Patriots

Belichick: Karras stepping in an illustration of why Patriots are good

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Belichick: Karras stepping in an illustration of why Patriots are good

Is it Tom Brady? Is it Bill Belichick? Well, yes and yes. But there are other reasons for why the Patriots are 8-2, obviously, and Belichick highlighted one of them by lauding one of the most unsung players on his 53-man active roster.

What Ted Karras did on Sunday -- filling in against the Raiders as the starting center in place of David Andrews -- was just one of many examples of a player making the most of an opportunity presented to him, Belichick explained.

PATRIOTS 33, RAIDERS 8

"Ted always works hard," he said after the Patriots beat the Raiders, 33-8. "Nobody spends more time at the facility than he does. Training. Preparing. He had an opportunity, and he stepped up and did the most with it. That's what we needed. That's why we have a good team. We have a lot of guys who do that."

Andrews came down with an illness last week and missed the team's final two practices at the Air Force Academy. As the primary fill-in at all three interior offensive line spots, Karras was tapped as the replacement, and he played all 60 offensive snaps for the Patriots in what was his first start since filling in for Shaq Mason during the 2016 season-opener. 

Karras had played just nine snaps going into the game -- all in a blowout against the Broncos the week prior -- but was part of an effort in the trenches that allowed Tom Brady to remain relatively clean for the vast majority of the game. On 38 drop-backs, Brady was pressured just seven times, he was hit three times, and he was sacked only once. And for the second consecutive week, Brady's offensive line was not penalized. 

Considering that Karras wasn't the only fill-in used, the offensive line's performance was all the more impressive. LaAdrian Waddle continued to be the primary replacement for Marcus Cannon, who is dealing with an ankly issue, and when Waddle left Sunday's game briefly on two different occasions then Cameron Fleming took his place. 

"They did a great job to step in like that . . . [Waddle] was battling out there, going against some really good players," Brady said. "It was a great team win. Great by the offensive line. They've really done a great job with the penalty situation, moving the line of scrimmage and so forth. Great protection. We just have to keep it going."

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NFL, NFLPA issue joint statement regarding 'anthem issue'

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NFL, NFLPA issue joint statement regarding 'anthem issue'

Hours after it was announced the Dolphins would discipline players for protesting the National Anthem, the NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement regarding the anthem policy.

In the statement, the two sides say they are "working on a resolution to the anthem issue" but "no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing."

The players' association filed a grievance against the league last week for the anthem policy.

Read the entire statement below:

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James Harrison on Tom Brady: 'I wanted to hate him... he's the ultimate teammate'

James Harrison on Tom Brady: 'I wanted to hate him... he's the ultimate teammate'

James Harrison didn't spend much time as a member of the Patriots, but during his brief tenure in New England he became a fan of Tom Brady.

Harrison, who spent 14 years with the Steelers before joining the Pats at the end of the 2017 season, talked about Brady on FOX Sports' "Undisputed." The five-time Pro Bowler admitted he wanted to hate Brady, but the Patriots QB was "the ultimate teammate and person."

"I wanted to hate this dude," Harrison said. "The whole time I'm playing in Pittsburgh I'm like, I hate Brady. Everyone's like 'oh he's such a great guy, he's such a nice guy.' We got LeGarrette [Blount] and I'm like 'what's up with Tom Brady?' He's like 'oh man he's such a great guy' and I'm like "stop lying to me."

Harrison, Skip Bayless, and Shannon Sharpe went on to talk about the TB12 Method and why Brady was so successful vs the Steelers.

Watch the full video below:

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