Patriots

Rams assistant: 'Brady is a f****** pretty boy'

Rams assistant: 'Brady is a f****** pretty boy'

The reason we all can’t wait to see the mic’d up versions of Super Bowls is because we humans interpret things with our auditory skills.

Sunday, all we heard was the crowd, Jim Nantz, and Tony Romo. Now that NFL Films mic'd up version of the game is out, we hear the words of the players and coaches before, during and in-between moments of battle. It adds context and gives a glimpse into what people are thinking. It’s never not fascinating. 

One pregame comment that stood out to me though was made by Rams assistant linebackers coach Chris Shula. Standing next to head coach Sean McVay, Shula took the measure of Brady from a distance then muttered to McVay, “Brady’s a f****** pretty boy.”

Shula smirked at McVay, apparently waiting for confirmation. McVay didn’t even look at Shula, instead saying to his assistant, “He looks like what you’re supposed to, right?” (the comment comes at the 1:50 mark). 

Shula – SURPRISE! – is the grandson of Don Shula, the former Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins head coach. The grandfather, always revered by Bill Belichick, did a nifty heel-turn in 2007 when the Patriots were chasing the 1972 Dolphins perfect season. He kept it up for a decade and I wrote in 2016 how hard it will be for New Englanders – even the ones who watched him coach for years – to not first remember his pettiness.

Now the younger Shula – who played at Miami (Ohio) with McVay and is the son of former Bengals head coach David Shula – has unveiled a little of his own pettiness.

What do we learn from this, aside from Shula not really appreciating his audience when looking to McVay for confirmation that Brady is a “pretty boy”?

Maybe a little about mindset. Maybe a little about the Rams’ belief they were tougher than the Patriots or about to send some kind of message about physicality.

In the end, Shula’s charges – the Rams linebackers – were the weak link to the Rams defense. Mark Barron, a linebacker converted from safety, got himself ridden out of holes all night especially on the game’s only touchdown (1:35 mark of this clip)

Brady’s been called pretty before.  Last year, it was Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson before the Super Bowl. Prior to that, it was Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs who used to refer to Brady as the “pretty boy from up north.”

By the end of the night, Brady had proven – despite being saddled with striking good looks – that he’s also pretty good at taking care of business in Super Bowls.

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Multiple Patriots testifying at Mass. State House on education inequality

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USA Today Images

Multiple Patriots testifying at Mass. State House on education inequality

Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Matthew Slater, and Duron Harmon testified before Massachusetts lawmakers Friday to raise awareness about inequality in education.

The New England Patriots players, who are all members of the Players Coalition—an advocacy group of NFL players -- testified in support of the Massachusetts Education PROMISE Act.

Lawmakers gave a round of applause for the four Patriots as they entered the room, which can be seen in this video from ESPN's Mike Reiss:

If passed, the bill would raise education spending in Massachusetts by more than one billion dollars per year "by increasing funding for school employee health care costs and special education services, as well as the base rate of funding districts get for low-income students and English language learners," according to Boston.com.

The goal of that increased funding would be to reduce the "wide disparities between rich and poor communities" in the state's education system.

This type of cause fits into the mission of the Players Coalition. Further, the McCourtys, as well as Slater and Duron Harmon, have been outspoken members of the Patriots during their tenure, and have consistently been involved with these types of efforts off the field.

In 2017, Matthew Slater received the Bart Starr Award, one of the NFL's most prestigious honors, which is given annually to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field.

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Alabama TE Irvin Smith Jr. posts photo with Bill Belichick, Nick Saban

Alabama TE Irvin Smith Jr. posts photo with Bill Belichick, Nick Saban

Alabama tight end Irvin Smith Jr. tweeted out a photo of him shaking hands with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who was standing alongside Alabama coach Nick Saban, at the school's pro day.

Alabama has gone to some lengths to emphasize Belichick's presence at Alabama's pro day, with a number of tweets showing the two talking.

But this photo is different.

First, Irvin Smith Jr. tweeted the photo, but as he is photographed in it, obviously was not the one who took it.

Second, with Dwayne Allen's departure, and Gronk's status and durability a question mark, the Patriots have a need at the position. Our Phil Perry has the Patriots drafting Smith in the second round of the draft, at No. 41, so speculation on the Alabama TE is not unfounded.

Or the meeting could just be one of many between Belichick and players that he observes at various pro-days. 

Regardless, we will find out in a little over a month with the 2019 NFL draft kicks off, whether or not the Patriots are in on Smith.

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