Time, injury gives Brady perspective


Time, injury gives Brady perspective

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
Week 1 of the 2011 season marks Tom Brady's 12th year in the league.

The Patriots quarterback was asked Wednesday if, at this stage in his career, he ever considers his own football mortality.

"I think you realize how tough it is to win games over the years," Brady said after a pause. "I think when you're out there as a veteran player you provide the leadership for the team because you've been experienced in this program. We're hoping to go out there every year and put together a winning season. It's frustrating when we don't do that, it's frustrating when you have a bad day of practice."

More than a decade under his belt and he's griping about practice? Yes.

Nothing about the job, whether during preseason or the playoffs, becomes less important over the years. That's actually Brady's point -- that maturity means sharpening the senses and attacking the game comprehensively. But experience also equals a loss of innocence. You endure heartbreak. You lose games and you lose teammates. Sometimes you watch injuries happen and other times you feel them yourself.

"Every time you take the field it could be your last time," Brady said. "You've got to put everything you can each week in to the games. This week, who knows if it's your last week? You really don't. Maybe that perspective has helped as well.

"Injuries are certainly a part of the game. I've certainly been fortunate over the years to be able to play consistently. It's flukey things that happen out there. You sprain an ankle the wrong way you're not out there and you can't help the team win. And that's disappointing because if you're not out there helping the team, you're pretty much useless to the team."

Brady knows from experience. He missed the 2008 season after undergoing knee surgery. That battle, in combination with a lengthy game log, is why every practice is as important as every game. And, yeah, it gives Brady plenty to think about.

"Missing a whole season . . . that was as hard as can be . . . to watch. But you come back with hopefully more resiliency, little bit more mental toughness and you understand that each week you have a great gift. You got a gift to go out there and do something you really love to do. Play at a high level and ultimately help the team win."

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade


It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.