Patriots

Tom Brady gets testy with reporter over Alex Guerrero report

Tom Brady gets testy with reporter over Alex Guerrero report

FOXBORO — The G.O.A.T. was P-I-S-S-E-D Friday. 

At least he was when asked about the recent report about Bill Belichick severely restricting Alex Guerrero’s access around the Patriots. 

Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe reported this week that Belichick had taken away some of Guerrero’s privileges during this season, including banning him from the team plane and not allowing anyone other than Tom Brady to use Guerrero in his Gillette Stadium office. Asked what his reaction was to Bill Belichick telling him that Guerrero wouldn’t be around as much, Brady shot back at the Globe’s Ben Volin. 

“I don’t really agree with your question, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. How do you know what he said?” Brady replied. 

Volin tried to ask Brady if he was refuting Hohler’s report, but was cut off by the quarterback. 

“I’m not saying anything,” Brady said. “How do you say that [Belichick] said anything? You don’t know anything about that.” 

Volin once again asked if Belichick had said anything about removing him from team flights and stripping other privileges, at which point Brady finally just declined to share.

“I have  a lot of conversations with him,” Brady said. “Those are private between he and I. I don’t think anybody knows what we talk about -- or I’ve never [told anyone] and he’s never talked about it.”

A controversial figure, Guerrero has served as Brady’s personal body coach and has played a major role in Brady’s pliability-oriented workouts. Guerrero’s degree is from a Chinese medicine from a university that has since closed. He has twice been accused of fraud. Other Patriots who work with Guerrero include Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski.

Patriots under investigation for handling of Chung's concussion protocol

Patriots under investigation for handling of Chung's concussion protocol

The NFL Player's Association has announced that they, along with the NFL, are reviewing the Patriots' handling of safety Patrick Chung's concussion. 

Chung appeared to be shaken up on a run play early in the second quarter. He left the game, but returned after only one play. He remained on the field until the end of the first half. The team announced he would be out for the reminder of the game after the team came out of the locker room. 

The decision to let Chung back into the game was a medical one, not a coach's decision, as Bill Belichick reiterated when asked about Chung on a conference call Tuesday morning. The NFL has independent doctors on the sideline for situations exactly like this. If they determined Chung should be checked for a concussion, then he wouldn't have had the option to re-enter the game. 

As it stands, it appears that both team and league officials determined that Chung didn't need to undergo concussion protocol, and was cleared to play. During halftime, something changed their minds, Chung underwent concussion protocol and did not return to the field. 

The league review is simply ensuring the Patriots went through the correct procedures in handling Chung's situation. From an outside perspective, if Chung re-entered the game with a concussion, it falls on the shoulders of the league and team doctors. The Patriots were told he could re-enter the game, so they sent him back in. The results of the review will determine if the league, and the Player's Association, think otherwise. 

What happened Sunday in Jacksonville won't happen again

What happened Sunday in Jacksonville won't happen again

Sunday was bad. Really bad. Did it signal a sea change in the AFC -- an AFsea change, if you will?

Probably not. 

Here's the logic: As you've probably been reminded roughly 7,000 times since the Jaguars wrapped up their 31-20 win over the Patriots Sunday evening, Bill Belichick teams get better over the course of the year. They have at least one bad early season loss, then the defense gets better over time to the point where it's good enough in the Super Bowl, provided you don't sit the star cornerback. 

For as troubling as Sunday looked, you can be confident enough in that improvement happening again to the point where the defense will look a heck of a lot better if and when these teams meet in the playoffs. 

What you can't be as confident in is that Blake Bortles will do that again. 

Bortles is fine. He's not great, and that gets him a lot of attention because a lot of other parts of that team are. On Sunday, the only time the Patriots touched him was when they seemingly put a gold jacket on him at the end of the first half. When all was said and done, the fifth-year QB had gone for 377 yards with four touchdowns and a pick. 

There are a lot of takeaways you can have from that game, most of which are probably about the defense being pretty bad right now. "Oh shoot, Blake Bortles is actually awesome!" isn't one of them. That's because he's been in the league long enough for him to establish what he is. Unless there's some sort of Eli Manning phenomenon going on here -- which should still bewilder people to this day -- Patriots fans should still feel pretty confident against the Jaguars, for now. 

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The "pretty" and the "for now" are important there because this is a team that still almost beat you once without Bortles being great. He was good in that AFC Championship -- 23 of 36 for 293 with a touchdown and no picks -- but his impact on that contest would fall under the "didn't lose the game for them, but wasn't exactly dominant" category. 

And that's common enough. Even with how important the quarterback position is, you need to be truly horrible to actually be incapable of winning on a good team. "Meh" QBs have won, and Bortles is more "meh" than horrible. 

As for the "for now," if that team is ever above average at quarterback while adding weapons and maintaining what they are on defense, they'd seemingly be favorites in a conference that's looking for someone to establish themselves as the Patriots wind down. If this group doesn't prove to be a flash in the pan and adds the necessary pieces, it's plausible that they could become the class of the AFC. 

But they're not there yet, at least as it relates to this season. Because Tom Brady's still there and the Patriots defense will get better. It always does because that's what Bill Belichick teams do. 

If we're going to look at the history there, we've also got to look at the history everywhere else. To expect Bortles to become the player he was Sunday would be a leap. Here's betting New England's defense will be better the next time these teams see each other, and the mythical figure that torched them Sunday will be nowhere to be seen. 

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