Brady ready to focus on football after 'different' offseason


Brady ready to focus on football after 'different' offseason

FOXBORO - It has been the most arduous offseason in Tom Brady’s career. His reputation has been attacked, and he’s spent more time dealing with lawyers than a player of his high character should have. But just days after his suspension was overturned, Brady addressed the media Sunday for the first time since his post-Super Bowl press conference on February 2nd.

“I love football, I love this sport, and I love playing in the NFL,” said Brady.

You know Brady is the Patriots emotional lynchpin, and that’s been referred to quite often over these last eight months by teammates and members of the coaching staff. But for the first time, an already shortened offseason - born of winning a Super Bowl - was impacted heavily by the demands on Brady’s time because of Deflategate. I asked the quarterback if someone who’s as maniacal as he is in terms of preparation and rest was able to recharge as he normally would.

“It’s just different,” he said. “I think you know I’ve dealt with different situations in my life, you’ve got to always figure out a way to overcome different obstacles that you face. Part of it’s being mentally tough, and part of it’s compartmentalizing things and dealing with things when they’re really at the forefront. Then they are not - you gotta put them someplace else and think about what your job is.

“I think that’s a lot of what I learned over the years playing this position, and certainly anytime you’re someone thats in the public eye like I am, you deal with different things and I think everybody in their life deals with different stresses, whatever they may be: financial, family stress, or work stress. You just do the best you can do.”

Brady’s preseason performance was not one he’ll look back on with fondness. The quarterback was uneven, producing just one touchdown in 12 drives. But on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium versus the Steelers, Brady will be carried by an emotional wave, and the return of his two favorite targets, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski.

That should be more than enough to get him through the opener, but we’ll keep an eye on the weeks that lie ahead because this has been an offseason like no other.

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official


Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.