Quarterback compliments go to Brees on Tuesday


Quarterback compliments go to Brees on Tuesday

FOXBORO -- Every week in New England there's buzz over the work of an elite quarterback. There was more of the same this Tuesday, people just weren't talking about Tom Brady.
Drew Brees is in town.
"I mean, you talk about trying to play those top guys in the league like Tom Brady and now having Drew in here, we dont get a break, so you really have to try to be perfect," Devin McCourty said after the joint practice session. "It sounds crazy so you try to be perfect on every play but when you go against quarterbacks of that caliber you really do because you know 90 percent of the time theyre going to be perfect. The ball is going to be where it has to be and you really have to play very well on defense to try and compete with those guys."
Brees had the best completion percentage among NFL quarterbacks, 71.2, in 2011. He was No. 1 for total yards (5,476) and touchdowns (46), and No. 2 for attempts for game (41.1). The numbers blow his statistics from 2010 -- the last time the Patriots and Saints met during preseason -- out of the water.
New England's defense is well aware.
"Hes a hell of a quarterback," said Vince Wilfork. "Hes very smart, hes very passionate about what he does and so is everybody else around him: the offensive line, his backs, his receivers."
"Thats just a good football team; offensively theyre very, very, very good. Going against them, seeing Brady and now Brees, its tough matchups for this defense, but they can make us better and thats what were looking for: to be better as a defense and hopefully we can help this ball club win some ball games this year."
Wilfork is smart to put Brady and Brees in the same sentence. Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo did the same thing.
Who knows better?
In his 30-year career Spagnuolo's coached against both quarterbacks (it was his Giants 'D' that gave Brady fits in Super Bowl XLII). On Tuesday, he said each presents unique challenges to even the best defenses.
They run the whole show. Not every quarterback can process everything going on in their mind. I have videotape of both of them with the TV cameras looking at them as they call out the signals, their eyes on the clock. Theyre looking at what the secondary is doing, they find out what the front is and get them in the right place and if youre one of the ten guys playing with those guys on offense, you know your chance for success on every play goes up.

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.”