Patriots

Here's how Jim Craig compares Bill Belichick's leadership to legendary Herb Brooks

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USA TODAY Sports

Here's how Jim Craig compares Bill Belichick's leadership to legendary Herb Brooks

Motivation is essential to being a great head coach, and few coaches have motivated players with more success than Bill Belichick and Herb Brooks.

Brooks was the United States men's hockey coach at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. He helped lead Team USA to an amazing 4-3 semifinal win over the Soviet Union in one of the greatest upsets in American sports history. The U.S. beat Finland for the gold medal a few days later. 

Belichick has won a record six Super Bowl titles as head coach of the New England Patriots. His first championship came in 2001 when the Patriots upset the heavily favored St. Louis Rams -- aka the "Greatest Show on Turf" -- in Super Bowl XXXVI.

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Boston University star Jim Craig was the starting goalie for Brooks' 1980 Olympic team, and in an appearance Wednesday on WEEI's "Dale & Keefe" show, he explained how Brooks and Belichick are so effective in instilling a strong sense of belief in their players. 

“What both Herb and Bill have very much in common is there's only one winner, and they know that. What they do is they focus and prepare to win, not to compete against a team. That preparation for us was so revolutionary, and Herb drove change. We played 61 games in a little over four months, and we played it against the best in the world. What he did is he put us in positions to fail so that we would know how to prepare to win. As we got closer as teams, the recruiting and how Herb recruited was really great. All the teammates that I played with had won at every level. They knew how to win.

"In the book I always say it's amazing what you can accomplish when nobody has to take credit. What Bill does really well, in my opinion, and what Herb did really well is they don’t take credit for it. It’s their job. They prepare. They become your confidence. In leadership, there’s two types of leaders: There's people who want people to follow them, and there’s people who want people to believe them. Herb and Bill are ones who prepare people so that not only do they believe in what he’s doing or what the coach is doing, but they believe it themselves."

One part that sticks out from Craig's comments is not taking credit. Belichick isn't one to publicly praise himself for a great season, even as he's gripping the Lombardi Trophy after a Super Bowl triumph. 

It's all about the team, doing your job, and trusting your teammate will do his job. It all sounds cliché, but it's impossible to argue with the results from Belichick's and Brooks' legendary careers as coaches.

Patriots honor Phillip Dorsett's career in New England with tribute video

Patriots honor Phillip Dorsett's career in New England with tribute video

Former Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett's stay in New England lasted just a few years, but he managed to make an impact on a Super Bowl champion.

The Patriots acquired Dorsett from the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 as part of a trade that sent third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the AFC South club. Dorsett played three seasons with the Patriots before departing last month in NFL free agency to join the Seattle Seahawks.

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The Patriots tweeted a short tribute video for Dorsett on Monday. Check it out in the post below:

Dorsett was part of the 2018 Patriots team that won Super Bowl LIII over the Los Angeles Rams, and he played a part in helping New England reach that goal. He tallied four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown in New England's win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC Divisional Round. Dorsett also caught a touchdown pass the following week when the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime of the AFC Championship Game.

Dorsett posted 29 receptions for 397 yards and five touchdowns for the Patriots in 2019. He'll catch passes next season from another Super Bowl champion quarterback in Seahawks star Russell Wilson

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Which Patriots players made NFL's All-Decade fantasy football team for 2010s?

Which Patriots players made NFL's All-Decade fantasy football team for 2010s?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Fame announced on Monday the official NFL All-Decade team for the 2010s, and it's loaded with New England Patriots players.

A total of eight former Patriots players, in addition to head coach Bill Belichick, made the cut. These selections were far from surprising, considering the Patriots won the most regular season games, the most playoff games and the most Super Bowl championships in the last decade.

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How do the Patriots fare when it comes to selecting the All-Decade fantasy football team for the 2010s? It's not as impressive, but you might surprised at some of the names. 

Here's a look at the latest NFL All-Decade fantasy team:

Longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who the Patriots released late last month, is one of two New England players on the team. His inclusion makes a lot of sense, too. Gostkowski played the entire decade for one of the league's highest-scoring teams. He's also one of the most accurate field goal kickers of his generation.

Veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown is the other former Patriots player on the team, although he only played in one game for New England -- a Week 2 matchup versus the Miami Dolphins last season. He was productive from a fantasy perspective, however, tallying four receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots defense also made the team. This unit certainly wasn't elite the entire decade, but consistency is key here. New England's defense rarely allows a ton of points and usually dominates the turnover battle. Not giving up many points and piling up turnovers make for a productive fantasy defense. The Patriots' D also has scored plenty of touchdowns, including a league-high seven last season.

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Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski not being on this team isn't a huge surprise despite his Hall of Fame-caliber production.

A multitude of injuries prevented him from playing many full seasons. Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham both made their professional debuts at the start of the decade in 2010. However, Gronk played in only 115 games before retiring after the 2018 season, whereas Graham played 153 games and remains an active player with the Chicago Bears. Graham's ability to consistently stay healthy gave him more opportunities to rack up fantasy points. One of the most valuable parts of fantasy football is availability.

Not many Patriots players were the best fantasy football scorer at their respective positions during the 2010s. That said, if you drafted a ton of Patriots players over the last 10 years, you probably did quite well in your fantasy leagues.