Pats look to pick up communication with Mayo out

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Pats look to pick up communication with Mayo out

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
Replacing Jerod Mayo (knee) the player will not be easy for the New England Patriots. But maybe just as challenging will be filling the communication void left by his absence.

"Everybody has a job to do. When someone goes down, everybody else has to step up and play their role," said Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. "This is going to be a prime example for us. Whatever happens, whoever we have out there Sunday playing, they're going to have to be able to step up because we all depend on them."

Pressure? No.

More like unshakeable confidence that whoever is on the field, will get the job done when called upon.

"I don't think Bill (Belichick) would put anybody on the field he doesn't have confidence in," Wilfork said. "We feel the same way. We have each other's back. We know exactly what we have in this locker room and on the field."

What Wilfork sees is a defense that has struggled with being consistent, something he believes will improve in time.

"It's a good thing when you can sit back and say you got more that you can give," Wilfork said. "We have more we can give than what we're putting out. It's going to take all of us, not just myself or a couple players. Whoever is on that field, we're all depending on each other."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

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Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization have been saying for a long time that they hope Tom Brady prevails in his fight with the league over Deflategate. Kraft reiterated that stance on Tuesday at the NFL's annual spring meetings.

But on Wednesday, the Patriots took their support for Brady to a different platform. The team has filed an amicus brief stating that it supports Brady and the NFLPA now that the union has filed a petition to be granted a rehearing by the Second Circuit. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it is a noteworthy move because the last time an NFL team took legal action against league was when late Raiders owner Al Davis sued the NFL. It is important to note, though, as SI.com's Michael McCann explains, that the Patriots have not actually "switched sides" in this instance. As one of 32 teams in the league, they are technically still a part of the NFL Management Council et al. v. NFL Players Association et al. With its amicus brief, however, the team is advocating for a rehearing of a case that the NFL recently won. 

Filing the brief may not necessarily have any legal impact on the case -- judges can ignore the team's opinion in its amicus brief if they so choose -- but its value may be more than simply symbolic in nature. Attorney Daniel Wallach notes that the team's amicus brief covers ground that Brady's petition for rehearing couldn't cover due to page limits. 

On the first page of the amicus brief, in the document's second footnote, the language is strong: "From the outset of this matter, the League's conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady's involvement, was reiled on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense."

The Patriots have continued to update The Wells Report in Context, a website that argues the findings of the NFL's investigation into Brady that has also accumulated various reports and scientific studies that support Brady's innocence. But this amicus brief is another way for the team to show that it has its quarterback's back. 

The NFLPA filed its petition for a rehearing on Monday and now awaits a decision from the 13 judges of the Second Circuit as to whether or not they will grant Brady a rehearing.

Statistically speaking, Brady is facing long odds to be given a rehearing, but his legal team believes there's reason for optimism