Patriots

Brian Flores' statement on George Floyd death made Devin McCourty proud

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USA TODAY Sports

Brian Flores' statement on George Floyd death made Devin McCourty proud

Brian Flores' words are still resonating with one of his former players.

The Miami Dolphins head coach delivered a powerful statement Saturday following the recent murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. 

New England Patriots defensive backs and twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty began their "Double Coverage" podcast Sunday night by discussing Flores' statement, with Devin -- who spent several years with Flores in New England -- lauding the former Patriots assistant for using his platform to deliver such a strong message.

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"He holds a position that falls right into that category (of representing the entire NFL)," McCourty said on the podcast. "A position that as players, as people who watch football know: We need more black coaches, we need more black GMs, we need more people in that position. So, to see him be outspoken -- and knowing him personally, he's always been like that -- to me was great to see.

"It's about leading men. It's about men seeing the important things. We don't just come to play football. We're around each other, we mentor each other, we try to pour into each other. So, to see him go out there and make it public and say how he felt I thought was really good."

Flores, who is one of just three black head coaches in the NFL, pointed out the hypocrisy of people being outraged by police officers killing black men and women but also taking offense to Colin Kaepernick's protests several years ago.

Devin strongly agreed with Flores in that sense.

"Look at Kaepernick. A couple years ago, people were going crazy. ‘This guy is this, he’s that,' " Devin said. "Then, the irony of a man losing his life because a knee is in his neck and now, all of a sudden, people are like, 'Oh man, let me take an extra second to listen to what Kaepernick said in an interview about why he took a knee and why he did a silent protest.'

" .. It’s like, if you ever stopped and listen to what he was doing and his true message, it would have never gotten to that point and you would have never talked about the military. You would have never talked about the flag. You would’ve understood he was talking about freedom."

Devin and Jason McCourty have showed support for Kaepernick over the years and are active members of the Players Coalition, which seeks to make progress toward ending social injustice and racial inequality.

Devin said he's had coaches reach out to him following Floyd's murder last Monday asking how they can "get involved with some of the work we've done in the past."

"Just to see people's eyes open -- it stinks that it had to be because of George Floyd's sacrifice, because he got murdered in cold blood, that people's eyes are really open now ... (but) to see some people's eyes open can lead us to create that change."

Check out the McCourtys' full discussion below:

 

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

If you rooted for Tom Brady and don’t for Cam Newton, you are a hypocrite. 

In 2014, the Patriots started the season 2-2 and after a humiliating loss on Monday Night Football in Kansas City, some idiot — that would be me — declared that the Pats had lost their soul.

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Of course, I was wrong as the greatest quarterback ever went on to the lead the Pats to their fourth Super Bowl win with a big assist from Malcolm Butler. 

That was Part 2 of the "Tom Brady: Me Against the World" trilogy.

Of course, the original was getting drafted as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. Part 3 was Deflategate when Brady won his fifth Super Bowl after he was suspended for four games.

For the purpose of this writing, we focus on Part 2 because some thought Brady’s best days were behind him. (Many feel the same about Cam Newton now.) Even Bill Belichick said Tom was getting older and the plans for his successor in Jimmy Garoppolo were laid out before us ... and Brady.  

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

But once again, Brady defied the odds and forced Belichick to trade Jimmy G. to San Francisco. Needing to prove he still had it, Brady reinvented himself and became a physical specimen, defying Father Time.

Can Cam Newton do the same? He is not as old now as Brady was then, but this guy was left for dead by the rest of the NFL and has even more to prove than Brady ever did.

If you backed Tom Brady, how can you not do the same for Cam?

Look, I love Tom Brady the football player. Off the field, I think he’s lost his mind, but there has been no better player in the history of sports than TB12. (See Tom, I used your logo. Happy?)

However, right now I am in Cam’s corner like I was in Brady’s when he was a Patriot. And you should be too. 

Michael Thomas has priceless story about intercepting Tom Brady in NFL debut

Michael Thomas has priceless story about intercepting Tom Brady in NFL debut

Imagine being an undrafted rookie defensive back making your NFL debut just days after signing with a new team.

And then imagine being thrust into a one-possession game, trying to protect a lead with under two minutes to play and seeing Tom Brady staring you down.

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That's exactly the scenario Michael Thomas found himself in back in December 2013 — and not only was the stage not too big for the then-23-year-old, he delivered both a game-saving pass breakup and a game-clinching interception against arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.

Thomas recalled the amazing sequence of events this week when he served as a guest columnist for Peter King's Football Morning in America column

After starting the week on the 49ers practice squad, Thomas was signed by the Dolphins but didn't join his teammates for the first time until Wednesday, four days before Miami faced New England at Sun Life Stadium. Initially happy to just make a special teams tackle — which meant his name would show up on the stat sheet — injuries to the Fins' secondary forced Thomas into action on defense.

"The DB coach comes up to me and says, 'Mike? That’s your name right, Michael Thomas? I see you played slot in college. You’re going to have to play slot again.' Okay. So Tom Brady sees that and literally every play he’s coming to me."

The Dolphins had taken a 24-20 lead with just 1:15 left, but Brady smelled blood in the water, attacking the rookie and the rest of the Miami defense while driving the Patriots downfield and into the red zone.

"They’ve got a first down at the 19-yard line with 27 seconds left and I’m guarding (Danny) Amendola and he’s running a go route to the end zone. I look up and the ball’s coming. Amendola actually gets it in his hands in the end zone but I fight until the end, fight until we get to the ground and the ball pops out. It’s an incomplete, the crowd goes crazy, and now I’m juiced."

Preventing the go-ahead score would have been enough of a memory for a rookie making his NFL debut, but Thomas came up big one more time three plays later. With the Patriots facing a fourth-and-five from the 14-yard line and only seven seconds left on the clock, the spotlight found Thomas once again as Brady targeted Austin Collie.

"It’s like a movie scene. Everything is in slow motion. I leap up in the air and catch it and after I fall down in the end zone it hits me. I just caught the game-winning interception! That’s Tom Brady! I just won the game! All my teammates are jumping up and down, cameras are in my face, the crowd is going crazy, I start crying and yelling for my mama. It was absolutely like a movie."

Game over. Miami wins, 24-20. The loss was a crucial one for the Patriots, who finished the season at 12-4 but ended up as the No. 2 seed in the AFC, one game behind the Broncos.

Thanks to the loss, New England had to go to Denver for the AFC Championship Game, which they lost 26-16. Were it not for Thomas' heroics, the Patriots would have hosted the conference title game, and that could have been enough to tilt the scales in their favor, as they had defeated the Broncos in Foxboro earlier that season. 

Considering the impact of the game and the unbelievable sequence of events, it's no wonder that Thomas recalls his NFL debut in such vivid detail.