Patriots

Bill Belichick relieved Patriots are done with night games

Bill Belichick relieved Patriots are done with night games

Bill Belichick is just like us: he's quite relieved that the Patriots are done with night games.

New England has paid the price for being a big draw this season. Of the nine games they've played, five of them have been in primetime (three Sunday night, one Monday, and one Thursday). Last weekends game against the Packers was the fourth in the Pats last five games played at night.

Belichick talked about how well his players have prepared for the night games and how the primetime slots have affected preparation for the following week on WEEI's Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria.

“It is nice not to play at night, absolutely," Belichick said. "The night games kill you. They get you the next day, and really it takes you a couple of days to get by them. Four out of the last five, but the schedule is what it is and for every long week there’s a short week and so whenever we play we just have to be ready to go. They are hard. I thought our team did a great job this week. I told them that after the game. I thought they did a great job coming off the Monday night game on the road and facing Green Bay, which is a hard team to prepare for. Very hard to prepare for. With less time and less opportunity I thought they really worked hard all week and obviously last night. It’s good.”

Of New England's remaining seven games, five are one o'clock starts and two are at 4:25 p.m. The Patriots travel to Tennessee to face Patriot legend Mike Vrabel's Titans this weekend. The game is at 1:00 p.m.

There is however the chance that one of the Patriots remaining games gets flexed to primetime. The likely candidate would be Week 13 against the Vikings, as 49ers vs Seahawks is currently slated to be the Sunday night game.

New England sports fans have had quite the challenging schedule since the start of October. Between four-plus hour Red Sox playoff games and primetime Pats almost every week, late nights on the couch seem to be the new norm.

With the World Series locked up and the Patriots finally getting relief from the NFL schedule-makers, it seems like the perfect time for a Celtics West-coast trip, right?

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For Jacoby Brissett, Tom Brady’s opinion was what mattered most

For Jacoby Brissett, Tom Brady’s opinion was what mattered most

BOSTON — If Jacoby Brissett were originally drafted by any of the 31 other teams not based in New England, would his professional life have been quieter, less stressful, accompanied by fewer comparisons and “what ifs?”

No doubt.

Would his professional life have been better? Doubtful.

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The Patriot DNA Brissett possesses means the Colts starting quarterback — and Jimmy Garoppolo — will never shake the measuring stick that is Tom Brady nor the belief that their tutelage in the most evolved offensive system in the league under the best coach gave them a leg up.

When I ran into Brissett Monday at Logan Airport I asked him whether being a Patriot for 17 months was a blessing or a curse.

“It’s a mixture of both,” he said. “Everybody sees the finished product Tom (Brady) but Tom wasn’t what he is in 2018 or 2019 back in 2002. That’s what makes it fun for me and for Jimmy too. People have these expectations for you and once you don’t reach them, it’s like, ‘Awww, you suck.’

“But at the end of the day, one of the best things I learned from Tom was him saying during our struggles that, ‘I didn’t get where I am just like that (snaps fingers). I struggled. I had my ups and downs.’ ”

Brady’s got 15 years on the 27-year-old Brissett. When the team drafted Brissett in the third round of the 2016 draft, he became the latest in a long line of clipboard-holders who’ve backed Brady up since 2002.

What was their relationship like?

“Mentor, brother, friend,” said Brissett. “Tom encompasses so much because he’s the type of guy where he’s gonna cover all the bases. He’s gonna be the big brother at times, he’s gonna be the friend, he’s gonna be the mentor, he’s gonna be the coach, he’s gonna do all of these things just because of his personality.

“He was hard on us, no question,” Brissett revealed. “It was the standard people had for us because we played behind Tom but it was more so you didn’t care about that standard, you cared about what Tom thought about you.

“You cared about Tom’s standard,” said Brissett. “I’ll never forget some of the things he would say. If he saw me relaxing, he’d say, ‘You play quarterback, you can’t do that.’ For the most part, he kept us on our toes. He played those mind games with us.

“One day he’d love us up and another day he’ll be pissed and take it out on us. His expectations were way more something you were trying to uphold than what anybody else put on you. To be a part of it and to have Tom as a resource and creating so many friendships outside of Tom was invaluable.”

Brissett, like the rest of the football-watching world, has a hard time envisioning Brady not playing in New England.  

“I think it would be weird to everyone, including Tom,” he said. “That’s an interesting situation right now, but I would say whatever he wants to do and whatever he does, that will be a thought-out decision and literally the right decision for him. Tom will make whatever work, he always has.”

Here are the ex-Patriots, Boston College players who made XFL rosters

Here are the ex-Patriots, Boston College players who made XFL rosters

Professional football won't end after Super Bowl Sunday this year.

The rebooted XFL kicks off its 2020 season on the weekend of Saturday, Feb. 8, as eight teams will compete over a 10-week regular season.

Each team is limited to a 52-man roster, meaning clubs had to make significant cuts after carrying 71 players out of the first inaugural XFL Draft in October.

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Several of those roster casualties were former Patriots players, as Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore and Sealver Siliga were among those released over the past few months.

The XFL teams announced their final 52-man rosters Monday, though, and there still are four ex-Patriots players to watch. Here's the list:

Nick Brossette, running back, D.C. Defenders
Brossette was a preseason standout for the Patriots in 2019, rushing for 200 yards on 65 carries with three touchdowns over four preseason games. He failed to make New England's 53-man roster and signed on with the Detroit Lions' practice squad in September 2019.

Scooby Wright, linebacker, D.C. Defenders
Wright was Brossette's teammate in New England during the 2019 preseason, recording two sacks in one preseason. He was released following final roster cuts and briefly was on the Patriots' practice squad before they cut ties with him on Oct. 1.

Steve Beauharnais, linebacker, St. Louis BattleHawks
The Patriots selected Beauharnais 235th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, and the Rutgers product appeared in two games for New England that season. He signed with the Washington Redskins the following season.

Kony Ealy, defensive end, Houston Roughnecks
The most notable name on this list, Ealy was traded to the Patriots in March 2017 after three productive seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The Patriots released him August, after which the New York Jets scooped him up off waivers.

If you're seeking another local connection, three Boston College alums landed on XFL rosters: New York Guardians center Ian Silberman, Roughnecks linebacker Ty Schwab and Roughnecks running back Andre Williams, who won the Doak Walker Award in 2013 as college football's top running back and went on to play for the New York Giants.

Williams, Schwab and Ealy will be in action at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 8 in Houston's game against the Los Angeles Wildcats.