Patriots

Bean: Belichick has a Pete Carroll moment

Bean: Belichick has a Pete Carroll moment

Bill Belichick says the Malcolm Butler benching was strictly a football decision. I don’t believe him, you don’t believe him and I’d venture to guess Malcolm Butler probably doesn’t believe him. 

But this is what they’ve chosen to go with, so until we hear otherwise (with “otherwise” meaning something along the lines of “the truth”), we can only assume this was (Stuart Scott wink) strictly a football decision. 

So, assuming Butler was healthy and not in trouble, this was Bill Belichick’s Pete Carroll moment. Except instead of making one bad decision, he made one bad decision and committed to it for an entire game. Bill Belichick essentially threw from the 1-yard line over and over and over again.   

TOM E. CURRAN

Carroll was stupid. Belichick -- [rolls eyes] if this was strictly a football decision; let's go with an acronym going foward -- was stupid and then stubborn. That’s a combination that we don’t often see from Belichick. Does anyone believe that Belichick would be at his worst in the Super Bowl? 

Belichick was trying to win a Super Bowl without his best linebacker (Dont'a Hightower) and top two receivers (Julian Edelman and Brandin Cooks). Obviously the linebacker and receivers were out of Belichick’s control. But imagine the chutzpah to voluntarily add a 2016 All Pro cornerback to that list. 

Plus, ITWSAFD, Butler would have been back on the field by the start of the third quarter. Really, who makes better halftime adjustments than Bill Belichick? The defense stunk, Eric Rowe and Johnson Bademosi were struggling, and you’ve got an All Pro and Super Bowl hero twiddling his thumbs on the sideline? Belichick has never been that foolish. 

As a result of the Butler situation, the Patriots find themselves in a surprisingly Seahawks-esque situation. Much like Seattle players questioned Carroll’s play call, you’ve got Patriots players -- directly or indirectly -- questioning Belichick. Brandon Browner, who knows a guy or two in that locker room, put Belichick on blast on Instagram, saying benching Butler is how you divide a locker room and that Belichick was on a power trip. Hightower liked it. 

MORE ON BUTLER

Patriots players have it very, very good. A lot of them are far better off here than they would be anywhere else. Yet ITWSAFD, they’ve now seen their coach -- the guy they’ve been told time and again is an infallible genius -- make inarguably harmful decisions twice (the other being the Jimmy Garoppolo trade, whether he wanted to or not) in one year. 

Winning solves everything. We know that. Yet coming close to winning and screwing it up can start a whole lot of problems. Just ask the Seahawks and other Super Bowl runner-ups. 

If this was strictly a football decision, that’s what Bill Belichick did. It’s impossible to believe he did it on purpose, but that's what he's telling us. 

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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.