Ryan comes out gums-a-blazin'


Ryan comes out gums-a-blazin'

By Tom E. Curran

One would think that a seven-touchdown defeat in their last meeting would make Rex Ryan want to tread a little lightly around the Patriots as they prepare for Sunday's Divisional Playoff game. But Rex doesn't tread that way, literally or figuratively. During a Monday morning press conference, Ryan cautioned Bill Belichick about having even one slip-up against the Jets, and said Peyton Manning would have watched football this past Saturday night instead of going to Broadway as Tom Brady did. Manning, of course, will now have all the time in the world to watch plays andor football since the season of the smartest quarterback the world's ever known is over. Ryan's press conference was dutifully tweeted by my buddy Bob Glauber at Newsday.Some of the captured comments were: "If (Belichick) slips at all, we're going to beat him."Ryan looks at tape (snuff film?) of the Patriots 45-3 win over the Jets "every day." (Hey, the man likes sucking feet, too . . . he's gotan odd set of hobbies). Ryan told Belichick during the postgame handshake he'd "see him in Round 3" and that Belichick didn't say anything but just looked at him. And there was the Brady drive-by as well. Bill Belichick has his conference call with us during the noon hour.Brady foreshadowed what we can expect. Speaking on WEEI this morning, Brady said, "If theres a bunch ofBS going around, Belichick doesnt buy into that. He doesnt buy into the reporters to make their job easy to give them a bunch of stories."No, he doesn't. And some days - most days - that sucks because he doesn't even meet us halfway. But while Ryan sees getting the media to chortle and making sure the hype machine is running hot as part of his job, that approach hasn't yet proven to be effective long-term. Ryan might be a lot more entertaining to cover. But a Jets' season doesn't figure to last as long as a Patriots one.

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

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

FOXBORO – Back in March, Eric Weddle batted his eyes longingly at the Patriots. The two-time All-Pro safety’s time was done with the Chargers and he wanted to spend his NFL autumn with a team that had a chance to win it all. 

He didn’t land in New England, but he didn’t too badly, winding up with the usually competitive Ravens.  

On a Thursday conference call with New England media, Weddle confirmed that there was mutual interest expressed. 

“Obviously, I was interested,” he acknowledged. “I have nothing but high regard, respect and admiration – and envy, quite honestly – of the success of the New England Patriots over the years. Obviously, battling them in my career, it’s always been a great game. I love the way they play, love the foundation, love everything about it. It was definitely on my radar. There were talks both ways, it just didn’t end up [working out].”

The numbers massed at the position with Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played a role in the two sides not being able to reach accord, according to Weddle. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin [McCourty] is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Weddle’s New England attraction apparently wasn’t love that bloomed late in his career. Toward the end of his conference call, Weddle said, “I’m still wondering why they just didn’t draft me in ’07; I could have been still playing there now.”

As reporters puzzled for a moment trying to recall the 2007 first-rounder, Weddle chipped in with the answer: “[They took] Brandon Meriweather.”

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

FOXBORO - The Patriots got a desired outcome Thursday night when the Chiefs handed the Raiders their third loss of the season. 

The 21-13 loss dropped Oakland and KC into a tie atop the AFC West at 10-3 but the Chiefs, by virtue of beating Oakland twice this season, have the divisional tiebreaker. Oakland went from the top seed in the AFC to the fifth spot.

More importantly around here, the Patriots now are in position to win out and claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed. 

Prior to the Raiders loss, Oakland would have been the top seed if both they and the Patriots won out.  Now, the 10-2 Patriots have a leg up on the rest of the conference. The Raiders’ road stays tough. They are at San Diego and Denver and host the Colts. 

The Chiefs have a more favorable close to the season with home games against Tennessee and Denver before their season finale at San Diego. 

The Patriots’ road over the final four is no picnic though, beginning with the Ravens and at Denver before the last two hosting the Jets and traveling to Miami.