You remember Joe Flacco proclaiming himself as the best quarterback in the NFL?
Teammate Ray Rice isn't ready to go quite that far. He is, however, willing to proclaim Flacco as the best quarterback in the 2011 AFC Championship Game.
"Quite frankly, he outplayed Tom Brady the last game," Rice said in an interview on WQXI-AM Atlanta, referring to Flacco's perfomance in the Patriots' 23-20 victory over the Ravens at Gillette Stadium last January for the AFC title.
The numbers don't reveal a clear winner; Flacco was 22-of-36 for 306 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, Brady 22-of-36 for 239 yards with 0 TDs and 2 interceptions. But Brady's offense failed to capitalize on two opportunities to put the game away in the fourth quarter, after earlier settling for field goals on drives that started on the Ravens' 11-, 17- and 6-yard lines. Those miscues gave the Ravens a chance to win the game and the championship, a chance they flubbed when a) Lee Evans allowed Sterling Moore to slap the game-winning touchdown reception out of his hands with 22 seconds left, and b) Billy Cundiff shanked a game-tying 32-yard field-goal attempt with 15 seconds to play.
"I sucked pretty bad today," Brady told the crowd in the postgame ceremony.
Rice chose to credit Flacco rather than trash Brady.
"He outplayed Tom Brady and Tom Brady . . . he's the trademark for a quarterback," Rice said. "So Joe Flacco feeling the way he feels is only right because he did it on a high level. He did on the peak of his performance."
Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room.
"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."
Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.
During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday.
As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.
Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court.
After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
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