Patriots

Darrelle Revis: Patriots QB Tom Brady 'is the ultimate competitor'

Darrelle Revis: Patriots QB Tom Brady 'is the ultimate competitor'

There are many things that have helped make New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady such a great player for nearly two decades, and his ultra competitiveness certainly is near the top of the list.

In the latest NFL 100 roundtable, legendary defensive backs gathered to talk about Brady, and some of the attributes that have made him so great for so long.

Darrelle Revis had a unique perspective as the only player on the roundtable who had played against and played with Brady. Revis signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in 2014 and went on to win Super Bowl XLIX with the veteran quarterback that season.

The future Hall of Fame cornerback had an up close view of Brady's competitive fire in 2014, and he came away quite impressed.

"I had an opportunity to actually play with Tom," Revis said. "(We were) rivals for six years. I was on one side, playing for the New York Jets, competing against him and studying against him. Then also team up with him, and actually win a Super Bowl. When you're on the rival side, you're always studying and trying to figure this guy out week in and week out. You play them twice per year. Same conference -- you're trying to figure this guy out. What does he have that I don't have? What is driving him more than my drive? When I had the opportunity to team up with him and I was around him every day, I was like, 'Yeah, this guy is the ultimate competitor.'"

Part of Brady's competitive edge comes from different points in his career when few people believed in him. He always had to battle for his starting job at the University of Michigan, and then every NFL team passed on Brady several times during the 2000 draft before the Patriots finally selected him with the 199th overal pick.

Even after winning multiple Super Bowl titles and building a resumé worthing of GOAT status, Brady still receives a ton of criticism from certain members of the media. The chip on Brady's shoulder isn't likely to go away until he retires, and that drive will certainly help the Patriots in 2019 as they attempt to win what would be a record-breaking seventh Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

Aaron Rodgers has perfect response to Tom Brady's critics>>>

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These stats sum up impressive improvement Patriots' pass rush has made in 2019

These stats sum up impressive improvement Patriots' pass rush has made in 2019

The New England Patriots didn't have much of a pass rush last season, but 2019 has been a far different (and better) story.

The improvement in the Patriots' pass rush was evident Sunday in the team's 17-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, where New England tallied five sacks. The pressure the Pats put on Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz swung the momentum in their favor as they shutout Philly over the final three quarters.

The defending Super Bowl champs have dominated opposing offensive lines throughout the season with 37 sacks in 10 games -- the second-highest total in the NFL and two behind the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers for the league lead. The Patriots tallied only 30 sacks in all of 2018, which tied for the second-fewest.

It's been a long time, as ESPN's Mike Reiss notes, since the Patriots had 37 sacks at this point in a season:

The Patriots have done a good job slowing down the opponent's pass rush, too. Sacks aren't the only stat to factor when grading offensive linemen, but New England's pass protection has allowed the fourth-fewest sacks in the league. The Patriots, as a result, are tied with the 49ers for the best net sack total:

Sunday's test against the Dallas Cowboys should be a tough one for the Patriots. The Cowboys have one of the most talented offensive lines in the league. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has been sacked a league-low 12 times, and based on the fact he's playing at an MVP-level right now, pressuring him in the pocket will be of the utmost importance in Week 12.

Pats' D must beat Prescott in this specific area of the field>>>

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Will Antonio Brown play again in 2019? Ex-Patriot reportedly is optimistic

Will Antonio Brown play again in 2019? Ex-Patriot reportedly is optimistic

Remember when Antonio Brown insisted he was "done" with the NFL? Well, he's already had a change of heart.

The former New England Patriots wide receiver not only wants to play again, but remains "hopeful" the NFL will make a decision regarding his playing status "very soon," ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported Tuesday.

"There’s a sense of optimism from Brown’s perspective that he will be cleared to return to the NFL before the 2019 regular season ends," Florio wrote.

Brown met with the NFL last Thursday to discuss allegations of rape and sexual assault made against him. The league is still conducting an investigation into those allegations, but if that investigation is completed, the free-agent wide receiver can sign with any club, although he could be subject to further discipline upon his return.

Brown's optimism may explain why he issued a public apology to Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Tuesday via social media. Quarterback Tom Brady and wideout Julian Edelman were among several Patriots to "like" Brown's post on Instagram, fueling speculation he may re-sign with New England after playing one game for the team earlier this season.

Florio also noted the Seattle Seahawks reportedly have "flirted" with signing Brown, which would team him up with fellow Patriots cast-off Josh Gordon.

That's all speculation at the moment, though, as Brown remains in a holding pattern until the NFL makes a decision about his allegations. Brown seemingly hopes that holding pattern ends with six weeks left in the regular season.

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