Potential Patriots draftees: Akeem Ayers

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Potential Patriots draftees: Akeem Ayers

By TomE. Curran
CSNNE.com

Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran plans a series of looks at potential Patriots draftees. Today's player: Akeem Ayers.

Akeem Ayers, 6-3, 254OLB, UCLA

The Skinny: A player who only flashes moments of playing to his athletic ability. But those flashes are good enough to make Ayers a player teams are going to be intrigued by and may overdraft. He's smooth, quick, has good hands and can pursue, pursue, pursue.

Gotta Have Him: If the Patriots could extract consistent play from Ayers, he'd be a nice component in their defense. As Wes Bunting of the National Football Post says, "Talent-wise, he's a top-20 player. He could physically play any linebacker position in the NFL."

Don't Need Him: He's way too inconsistent and intermittently soft for a demanding team like the Patriots. "If a game is close he can be a nasty player. When his team gets down he gets real soft. Putting in effort day in and day out? He doesn't show it. His motor is not consistent and it shows on tape every time you watch him."

Forecast: He could be seen as a Rosevelt Colvin-type player but effort was never a concern with Colvin and it is with Ayers. Interesting because of his versatility but doubtful for New England.

Patriots Draftability: 4

Tom E. Curran canbe reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Does Brady have words planned for Goodell at Super Bowl? 'We'll see'

Does Brady have words planned for Goodell at Super Bowl? 'We'll see'

Tom Brady wouldn't take the bait following the AFC title game. He was told that he must've heard the "Where's Roger?" chants, and so then he must've had a reaction.

"I didn't hear that chant," Brady replied. 

WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show took another run at the Patriots quarterback's relatonship with commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday morning. Had Brady thought about what he might say should he come face-to-face with Goodell at Super Bowl LI?

"Hopefully we’ll finish the deal," Brady said. "Hopefully we can finish it off, and we’ll see. Maybe I’ll tell you after. But I don’t want to get into winning something before we’ve won it, because it’s going to be hard to win this thing."

Should the Patriots win their fifth Super Bowl title, Brady probably won't be accepting the Lombardi Trophy from Goodell. That exchange usually takes place with the owner at center stage. Perhaps there's a scenario in which Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft allows Brady to take the stage first, but it would go against what has been Super Bowl protocol. 

Brady and Goodell could be forced to share the spotlight on the morning after the Super Bowl, however, when the MVP trophy is handed out. It's a ritual they carried out together on the morning following Super Bowl XLIX, when Deflategate was in its nascent stages.

One would think that the embrace they shared that day -- long before the Wells Report was published and long before Brady and the league were pitted against one another in federal court -- will be the last thing that either man wants to recreate two weeks from now. 

Brady on the effectiveness of Belichick's approach: 'You're brainwashed'

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Brady on the effectiveness of Belichick's approach: 'You're brainwashed'

During his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, Tom Brady highlighted the thought process that has helped make the Patriots such a successful team under Bill Belichick, and in the process of complimenting his boss, Brady also may have taken a little inadvertent shot at the Steelers.

As broadcat to the world via Antonio Brown's Facebook feed, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin noted immediately after the Divisional Round that the Patriots had an advantage in preparing for the AFC title game because they had more time to rest.

"I would say in general on our team we have a sign on our wall that says, ‘Doing the right thing for the team when it might not be the right thing for you.’ That’s just putting everything aside," Brady said. "Ignoring the noise, the positive things people may be saying about you, or the negative things people may say about you. Just believing in yourself and not making excuses.

"There’s always an excuse you can build into why you lose a game. 'We’re only playing on six days rest, we have this person hurt, or we didn’t get that call.' There are a million of them, and they’re all built in and you can pick them all off before the game. I think our coach does a great job of never buying into the B.S. He never makes it about one player. He never makes it about one play. He never makes it about one call, or one situation. It’s all about all of us collectively trying to do the best thing we can for the team to try and help us win. He never lets his foot off the gas pedal so when it comes to our team, you’re brainwashed. That’s just the way it goes."

The numbers support Belichick's approach: He'll be coaching in a 10th Super Bowl in two weeks, and seven of those have come as a head coach. Both are NFL records.