Patriots

Chris Long offers insight into greatness of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick

Chris Long offers insight into greatness of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick

Chris Long is in a unique position to share what makes Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots stand out from the pack.

The veteran defensive end, who announced his retirement over the weekend, played 11 NFL seasons for three teams under six different head coaches. He saw the Patriots at their finest, winning a Super Bowl during his lone season in New England in 2016.

In an interview with NBC Sports' Peter King, Long confirmed his experience with the Patriots was unlike any other thanks in part to Belichick's coaching genius.

In my career playing football, nobody asked me to do as much as Bill Belichick did. I might be 3-technique, or a linebacker, or a linebacker dropping into coverage more than ever, or playing inside more than ever. I’ll always remember how much I learned watching Bill in practice. He can coach any position as good as any position coach in league. He can walk around the field and stop drills and coach each position—at the highest level.

Long indeed was a versatile asset for Belichick, appearing in all 16 games while starting seven on a Patriots defense that allowed the fewest points per game (15.6) in the NFL.

The 34-year-old also got a front-row seat to watch Brady at work. But Long told King the legendary quarterback hardly carried himself like one in the Patriots' locker room.

Tom Brady blew me away. Who’s the most famous athlete of our generation: Tom Brady? LeBron? Messi? Ronaldo? Serena Williams? Maybe I haven’t been around enough to know how the biggest stars really act. But Brady is a normal guy. When I got there, here comes Tom. ‘Hey Chris, I’m Tom, nice to meet you.’ Well, yeah, I know you’re Tom. A lot of people want to hate him for all the success, and I understand how you can dislike the Patriots, but I cannot understand how you can dislike Tom.

Long's experience with Brady matches that of several NFL veterans whose opinions of the 41-year-old QB changed when they became teammates.

Brady may have helped extend Long's career, too: Long told King he might have "retired a bitter man" had the Patriots not staged a historic comeback to win Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Julian Edelman laughs it up with Stephen Colbert in 'Late Show' appearance

Julian Edelman laughs it up with Stephen Colbert in 'Late Show' appearance

Julian Edelman visited the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on Tuesday night and the Super Bowl MVP brought his three Super Bowl rings with him.

As Colbert handled the jewelry, he noted the size and heft of the rings and joked, "Do you need to go to the gym or do you just curl with these?"

The Patriots wide receiver was promoting his Showtime documentary, "100%: Julian Edelman" and when asked which ring was his favorite, he borrowed a line from his quarterback, and answers, as Tom Brady usually does, "the next one."

There was no beer-chugging (although we've seen that Edelman knows his way around thator strawberry-eating as in Brady's "Late Show" appearance, but Edelman also discussed meeting Brady as a rookie in 2009, and borrowing another Brady phrase, talked about how multi-functional the words "Let's Go!' have become for him and his teammates.

A discussion of Edelman's Jewish faith ended with him accepting a special gift signifying that from Colbert, a "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" kippa, the traditional Jewish headwear.

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Quick Slants The Podcast: Tom E. Curran politely questions Chris Simms on his ABSURD ranking of Tom Brady

Quick Slants The Podcast: Tom E. Curran politely questions Chris Simms on his ABSURD ranking of Tom Brady

NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms ranks Tom Brady No. 9 - yes, ninth, among current quarterbacks. Tom E. Curran - very politely - demands an explanation.

3:00 - Chris Simms breaks down why he ranked Tom Brady as the ninth-best QB in the NFL right now.

4:00 - Why is Patrick Mahomes ranked higher than Tom Brady?

8:30 - Tom and Chris debate whether it is Bill Belichick or Tom Brady who makes the Patriots successful.

10:00 - How is Matt Ryan ahead of Brady in Simms’ list?

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