Waters running smoothly on the offensive line


Waters running smoothly on the offensive line

During a conference call on Tuesday, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien described playing on the offensive line to being in a car crash every single play of the game.

The Patriots endured each collision well enough to win on Sunday.

Bill Belichick followed that up by going into even more detail when praising his offensive line during his weekly conference call, saying that the Brian Waters experiment has worked out a whole lot quicker than anyone would have ever expected.

It's all due to the veteran's hard work and professionalism.

"Brian's come in and has really done an outstanding job for us," said Belichick. "We got him right at the beginning of the season, and he certainly had to make a big adjustment, from not being here in training camp. Fortunately, I think with a lot of the terminology and things like that, there was definitely some carryover for him.

"He's really worked hard at just doing everything that you would want a player to do. He worked hard and studied his plays. Watching films and asking questions. He's very well prepared. He's a true professional. He really works hard at his job. He takes a lot of pride in that."

While Belichick clearly appreciates Waters, the head coach said his players feel the same way.

"He's earned every bit of his respect here," added Belichick. "He's tough, he's a good football player. He's really made some outstanding plays, individual plays that you don't see many other players at that position make. He's a high-quality player and a high-quality individual. He's very unselfish, team-oriented."

Most of the praise comes at a time in which the Patriots host Waters' former team -- the Kansas City Chiefs -- on Monday night.

Waters came to New England at the beginning of the regular season, and switched from left to right guard. It's something that Belichick stressed wasn't an easy task. That, combined with the fact that he joined an already-veteran group of offensive linemen, wouldn't make his transition into the rotation an easy one.

But through 10 weeks, it's gone a lot smoother than expected.

"Everything we asked him to do, he's done everything that he possibly could to try to do it," said Belichick. "And I can't say enough about that.

"I would say the biggest thing with Brian, is not how well he's playing and how good he is -- because he's a good player. It's just how quickly he was able to get acclimated to everything. To our system, to the way we call plays, to how we do things and make adjustments on the offensive line.

"No matter how long he's played, working with those guys as closely as they work together on a play-by-play basis, I'd say it's come together more quickly than we, as a staff, realistically expected that it would."

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.”