MVP is last thing on Brady's mind

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MVP is last thing on Brady's mind

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady has thrown for 27 touchdowns and has over 3,000 passing yards in 12 games. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after his four-touchdown performance against the New York Jets Monday night. It was his second straight four-touchdown, zero-interception game.

With all of that comes the never-boring MVP chatter.

Up until a few weeks ago, it seemed that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and his 21 touchdowns (15 passing) would run away with the award. But now Brady's name has emerged as the leading MVP candidate in many people's minds.

So what does Brady think?

"It's really the last thing on my mind," said the Pats' quarterback, who won the award in 2007, prior to Wednesday's walkthrough at Gillette Stadium. "Regardless of how I play, it's how our offense plays. That's what I'm concerned most about."

And the Patriots have the best offense in the NFL. New England averages 31.6 points per game, ahead of the Eagles (28.7) and Chargers (26.9). San Diego's number explain why Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers -- 24 touchdown passes -- has also been involved in the MVP debate.

But Brady seems to be grabbing more attention than Vick and Rivers at this point. Part of that has to do with Monday's nationally televised game. But, in truth, Brady is actually proving to be the league's most valuable player. The 10-2 Patriots -- coming off a 45-3 beatdown of the now 9-3 Jets -- are beginning to look like the dominant Patriots teams we've seen in the past.

Still, Brady won't compare it to the last Patriots team that went to the Super Bowl, in 2007-08.

"We're not even close to that," said Brady. "I think we were an entirely different team and style than what we're trying to accomplish here. We're just trying to get the ball in the end zone.

"That's what our job is. We don't go out there to punt. Coach Bill Belichick doesn't send us out and say, 'Run three plays and then send the punt team out.' We're going out there to score."

On Sunday in Chicago, the Patriots' offense will have to go out there and score against the third-best defense in the NFL, as the Bears have only allowed an average of 16 points per game this year.

After that, the Patriots will have to go up against the league's top defense in the Green Bay Packers -- who allow only 15.2 points -- at Gillette Stadium.

A dominating offensive performance by Brady in Chicago and then again at home against the Packers would most certainly eliminate Vick and Rivers from the MVP debate.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Rex Ryan’s erratic act is his lone consistency

Rex Ryan’s erratic act is his lone consistency

With the Bills 0-2 and sinking slowly in a morass of dysfunction last week, Rex Ryan was anything but his corny, wise-cracking, false-bravado-bringing self. He was subdued before the Bills took on the Cardinals.

Now, with the Bills having spanked Arizona and the Patriots up next, Rex is back at it with the erratic, putting forth an eyebrow-raisingly bad Bill Belichick impersonation to start the week then parachuting into a conference call with Julian Edelman posing as a Buffalo News reporter.

He’s the guy at the house party knocking over the chips and drinks at 9 p.m. and wondering where the motherscratching karaoke machine is because he wants to SING!!

Asked to account for the behavior change from last week to this, Rex’ verbatim response was a look into his addled mind.

“I was still myself, I think just part of it. This week, look guys, we know who we’re playing. When you look at the ESPN deal, I think they’re ranked number one---I don’t know. Like I said, they’re number two, but I don’t think we’re ranked number one so---look, we know the task is going to be a big one. The quarterback thing, yeah you got to be prepared and you actually have to be prepared for three different guys. They’re no dummies, they’re leaving it out there, they can know who it is, I get it. They’re certainly not going to do us any favors.”

Give that a quick re-read.

My verbal syntax and wandering trains of thought aren’t evidence of an ordered mind either, so I do empathize with Rex. But neither am I the head coach of one of 32 entries in the NFL, a pretty high-profile league in which an ordered presentation from the guy in charge is usually a positive.

I spoke at length with Tim Graham – who really does work for the Buffalo News – during our Quick Slants Podcast this week.

Rex’ constant insistence on his own authenticity feels to me like a misdirection. He chooses who he’s going to be and how he’s going to be each week. That’s the only consistent thing about him, other than the fact that he is an eminently likable guy specifically because he is so vulnerable.

 For a guy that wants to projecting an image of a guy who just doesn’t give a s***, he spends a lot of time thinking about this stuff.  

“I learned a long time ago, you got to be yourself in this league and that [acting like Bill Belichick] wouldn’t have worked,” Ryan explained. “If I tried to be like Bill Belichick that would never work for me, just like, not that he ever would, but if he’s going to try to be like somebody else, that ain’t going to work for him. And so, at least one thing we have in common is the fact that we know you better be yourself in this league and look, I think it’s hilarious when he’s on there because that’s who he is but it’s great and he does it better than anybody else. Some guys that try to copy that style, they’re phonies. Belichick does it, that’s who he is. [Gregg] Popovich is probably the closest thing in the NBA. Like those guys are classics but that’s who they are and they’re fantastic and I think the record speaks for itself but you talk about a consistent guy, Bill Belichick is the most consistent guy there is and I try to be consistent, albeit in a much different way.”

Consistent in his inconsistency. Great fun at parties. No way to go through life as an NFL head coach.

 

Patriots have perfect attendance at Thursday walkthrough

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Patriots have perfect attendance at Thursday walkthrough

FOXBORO -- The Patriots opted to have a walkthrough on Thursday, an in-season rarity for Bill Belichick's club. 

The low-key session makes sense, though. Because the team practiced on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, it will still have two practices under its belt, as it usually does every week. Now, instead of having just one walkthrough on a Friday, as the Patriots do typically, they'll have had two. 

All players were present for the on-the-field work, including quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. Members of the media were only able to watch the team walk onto the field, and they were treated to a fashion show of sorts. Bill Belichick stood out with his hooded sweatshirt, as did Jamie Collins, who for some reason wore plastic bags around his gloves. Practice squad defensive lineman Geneo Grissom brought a bit of a business casual look to the field, sporting a collared shirt under his sweatshirt.