Patriots

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady adopt different tones on Patriots-Ravens officiating

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady adopt different tones on Patriots-Ravens officiating

The New England Patriots uncharacteristically hurt themselves Sunday night, committing seven penalties in a 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Both head coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady took issue with a few of those calls, though.

The first came on Baltimore's opening drive, when Shilique Calhoun was called for a killer neutral zone infraction penalty on a Ravens field goal attempt that gave the Ravens a first down and led to their opening touchdown.

Belichick seemed incensed by the call at the time and had an animated discussion with an official on the sideline. The following morning, Belichick was asked if his gripe was related to Ravens snapper Morgan Cox inducing Calhoun to jump by moving the ball slightly or bobbing his head.

"Doesn't matter what I think," Belichick said on a conference call, via ESPN's Mike Reiss. "It's the officials' game to call."

When asked if that's a tough play to call, Belichick responded:

"I think you should talk to the (NFL) officiating department and ask them exactly how they officiate the play and that would be the right answer for you."

When Belichick tells you ask the league, that's usually a good sign he's not happy about a situation.

As for Brady? The Patriots QB was similarly irked by his intentional grounding penalty on a play where wide receiver Phillip Dorsett made contact with Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith before cutting in the opposite direction of Brady's pass.

Brady was a little more forthcoming than his coach when asked about the play Monday morning.

"Dorsett has) got a choice to go either way," Brady said on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." "He ran down there and (Smith) drilled him at eight yards.

"So I said (to the ref), ‘Isn’t that illegal contact?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, no.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know what you’re looking at.’ Or something like that."

Brady then joked about the friendly nature of his "conversation" with the official that looked anything but friendly in real time.

"It was very polite," Brady said. "It was like, ‘Excuse me mister, I thought there might have possibly been a penalty, actually by them."

Belichick and Brady both found ways to get their points across without getting in trouble for criticizing the refs. And we're guessing they're well aware of the myriad of other miscues that cost them in Sunday night's loss.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Youth - that means draft success - will have to fuel Pats' reboot

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Youth - that means draft success - will have to fuel Pats' reboot

It's simple, really. If the Patriots are going to avoid staying home again after the Wild Card Round of the playoffs next season and seasons to come, they've got to get younger.

And to get younger, they've got to be more successful in the draft.

In the latest edition of Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, Curran and Phil Perry focus on the last time New England was sent home this early in the playoffs a decade ago and if there can be lessons learned from that roster reboot in 2010. 

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The biggest issue confronting the Pats this time around is their age, which averages 31.6 years old (a 42-year-old quarterback skews that a little, of course). By comparison, the Super Bowl 54 opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs (26.8) and the San Francisco 49ers (26.6) are considerably younger.

Click here to listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: 

The age factor is why, as Perry pointed out, "the pressure is on for them to hit not only in this 2020 draft, where they do have 12 picks, they have no second-round pick, but 12 shots at the dartboard. Last year, they had 10 [picks] and nine guys are still with the team.

"It's clear they have told themselves, 'We need to get younger. We need to start hitting here if we want to sustain this success.' The draft is the lifeblood of any team."

The 2018 team and its victory in the Super Bowl over the Rams last February worked to hide some of those flaws from recent low-yield draft classes.

"They had a great quarterback when they needed him. They had a Hall of Fame quarterback when they needed him. The defense looked tremendous we know how that story played out," Perry said. 

What kind of draft yield are we talking about to fuel the next generation of Patriots' success?

Curran goes on to rattle off the names from 2008-2012 drafts (Mayo, Slater, Edelman, Vollmer, Butler, Chung, Gronkowski, McCourty) that fueled the second half of the Pats dynasty.

"I have upwards of 30 names from 2008 to 2012 who were contributing players to the Patriots. I'm not even talking a little contributing, but massive contributing...," Curran said.  

There's also a discussion of how the uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady will impact the 2020 draft strategy. Listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

 

That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

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That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

The Patriots may have been missing from the NFL's Championship Sunday, but that didn't stop them from being mentioned and having their former personnel play prominent roles in the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

Whether it was former Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel coaching the Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs or former New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo helping the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers to reach Super Bowl 54, the Patriots continue to be a talked-about team. 

On the latest edition of the "That 617 Life" podcast, Leroy Irvin, Shanda Foster and Cerrone Battle discussed how the Pats still loomed over the games on Sunday.

"You can not say anything bad about the Patriots because we are always constantly producing talent," Foster said. "I think this is the perfect testament to Bill Belichick."

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Battle said it speaks to the dominance of the Patriots the past two decades that connections to their former players and staff are now all over the league.

"That's what happens when you win," Battle said. "When you win, everybody wants a piece. They want your waterboy. Look at the new head coach of the Giants [Joe Judge, the former Patriots special teams and receivers coach]?... When you're good for 20 years eventually you're going to have your roots all over the league. After years and years of success, I'm not shocked by it."

Irvin and Foster said instead of lamenting a rare NFL Final Four without New England, Pats fans should be grateful.

"I wish Patriot Nation would grow up," Irvin said. "By that I mean I'm tired of seeing on social media people just crying and complaining, 'Oh it's boring without the Patriots.' We've had almost two decades of excellence. We're not there. Get over it."

Said Foster, "I was grateful more than anything. Filled with gratitude. We may never see a run like this again."

In his "Hot Takes and Cold Cuts" segment, Battle says those crowning the Super Bowl 54 opponents as the next dynasties might want to pump the brakes a little. 

"First thing I heard [after the games] is, 'Kansas City they're gonna be around for years and San Francisco they're gonna be around for a long time. They're gonna be contenders forever,' " Battle said. "That was the story all day. 'What is anybody gonna do about these teams next year?' What are they gonna do next year? Not even worry about them. Why? Because this is the Not For Long League. The NFL. Every year, the teams that were hot the year before are never guaranteed to be hot the year after that. Unless you're the Patriots."

The crew also gives their reactions to the new Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary. It's all in this week's "That 617 Life" podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast network. Click here to listen and subscribe.