Brady: Patriots 'don't take days off'

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Brady: Patriots 'don't take days off'

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO - You could tell on Friday morning that Tom Brady really wasn't fired up to stand at the podium and answer questions with the media. But he warmed to the conversation. And one of the most interesting parts was when he explained - urgently - why it's wrongheaded to think the Patriots should just sit their key guys this weekend against the Dolphins. "We're playing," he stated. "That's just the way it is. I don't get into a lot of evaluation why. It's a football game. I'm the starting quarterback on this team so I'll play. I know the other guys take the same approach. I don't think we approach this weekend any differently."When asked a question about overall improvement during this season, Brady used that to circle back to his point about playing this week. "Whatever we do this week will certainly help us down the road," he stated. "That's why we need to be good this week. I don't think you can sit here and say this week's not important. Like this week. We can't say, 'Well, let's just go out there and rest for a week.' Well, how we gonna get better then? We gotta get better today. We got better yesterday. We got better Wednesday. We're gonna have a better team this Sunday and that will certainly help us down the road.
"That's really been a trademark of this team, to make improvements during the season. I don't think we take weeks off.I don't think we take days off. We're always trying to get better." Brady looked at the mental side of dealing with his receivers on Friday morning. After discussing how he deals with Wes Welker when the veteran receiver drops a pass (as he's done on a number ofoccasions this year), Brady talked about Julian Edelman and how he helps the second-year wideout deal with his slide into disuse. "Julian, if anything, he presses maybe too hard," said Brady. "He's very hard on himself, very critical of himself all the time and sometimes I think some players beat themselves up and Julian's one of those guys because he wants to do it so right. He's done an incredible job in that transition to receiver from college quarterback.A lot of learning needs to take place for that transition. Nobody works harder than Julian. He fits right in with that receiver group with Deion Branch and Wes . . . He's a great asset to this team."Asked if he counsels Edelman, who's had a number of drops as well this year, Brady said, "All the time. You always want to see your teammates do well. Dropped balls, they come up. Quarterbacks throw interceptions. Running backs fumble. O-linemen get beat and give up sacks. What do you do going forward? If you can eliminate those mistakes going forward that's important, because you can overcomeone mistake but you can't overcomethree orfour mistakes. And if that one mistake leads to three or four mistakes, that's how you lose games." Earlier in his session, Brady was asked about Welker coming to the Patriots. He said he was "certainly intrigued by him" and that he remembered pushing then-GM Scott Pioli to get Welker when his contract expired. Brady also talked about how he deals with a veteran letting him down as opposed to a younger player. "There's a certain level of respect for veteran players where you don't yell at them like you yell at a rookie," Brady explained. "You try to help a rookie understand the importance of what's going on. And why drops can't happen. How route definition needs to be better.
"With a veteran like Wes, he knows the importance. He knows what he has to do. A lot of it is just trying to encourage. Sometimes you can get under his skin a little bit. I like to feel like I'm in command out there, so I make sure they all know that this is what they're trying to accomplish."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

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Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

PHOENIX - The Arizona Cardinals, in an anticipated move, have placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones after failing to reach a long-term deal with the player.

The non-exclusive tag allows the Cardinals to continue negotiating with Jones through July 15. If another team makes him an offer, Arizona can either match it or receive two first-round draft picks.

It's unlikely that any team would express interest in Jones, however, given what it would cost.

Under the franchise tag, Jones would receive about $15 million for the coming season.

Acquired in a trade with New England a year ago, Jones had 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 15 tackles for loss last season

Jones has 25 1-2 sacks over the past two seasons, third-most in the NFL over that span.

The Cardinals' move came two days before the NFL deadline for making franchise designations.

It also came on Jones' 27th birthday, prompting teammate David Johnson to tweet "Happy BDay to `The Man,' `Mr. Franchise' himself.....The one and only."

The franchise tag move came as no surprise.

Club President Michael Bidwill has stated all along that Jones would not be going anywhere, that the team didn't make the trade - sending guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick to New England - to keep him just for one season.

"We're not going to mess around with that," Bidwill said in a recent interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "He's a great pass rusher, but if we can't agree to terms that work for us, we're just going to franchise him, and his people know that."

Jones immediately upgraded what had been an average Cardinals pass rush at best. His fellow outside linebacker Markus Golden had 12 1-2 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Together they form one of the better outside pass rush combinations in the NFL.

By all accounts, the contract talks with Jones have been cordial and Jones has said he wants to stay in Arizona.

"I love it here," he said near the end of last season. "I love the vibe that the people give off and I can see myself being here for a long time."

Chandler heads a long list of free agents that the Cardinals must either re-sign or let go. That group includes starters defensive tackle Calais Campbell, safety Tony Jefferson and inside linebacker Kevin Minter.

Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' to land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' to land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock quarterbacked a marathon conference call with reporters from around the country on Monday in order to shed some light on the prospects who will compete at the combine later this week. One thing that stood out? He's not ready to crown anyone in this year's crop of draftable signal-callers.

As a result of the dearth of pro-ready talent at quarterback, Mayock recognized Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo as perhaps the top target for any quarterback-needy team. Garoppolo might interest the Cleveland Browns in particular, Mayock noted, because of the number of picks they have near the top of the draft.

"In my opinion," Mayock said, "if I'm the Cleveland Browns and I've got No. 1 and No. 12, if I came away with either [defensive end Myles] Garrett or [defensive tackle] Jonathan Allen at No. 1, and gave up the 12th pick in the draft to get Garoppolo? I would be stoked.

"I would feel like I had a difference-maker on defense and we had a quarterback on offense. Now let's get to work. We got five in the first 65 picks. Let's get to work. From my perspective, especially looking at the quarterbacks this year, if they gave up No. 12 and could get Garoppolo, I'd be all over that."