Belichick: Playoff neophytes like Cooks, Gilmore provide renewed energy


Belichick: Playoff neophytes like Cooks, Gilmore provide renewed energy

MINNEAPOLIS -- This may be old hat for a handful of Patriots. 

Guys like Tom Brady (eight Super Bowl appearances), Stephen Gostkowski (five), Devin McCourty (four), Nate Solder (four) and Rob Gronkowski (four) have been through the hoopla of playing for a championship before. 


And while those players have said they aren't taking this experience for granted, Bill Belichick acknowledged that the team gets a shot of energy from the players on the roster who are new to the whole thing. 

Belichick told that Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore, two of the most important players in New England's AFC title game victory over the Jaguars, are providing that shot for the Patriots this year. 

"It's great to see players like that come onto the team, embrace the team, come from one system to a new team and try to acclimate themselves to what we're doing," said Belichick. "To see them have the success, the results from that, it kind of gives your team an energy that you don't really anticipate.

"You think a lot of times the leadership is coming from the McCourtys and the Solders and the Bradys and those kind of guys. But a lot of times that energy comes from Cooks, Gilmore, or going back to '04 Corey Dillon or '07 Randy Moss -- guys coming from other teams that now have a chance to go to the Super Bowl, or went to the Super Bowl. And that energy level and enthusiasm that they brought made a lot of other guys, who saw the careers those players had like Corey and Randy, how excited they were because it was a chance to play for a championship. It's interesting how that works, it really is."


Belichick will be the first to admit that the Patriots need to do more than simply get excited for Super Bowl 52 to have a shot to beat the Eagles. But if they play the way they did in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game, that wouldn't be a bad place to start. 

"We really didn't play the game we wanted to play it through the majority of the game, but our fourth quarter was probably our best quarter of football of the year," Belichick said. "Coaching staff made some great adjustments, our players made some great plays, and we finished the game in a strong fashion."


Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

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Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

Julian Edelman is grinding.

The New England Patriots receiver, who is recovering from an ACL repair surgery that ended his 2017 season, shared a quick video from his workout on Tuesday. Edelman is shown running with a resistance band and a trainer in-tow.

Edelman has posted a few tidbits on social media to show encouraging signs during his recovery since he got surgery in October after suffering an ACL tear in a preseason game. He was spotted around the locker room a few times during the final weeks of the 2017 season.

"Rehab is a [expletive]. It sucks," Edelman said in November on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take podcast." "You go in and you’re feeling decent and then you warm up, you beat it up and then you get stiff again. I mean it’s just a process and you go in six days a week and you’re going into work it, work on everything — your flexion, your extension."

Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

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Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

Steelers tight end Jesse James is glad the Patriots' Super Bowl pursuit is done -- mostly because he played a big part in helping accelerate it.

In the final moments of the game, James failed to catch the ball during a Week 15 contest between the Steelers and the Patriots. The non-catch was a controversial one.

James told Centre Daily Times' Josh Moyer he finally felt relief on the morning after the Super Bowl when the Patriots fell to the Eagles, 41-33.

“I don’t feel like I gave them a Super Bowl with that,” James told the Daily Times. “So I’m over it now, but it’s going to be a topic of conversation until the rule gets changed — or it doesn’t.”

James' play was initially ruled a touchdown before the referees overturned the play, and took the lead away from the Steelers in the final moments of the game. Ben Roethlisberger then threw an interception a few plays later. By winning, the Patriots took a huge step in locking themselves into the AFC's top seed with a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which they rode into the Super Bowl.

But of course, they couldn't finish their Super Bowl pursuit -- to James' satisfaction.