Jets Week Wednesday Wraparoo

Jets Week Wednesday Wraparoo

By Tom E. Curran

FOXBORO - When one adult calls another adult an a--hole , you figure said adults will work it out on their own. At least that's the way I've seen it operate. I mean, if every time we heard someone describe another person asan "a--hole" we ran and told the alleged a--hole that someone thinks he's an a--hole and waited for a response, we wouldn't get much work done. And I'm pretty sure I'd have a steady, round-the-clock stream of informers at my door.No, if someone wants the a--hole to know he's an a--hole, he cuts out the middle man and tells him to his face. If he doesn't feel the need to do that, either it's a passing emotion, it's unwise toshare that opinion or the person is a jelly-spined weasel. Either way, not our problem.
But sometimes, we in the media need to suspend our real world tendencies and channel our inner-fourth grader (ok, more than sometimes). If someone gets called an a--hole, we must let the world know who is doing the insulting and then let the insultee know that he's been so described. And then we wait for his reaction and tell everyone what that was. Wednesday, with the AFC Divisional Playoff Game between the Jets and Patriots less than 100 hours away, that's what we spent our day doing. Collecting varied reactions to the fact that the Jets Antonio Cromartie called Tom Brady an a--hole because Tom Brady points at the opposition's sidelines after the Patriots score touchdowns. (I myself haven't seen this often . .. I have seen purposeful spikes and gestures to the crowds but not the sideline pointing . . . still it wouldn't shock me). When apprised of Cromartie's review (and the "Bleep him" that accompanied it) Brady could have asked the basis. Like, if pointing at the opposing sideline makes a guy an a--hole, what does fathering nine children by eight women in six states by the age of 26 make Cromartie? Brady also could have wondered why a guy who Bible thumps in his twitter feed reconciles dropping F-bombs. But why bother?We all got our shortcomings. Brady instead took the high road - he has a house up there, apparently - and said Cromartie's a good player, blah, blah, blah. The funnier thing was, later in Brady's press conference mobapalooza, it was mentioned to the quarterback that Deion Branch called Brady a "dork" on Tuesday. The exchange, after Brady praised Branch, went like this. Q: He called you a dork.

TB: Deion did? Did he really?

Q: Yeah, in the study room, watching film. He said you were kind of a dork.

TB: Maybe, yeah. I could see that, you know? Im flattered.

So as you can see, we're having big fun and ferreting out the info that matters this week.

A few other items from Wednesday with football ties.

Jets right guard and old buddy Damien Woody was placed on IR with an Achilles injury. He's been down for a while so New York is accustomed to working without him. Patriots right guard Dan Connolly and running back Danny Woodhead both spent some time talking with media. Both were recently concussed. Their being allowed to converse is an indication both are fine now. Two Jets were held out of practice on Wednesday, guard Brandon Moore and wideout Brad Smith. Santonio Holmes (quad), Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and James Ihedigbo (knee, ankle) were limited. For the Patriots, Myron Pryor's back kept him out of practice. Tully Banta-Cain (groin), Deion Branch (knee), Jermaine Cunningham (calf), Aaron Hernandez (hip), Eric Moore (hamstring) and Sebastian Vollmer (shin) were all limited.BRADY BALANCE Every quarterback loves to throw it, but they like it even more when they throw it with success. And you don't get more successful than Tom Brady's been this season. He says the running game is the "most important" reason why.

"I think its very important that we continue to stay balanced," Brady pointed out. "Ive been preaching that all year. You become a good offense by running the ball, by play-action pass, by screening, by drawing, by trapping, by running all different kinds of route combinations empty formation all these different things that you come up with as an offense, hopefully they create some indecision with what the defense is trying to do. The running game is the most important thing to all of that."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”