Brady: I definitely would have called timeout


Brady: I definitely would have called timeout

There wasn't a particular play that stuck out in Tom Brady's mind as the one he would like to have back. Instead, there were several that went wrong and led to New England's 28-13 loss in the AFC Championship game to the Ravens.

Brady spoke to WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Show for his final Monday morning interview of the season to explain some of those plays that he'd like to have back, as well as the emotions he felt after dropping another playoff game short of the team's goal to win the Super Bowl.

"It's not like some games where you point to one or two plays," Brady said. "It was just all around: third down conversions, red area plays, turnovers always play a factor. All those things really weren't in our favor. When they're not, you can't point to 'Wow it was just that one play.' It was a lot of plays. That's how you lose by 15. I thought after the game, I can't remember the last time we lost by 15 points. It's been a while."

Brady did discuss a few of those plays he wished could have gone differently. Among them, he explained how he would've handled the end of the first half differently had he had the chance to do it over.

Would he have called a timeout immediately after sliding at the Baltimore seven-yard line?

"Yeah, I think that's definitely what I would've done," he said. "We talk about sometimes saving the last timeout for the field goal. With one timeout left I think that was the thought. It's just sometimes when you're in the heat of the moment sometimes you don't realize how much clock has ticked off as you've run that previous play. By the time I looked up, there was not as many seconds left as you thought because my mind was focused on the play. But yeah, of course looking back on it, I wish as soon as I slid I called a timeout and then maybe we'd have another opportunity to put the ball in the end zone."

Brady also discussed Wes Welker's third quarter drop. On a third-and-eight play on New England's first drive of the second half, Brady hit Welker in the flat for what would have been a first down, but the ball bounced off of Welker's hands and fell incomplete. Though just moments earlier Welker had been leveled by Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, Brady said he didn't think twice about throwing to his most targeted receiver.

"Big hits are part of the game," Brady said. "They're a very physical team, and they put a few big hits on us last night. Wes is the toughest player I've ever played with and been around. You just don't think about those things sometimes. You're reading the defense, or making protection calls, then you see a guy that's open and you try to throw it to him."

Brady lamented his team's offensive performance in the second half, when it was shut out by the Ravens. But he also spoke about missed opportunities to score points in the first half, when the Patriots started drives at their 33, 47 and Baltimore's 43-yard line.

"At times we moved the ball pretty well," Brady said. "We had good field position there early in the game. We just didn't make many critical plays, ones that got us over the hump. Just poor execution on our part. Just a rough night. There are other games where we haven't executed as well but you're margin of error is different when you pay the best teams.

"Baltimore is always a tough game for us, even when we play our best it's a tough game. They played very well. We just couldn't get enough going and string together enough good plays to score touchdowns when we needed to."

Brady said no matter how the season ends, it's heartbreaking and difficult to accept.

"That's kind of the way the NFL season is," he said. "Coach Bill Belichick said it after the game, there's no soft landing. It's just a crash, so to speak. It was just a bad night for us. Certainly we didn't play anywhere to the level that we were capable of playing."

Here are some of the other highlights from Brady's interview with WEEI:

On whether he will lobby the Patriots to retain Welker, who's scheduled to hit free agency
I think those business parts of the game, those usually take care of themselves. Certainly I'm not involved in any of those. Everyone knows how I feel about Wes. Our whole team feels that way about Wes. He's one of the best players I've ever played with and played against. He's just a phenomenal player. He's the heart and soul of what our team's been about. He's been so selfless, the way he carries himself and commits himself to the team to win, it's second to none. But like I said, those aren't my decisions.

On what happened when he scrambled from the pocket, collided with an official and went down
I saw Ray Lewis coming, and it's not like i really wanna go head-to-head with him. The official kind of got caught in a place where he really couldn't get out of the way, either. Just one of those things that come up.

On if he's excited to play in the Pro Bowl
We have a physical today so we'll see how I really feel. I would love to play in it. I'm not sure with a few things that have come up this last week if I'll be capable, but I'll talk with the doctor and see what he thinks.

Harbaugh: Proposal to ban field-goal leap seems like it will have league support


Harbaugh: Proposal to ban field-goal leap seems like it will have league support

PHOENIX -- One of the plays that the Patriots have helped bring to the forefront in recent seasons appears as though it could very well be banned by the end of the day on Tuesday. 

The league will vote on a variety of rules proposals at Biltmore Hotel, one of which would outlaw the field-goal leap play that the Patriots have employed with linebackers Jamie Collins and Shea McClellin over the course of the last two years. 

Collins blocked an Adam Vinatieri kick during a regular-season game in 2015, and McClellin got a Justin Tucker boot last season. The Patriots called for McClellin to leap the line in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, but he was penalized -- a ruling that Bill Belichick argued vociferously.

The feeling here over the last few days has been those types of plays will be banned because of the threat they pose to players who could be upended, potentially injuring their heads or necks. The rule change was officially proposed by Philadelphia. 

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who has coached special teams during various stops in his coaching career dating back to 1988, said during the AFC coaches breakfast that he felt those plays would be eliminated during Tuesday's vote. 

"It is dangerous," he said. "If a guy gets flipped on his head, I think that's really something that, if something bad happens, we're all going to be responsible for that. That's not good. I also think it's going to get stopped because teams will defend it better, they're going to be looking for it. But when that guy jumps from the top, he's either going to get hit from underneath or hit from the side, and he's probably not in a great position to defend himself.

"Now the other argument that gets made is a receiver jumps up in the air, gets cut, he gets put in that situation, too. That's kind of the counter argument. I understand that argument as well. Probably, it's risk-reward. Is it really worth putting that guy in that situation? That's what we're going to vote on later. I think it probably passes."

While Harbaugh acknowledged there is a threat to any player who leaves his feet, he acknowledged that there is a distinction between a player deciding to jump following a split-second decision in the heat of competition versus a coach calling for a player to potentially put himself at risk.

Another kicking game-related rule change on the docket is one proposed by Washington in which a kickoff booted through the uprights would lead to a touchback where the ball is spotted at the 20-yard line as opposed to the 25.

Harbaugh gave that idea a thumbs-up in part, he admitted, because he has one of the strongest kickers in the league in Tucker.

"Justin likes it, too," Harbaugh said. "I know everyone's going to say, 'Well, OK, just because it benefits them.' And we all consider that when rules changes get made. Anybody who says otherwise is lying. But it adds excitement to the play.

"We've taken a lot of kickoff returns out of the game. We got a touchdown, we got a review, we got a commerical . . . we have an extra point, we have another set of commercials, then we have a touchback . . . [then] commercials! That's not good. Anything we can do to make it a little more interesting.

"We proposed make [a kickoff through the uprights] a point. Now people are going to say well that's because of Justin Tucker. Yes. It's also because everybody will be watching that kickoff, especially if the wind is at his back. They say it can't be defended, [but] we can change that too. Let's get a guy under the uprights . . . Let him leap up there and see if he can bat the thing down. Anything that adds excitement to the game that's safe? I'm for."

Harbaugh: 'Very Patriot-like' to recognize Lawrence Guy's value


Harbaugh: 'Very Patriot-like' to recognize Lawrence Guy's value

PHOENIX -- With Bill Belichick abstaining from the AFC coaches breakfast, it provided us an opportunity to seek out others in the conference to provide some perspective on the moves the Patriots have made this offseason. 

One of the moves that has received the least amount of buzz has been the acquisition of free-agent defensive lineman Lawrence Guy, who spent the last two seasons and most of 2014 with the Ravens. 

From Baltimore coach John Harbaugh's perspective, Guy's signing with the Patriots made perfect sense.

"I just think they're getting a great guy, and they're going to love him because he's a really good football player," Harbaugh said. "He's a very under-rated, under-valued player. I thought it was very Patriot-like to recognize his value and to pay him the way they did. I think they paid him very well and in a way that's going to change his life forever so I'm really happy for him."

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Guy, who turned 27 on March 17, visited the Patriots early in free agency and signed soon thereafter. He played in all 16 games for Baltimore last season, seeing 46.4 percent of the defensive snaps, and in a Week 14 game against the Patriots, he recorded one quarterback hit and one hurry.

Guy's versatility to play as an end or on the interior should vibe well in New England where players rotate in and out of games and from one position to another on a regular basis. 

"They're going to get a guy that plays equally well against the run and the pass, plays super hard, will be excellent in the locker room and in the meeting room," Harbaugh said.

They're also getting a hugger, apparently. That's one area where Harbaugh was jokingly a little unsure of Guy's fit with his new club.

"Now he gives me a big hug, a big Lawrence Guy bear hug, pretty much everytime I see him," Harbaugh said with a smile. "I'm looking forward to when Lawrence gives Coach Belichick a big Lawrence Guy bear hug. Can't wait to see that. Make sure you get that on camera."