Belichick lays out the consequences

Belichick lays out the consequences

By Tom E. Curran

FOXBORO - Bill Belichick spoke Friday about staring into the gaping maw of his team's 2010 mortality. Not really. "The season's gonna end for somebody this week," Belichick said in front of a loaded-to-the-gills media room at Gillette Stadium. "I'm not trying to over-dramatize it but that's the way it is." Belichick was in a pleasantly matter-of-fact mood on Friday. With a healthy crew of New York media on hand, Belichick gave them a look at the stark contrast in approach between him and Jets coach Rex Ryan. "It's the same for all of us," he said when discussing how much pressure was on younger players. "I don't care if you've been in the playoffs or haven't been in the playoffs. It's a one-game season. However many plays there are, that's how many are left. And if they're not good ones, that'll be it. If they're good ones, we'll get another opportunity. But if they're not good enough, season's over." Belichick said Brandon Spikes is improving but that the inside linebacker's first few days back after his four-game suspension were shaky. It will be interesting to see this weekend whether Spikes gets hisnormal number of reps or whether Gary Guyton, who played well in Spikes' absence as an everydown inside linebacker,gets more reps. Members of the Gillette Stadium grounds crew have been at the facility since Tuesday working to get the joint ready. That's "at the facility" as in, haven't gone home. And barely slept much. Asked about Wes Welker's press conference that was chock full of foot references on Thursday, Belichick answered, "My focus is on the Jets. You have to ask him about that. The Patriots' rookie class has been outstanding. But Belichick resisted calling them off the charts exceptional in terms of smartsmentioning Vince Wilfork, Patrick Chung, Jerod Mayo and Tom Brady as guys who came in and got it down quickly. "We've had a lot of guys come in here and learn the system gain more knowledge and gain more experience from one week to the next . . . Some guys do a better job of it than others," he noted, "but this isn't the first rookie class that's come in and had a couple guys play well." IR'd guard Stephen Neal was in the locker room Friday (as was owner Robert Kraft). Neal said he intends to be back next season. "That's the plan," he told me.

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Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection


Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate


Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.