Patriots

Devin McCourty shares what's helped Patriots move on from Tom Brady

Devin McCourty shares what's helped Patriots move on from Tom Brady

With due respect to Tom Brady, he's no longer on the New England Patriots. And his former team is intent on turning the page.

Veteran safety and Patriots co-captain Devin McCourty will play a key role in that transition as one of the team's leaders after Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.

While the Patriots haven't been able to meet in person with team facilities closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, McCourty says their "virtual meetings" have been helpful in establishing a new identity for this club.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

"I think one of the biggest things we have to do as a team, and as players individually, is move on and lock in, and get focused on life without Tom,” McCourty said Friday during an interview with Chris Carlin of ESPN Radio 89.7 in New York.

“Not just to harp on it and talk about it, but actually to move on and try to prepare. I think the virtual meetings have been good for us to start that process."

The Patriots began their virtual offseason program -- which includes film sessions and workouts all conducted remotely via conference calls and video chats -- on April 20.

By all accounts, the sessions have gone well, as defensive tackle Lawrence Guy observed that players have been more attentive and inquisitive than they may have been otherwise.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

Still, McCourty admitted the team won't have full closure on losing Brady and several others to free agency until they meet in the Gillette Stadium locker room.

"I think that’s the first time you realize that guys are gone,” McCourty said. "Obviously Tom, but even a guy like Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts (or) Jamie Collins.

"I think when you get in the locker room, you start to look down at different parts of the locker room. You’re so used to seeing certain guys. And when that’s not there anymore, that’s when it first hits you."

It's unclear when the Patriots will get back in the locker room, though, so for now, McCourty is trying to help his teammates look ahead rather than in the past.

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Did the 2001 New England Patriots believe they were launching a dynasty after winning Super Bowl XXXVI? Probably not.

But the defending Super Bowl champions appear a bit more confident.

Days after signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the richest contract in North American sports, the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract extension with defensive tackle Chris Jones, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

So, how did Jones celebrate his new deal with Kansas City? By declaring an apparent continuation of the Chiefs' "dynasty."

Jones has every reason to be confident in his team, which kept its core intact after winning Super Bowl LIV and is the current Super Bowl LV favorite.

But Patriots fans who watched Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lead New England to six championships over two decades might view Jones' "dynasty" talk as premature.

After all, no team has won back-to-back titles since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and no team aside from New England and Seattle (2013 and 2014) has even reached the Super Bowl in back-to-back years since 2000.

And after signing Cam Newton, the Patriots may believe their own dynasty isn't dead yet despite Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

History won't stop Jones and the Chiefs from setting lofty goals, however, as Mahomes said recently he's eyeing Brady's record of six Super Bowl titles. Better get started soon.

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

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 root 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.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

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.