Brady on Giants boat trip: When I was young I did things I wish I didn't do


Brady on Giants boat trip: When I was young I did things I wish I didn't do

Tom Brady is so wired to promote healthy lifestyles and the importance of proper rest that one would assume he'd immediately scoff at what a few Giants players did during their off-day last week. 

Odell Beckham Jr. and a handful of his teammates traveled to South Florida to party with Justin Bieber soon after their regular-season-finale win over the Redskins. A picture of the pals in jeans and boots on a yacht emerged on social media to commemorate the trip, providing the New York media all the ammunition they would need if the Giants didn't play well. 

The Giants didn't play well, falling to the Packers in Green Bay, 38-13. Now players -- and Beckham in particular, who caught four passes for 28 yards and had multiple drops in the loss -- are catching heat.

When Brady was asked about it during his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday, he didn't do much in the way of finger-wagging. Rather he admitted he had made some poor decisions leading up to games when he was younger. 

"It's a tricky situation," Brady said. "Players are off. Everyone decides what they want to do in their off time. When I was young, I did a lot of things when I look back I probably wish I wouldn't have done -- flying across country and things like that. It just wasn't publicized."

Brady added: "I was from California so when I had off time that's where I went. Looking back, there was one time I was actually injured pretty good, and I decided to do it, and I landed, and then I stayed overnight, and then I realized I better fly back. I flew back the next morning because it wasn't a very smart decsion.

"You're younger, you don't have all the experience that you have. I'm at a point where doing this as long as I have, I cherish the opportunity that I have, and I'm putting everything into it. I'll have time at the end of the year to do things I need to do. But right now I have to focus on what my job is, and that's to put everything I can into this week."

Brady pointed out that there are plenty of teams that have their own way of approaching their work leading up to a playoff game. The Patriots, for instance, practiced twice -- including once in full pads. The Chiefs, on the other hand, got a week off. 

"Every team has a different personality," Brady said. "Obviously when you win, it takes care of all those things. It sucks when you lose."

Brady's been there, and he knows what it's like. The only thing that might make it suck even more would be leaving a loss knowing he let his team and his family down because he didn't put everything into his preparation. 

"There's a lot of people, like our coaches, our families, that have put off a lot of things for all of us to get to this point," he said. "There's a lot of support that you need to play this many weeks of football. You want to go out and play your best. I think our team is focused on playing its best. We're in there today ready to go, ready to work . . . Hopefully it all pays off."

Goodell: NFL working on a way to reduce commercial breaks during games

Goodell: NFL working on a way to reduce commercial breaks during games

The NFL is acknowledging it has a time-management issue. Games are too long. Commercial are too frequent. And according to an email addressed to NFL fans, Roger Goodell is hoping to change that.

On Wednesday afternoon the commissioner explained the methods by which the league is hoping to improve the fan experience, most of which concern the presentation of games with as few interruptions as possible. 

"On the football side, there are a number of changes we are making to the mechanics and rules of the game to maintain excitement and also improve the consistency of our officiating," Goodell wrote. "For example, next week clubs will vote on a change to centralize replay reviews. Instead of a fixed sideline monitor, we will bring a tablet to the Referee who can review the play in consultation with our officiating headquarters in New York, which has the final decision. This should improve consistency and accuracy of decisions and help speed up the process.

"Regarding game timing, we're going to institute a play clock following the extra point when television does not take a break, and we're considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown. We're also going to standardize the starting of the clock after a runner goes out-of-bounds, and standardize halftime lengths in all games, so we return to the action as quickly as possible. Those are just a few of the elements we are working on to improve the pace of our game."

Goodell also mentioned that the NFL is working with its broadcast partners to reduce the frequency of commercial breaks during games. 

"For example," Goodell wrote, "we know how annoying it is when we come back from a commercial break, kick off, and then cut to a commercial again. I hate that too. Our goal is to eliminate it."

Goodell, team owners and executives will convene in Phoenix next week for the league's annual meetings where discussions about these potential changes could see meaningful progress.

Belichick to Krzyzewski: Working with young people keeps me young

Belichick to Krzyzewski: Working with young people keeps me young

Two of the most successful coaches in the history of their respective sports got on the horn recently to discuss their jobs, the players they coach and more. Seems like it might be a worthwhile listen.

Bill Belichick joined Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski on Wednesday's episode of Sirius XM College Sports Nation's "Basketball and Beyond with Coach K," and in a preview of the back-and-forth Belichick describes part of what makes Tom Brady so valuable to the Patriots.

It's that Brady knows what he's looking at, and he's able to get his offense into a play that will give the Patriots a "fair fight" even when they're caught off guard.

“More than anything, just like you’re trying to get a good shot, we’re trying to run a good play," Belichick tells Krzyzewski. "The last thing we want to do is run a play that, when it’s over, we look back and say, ‘We really didn’t have a chance on that one.’

"We want to at least be able to get to something where we feel like it’s a fair fight and it’s competitive. The biggest thing Tom does for us is to try to keep us out of those bad plays where we have 5 to 10 percent chance of really being successful, whether it’s a coverage or a blitz or an alignment that they give us, and he sees that what we’ve got called just isn’t what we want to be in

"That wasn’t why we called the play, was to run it against that particular look. Then sometimes he’ll be able to get out of those and get us something that, like I said, gives us more of a fair fight. That’s a big job of the quarterback in our league is to not just manage the game in terms of getting the ball out of bounds and the clock and stuff like that, but also managing the game in terms of giving the offense the chance to run plays that are competitive because defenses can get in certain alignments and really make it tough on you. Tom does a great job of that.”

Belichick and Krzyzewski also delve into what keeps Belichick fresh after more than 40 years as an NFL coach.

"I just try to maintain a balance with it. Football is very important to me, and I put a lot into it, but there are times during our year when you can step back and refresh a little bit," he began. "Going out to Pebble Beach for a couple days was good for me, not that I played great golf or anything, but being in that environment. In the summer, before we go to training camp, I spend some time just relaxing with the family and kind of getting refreshed and taking the pressure off for a little while. That definitely helps.

"I really enjoy the different phases of the season," Belichick continued. "Right now we're in a team-building phase with free agency and then next month the draft and then all the players will be in and we'll start. As you know, you can't pick up where you left off last year, you've got to start all over again, so the kind of starting all over again process has really already begun for us.

"But I enjoy that, because it's a different type of coaching than it is coaching in playoff games, where you have an experienced team and players that have been doing things for six months and your execution level is much higher than what it is when you start all over again in spring practices or the beginning of training camp. I enjoy all the different aspects of it. They're all challenging."

That includes keeping up with young players and their social media habits, he joked.

"I enjoy working with young people," he explained. "That certainly keeps me young, even though the gap's widening. And I do my best to absolutely take on the whole social-media thing, you know, head on, on a collision course. But other than that, being with young people certainly keeps you young, and that's been important for me. I'm sure you feel the same way."