Patriots

Mike Vrabel sheds light on FaceTime call with Tom Brady and Julian Edelman

Mike Vrabel sheds light on FaceTime call with Tom Brady and Julian Edelman

Perhaps the peak of Tom Brady-mania this NFL offseason was when the ex-New England Patriots quarterback attended a Syracuse basketball game with Julian Edelman and Jimmy Fallon in March.

Edelman fueled speculation about Brady returning to the Patriots when he said, "He's coming back!" in front of the camera for the world to see.

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Then there was talk about Brady heading to the Tennessee Titans when he and Edelman were caught FaceTiming with Titans head coach and former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel.

Of course, neither of those theories turned out to be true. It turned out that it was just Vrabel chatting with two of his good friends, and Brady eventually signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Vrabel recently caught up with NBC Sports Boston's "Camera Guys" and shed some light on what his conversation with Brady and Edelman consisted of.

"Well I was at the combine, and we get CBS on TV," said Vrabel. "We're watching the combine, watching the guys work out. I look up there, and they're showing Tom and Julian. So I texted them real quick. I said, 'Hey, did you guys get highlights for the basketball game?' Because it looked like their hair was like blonde.

So then of course they immediately are mad and so they want to like, yell at me because I texted them something funny. So they FaceTimed me and we're sitting there laughing and talking. Jules is sitting there yelling into the phone as loud as he possibly can, and that's how it all went down. Just like it would any other time. Just laughing and joking.

So there you have it. It was just some friendly banter between good friends and former teammates, plus a roasting of Brady and Edelman's hair.

We may never know just how close — if at all -- Brady was to becoming a Tennessee Titan. But it sounds like the infamous FaceTime call had nothing to do with football, and everything to do with guys just being guys.

Vrabel also talked with The Camera Guys about the time he trolled Bill Belichick by wearing a Giants helmet to practice, his thoughts on Brady's "The Match" performance, and much more.

Check out the full interview below:

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history is three and a half years old, but it certainly isn't forgotten.

Just ask Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who brought up New England's miraculous Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons while his fiancée, Morgan Hart, was delivering their baby. Seriously.

Hightower told The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld he started chanting "28-3, 28-3" and "Never give up" while Hart entered her 17th hour of labor with their first child last month.

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Apparently the motivational tactic worked, as Hart said Hightower's words helped her push through and deliver their baby boy, Grayson, on July 16.

"It was surreal," Hart told Grossfeld. “It was a long night and a long day, and he kept reminding me, ‘28-3, 28-3,′ meaning you can be behind and come back. Never, never give up."

That's a reference to the deficit New England faced in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI before rallying to win in overtime -- thanks in large part to Hightower's strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

Hightower still uses the 28-3 reference "all the time," per Grossfeld, but his focus won't be on football in 2020. The 30-year-old linebacker is one of eight Patriots players who have decided to opt out of the 2020 season.

"Not knowing too much about the COVID thing, I don’t want to jeopardize the health of my family," Hightower told Grossfeld. "I understand you can still catch it by going to the grocery store, but I’m not going to put my family’s health at risk for money.

"It’s family first. I want to take all the opportunity that I can to be a great father."

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Donald Trump says he'd ask Patriots' Bill Belichick for military advice

Donald Trump says he'd ask Patriots' Bill Belichick for military advice

You wouldn't seek out a military general for tips on NFL roster building, but Donald Trump apparently believes there's some transferrable wisdom between the battlefield and gridiron.

During an interview Tuesday on The Hugh Hewitt Show, President Trump was asked whether he believes Bill Belichick has a better chance of winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots this year than Tom Brady does with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Trump responded with a diplomatic answer -- that included some eye-opening praise for Belichick.

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"I think they’re both going to do great. They’re both friends of mine," Trump told Hewitt. "I’ll tell you, Belichick is an incredible coach, and I think he’s going to do really well. This guy just knows how to win. And he’s a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner.

"You know, if I ever had a military battle, I’d call up Belichick and say, 'What do you think? ... Give me a couple of ideas.' And he'd be as good as any general out there."

Belichick is a master strategist who relies on knowledge, adaptability and thorough preparation to put the Patriots in the best position to succeed. Those are all qualities of a successful military general, and perhaps Belichick could have been one in another life.

Alas, Belichick is a football coach with zero military credentials (aside from his father coaching at Navy), so we're not sure he's the best person to call about battle strategy.

Trump has touted his friendship with Belichick and Brady over the years, reading a letter of support from the Patriots coach on the eve of his election in 2016 and bringing up the former Patriots quarterback in various public appearances.

The President clearly still enjoys referencing both Patriots icons, even if his understanding of Belichick's talents is a bit off.