Brady accepts award, acknowledges surgery


Brady accepts award, acknowledges surgery

By TomE. Curran

DALLAS - For the second time in four seasons, Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady's been voted the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year by a 50-voter panel assembled by the Associated Press. Brady, who played the 2010 season with a fracture in his right navicular bone (a foot thingy), used crutches to make his way in front of NFL Network cameras and conduct a quick interview.
During the interview, he acknowledged he had surgery on his injured foot "about 10 days ago.""Over the course of the season, a lot of players throughout the league, a lot of players on our team deal with these type of injuries," Brady said. "Part of having a little bit of mental toughness is putting those things aside and still going out and trying to perform your best each week. I have a great training staff and my friend Alex Guerrero that works with me weekly. I'm in great hands and they were able to get me out on the field feeling good and I was able to go out there and help our team win the AFC East, which we're all very proud of."Brady received 21 of the 50 first-place votes. Michael Vick of the Eagles finished second with 11 votes. Brady threw 36 touchdowns and four interceptions and set an NFL record for most consecutive pass attempts without a pick. He also won the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2007 when he threw 50 touchdowns and only eight picks. Brady's the overwhelming favorite to win the MVP award as well. That will be announced Sunday. The Coach of the Year award will be handed out Wednesday. I cast my vote for Bill Belichick but the field is loaded with excellent candidates. Tom E. Curran canbe reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air But and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he held Brown to five catches on nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his way from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Coach Bill Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up 9 catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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