Patriots go? Forget time; only toughness will tell.

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Tom Brady's daughter Vivian is a natural on skis.

The New England Patriots quarterback and apparently proud father posted a comical video of his 4-year-old daughter tearing it up on the ski hill. Vivian took on the bottom section of the run while adhering to the all-important instructions from the Super Cool Ski Instructor from the Comedy Central show, "South Park."

Brady added the audio from the "South Park" ski instructor to the video of his daughter skiing, and included a joke about "french frying" and "pizzaing" at the correct moments. 

"That’s my girl! Pizzaing when she's supposed to pizza, French frying when she's supposed to French fry... NOT having a bad time!!" Brady joked on Instagram.

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

The Patriots obviously got it right when they pushed away from the table during the Darrelle Revis bidding war in 2015. 

The once-great corner spent the 2016 season languishing on the field. He’s spending the early part of the offseason reacting negatively to backpack journalism after midnight. 

MORE PATRIOTS

But the alleged double KO by Revis and his buddies isn’t what prompts this submission. 

It’s the revelation from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that the tampering the Jets engaged in when they were prying Revis loose from the Patriots was way, way more involved than what the NFL fined them for. And that Jets owner Woody Johnson knew all about it. 

Mehta leads his piece revealing that, long before free agency opened in 2015, Revis “was ready to squeeze more money out of [Johnson] who he knew would be willing to overpay for his services again.”

Mehta reports that, “back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion . . . 

“Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team's landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.

“Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.”

The Patriots -- who were in the midst of the Deflategate colonoscopy that resulted in absurd-level discipline -- lodged a complaint with the league over the Jets tampering after Revis signed with the Jets in mid-March of 2015. 

The Jets were fined $100,000 but weren’t docked any draft picks.. The tender wrist slap came, ostensibly, because Johnson moronically stated at a December press conference that he’d “love” to have Revis return to New York. 

Maybe Johnson wasn’t being a dummy. That comment provided cover for the league office -- which has a documented history of treating the two NYC franchises with kid gloves -- to let the Jets off easy. 

Mehta’s article is the latest offering from him since completing his heel turn against Revis. 

Mehta did everything but fly the plane to bring Revis to New York once the 2014 season ended. And this is what he wrote the day the Jets penalty came down: 

The NFL’s attempt to uncover any dirt was an exercise in futility, a witch hunt driven by nonsense from a hypocritical organization with no reason to feel threatened by its competitor. 

You may wonder what’s the point? 

Clearly, the Patriots got it right while the Jets cheated, got what they wanted, and are now getting what they deserved. 

And everyone already knows the league office’s investigations and operations arms under the brutally incompetent leadership of Troy Vincent are a laughingstock. 

All true. But if I don’t write this now, I may have no recollection of this particular instance of league corruption given the absolute avalanche of other incidents