Brady ratchets up the intensity in Patriots camp


Brady ratchets up the intensity in Patriots camp

FOXBORO - Toward the tail end of practice on Sunday, the heat, the humidity and Tom Brady's competitive edge combined. One mistake too many led to offensive lineman Donald Thomas beginning a penalty lap with some loud Brady admonitions raining down on him from behind.

It doesn't start for real this week when the Saints roll into town. But it's the beginning of the beginning of real games.

And he wants it to be right sooner rather than later.

"You take six months off, so theres quite about a bit of time between February and when we start," Brady explained. "Theres a new group and youre doing new things and the communications different thats why were practicing. You get out here in this situation and its an important situation, were working on the two-minute and you cant afford mistakes, you know all 11 of us have to be on the same page. Thats why we do the two-minute at the end of practice, because youre tired, youre drenched in sweat and thats when your concentration needs to be at its best because thats when the game is on the line."

After a dozen days of practices, it's good to hear talk of "games" and not perfecting fundamentals and "just getting better every day."

It's an indication that the urgency of inter-team competition is about to take over.

Brady wouldn't go so far as to say he's looking forward to the Saints practices and preseason game as a measuring stick, though. It is, it seems, all about how the Patriots perform. The opponent is irrelevant.

"Well see how it goes," he said of the Saints practices, which begin Tuesday. "I think weve done it before, so hopefully we can get a lot out of it. Theyre the Saints a very good team. Its fun to have a game week and weve been trying to string practices together. Weve had some good ones, weve had some ones that havent been great and you try to learn from your mistakes and come back and not repeat them. So now you get to see a different set of defenses, opponents, matchups and personnel and were going to see where were at."

With the reduced amount of on-field practice time under the new CBA, there's been an adjustment in terms of preparation.

Brady addressed that, saying, "There hasnt been as much on-the-field work, but youve got to take advantage when youre on the field. Everyones really at the same spot. Were all playing by the same set of rules. Whoever maximizes their time on the field, their time on the walkthrough, is going to have an advantage. I think our coaches put a lot of emphasis on the walkthroughs and in the meeting rooms. Certainly when we get on the field were not expected to come out here and make a bunch of mistakes; because were only coming out here once a day weve got to bring the intensity and weve got to get things right."

And bringing his intensity is a priority.

"As an older player its not like I have to study my playbook a ton," he pointed out. "I mean I know what were doing, I know why were doing it and I know the calls. Its more mentally making sure that you bring emotion and energy and making sure that you have the enthusiasm and the execution is good.

"Everyone is working on something. Its not like you can just go through the motions out here or else you dont improve. Im competing just like everybody else. Im competing for my role and my spot and trying to be a good leader and trying to set a good example as a quarterback. I think thats my challenge: to come out here every day and bring everything that I have to try to make us a better team. "

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Want a classic Felger rant? Or forget Felger; a classic rant, period?

Watch the video above as Michael Felger eviscerates the Oakland Raiders.

"You know what the Oakland Raiders are? And their fans, and their city? A bunch of dirtbags," Felger said Tuesday on Felger & Mazz. "If that's not the most overrated team and organization in the history of sports, I don't know what is . . . That is a garbage organization and it has always has been.

"And the way people are treating them now, like . . . the Green Bay Packers or the Boston Celtics or the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Yankees are moving, is laughable. Laughable! The Oakland Raiders are garbage. And they always have been."

There's more . . . ,much more. Watch the video to hear the full treatment.

Rules changes are in: Field-goal leap, crackback blocks banned

Rules changes are in: Field-goal leap, crackback blocks banned

PHOENIX -- The NFL has announced which rules, bylaw and resolution proposals passed following Tuesday's vote at the Arizona Biltmore. The full list is below, but here are a couple of the noteworthy changes from a Patriots perspective . . . 

* That leap-the-line play that Jamie Collins and Shea McClellin have executed for the Patriots over the course of the last two seasons? That's been prohibited, as expected. The league did not want coaches to be responsible for putting a player in a position where he may suffer a head or neck injury. (Which is different from a player putting himself in that position with a split-second decision to leave his feet mid-play.)


* Receivers running pass routes can now be considered "defenseless." That means that even within the five-yard "chuck" area beyond the line of scrimmage, receivers will have some measure of protection. The Patriots, like many teams, have called for linebackers to disrupt the routes of shallow crossers, which can lead to monster hits on unexpecting players. Those types of collisions may now be fewer and farther between.

* Crackback blocks are now prohibited by a player who is in motion, even if the player is not more than two yards outside the tackle box at the snap. What's the Patriots connection here? It seems as though the overtime play that won Super Bowl LI -- during which Julian Edelman came in motion and "cracked" down on corner Brian Poole -- is now illegal. We'll look for clarification on this when the league holds its press conference describing the rules changes later on Tuesday.

Approved 2017 Playing Rules Proposals

2a. By Philadelphia; Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays. (Final language will be available on  

8.   By Competition Committee; Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. 

9.   By Competition Committee; Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only. 

11. By Competition Committee; Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection. 

12. By Competition Committee; Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped. 

13. By Competition Committee; Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews. 

14. By Competition Committee; Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock. 

15. By Competition Committee; Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.

Approved 2017 Bylaw Proposals

4.     By Competition Committee; Liberalizes rules for timing, testing, and administering physical examinations to draft-eligible players at a club’s facility for one year only. 

5.     By Competition Committee; Changes the procedures for returning a player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness to the Active List to be similar to those for returning a player that was Designated for Return.  

6.     By Competition Committee; The League office will transmit a Personnel Notice to clubs on Sundays during training camp and preseason.

Approved 2017 Resolution Proposal

G-4.     By Competition Committee: Permits a contract or non-contract non-football employee to interview with and be hired by another club during the playing season, provided the employer club has consented.