Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

In an interview with The Big Lead, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke on the drama surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

It's safe to say he doesn't put much stock into it

I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to. I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays. 

Long played with the Patriots during the 2016 season and won Super Bowl 51 with them before signing a two-year contract with the Eagles. The Eagles then went on to beat New England in Super Bowl 52. If anyone outside of the Patriots' locker room has an idea of the culture inside the past two years, Long has to be one of them. 

It took everything for us to beat them. It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.

ESPN's Seth Wickersham released a story detailing some of the issues that arose in New England over the past few years in January, and with Brady missing almost all of the Patriots' voluntary workouts last month, some have started to wonder whether this is the end for one of both of Brady-Belichick. 

While their hasn't been much public acknowledgement from either side about the drama, but Long certainly doesn't see much substance to the noise. 



Jalen Ramsey's right: Jags should have trusted Bortles against Patriots

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Jalen Ramsey's right: Jags should have trusted Bortles against Patriots

It’s easy to debate whether the comments to GQ Magazine made by Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey were “appropriate.” 

But don’t get completely caught in the weeds on that. Because more than a little of what Ramsey said is accurate.

He took a verbal flamethrower to guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and especially Bills rookie Josh Allen. Then, when asked the merits of his own quarterback, Blake Bortles, Ramsey criticized the Jaguars' offensive approach in the second half of last year’s AFC Championship.   


“Blake do what he gotta do . . . ” said Ramsey. “I think in crunch-time moments, like last year's playoff game -- not as a team, because we would have trusted him -- but I think as an organization, we should have trusted him more to keep throwing it. We kinda got complacent and conservative. And I think that's why we lost. We started running it on first and second down, throwing it on third down, every single time we were out there. [The Patriots] caught on to that.”

Yeah, they kinda did. In stark contrast to the aggressive offensive style the Eagles showed in the Super Bowl, Jacksonville turtled in the second half of the AFCCG, which they eventually lost, 24-20, by blowing a 10-point lead in the final 10 minutes. 

Jacksonville was up 14-3 late in the first half before the Patriots narrowed the score to 14-10 with a James White touchdown. By that time, Jags running back Leonard Fournette had run 11 times for 40 yards and Bortles was 13-for-15 for 195 yards. 

In the second half, Fournette ran 13 times for 36 yards. They ran him 10 times on first-and-10 while they had the second-half lead. He gained 25 yards on those carries, with 14 coming on one of those. 

The Jags’ strategy was obvious. To everyone. They were going to run the ball so that every position ate some clock. But by handing off over and over and running a big back into a defense stacked against him, the Jags were continually asking Bortles to make something out of second-and-long. 

The Jags tried to sneak out of Foxboro with a win. Going bold against the greatest quarterback of all-time (especially for a huge underdog) was probably the better strategy.  

What about Super Bowl 51, you say? Good point. Former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will forever be criticized for being too aggressive and allowing the Patriots to come back from a 28-3 deficit. 

But that game was an avalanche of huge plays by New England on both sides of the ball in the second half, which left Shanahan searching for answers and making desperate decisions. 


The Jags started playing scared before halftime when they took a knee on first down with 55 seconds left and two timeouts.

The way the final two games of the Patriots 2017 season unfolded may have been a teachable moment for the rest of the league. It’s fight or flight. 

You can be afraid of the Patriots, play scared and allow your nightmare to be realized, as the Jags did. Or you can fight them, like Philly did. 


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Panicking over the Patriots wide receivers; Red Sox continue to win

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Panicking over the Patriots wide receivers; Red Sox continue to win

1:23 - Marc Bertrand and Phil Perry join Trenni Kusnierek on Early Edition to discuss Tom Brady’s comments after today’s practice, and they compare this year’s wide receivers to the receivers on the 2006 team.  

6:39 - Evan Drellich phones in to break down the Red Sox 2-1 win over the Phillies and how this team doesn’t seem to ever lose close games. 

10:24 - Tom Giles, Kevin Duffy, Hardy, and Phil Perry give their panic meter rankings for the numerous Patriots injuries sustained during training camp practices.