Patriots

Waters running smoothly on the offensive line

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Waters running smoothly on the offensive line

During a conference call on Tuesday, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien described playing on the offensive line to being in a car crash every single play of the game.

The Patriots endured each collision well enough to win on Sunday.

Bill Belichick followed that up by going into even more detail when praising his offensive line during his weekly conference call, saying that the Brian Waters experiment has worked out a whole lot quicker than anyone would have ever expected.

It's all due to the veteran's hard work and professionalism.

"Brian's come in and has really done an outstanding job for us," said Belichick. "We got him right at the beginning of the season, and he certainly had to make a big adjustment, from not being here in training camp. Fortunately, I think with a lot of the terminology and things like that, there was definitely some carryover for him.

"He's really worked hard at just doing everything that you would want a player to do. He worked hard and studied his plays. Watching films and asking questions. He's very well prepared. He's a true professional. He really works hard at his job. He takes a lot of pride in that."

While Belichick clearly appreciates Waters, the head coach said his players feel the same way.

"He's earned every bit of his respect here," added Belichick. "He's tough, he's a good football player. He's really made some outstanding plays, individual plays that you don't see many other players at that position make. He's a high-quality player and a high-quality individual. He's very unselfish, team-oriented."

Most of the praise comes at a time in which the Patriots host Waters' former team -- the Kansas City Chiefs -- on Monday night.

Waters came to New England at the beginning of the regular season, and switched from left to right guard. It's something that Belichick stressed wasn't an easy task. That, combined with the fact that he joined an already-veteran group of offensive linemen, wouldn't make his transition into the rotation an easy one.

But through 10 weeks, it's gone a lot smoother than expected.

"Everything we asked him to do, he's done everything that he possibly could to try to do it," said Belichick. "And I can't say enough about that.

"I would say the biggest thing with Brian, is not how well he's playing and how good he is -- because he's a good player. It's just how quickly he was able to get acclimated to everything. To our system, to the way we call plays, to how we do things and make adjustments on the offensive line.

"No matter how long he's played, working with those guys as closely as they work together on a play-by-play basis, I'd say it's come together more quickly than we, as a staff, realistically expected that it would."

Brady to mom Galynn in middle of 2016 season: 'You'll be ready for the Super Bowl'

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Brady to mom Galynn in middle of 2016 season: 'You'll be ready for the Super Bowl'

She hadn't been able to get to a game all season, but Tom Brady had a feeling that his mom would be well enough to make it to the last one. 

"He said, 'You'll be ready for the Super Bowl,' " Tom Brady Sr. told NFL Network's Andrea Kremer. "He told us that in the middle of the season. At the end of her five months was going to be two weeks before the Super Bowl."

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Brady's mom, Galynn, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2016 and was undergoing chemotherapy throughout that season. As she focused on her treatments (which were scheduled for Thursday mornings), Galynn and Tom Sr. spent Sundays watching their son's games from afar. 

"Everything centered around 10 o'clock on Thursday morning," Tom Sr. said, "and then 10 o'clock on Sunday morning when we focused on the football games."

The Patriots continued to win, and the end of their season continued to be pushed back, making it possible for Galynn and Tom Sr. to attend their son's seventh Super Bowl. She was cleared for travel by her doctors on the day before the family's scheduled trip to Houston.

"I just wanted to be there for Tommy, and I wanted to be there with my family," she said. "Everybody was going to the Super Bowl, and I didn't want to miss that."

Kremer's piece aired Sunday on NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning, as the league and the American Cancer Society work together this month on their Crucial Catch campaign. It's online now at NFL.com.