Do Patriots get early-game brainlock?


Do Patriots get early-game brainlock?

FOXBORO - It was interesting to hear Bill Belichick discuss on Tuesday the in-game alterations teams make defensively to the Patriots offense. Interesting because, in some ways, the Patriots have seemed reactionary during their early-game struggles over the course of the season. Speaking specifically about teams defending Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Belichick said, "Weve seen a lot of different (schemes designed to stop the pair), no question about that. I think that started last year. Prior to last year, we hadnt had a lot of production out of the tight-end position . . . in the passing game; some, but not to the degree that its come in the last two years. Weve seen things head in that direction moreso than in some other years, given the production at that position. But yeah, they started to see that last year and we still see it."Continuing, Belichick said, "Tom Brady's seen a lot of things. He does a good job identifying what the defense is trying to do and trying to do the best thing for us offensively as a team to attack it. They only have 11 guys, so they can push the problem, but you can strengthen one area and that leads to other weaknesses. Hopefully we can find those and attack them."There is a probing that Brady seems to do on the first few drives of a game, a feeling-out process. Could his investigative work and analyzing as opposed to simply attack be part of the reason for the team's slow starts?"I think really its we just need to do a better job of coaching, we need to do a better job of executing what we do," corrected Belichick."When we do that we have more success. If we dont block, we dont catch the ball, if we dont have plays that give our offense options so we can handle different things . . . the chance of it working is not as high."That last part about having play-calls without checkdown or alternate reads is interesting. Especially since offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien has done such an outstanding job in so many areas with this offense while the early-game outputs, when the team is just getting into his offensive script, is so meager. Explaining the morphing of a game plan, Belichick said, "You go in with a game plan and you see how it unfolds against whatever your opponent is trying to do and then you modify it if you need to and if they adjust to what youre doing, then you have to readjust. Its a constant back and forth. It just doesnt go one way and then, okay, it stays that way for the rest of the game. A lot of times it changes from series to series or after a couple series after something has happened that has gone good, you might continue to see more of what theyre doing. If youre hurting them with it, then they do something to do adjust to you then you have to find something to counter that."As for O'Brien, who's drawn interest from the Jaguars and Rams so far, Belichick said, "Hes done a great job for us since hes come here. I really cant speak to him in any other position. Right now, really our focus is just on getting our team prepared for the bye week here and trying to improve the most that we can and trying to get ready for next weeks opponent, whoever that is thats our focus, not anything else."

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. 


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