Patriots

Belichick acutely aware of slow Super Bowl starts: 'We try to score'

Belichick acutely aware of slow Super Bowl starts: 'We try to score'

FOXBORO -- Last spring, Patriots coaches, and their significant others got together for a dinner where they toasted to a successful season and rehashed some of their memories from Super Bowl LI. There were cameras in the room, filming for "Do Your Job Part 2," and few of the addresses made the final cut. 

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Linebackers coach Brian Flores had one line in particular that got the room laughing.

"Coach [Bill] Belichick, prior to the game," Flores recalled, "looked right at Tom Brady and goes 'Tom, we've been six Super Bowls together, and we've never scored a point in the first quarter. Can we get that done?' I look around and I go, 'Man, we're going to score 30 points in the first quarter.' "

Didn't work out that way.

Headed to their eighth Super Bowl, Belichick is keenly aware that his offenses have still not scored in the first quarter in the biggest game of the season. On Wednesday, he was asked by ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss about those slow get-offs. 

"In the Super Bowls in the past," Reiss started, "you guys haven’t scored in the first quarter..."

"Thanks, Mike, yeah," Belichick said. "Any other negative stuff from the Super Bowls I need to be aware of, too?" 

"Look, we try to score in every game," Belichick added. "I know that’s probably hard to understand, but we try to go out and score and keep the other team from scoring. That’s our goal every game."

Lighting up the scoreboard early in Minnesota won't be easy for Belichick's club as the Eagles were the owners of the No. 4 scoring defense in the NFL during the regular season. Asked if the team would put any extra emphasis on a fast start over the course of the next week-and-a-half, Belichick provided the equivalent of a verbal shoulder shrug.

"What’s important is what happens this week against the Eagles," he said, "so we’re going to try to score, and we’re going to try to keep them from scoring."

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

On Wednesday, the NFL announced a new policy on players protesting during the National Anthem.

The new policy permits players to stay in the locker room while the anthem plays, but requires them to stand if they come on to the field.

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long, now with the Eagles, shared his thoughts on the controversial change via Twitter:

His teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, ripped the new policy on Twitter as well.

Devin and Jason McCourty showed their support for Long and Jenkins' statements by reposting them on their Twitter account:

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Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

A source confirms that Tom Brady was not working out at his TB12 sports medicine facility at Patriot Place in Foxboro while his teammates were on the field at OTAs as was previously reported by the Boston Herald.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, the other notable absence from OTAs, has been at the TB12 facility on the days his teammates were on the field practicing and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who participated in the first day of OTAs, has also been at TB12, according to the source.

The Herald's Karen Guregian reported on Tuesday that both Brady and Gronkowski were at TB12 on Monday, which is right next to Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots were practicing. 

Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak and Bertrand" show said Brady likely wasn't even in the country this week.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Wednesday that Brady and Gronk are expected to participate in the mandatory mini-camp at Gillette June 5-7.

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