Patriots

Amendola: Pats' turmoil overblown, but Butler benching remains a mystery

Amendola: Pats' turmoil overblown, but Butler benching remains a mystery

First things first. All that talk about turmoil in Foxboro?

Overblown.

"There's not really much truth to [the rumors that there was a ton of turmoil inside the walls], to tell you the truth," said ex-Patriots and current Miami wide receiver Danny Amendola. "There is always going to be some friction between a coach and a player in a business."

Second things second. The talk that there's been no explanation as to why Malcolm Butler was benched in the Super Bowl, and that the players -- or at least this player -- remain baffled by it?

Not overblown.

"I don't know the answer to [why that happened] to this day . . . " said Amendola. "[For] whatever reason, [Bill Belichick] felt, you know, he's the coach. I can't make that decision. I can only do my job and focus on my job.

"But in hindsight, it's like, 'Really, what agenda are we on?' It's something that I will probably never really understand."

Amendola said all this, and much more, on Barstool Sports' Comeback SZN Podcast with Kayce Smith, formerly of NBC Sports Boston. Amendola -- who played five years in New England before signing as a free agent with the Dolphins this past offseason -- gave a fascinating glimpse behind the Patriots' iron curtain.

Like when he signed with the Pats on March 13, 2013:

The realization he was headed to New England "set in when Bill called . . . and said, 'Get your ass to Foxboro and ink this up . . . we're not having a press conference, we don't give a [crap] about that.' Then I realized [New England] was all work, no glitz. No glamour. It's just about playing good football, the Patriot Way."

And what it was like with the Pats:

"I got to understand what it was like to put the work in and really grind it out . . . and learn how to win. When I was in St. Louis" -- Amendola played for the Rams from 2009-12, when the team went 17-46-1 and was below .500 every year -- "I learned that wins are hard to come by in the NFL . . . but sometimes we'd win in New England and [Belichick] wasn't happy. Tom [Brady] wasn't happy. Or we knew we could play better here or play better there. I learned how to win and how to play and what it meant to play good football."

Did he enjoy it?

"I have mixed feelings about business is done," he admitted.

However . . . 

"I got to play for the greatest coach of time, [with] the greatest quarterback of all time and [for] one of the greatest owners of all time (in Robert Kraft). I got to understand what it was like to put the work in and really grind it out . . . and learn how to win."

Some of the other things he had to say . . 

On the difference between Belichick and his new coach, Adam Gase: "Adam Gase is one of the guys. He's our leader. He's our head coach, but he's also our boy. It's cool. It's refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, which is something that I haven't had in a long time. You want to fight hard [for a coach like that]. Back in New England, it was almost like you've got a principal and a principal's office and [stuff] like that. You know, in a good way. And in a bad way, too."

On how playing with Tom Brady impacted his career: "Tom is not only a great football player, but he makes every one on his team better around him. He's created a lifestyle for himself and diet and the way he approaches the game on and off the field around the clock. . . . he's preparing his body. He's really instilled that in me. I've watched him do it for five years. That's inadvertently changed that way I approach the game."

More on the Patriots' reported turmoil: "Personally, I can't speak for Tom or Bill. But I know that regardless of business -- and I have mixed feelings of how business is done [in New England] -- I know for a fact that Coach Belichick is one of the best coaches of all time. He has all of his players' respect. I know Tom would say that same thing. I know [Rob Gronkowski] would say the same thing, regardless of how they feel about their contracts or certain situation or whatever may be going down." 

On his favorite off-the-field memoires as a Patriot: "[Going] to the [Kentucky] Derby every year after we won the Super Bowl with Tom was fun . . . we'd gas up the jet and we'd get down there and four or five Louisville cops would pick us up. We could literally do whatever we wanted with cops by our side . . . of course, Gronk and [Julian Edelman] being there (spices things) up a bit. And when you're with Brady, every head in the building turns. He changes the energy in any room. It's fun. It's adult fun.

"I went to the Derby twice and I don't think I saw a horse one time. [Wes] Welker, one year, brought in a boombox.. We created our own club vibe in there. Wes brought like $500,000 in fake 20s and 100s stacked it up on the table and everybody thought it was real money . . . Another year, we had a karaoke machine. And this is like in the most distinguished area of the Derby. People are suited and booted . . . and we have a karaoke machine. Travis Tritt was there . . . and he sang 'Sweet Home Alabama'. It was awesome. It was electric."

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Tom Brady shares heartfelt message for his parents on their 50th anniversary

Tom Brady shares heartfelt message for his parents on their 50th anniversary

Tom Brady took a break from the humorous social media posts to share something more sentimental on Friday.

Brady wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram for his parents on their 50th anniversary. In the post, Brady explains the core values he's learned from his mother and father.

50 years ago today, my mom and dad were married and began the journey to start their own family. The strength of their marriage has always been an inspiration and the best example to me and my sisters of what true love, respect and commitment mean. 
Life always has its ups and downs and their togetherness in good and bad taught us teamwork. Their trust, love and dedication as parents taught us how to become the parents we are today. They have always put our family first and instilled in us the values they were taught from their parents, which we now carry on and teach our own kids. They have always encouraged us to attain milestones and we’re honored to celebrate this one they’ve achieved. We love you so much, mom and dad. Happy anniversary!!!

View this post on Instagram

50 years ago today, my mom and dad were married and began the journey to start their own family. The strength of their marriage has always been an inspiration and the best example to me and my sisters of what true love, respect and commitment mean. Life always has its ups and downs and their togetherness in good and bad taught us teamwork. Their trust, love and dedication as parents taught us how to become the parents we are today. They have always put our family first and instilled in us the values they were taught from their parents, which we now carry on and teach our own kids. They have always encouraged us to attain milestones and we’re honored to celebrate this one they’ve achieved. We love you so much, mom and dad. Happy anniversary!!!

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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Prototypical Patriots: Looking at the future for interior of offensive line?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Prototypical Patriots: Looking at the future for interior of offensive line?

One of the more unheralded positions of strength on the Patriots has been the interior of their offensive line.

Put dependable guys like David Andrews, Joe Thuney, and Shaq Mason under the leadership of one of the best positional coaches in the game — Dante Scarnecchia — and that's unquestionably a recipe for success.

But that triumvirate isn't going to be around forever (Thuney is set to hit free agency in 2020), and at some point, the Patriots have to plan for the future of the position.

Could this be the year that Bill Belichick looks for a succession plan in the Draft?

If so, Phil Perry has broken down which candidates in the draft pool fit the criteria that past Patriots linemen have exhibited.

Here are Phil's Prototypical Patriots for the interior of the offensive line.>>>>

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