Patriots

How the Randy Moss trade cost Mike Lombardi his job

How the Randy Moss trade cost Mike Lombardi his job

This weekend, Randy Moss goes into the Hall of Fame. He's probably more Viking than Patriot, but some of his most indelible moments came with the Patriots in 2007 when he set the single-season touchdown reception record (23) and was part of the most prolific offense in NFL history to that point.

Twice, Moss came damn close to having his signature NFL play happen in Super Bowl 42. First, he caught a 6-yard dart from Tom Brady to put the Patriots ahead 14-10 with 2:42 to play. Then, in the closing seconds, a 75-yard javelin throw from Brady that would have put the Patriots in field goal position, ticked off Moss' fingers.

Without either, Moss' New England tenure becomes a little more difficult to define. Brilliant. Iconic. Enigmatic. Maddening. Like Moss himself.

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Even the backstory to Moss' becoming a Patriot is fascinating. We spoke to Mike Lombardi on Quick Slants the Podcast this week -- you can click and listen at the end of this story -- and the former Raiders "Senior Personnel Executive" said that dealing Moss to the Patriots cost him his job with the Raiders.

"I got fired because I told Bill Belichick that (Moss) could still run," Lombardi explains. "And Al got mad at me because I told Bill that. I still can't figure out why Al got mad at me when Al wanted to trade (Moss), but that might require a whole different book."

Lombardi's first book, Gridiron Genius, will be released September 18. It will detail Lombardi's years working alongside three of the game's greatest minds, Belichick, Davis, and Bill Walsh.

Hit the podcast link to hear Lombardi's discussion of those three and, specifically, Belichick.

It was that link to Belichick that made Al Davis color the Moss trade as a Lombardi double-cross.

"You know how many teams turned [Moss] down,?" Davis asked reporters after a bizarre press conference where Davis fired Lane Kiffin. "That guy in Green Bay [Ted Thompson] thought he couldn't run anymore. Even Denver, where they'll take anybody, turned him down.

"But what's his name (Lombardi) knew he could run, he's a friend of Belichick's. Mike Lombardi," said Davis. "Mike sold what's his name, Belichick, on the idea that he could run. They tampered with him. I remember Bob Kraft saying that he had to look him in the eye and all that. They went down and worked him out, he could run. He's their team, of course, with the quarterback."

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Lombardi later addressed that accusation in an interview with Cris Collinsworth saying, "After that press conference Al Davis threw everyone under the bus, [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and myself, saying that I told Bill Belichick that Randy Moss could still run. Well, we were trying to trade Randy Moss to the New England Patriots. I thought that was good information to give Bill Belichick, But now [Davis] accused all of us of making those charges and now he is going to have to face them.

...I was trying to do the best thing for the Raiders, always have...In this situation, Bill Belichick is not going to always rely on my opinion for information. He is going to look at what he sees on the tape."

Lombardi's recollection of Moss?

"He was the most incredible player that I ever witnessed on the field. His hands were incredible, his speed was something I'd never seen before."

There's more to that quote, but ya gotta listen to the pod (below). Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?

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Mind-blowing stat about Tom Brady's Super Bowl success compared to other QBs

Mind-blowing stat about Tom Brady's Super Bowl success compared to other QBs

Tom Brady may have left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, but New Englanders are still taking time to appreciate the elite 20-year career he had with the Patriots.

Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in history. While some will argue that others belong in that conversation, Brady's success in the postseason is simply unparalleled.

Not only does Brady have the most Super Bowl titles and postseason wins of any quarterback in NFL history. He also has more second-half touchdown passes in Super Bowls than any other passer has in all their Super Bowl appearances combined, as the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account pointed out on Sunday afternoon.

That's insanely impressive. But it also makes sense when factoring in Brady's record amount of Super Bowl appearances. Brady has been to nine Super Bowl during his career while no other quarterback has been to more than five (John Elway).

The Patriots will certainly miss Brady's presence as they attempt to get to the postseason for the 12th consecutive year. They'll likely be relying on second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to be the starter, barring a surprise.

Meanwhile, Brady will attempt to get the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. And he'll try to earn them their first Super Bowl victory since Jon Gruden led them to the promised land 17 years ago.

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady enjoyed so many incredible moments during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, but it's hard to top Super Bowl LI vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots' 28-3 comeback victory will forever be remembered as one of the greatest games in NFL history. While Brady has five other Super Bowl titles on his résumé, this particular one will always hold a special place in the hearts of Pats fans, and in the heart of Brady himself.

Now the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady posted a photo Sunday to his Instagram story of himself reliving one of his most memorable performances.

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Brady continued to share his live reaction to the game, starting with the mood of every Patriots fan when New England found itself down 21-3 at the start of the third quarter.

He did the same when the Falcons extended their lead to 28-3.

Then he gave a shoutout to his former receiver Danny Amendola, who came up clutch with several plays in the game.

And then another shoutout to linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who made the play of the game with his strip-sack of Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

When the Patriots stormed all the way back to tie the game at 28 and send it to overtime, Brady pleaded for captain Matthew Slater to call heads for the coin toss.

(He did).

When James White scampered into the end zone to clinch the unforgettable win, Brady couldn't contain his emotions.

It's only fitting that Brady's viewing of Super Bowl LI comes one day after Patriots fans celebrated the comeback on March 28 (3/28).