Patriots

Brady on Giants boat trip: When I was young I did things I wish I didn't do

patriots-brady-1-122416.jpg

Brady on Giants boat trip: When I was young I did things I wish I didn't do

Tom Brady is so wired to promote healthy lifestyles and the importance of proper rest that one would assume he'd immediately scoff at what a few Giants players did during their off-day last week. 

Odell Beckham Jr. and a handful of his teammates traveled to South Florida to party with Justin Bieber soon after their regular-season-finale win over the Redskins. A picture of the pals in jeans and boots on a yacht emerged on social media to commemorate the trip, providing the New York media all the ammunition they would need if the Giants didn't play well. 

The Giants didn't play well, falling to the Packers in Green Bay, 38-13. Now players -- and Beckham in particular, who caught four passes for 28 yards and had multiple drops in the loss -- are catching heat.

When Brady was asked about it during his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday, he didn't do much in the way of finger-wagging. Rather he admitted he had made some poor decisions leading up to games when he was younger. 

"It's a tricky situation," Brady said. "Players are off. Everyone decides what they want to do in their off time. When I was young, I did a lot of things when I look back I probably wish I wouldn't have done -- flying across country and things like that. It just wasn't publicized."

Brady added: "I was from California so when I had off time that's where I went. Looking back, there was one time I was actually injured pretty good, and I decided to do it, and I landed, and then I stayed overnight, and then I realized I better fly back. I flew back the next morning because it wasn't a very smart decsion.

"You're younger, you don't have all the experience that you have. I'm at a point where doing this as long as I have, I cherish the opportunity that I have, and I'm putting everything into it. I'll have time at the end of the year to do things I need to do. But right now I have to focus on what my job is, and that's to put everything I can into this week."

Brady pointed out that there are plenty of teams that have their own way of approaching their work leading up to a playoff game. The Patriots, for instance, practiced twice -- including once in full pads. The Chiefs, on the other hand, got a week off. 

"Every team has a different personality," Brady said. "Obviously when you win, it takes care of all those things. It sucks when you lose."

Brady's been there, and he knows what it's like. The only thing that might make it suck even more would be leaving a loss knowing he let his team and his family down because he didn't put everything into his preparation. 

"There's a lot of people, like our coaches, our families, that have put off a lot of things for all of us to get to this point," he said. "There's a lot of support that you need to play this many weeks of football. You want to go out and play your best. I think our team is focused on playing its best. We're in there today ready to go, ready to work . . . Hopefully it all pays off."

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

The Patriots hit Thanksgiving with an 8-2 record, a stranglehold on first place in the AFC East, and a rest-of-the-season schedule -- save for the much-anticipated meeting with the Steelers on Dec. 17 -- almost bereft of quality opponents. So they have a lot to be thankful for.

But here are some things you may not be aware of . . . 

SURGICAL-GRADE DIPPED LATEX TUBING

Whoever came up with the stuff Tom Brady's resistance bands are made out of -- it's actually "surgical-grade dipped latex tubing sheathed in ballistic nylon," according to the TB12 website -- probably deserves a tip of the cap from the entire region. The 40-year-old uses the bands extensively as part of his training regimen, and he currently leads the league in passing yards, yards per attempt, quarterback rating, rating under pressure and touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

SUSAN SCARNECCHIA

Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was retired just a couple of years ago. He traveled. He spent time with his grandchildren. Then the Patriots called. After some time to think about it -- and after talking it over with his wife Susan -- Scarnecchia opted to come back after two years away from the game. At 69 years old, he's helped this year's unit overcome some early-season struggles, and he still seems to be on top of his game. Think the Patriots are happy he had his wife's blessing to jump back in? 

ELECTRONIC TABLETS

You weren't expecting this, were you? Bill Belichick has said he's not a fan . . . but that's on game days. "I’m done with the tablets," he said last year. "I’ve given them as much time as I can give them. They’re just too undependable for me." But when it comes to players using tablets on their own time? They're incredibly useful. Whereas years ago players would have to come into the facility early or stay late in order to watch extra film, now they can study from the comfort of their own homes, on a team flight, or while riding in a car (as long as they aren't driving). For teams that have players who want to be over-prepared, having access to all-22 video at any time can be an advantage. 

DR. ROBERT WATKINS

Who's this, you ask? He's the Los Angeles-based back specialist who operated on Rob Gronkowski's back last year. He operated on the big tight end in 2009 and 2013, and his latest procedure seems to be holding up as well as possible. Gronkowski quickly regained his strength and athleticism, and he continues to be his team's most dynamic offensive weapon. He has 41 catches for 619 yards and five scores this season, and he's been used extensively as a blocker in the running game and in pass protection. Gronkowski deserves credit -- as does the Patriots medical, training and nutrition staffs -- for being so effective in his return to the field, but the Patriots are probably thankful that last year's back surgery went as well as it did.  

FLOWERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Trey Flowers has been arguably his team's most dependable defender this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he's been on the field for 606 snaps, which is fourth among edge defenders. His 338 pass-rush snaps are second among 4-3 defensive ends, per PFF. He's played through injury at times, and he's remained productive. Against the Raiders he had three quarterback hits and three hurries. So why would the Patriots be thankful for Flowers Construction Co.? That's the Huntsville, Alabama company run by Flowers' father, Robert, who put Trey to work when he was growing up. The work ethic he learned on-site has helped him go from a fourth-round pick who lost most of his rookie season to injury into a playing-time iron man and one of the team's most reliable defenders.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

 

In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

jets-revis-102115.jpg

In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Chiefs needed help in their leaky defensive backfield.

Darrelle Revis was ready to provide it.

So the AFC West leaders signed the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback on Wednesday, a surprising midseason move involving a big-name player. Revis played for the New York Jets last season, but his massive salary cap number combined with a decline in performance led to his release in late February.

Still, the Chiefs were desperate to find a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters. Terrence Mitchell, Kenneth AckerSteven Nelson and Phillip Gaines have all failed to hold down the spot.

"He's ready to go now," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a conference call with reporters. "He was coming off the wrist (injury) and that he had last year, you know - this is when he was ready to go. We felt the same way. So it was a nice, mutual agreement that took place and here we are."

Reid did not rule out Revis playing Sunday against Buffalo, either.

Four days is typically a quick turnaround for a player to get acclimated to a team, especially one that hasn't played a snap since the end of last season. But Revis has a few things going for him: He has a vast amount of experience from which to draw, he is already familiar with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's system having played for him with the Jets, and the Chiefs really have nothing to lose.

They enter the game with the 28th-ranked pass defense in the league, hemorrhaging more than 250 yards per game. That includes a 417-yard performance by Oakland's Derek Carr a few weeks ago.

"We've had some young guys trying their hearts out and doing a nice job for us, too," Reid said. "It's a win-win. You get a veteran guy and you have some young guys that will continue to grow."

Perhaps coincidentally, the Chiefs visit the Meadowlands to face the Jets on Dec. 3.

Revis at one point was considered the best cornerback in the league, picking off 29 passes over 10 seasons with the Jets, Buccaneers and Patriots. He won a Super Bowl ring with New England.

He parlayed that into a five-year, $39 million contract to return to the Jets, but a wrist injury slowed him down a couple of years ago. Revis struggled most of last season, looking as if the 32-year-old had lost a step for the first time, and the Jets made the decision to let him go.

He's spent the past summer and fall keeping in shape.

"He's been around awhile. He looks great physically," Reid said, "but time does that, time will take a step away from you. But he's a smart guy, knows how to play the game and that becomes important at this point in his career. I'm not telling you he can't still run, he can run."

Good enough to help the Chiefs (6-4), who had dropped four of their past five?

"Darrelle is a proven player in this league and we are excited to add him," first-year Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. "He's had a Hall of Fame career and his leadership and playing experience will be valuable to our defense."

That may be where he is most beneficial: His experience. The Chiefs have little veteran presence in their secondary after safety Eric Berry was lost to a season-ending injury.

"You're talking about one of the all-time great players at that position," Reid said. "It's just a matter of getting him back in the swing of things and seeing where he's at. He's excited to be here. We are excited to have him. I would think his role would be to step in and be a starter."