Scott says Jets D needs to 'funnel' Pats offense


Scott says Jets D needs to 'funnel' Pats offense

By Tom E. Curran

FOXBORO - I believe this is No. 757 on the list of things that would not occur in New England. Monday, during an interview with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio in New York, Rex Ryan was asked an interesting question. Kay related an off-air conversation with Jets linebacker after the Patriots' 45-3 win over New York in Week 13. Said Kay: "Bart Scott told me off the air, we know exactly what we did wrong and if we ever play them again we're gonna win because we know what we did wrong. Weshould have been funneling them toward the middle of the field and we weren't doing that. Is that something you guys have to do?" In response, Ryan said, "Yeah, weknow what we did wrong and give them credit - they executed their plan well.Youscorethree points against New England, you'renever gonna beat them."More important than the response, ummm, what about the question?So Bart Scott's flapping his gums and telling guys off-air what the problem was and what needs fixing? And then not only is Michael Kay relating it, but he's sharing said (presumably) off-the-recordor on background conversation with Rex Ryan. And Ryan's solid with that? It's apparent he is because he went ahead and answered it. So what exactly do the Patriots do with this intel? And how, exactly, do the Jets funnel an offense to the middle?For the Patriots, they ran the ball 236 times between left and right guard in 2010. They threw 149 total passes to the middle of the field. They are in the middle of the field a fair amount. If this means setting the edge and funneling players back to the middle of the field in the running game - as the Patriots do in their 3-4 - well, that's nice. But again, they're in there most of the game. We'll try and find out later in the week as we go along just what the funneling means (aside from what I used to do in college). But it still strikes me dumb that it was even out there, broached and discussed with a straight face. Guess that makes me a kool-aid consumer.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round. 

Tomlin not letting up on Brown after ill-advised Facebook Live video

Tomlin not letting up on Brown after ill-advised Facebook Live video

FOXBORO – Mike Tomlin didn’t sidestep questions related to Antonio Brown’s ill-advised locker room broadcast.

Instead, Tomlin actually seemed to up the ante during a conference call with New England media. Asked whether Brown seemed to get the message that Tomlin delivered and take it seriously, Tomlin said, “I think time always tells those stories.”

Tomlin easily could have used a “we’re moving on” message or talked about how Brown simply made a youthful mistake but he opted not to. Which isn’t surprising.

The number one criticism of Tomlin is that the Steelers head coach runs a loose ship and that the lack of discipline and accountability is a big issue.

Seeing Brown run a live broadcast from the locker room while Tomlin’s trying to make a point doesn’t just keep that perception afloat, it advances it to a place it’s never been.

It’s not a stretch to say that Brown’s actions imperiled Tomlin’s reputation. There’s no wonder he isn’t willing to let Brown off the hook.

Brown addressed the controversy on Wednesday saying, “I absolutely regret the Facebook Live situation. It’s a total distraction to the organization. A total distraction to my teammates. Obviously disrespect to my coach. I’ve got utmost respect to my coach so I totally regret that.”

Tomlin on Tuesday went as far as to suggest other players doing team-distracting things like Brown wind up getting passed around the league despite their great talent. “That's often why you see great players move from team to team,” said Tomlin. “Don't want that to happen to Antonio Brown.

Tomlin expressed embarrassment that the language he used in the postgame in the privacy of his locker room was served up for public consumption.

“As a parent, I’m not into public displays of that type of language so I was more embarrassed about that aspect of it not necessarily the content or the message of the video,” said Tomlin.

As to referring to the Patriots as “those a*******,” Tomlin said, “Man, you could have applied that sentiment to any opponent. You could have made that tape two weeks earlier and applied it to that opponent. It’s not about the nameless great faces that we play, it’s about our overall preparation and that was the sentiment of the message that I was sending to the guys not necessarily about the New England Patriots, they just happened to be who we’re playing this week.”

Tomlin also addressed the time element he referenced in his postgame speech when he said the Patriots had a day-and-a-half head start on his team. 

“I was just trying to instill a sense of urgency in our group regarding preparation and I wanted them to understand that we didn’t have a lot of time to pat ourselves on the back based on the performance of the last game,” he explained. “That we needed to transition and transition quickly and start the preparation, whether it was actual preparation or just from a mentality standpoint.”

Because of Brown’s decision, it’s probably been a lot harder to make that transition than Tomlin ever hoped.