Brady happy with wins, but 'tough to watch' Patriots play without him


Brady happy with wins, but 'tough to watch' Patriots play without him

Tom Brady has said that he hoped to gain a different perspective while watching the Patriots perform without him for four weeks.

Mission accomplished, but it hasn't been easy. 

"It’s certainly tough to watch," Brady told Westwood One's Jim Gray on Monday night, "but it’s certainly great to see us win. It’s a little bit of both for me."

Perhaps part of what has made it difficult for Brady is that for the first time in a long time -- he watched for most of 2008, but he has said he focused on rehabbing his season-ending knee injury that year -- he has been able to see his teammates turn "practice execution into game reality," as they so often say inside the Patriots locker room, from afar.

"It's amazing the way our team responds to adversity and the way our coaches prepare us for all these different situations that we face," Brady said. "I'm just proud of the guys for how hard they're working. You can see it on TV, and obviously it's really paying off. It's great to be a fan of the Patriots, and it's really great to be a player on the Patriots. I definitely have gained that perspective and hopefully we get to 3-0 on Thursday night."

Here are some of the other highlights from Brady's interview with Westwood One . . . 

On Jimmy Garoppolo's performance in Sunday's win over the Dolphins: "It was good to see. We got off to such a great start and he was really firing the ball in there and being very accurate and decisive with his throws. It was great to see. It was a tough injury. We were up 21 points when he got hurt, but Miami did a great job kind of hanging in there and battling back, but I’m glad we were able to close it out with the interception by Duron [Harmon] there at the end."

On his thoughts after seeing Garoppolo go down: "It's tough. He made a great play to escape the pocket and made a great throw on the run on a third-down play. The linebacker hit him and landed on top of him. You see that quite a bit in the NFL. It's a tough injury, especially your throwing shoulder. I feel for him. It's a tough injury, but I know he'll be back out there as soon as he can."

On if Garoppolo has a big future in the NFL: "Well, I think that is going to be decided by him. I think obviously the way he’s started, it’s been a great start starting games in the NFL. He’s a very hard worker and I’m just proud of the way he’s led the team. To be 2-0 at this point when two of the other teams are 0-2, it's really great for our team. I know he’ll be fighting hard to be out there this week and hopefully by the next week. he’s done a really great job."

On his experience with Jacoby Brissett: "Jacoby has done a great job taking advantage of his opportunity as wel. He went in there [Sunday] and showed a lot of poise. He has a great demeanor about him. I love working with him. He shows up to work every day working hard. He's very competitive and I know our coaching staff will have him prepared and ready to go for Thursday night if he's called upon. Who knows? Jimmy may be out there. We’ll see how it plays out."

On the possibility of Julian Edelman playing quarterback: "Coach [Bill] Belichick always has the team prepared for any situation. He thinks these things through and obviously the game just happened [Sunday], so a lot of things could happen between now and Thursday night, but Julian has kind of been in that role. He's played the position, and God forbid anything happened to Jacoby, if he's the only guy out there at quarterback, but if that's the case, then I'd expect Julian to go in there and the coaches to be comfortable with the plays that they're calling for him."

On if Edelman's ego would run amok if he were able to play quarterback: "He still talks about that touchdown pass he threw against Baltimore a few years ago. I actually -- maybe it would give him a little more ammunition if he did well, but if he didn’t, I mean he’s kind of batting 1.000 right now, so there’s only one place to go."

On seeing Wes Welker over the weekend: "It was just good to spend some time with him. He's been one of my best friends and we played together for a long time. It was fun to be with him. He's still got a lot of ability so it was fun to kind of be out on the field with him . . . We talked about a lot of things, and it wasn't his future. It was just kind of catching up on his family and what he's been doing. Then we got to work and we got out there and broke a pretty good sweat."

On the mask Welker was spotted wearing at Sunday's game: "He showed it to me. It was probably the creepiest thing I've ever seen."

On if he called in to 98.5 The Sports Hub last week and used a fake name: "No . . . You're the only one that I'm talking to."

On how he's been staying prepared for his return: "I've been trying to replicate what I'd be doing during the normal course of the week. I've only missed two weeks of practice. Our team's not even going to get a chance to practice this week based on their Thursday night game. I feel like I'm in a decent place. I look forward to the next couple of weeks going fast so I can be back out there with my teammates."

On David Ortiz wearing a Brady jersey during a ceremony before Sunday's game: "Well I'm a big fan of Big Papi. He's having an incredible season. It's hard to imagine he's retiring. He's batting about .320 and the Red Sox are playing great baseball."

Patriots stay busy, reportedly sign Patrick Chung to extension

Patriots stay busy, reportedly sign Patrick Chung to extension

The Patriots have been busy in the last 48 hours. They made a trade to bring in a second McCourty. They signed a defensive end, a running back and an offensive lineman. And now they're extending one of their own. 

According to NFL Media, the Patriots are signing safety Patrick Chung to a short-term contract extension. Chung was headed into the final year of his contract and was set to earn $2 million in base salary. It's the third extension Chung has signed with New England in a little more than three years. 

Chung, who turns 31 in August, is arguably Bill Belichick's most versatile defender. He is able to play a traditional strong safety role, covering tight ends and backs and playing in run support. He's also been used at the "star" spot to take on opposing slot receivers, and he'll occasionally rush the passer. He's also still a key contributor in the kicking game. 

"The guy is a really good football player," Belichick said of Chung earlier in January. "He’s one of the best players in the league, one of the best players on our team. He does a lot of things very well and has done them that way for a long time. We’re lucky we have him. He’s an outstanding player in all the things that he does. We put a lot on him, and he always comes through."

Chung's second go-round with the Patriots has breathed new life into his career. 

Drafted in the second round in 2009 - with a pick the Patriots picked up by trading Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs - Chung was used in more of a traditional deep safety role. That gig didn't exactly maximize his skill set, and in 2013 he signed with the Eagles to play under his college coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly. 

The Eagles released Chung after one season, and the Patriots re-signed him with a different role in mind. A strong tackler who wasn't afraid to mix it up at the linebacker level, Chung started to be deployed more often in the box. He readily admitted, he welcomed the change to be a little closer to the action. 

In 2015, Chung signed an extension to tack on three years to what was initially a one-year contract. In 2016, he signed another one-year extension. 

"We took the guy in the second round," Belichick said last season. "But it just - for a combination of reasons, I'd say a big part of it [being] mistakes that I personally made - it didn’t work out the way that we hoped it would. But we got it right the second time. I think we've been able to utilize him. I wish we had been able to do that when we initially got him, but it didn’t work out that way. Like I said, I think we finally got it right."


Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement after 10 years in the NFL.

The 33-year-old took to Instagram to make it official.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

Thursday, it was reported the Patriots reached out to Woodhead for a possible reunion. 

The last two seasons have been challenging for him, as he dealt with season-ending injuries in both 2016 with the Chargers and 2017 with the Ravens.

Woodhead finishes his career with 2,238 yards rushing, 2,698 yards receiving, 15 rushing touchdowns and 17 receiving touchdowns.