Jason Taylor 'floored' by Brady's letter supporting his Hall induction

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Jason Taylor 'floored' by Brady's letter supporting his Hall induction

Former Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend with a boost from an old nemesis.

Taylor may have sacked Tom Brady 12 1/2 times in 20 meetings with the Patriots in his 15-year career, but Brady really got to him with the letter TB12 wrote to Hall voters in support of Taylor's Hall of Fame candidacy. 

Taylor, interviewed on NBC's broadcast of the Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Cardinals on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio, said he was "floored" by Brady's letter, and “that meant more to me than anything." 

NBC 6 in Miami posted the letter in a tweet in February:

“One of the greatest opponents I have ever faced” is how Brady described Taylor in the letter.  

Brady wrote:

The games against Jason are some of my most (well, maybe least) memorable. He is one of the greatest players I’ve ever faced, having had the 'pleasure' of looking across the line and seeing him on the opposite side of the ball, not once, but twice each season for a decade. While I entered the league with a healthy respect for Jason and the Miami defense he led, my admiration for him as a player and a person only grew with each play, each game, each season.

He added: "Coach Belichick and the rest of the staff have a reputation for game planning against a team’s strengths. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay Jason is the amount of hours we spent watching game film over the years and going over what we needed to neutralize him. I can’t say we ever came up with a great answer."

Can't wait to read Taylor's letter backing Brady's HOF credentials, but it probably won't be necessary. 


 

Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

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Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

In separate statements Saturday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith each criticized President Donald Trump's verbal attack on NFL players. 

Goodell's statement: 

The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month.  Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.

 

And Smith's statement: 

Whether or not Roger or the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen. This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks. 

 

NFLPA president Eric Winston, a tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, also tweeted a statement critical of the President:

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally. 

He also lamented that football has become less violent.

“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.

McCourty tweets criticism of Trump's shot at NFL players

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McCourty tweets criticism of Trump's shot at NFL players

Patriots safety Devin McCourty tweeted criticism of President Donald Trump's harsh words toward NFL players who have been kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

McCourty shares a Twitter account with his twin brother Jason of the Cleveland Browns but put his DMac signature on this tweet. Devin McCourty was one of several Pats who didn't go to the White House this past spring to celebrate the team's Super Bowl championship with Trump. 

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally to loud applause.

McCourty and then-teammate Martellus Bennett raised clenched fists in protest after the anthem at the Patriots opening game last season and McCourty said he received plenty of criticism for it. 

“I got a lot of [backlash],” McCourty told CSN Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran last year in the days following that protest. "You gotta remember, a lot of these people, they don’t know me. They like the way I play football and they like some of the things I do in the community but they don’t know me. I talked to my brother [then with the Tennessee Titans] because we have the same Twitter and the Titans got a bunch of calls from people saying they don’t respect [the Titans who made symbolic gestures] and they need to be gone. He said their community relations people said, ‘If you just knew them, your opinion would change.’ ”

Several NFL players and other athletes, most prominently former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest the treatment of African-Americans by police.