No huddle: Brady on Bruschi, a lawsuit and beer

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No huddle: Brady on Bruschi, a lawsuit and beer

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
FOXBORO -- Tom Brady's Wednesday press conference was a rambling road: Miami in the rearview, San Diego ahead, and some random stops in between. In the moment, he was happy to be "back to the comfort zone. Back home." It's what Brady usually says when he meets reporters, not just back at Gillette, but at his locker.

Here are a few of the less fluid, more interesting highlights from the scrum.

ON THE SET OF SUPER TIGHT ENDS, GRONKOWSKI AND HERNANDEZ:
"They're both a big part of our offense. Tight ends have always been involved in our offense. I think the skillset of both those players really allows us to be flexible. Not only are they good blockers, but they catch the ball, too. You can run it behind them, you can play-action pass. And they've become pretty efficient in the passing game, also. You can spread them out and run them on different route combinations. They're very good players."
HIS TAKE ON THAT LITTLE NOD THE NFL GAVE HIM FOR 517 PASSING YARDS: "Laughs Our goals are much bigger than AFC Offensive Player of the Week around here."

HOW ABOUT TEDY BRUSCHI GOING OFF ON OCHOCINCO?
"Everyone has an opinion on everything. And none of it really means anything. Only thing that means anything in this locker room and what we do every day in practice.

"I have no problems with Chad. At all."

THE NAME TOM BRADY IS FIRST ON THE VETERAN LAWSUIT AGAINST THE NFL: "I'll change my name to what, Uno y Dos? Maybe I'll be put further down the line. Yeah, I've got no comment."
HOW HE WATCHES FILM:
"There's always corrections. You watch it, see the things that work, see the things that didn't work and move on. You don't listen to TV copy and listen to everyone tell you how good you think you are and the same thing when you lose -- how much you suck. You try to move on.

"You listen to your coaches, they evaluate the game, how they saw it and you try to make those improvements. Because the other team, the Chargers, are looking at this last game and they're saying, 'Wow, okay, well that didn't work. Maybe we should try these types of things.' If you don't get them corrected they end up being problems all year."

IS THERE MORE PRESSURE PUT ON QB'S NOW TO PASS FIRST?
"It's been a passing league for along time. Running game is very important to every offense -- being balanced is very important to every offense. There's times when you have to throw the ball... you could be down late in a game and you need to come back and you have to be able to pass it when they know you're passing it. Not only throwing the ball, but getting open on consecutive routes, being able to protect when they know you're going to only pass the ball.

"My job is to go against this defense and try to get our guys in the best position so they can do what they do well. Ultimately, play well enough over the course of the drive to get the ball in the end zone. Our defense will have to handle their offense and that's a big task on this team. It has to be a very complementary game for all of us."

BRADY'S HOME OPENER MESSAGE TO THE FANS STARTS WITH A JOKE:
"Start drinking early. Laughs Be nice and rowdy. 4:15 game . . . They'll have a lot of time to get lubed up and come out here and cheer for their home team."

Note: Patriots media relations quarterback Stacey James addressed reporters after the presser. He said Brady wanted to clarify the rowdy crowd comments. "Tom Brady wants everyone to drink a lot of water, stay hydrated. Drink responsibly."

THE FANS HAVE BEEN QUIET IN RECENT YEARS. ARE EXPECTATIONS TOO HIGH?
"We've spoiled our fans? Is that what you're saying? We make good plays, they're going to scream. If we don't make good plays, they're going to probably boo us. So we're going to focus on trying to make good plays. The crowd... it always helps when they're loud, but we've got to give them reasons to be loud, we've got to give them reasons to cheer for us. Hopefully, those muskets are going off this weekend."

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

Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

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Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Defiant, and determined to be a conduit for U.S. change, Colin Kaepernick plans to sit through the national anthem for as long as he feels is appropriate and until he sees significant progress in America - specifically when it comes to race relations.

He knows he could be cut by San Francisco for this stand. Criticized, ostracized, and he'll go it all alone if need be.

The quarterback realizes he might be treated poorly in some road cities, and he's ready for that, too, saying he's not overly concerned about his safety, but "if something happens that's only proving my point."

"I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed," Kaepernick said Sunday at his locker. "To me this is something that has to change. When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."

Two days after he refused to stand for the "The Star Spangled Banner" before the 49ers' preseason loss to the Packers, Kaepernick insists whatever the consequences, he will know "I did what's right." He said he hasn't heard from the NFL or anyone else about his actions - and it won't matter if he does.

"No one's tried to quiet me and, to be honest, it's not something I'm going to be quiet about," he said. "I'm going to speak the truth when I'm asked about it. This isn't for look. This isn't for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that don't have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities to be successful. To provide for families and not live in poor circumstances."

Letting his hair go au natural and sprinting between drills as usual, Kaepernick took the field Sunday with the 49ers as his stance drew chatter across NFL camps.

He explained his viewpoints to teammates in the morning, some agreeing with his message but not necessarily his method. Some said they know he has offended his countrymen, others didn't even know what he had done.

"Every guy on this team is entitled to their opinion. We're all grown men," linebacker NaVorro Bowman said.

"I agree with what he did, but not in the way he did it," wideout Torrey Smith said. "That's not for me. He has that right. Soldiers have died for his right to do exactly what he did. ... I know he's taken a lot of heat for it. He understands that when you do something like that it does offend a lot of people."

Both Bowman and Smith are African American.

Kaepernick criticized presidential candidates Donald Trump ("openly racist") and Hillary Clinton;" called out police brutality against minorities; and pushed for accountability of public officials.

"You can become a cop in six months and don't have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist," Kaepernick said. "That's insane. Someone that's holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us."

In college at Nevada, Kaepernick said, police were called one day "because we were the only black people in that neighborhood." Officers entered without knocking and drew guns on him and his teammates and roommates as they were moving their belongings, he said.

He said his stand is not against men and women in the military fighting and losing their lives for Americans' rights and freedoms.

Kaepernick, whose hair had been in cornrows during training camp, sat on the bench during Friday's national anthem at Levi's Stadium. Giants wideout Victor Cruz and Bills coach Rex Ryan said standing for the anthem shows respect.

"There's a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality," said Kaepernick, whose adoptive parents are Caucasian. "There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That's not right. That's not right by anyone's standards."

On Sunday, he stopped briefly on a side field to talk with Dr. Harry Edwards and they shared a quick embrace before the quarterback grabbed his helmet and took the field. Edwards is a sociologist and African-American activist who helped plan the "Olympic Project for Human Rights" before the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, where U.S. sprinters and medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos bowed their heads through the anthem on the medal podium in their black power protest.

After swirling trade talks all offseason following Kaepernick's three surgeries and sub-par 2015 season, he has done everything so far but play good football - and he doesn't plan for this to be a distraction.

Coach Chip Kelly did not speak to the media Sunday. He said Saturday he still hasn't decided on his starting quarterback in a competition between Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, who took over the job from Kaepernick last November and has vowed to be the No. 1 again.

Kaepernick hasn't stood for the anthem in any of the team's three preseason games "and I don't see it as going about it the wrong way."

"That's his right as a citizen," Kelly said. "We recognize his right as an individual to choose to participate or not participate in the national anthem."

Now, Kaepernick is prepared for whatever comes next.

"I think there's a lot of consequences that come along with this. There's a lot of people that don't want to have this conversation," he said. "They're scared they might lose their job. Or they might not get the endorsements. They might not to be treated the same way. Those are things I'm prepared to handle. ...

"At this point, I've been blessed to be able to get this far and have the privilege of being able to be in the NFL, making the kind of money I make and enjoy luxuries like that. I can't look in the mirror and see people dying on the street that should have the same opportunities that I've had."

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

FOXBORO – Talked to Jacoby Brissett on Sunday. His session with the media was as efficient and frills-free as his Friday night performance against the Carolina Panthers.

Brissett, the third-rounder From NC State, keeps improving. From 7-for-13 for 63 yards in the first game of the preseason to 9-for-13 for 87 yards Week 2 to a 9-for-9, 85-yard, one touchdown performance against Carolina.

He’s completed all manner of passes – inside, outside, checkdowns, tight windows – and looked preternaturally comfortable doing so.

Maybe I have a little recency bias working, but I don’t recall a drafted quarterback looking as poised and in command in his rookie preseason as Brissett has so far. Jimmy Garoppolo may have had more impressive game-by-game numbers, but Brissett oozes composure that that I don’t think Garoppolo matched.

Encircled by a media horde Sunday, Brissett was pleasant and perfunctory when asked about his performance.

“Definitely it was progress,” he said, adding that he’s, "still learning. I’m sure I’ll be learning until I leave here."

 Even though he was 9-for-9, Brissett said that watching film he could see “things you messed up on and could have done better.”

Asked for an example, Brissett talk about speed. At the line of scrimmage, going through progressions and delivering the ball, Brissett said all of it can improve.

The interesting question the Patriots face now is whether they are prepared to allow Brissett to be the lone backup to the still relatively green Garoppolo. Or does the team need an experienced backup to call on if Jimmy melts down?

Thursday night could be a telling evening for that. With Garoppolo unlikely to play a ton so the team can make sure he’s good to go for the opener, it comes down to who benefits more from reps against the Giants, Tom Brady or Brissett?

It shouldn’t be close. Brissett needs the reps.

Meanwhile, we made mention of Brissett’s relationship with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells after he was drafted and I figured revisiting that on Sunday wouldn’t hurt.

Brissett said he’s circled up with Parcells “here and there” but smiled knowingly and said, “He’s not the head coach here so you kinda need to listen to what your coach here is saying.”

Ex-Patriot Ridley signs with Colts

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Ex-Patriot Ridley signs with Colts

After being cut from the Detriot Lions last week, Stevan Ridely has signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

The running back played for the Patriots for four seasons (2011-2014), averaging 4.3 yards per carry while scoring 22 touchdowns in 52 games. He only played in six game in his final year with New England as a result of a torn ACL and MCL.

Ridley played for the AFC-East rival New York Jets in 2015 with a limited role in the nine games he played.