Patriots

Did Sean McVay watch too much film to prep for Patriots in Super Bowl LIII?

Did Sean McVay watch too much film to prep for Patriots in Super Bowl LIII?

In hindsight, it was a rational thought process: To defeat Bill Belichick, the most brilliant mind in football, Sean McVay would have to study as much film as possible.

But is there such thing as preparing too much for a game?

That's what the Los Angeles Rams coach suggested in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit about his game plan for the New England Patriots ahead of Super Bowl LIII.

"In the back of my mind, [when making the Super Bowl game plan back in L.A.], I operated knowing I had another week," McVay told Benoit. "That urgency to completely finalize the gameplan wasn’t quite there, and that led to me watching so much film that you can almost water down your thought process."

McVay said he watched a total of 20 Patriots games: all 18 of their games from the 2018 regular season and playoffs, as well as their previous two Super Bowls. But in all that preparation, the 33-year-old head coach may have missed the forest for the trees.

"You have so much time that you can over-prepare and get away from some of the things that helped you get there," McVay said. "I watched every game from New England’s season. You see stuff that worked in, say, Week 3, but you forget about the amount of stuff that’s taken place since Week 3. You can watch so much film that you lose perspective."

McVay is being a bit hard on himself: As Benoit points out in his story, the Rams did a lot of things right in Super Bowl LIII, especially on defense, where they limited Tom Brady's offense to 13 points.

Then again, there's no comfort in losing 13-3 on the game's biggest stage, and McVay feels like he could have done more ... by doing less.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Bills WR gives Patriots bulletin-board material after Tom Brady departure

Bills WR gives Patriots bulletin-board material after Tom Brady departure

Is the AFC East officially wide open now that Tom Brady is no longer a member of the New England Patriots? At least one Buffalo Bills player thinks so.

Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was ecstatic to hear the news of Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That comes as no surprise, as the ex-Pats QB is an absurd 32-3 against Buffalo in his 20-year career and New England has won 11 straight division titles with Brady under center.

During an interview with WROC in Buffalo last week, McKenzie expressed his excitement about Brady leaving while giving the Patriots some bulletin-board material.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

“The Brady situation, I cheered,” McKenzie said. “He’s a great player. Our team is stacked. The last two years we’ve been giving him a run for his money, but now that he’s gone, it’s going to kind of be the Bills’ time to take over.”

McKenzie's confidence isn't unfounded. The Bills made a big splash earlier this offseason by trading for star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, giving Josh Allen another dangerous weapon opposite John Brown. With Brady and several other key contributors leaving in free agency, the Patriots may have their work cut out for them next season.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane sang a much different tune than McKenzie on Thursday, saying it's "funny and comical how people are writing off the Patriots in the AFC East." Still, it's safe to bet McKenzie's words will be remembered in Foxboro when the 2020 campaign kicks off.

Scott Pioli: Why Bill Belichick, Cam Newton are 'like oil and water'

Scott Pioli: Why Bill Belichick, Cam Newton are 'like oil and water'

At various points this offseason, the New England Patriots have been connected to some of the free-agent quarterbacks on the open market. And after they lost Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, speculation increased that they could add a veteran to compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in the quarterback room.

One guy that has been mentioned quite a bit is Cam Newton. The 2015 MVP was released by the Carolina Panthers this offseason but has yet to sign with a team.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Newton has been tied to the Patriots mostly by betting odds, which does make some sense. After all, Stidham is inexperienced and Hoyer has been an average-at-best starter during his time in the NFL. Newton has a history of high-level play when healthy, so perhaps he'd be worth the gamble for the right team.

But will the Patriots actually pursue him? One of the team's former personnel executives doesn't think so.

In a recent interview with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio, Scott Pioli, who worked in the Patriots front office from 2000-2008, spoke about Newton's connection to the Patriots. And ultimately, he doesn't think that Bill Belichick and Newton would be able to coexist.

"With Cam Newton, the Patriots thing is interesting because I've heard a lot of people talk about that. In my mind, having spent as much time with Bill as I did, I don't see those two coexisting together," Pioli said. "The personalities and beliefs of how the game should be played and is played, it seems like oil and water."

Listen and subscribe to Phil Perry's Next Pats Podcast here: 

Pioli joked that the Patriots will probably go right out and sign Newton after hearing these comments. But he ultimately just thinks Belichick and Newton wouldn't mesh well.

"I just see them as being very different personalities and having very different approaches to the game," Pioli said. "Bill believes in football more than entertainment. Cam believes that football and entertainment are almost equal partners. And in this day and age, it is, but Bill has the soul of a football man. I couldn't see that one working out too well. And if I did, it would probably have to be for one season."

Pioli makes some good points and perhaps that is why the team hasn't shown a lot of interest in Newton so far. Given that the team seems to believe in Stidham, it probably wouldn't make sense for them to bring in Newton to compete for the job if they're worried about how he might fit with the team.

Patriots fans should have a better idea of what the quarterback room will look like once the 2020 NFL Draft comes and goes. The Patriots may take another young player at the position to compete with Stidham and Hoyer. If they do, that would likely fully eliminate the possibility of them adding another veteran quarterback, if that option isn't already off the table.