Patriots

Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers of the Tom Brady Era

Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers of the Tom Brady Era

Linebacker has been a position of strength for the New England Patriots for most of their 20-year dynasty, and one of the big reasons they've been able to sustain such a high level of success

Tedy Bruschi was a key linebacker for New England from 1996 to 2008. A three-time Super Bowl champion, Bruschi was inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013. There's no doubt he's one of the best LBs in Patriots history.

But on Wednesday, a humble Bruschi took on the task of naming his top five Patriots linebackers of the Tom Brady Era, and he didn't include himself.

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Here's who he did name, per WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria":

Five, I heard you guys talking about [Rob] Ninkovich and I think that was a good call, that Rob and the timely plays he made, that sort of edge presence was strong. I go with Ninkovich at five.

I go [Roman] Phifer at four. Phife is someone that people forget about. Now, Phife never came off the field, through all those three championship runs — the early ones — Phife was like that guy now that splits out and covers the guy on the slots, and he’d beat up the tight end, or he’d have to cover a back. Phife did so much for us on the punt team with me and [Mike Vrabel], that type of guy. So Phifer was definitely one of the top ones for me.

For three, I have to put Hightower at three. Dont’a just made so many big plays in so many big games. So he’d be three for me.

Two, I’d go with Vrabel. all the reasons you guys have talked about already, but Vrabel, there was also a time during that stretch where he had to play inside linebacker. Inside linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end, those type of guys. So Vrabel is two.

And I put [Willie] McGinest at one. In terms of a d-end, and also getting up and playing outside linebacker, setting the tone in the locker room, I mean, he was there even for the ’96 Super Bowl for me when I was a rookie there, so one would be Willie for me.

That's definitely a tough top five to argue with. Of course, Bruschi probably should be in there.

Jerod Mayo, Junior Seau, and Ted Johnson all are honorable mentions. And if we're talking non-Brady Era, Andre Tippett is likely in the top spot.

The Patriots lost a pair of key linebackers in free agency this offseason as Kyle Van Noy signed a four-year deal with the Miami Dolphins and Jamie Collins left for the Detroit Lions on a three-year contract.

'Man In the Arena' producer sheds light on what to expect from Tom Brady documentary

'Man In the Arena' producer sheds light on what to expect from Tom Brady documentary

Last week it was revealed Tom Brady will have his own Last Dance type documentary titled Man In the Arena.

ESPN will air the nine-episode series, with each episode covering one of the ex-New England Patriots quarterback's nine Super Bowl runs. Gotham Chopra, a name Pats fans may recognize as the director of Tom vs. Time, is a producer for the docuseries which is set to premiere in 2021.

Chopra recently caught up with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's MMQB to chat about the upcoming documentary and what fans should expect.

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“It’s not Tom Brady’s Last Dance,” Chopra told Breer. “It’s not that. That may or may not exist 20 years from now, I don’t know. There’s this sort of immediacy to this.… The premise [of The Last Dance] was telling stories about the seasons, whereas [Brady’s], it does feel a little bit more real time. Tom continues to be an active player. So the idea is, ‘O.K., let’s talk about these nine seasons, this incredible body of work across 20 years, and how it’s still sort of affecting him.’”

“Jordan’s sitting on a couch, looking back, literally looking at stuff on the iPad, reminiscing about things. Tom’s kind of, just when you’re talking to him, it’s still very fresh, because he’s still processing a lot of things that may have happened across a season.”

As for who else will make appearances in the series, that remains to be seen. Chopra notes the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the interview process, but important figures in Brady's career such as Bill Belichick and Drew Bledsoe have already been reached out to.

“This is inside the mind of Tom,” Chopra said. “So we’ll ask Tom, I’ll use the most obvious one, 2001, What was it like working with Drew [Bledsoe] that season? Got it, now we go talk to Drew, and get his perspective on that. So yeah, there are other voices, other players, coaches, etc., and people off the field that had a lot of influence across those specific seasons that we’re trying to get. Now, we’ve got the added layer of complexity of getting to those people, like everyone else in the world, we’re dealing with that.”

Along with the Super Bowl appearances, Chopra says Man In the Arena will cover both the "Spygate" and "Deflate-gate" controversies. As for whether Brady's 2020 campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be included in the series, Chopra says there are no plans for that as of now.

Nick Foles gives Peyton Manning advice on how to beat Tom Brady

Nick Foles gives Peyton Manning advice on how to beat Tom Brady

Time and time again, we've witnessed Tom Brady lead late comeback victories on the gridiron.

Nick Foles nearly witnessed one during Super Bowl LII, when Brady and the New England Patriots nearly bounced back from a slow start vs. the Philadelphia Eagles to win their second straight title. Of course, Foles pulled off the "Philly Special," and the rest is history.

During "The Match" on Sunday, Brady and Phil Mickelson found themselves down early vs. Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods. Foles knew another Brady comeback was coming, so he took to Twitter to offer Manning some valuable advice.


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Well played.

While Brady didn't exactly put on a show Sunday, he did nail a spectacular shot that helped spark a comeback effort. Brady and Mickelson played well enough on the back nine to make things interesting, but Manning and Woods were able to hold them off to earn the victory.