Patriots

Patriots Talk Podcast: What challenges will Tom Brady face in a new system if he leaves?

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Patriots Talk Podcast: What challenges will Tom Brady face in a new system if he leaves?

Tom Brady's decision on where he'll play next season is obviously a big one.

The New England Patriots quarterback is set to hit the open market and plenty of teams this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis have discussed the possibility of adding him. If Brady does decide to leave New England, he certainly will face his challenges.

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On this week's episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, Curran and former Brady backup Matt Cassel discuss - among other things - how difficult it could be for Brady to learn a new system.

While Cassel, who played for six NFL teams, is familiar with changing systems, he indicated that Brady, who'll turn 43 just after training camps open this summer, may have some difficulty with new terminology.

"The biggest challenge for anybody going into a new system is obviously learning the terminology," Cassel told Curran. "Over my career, I believe I've had 12 different coordinators in 14 years, so I'm accustomed to it, I know the process that takes place. Obviously, he's been in the same system for 20 some odd years, so it would be a big change if you're going to a new system with new terminology, how they call their protection scheme, route patterns, if it's a digit system, if it's a word system. I'd have to believe that if Tom does go elsewhere, he would choose a place that has some familiarity with that system and how they call plays."

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While it can be difficult for a QB joining a new team, Cassel also tells Curran that it's the job of the coaches to make sure that players feel comfortable.

"Now, it's also about how much flexibility is the coordinator, the head coach, is everybody going to have because anybody that makes that commitment to bring Tom in, they obviously want him to be comfortable, and they won't want him to come in and have to learn a brand new system in its entirety."

If Brady does decide to step away after 20 years with Bill Belichick's team, he probably won't have too much of a difficult time given his championship resume -- especially if he gets some help with receiving talent.

We'll likely know where he's going soon after free agency officially begins March 18. 

Also on the pod, Curran discusses the reported meeting between Brady's agent Don Yee and the Pats at the combine and Phil Perry checks in from Indy with his three biggest combine takeaways so far. It's all on the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network. 

Rob Gronkowski set to compete in virtual beer pong tournament

Rob Gronkowski set to compete in virtual beer pong tournament

Who knew virtual beer pong was a thing? 

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski apparently is set to compete in a virtual beer pong tournament hosted by Post Malone to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts, according to TMZ Sports. The tournament will be live-streamed on the @ballinacup Instagram over eight days and the winners will receive a trophy and wrestling belts. 

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Gronkowski will be partnered with his girlfriend Camille Kostek, and they aren't the only familiar faces in the tournament. Former Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola and former Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin also will compete in the competition. 

The first round kicks off on Friday with Gronkowski and Kostek taking on Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and USWNT star Mallory Pugh. Amendola will take on Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce on Saturday and Seguin will take on New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman on Monday, April 6. 

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It's no surprise Gronkowski signed up to compete in this tournament -- he loves to party, after all. 

This definitely is something out of the ordinary, but it should be pretty comical to watch Gronkowski, Amendola and Seguin compete to see who the king of beer pong is. 

Patriots have dominated this category since turn of the century

Patriots have dominated this category since turn of the century

The New England Patriots have been an unstoppable force over the course of the past two decades. The team has won six Super Bowls, 17 division titles, and hasn't logged a losing season this century.

One of the reasons for their success? They have been insanely good in one-possession games.

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According to Boston Sports Info (@BostonSportsInf), the Patriots have the best winning percentage in one-score games since the turn of the century. They are one of just two teams that have won greater than 60 percent of those contests. Here's a look at the numbers:

While several teams have more wins than the Patriots in these contests, it's still remarkable that the team has won two-thirds of their one-score games in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era. It takes great decision-making on the parts of players and coaches to maintain such a strong record.

With Brady no longer on the Patriots, It looks like we're going to figure out just how much he has mattered to the Patriots' ability to win close games. Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are the two quarterback options on the roster after Cody Kessler was released on Thursday, so Belichick will have his work cut out for him with either option.

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

Meanwhile, Brady's impact on the Buccaneers may be notable depending on how much they improve in this area. The Bucs have the third-worst winning percentage of the century in one-possession games, coming in at 40.2 percent. They have the second-most losses overall with 98.

Last season, the Bucs were 3-6 in nine one-score games with Jameis Winston at the helm. If Brady can help to improve upon that record by making fewer late-game mistakes than the turnover-prone Winston did, then the Bucs may have a chance to make some noise in the NFC.

Either way, we'll soon see how Brady's presence impacts the Bucs and if the Patriots can continue their winning ways in close contests.