Belichick commends Crumpler, Branch

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Belichick commends Crumpler, Branch

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick met the media on Wednesday to discuss the bye week.

Well, not the week's plan itself, because there aren't many specifics to delve into. New England will play at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 16. Who against? It's yet to be determined. So in the meantime, all the Patriots can do is get the reps in that will make them better.

"Were just trying to work on some things that we feel like we need to improve on,'' Belichick said. "Weve got a good list of those. It doesnt matter who we play, just things that we feel we need to do better. I think theres definitely some carryover in the three potential opponents" -- the Jets, Ravens or Chiefs -- "that we could face, but more important than that, right now, its trying to work on things that we feel like need to get worked on. Then well deal with whoever we have to play after this weekend.

As this will be the ninth Patriots playoff berth in the Hoodie Era, there was an air of 'business as usual' hanging around Gillette. And this despite the fact that 25 players from New England's last playoff team, just last season, aren't involved in 2010's Super Bowl run.

Deion Branch is one guy who's been there, done that. Branch was on Tom Brady's receiving end when the Patriots brought home Lombardi trophies in 2003 and 2004. He earned MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXIX for his record-tying 11 receptions.

Belichick says that not much has changed about the player -- even after five seasons with the Seahawks -- and that's a good thing.

"The similarities far outweigh the differences. Hes a very intelligent player, really smart, really instinctive guy. No matter what the route, no matter what the coverage is, he always seems to do the right thing, make the right adjustment, make the right decision, make the right adjustment and I think that gives the quarterbacks a lot of confidence in him.

"Deion prepares well," Belichick continued. "Hes got good experience, but hes also got a good skill set. He can get open and catch the ball. He can run with it after the catch. Hes returned kicks in the past. Hes got some running skills and certainly has got a lot of experience. As a pure receiver, he knows how to get open and he has the skills to get open."

Branch has returned to his natural role on this roster without much stress. But there have been some more difficult transitions for this team in light of how much turnover there's been.

Tight end Alge Crumpler has had to make adjustments. A four time Pro Bowler with the Atlanta Falcons, Crumpler has a mere six receptions for 52 yards for the Patriots this season. New England has been featuring two-tight end sets frequently this year -- those sets have just favored rookies Aaron Hernandez (6 TD receptions) and Rob Gronkowski (10)

Does decreased catches bother him though? Belichick says no.

"You see a lot of players roles change and its not a problem and then you see other guys have a harder time making that adjustment. Without having worked with Alge before, I didnt really know exactly how it would go with him, but really, since day one, whatever weve asked him to do, hes not only tried to do them but hes very receptive to everything, a whatever you need type attitude, asking, Do you need me to do this? Do you need me to do that? Or how do you want me to do something else? and then hell try to do it that way. So he's been great.

"Alges been a big contribution to this football team in a lot of ways, probably too many to mention."

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

Brady legal team granted 14-day extension

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Brady legal team granted 14-day extension

Tom Brady’s legal team, including recent hire former US Solictor General Ted Olson, have been granted the extension they were seeking for the deadline to file for a rehearing in the Deflategate case. 

Despite the NFL’s opposition - lawyers for the league requested Monday that the motion be denied - the court ruled Tuesday in favor of the NFLPA and Brady. They now have until May 23 to file the request for a rehearing or rehearing en banc with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which last week reinstated his four-game Deflategate suspension.

Once Team Brady makes the request, the court still has to agree to take up the case again. And while many legal experts speculate the odds of that happening are low, this case has continued to confound observers as it has played out. 

 

Massarotti: Moving on from Garoppolo makes me nervous

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Massarotti: Moving on from Garoppolo makes me nervous

Tony Massarotti says if the team thinks Jimmy Garoppolo has something, don’t trade him because Tom Brady has more time left than they thought.

NFL wants Brady, NFLPA to move it along with their rehearing request

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NFL wants Brady, NFLPA to move it along with their rehearing request

UPDATE, 4:55 P.M. : Despite NFL opposition, the court rules for Tom Brady’s legal team and grant them until May 23 to file a request for rehearing.

It looks like the NFL is finally ready to put this whole Deflategate thing to bed. And now that it's won the most recent court decision, the sooner the better, it seems. 

Tom Brady and the NFLPA requested a 14-day extension to file their petition for a rehearing in front of the entire Second Ciruit Court of Appeals, which would double the normal amount of time typically granted to request a rehearing. 

But the league made a court filing on Monday saying "there is no need" for an extension beyond the normal 14-day window.

"The first pre-season game is just over three months away," wrote Paul Clement, co-lead counsel for the NFL. "Time remains of the essence."

Last week, the Second Circuit's three-judge panel ruled that Roger Goodell was within his rights as commissioner of the NFL to punish Brady with a four-game suspension due to Deflategate. As a result, district judge Richard Berman's initial decision on the case was overturned and Brady's suspension was reinstated.

Soon after the ruling was handed down, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah joined the Dan Patrick Show and explained that Brady and his team expected to have two weeks to put together its rehearing request. He did not, at that point, make reference to wanting extra time.

"I think the process now, we want to try to figure out and weigh all the options," Atallah said. "I think we'll do that in the next couple days. We have 14 days from the time of the decision to take any action or pursue any further appeal if we want, and I think we'll probably take up most of that time."

As soon as the request is filed, according to Pro Football Talk, it will act as a stay on Brady's suspension. That means he'll be eligible to play until a) the request is denied or b) the request is accepted, heard by the whole Second Circuit, and the ruling goes to the NFL.

If Option B is the scenario that plays out, it could take months, meaning it's possible Brady could play the entire 2016 season before a ruling comes down.