Patriots

Tom Brady calling audible to James White mid-play is incredible stuff

Tom Brady calling audible to James White mid-play is incredible stuff

We can give you all sorts of big-picture stats to illustrate Tom Brady's brilliance.

But sometimes it's the little things.

Case in point: A third-quarter play in the New England Patriots' 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

It's a play-action pass, and as Brady fakes the hand-off to running back James White, he literally tells White, "Checkdown."

That's right: Brady called an audible to White in the middle of a play. He then executed the audible to perfection, hitting White on said checkdown pass for an 8-yard gain.

(The play happens at the 1:18 mark of the video below.)

 

What's most impressive about this sequence is how calmly Brady gives his message to White. In the high-speed car crash that is an NFL play, the 41-year-old quarterback sees everything in slow motion.

Credit also goes to White, who seamlessly executed Brady's last-second, mid-play play change. This catch was one of the shifty running back's seven receptions on nine targets for 92 yards, all of which were team highs.

The Patriots face a tough test this Sunday in Miami, but it's always an advantage when your QB is playing in the Matrix.

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John Cena makes pitch to Rob Gronkowski to leave Patriots, join WWE

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AP Images

John Cena makes pitch to Rob Gronkowski to leave Patriots, join WWE

John Cena is a Massachusetts native and supports the New England Patriots. But he wouldn't hate Rob Gronkowski retiring from his hometown team -- especially if the tight end came to the WWE.

In an interview with ESPN's Cari Champion, Cena was asked about Gronkowski -- who's made WWE cameos in the past -- and insisted the Patriots tight end would have a highly successful wrestling career if he chose to pursue it.

"I think he’d be a great WWE superstar. I really do," Cena said. "I think he’s got this unbelievable energy and infectious electricity about him."

Champion concurred, noting Gronk's transition from NFL tight end to WWE star would be "so natural."

"I think if he wants to take off the pads and step in the arena, I think he’ll feel right at home," Cena replied.

That scenario certainly seems possible; after reportedly mulling retirement this past offseason, Gronkowski has battled injuries and inconsistency in 2018. He turns 30 next May, and with critics openly wondering if he's physically healthy enough to keep playing, perhaps Gronk ditches his rigorous NFL life for what probably would be a lucrative career in pro wrestling.

Ironically enough, Cena -- who played football at nearby Springfield College -- also admitted what impresses the most about the Patriots is their sustained excellence over a long period of time.

"I love the long-lens aspect of success over the long term,” Cena told Champion. “Time under tension. When you’re good, you can have a good season and be forgotten. When you’re good over a long period of time, that’s amazing.

"And when you’re good under a long period of time when the circumstances and the element is not supposed to allow that to happen, that’s super impressive.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Boston Sports Breakfast Podcast: Can Patriots get back on track? Horford injury becoming a concern?

Boston Sports Breakfast Podcast: Can Patriots get back on track? Horford injury becoming a concern?

Can the Patriots turn it around once they reach the playoffs? Andy Hart and Troy Brown discuss the Pats woes with Brown taking Twitter questions from worried fans.

1:15 - Andy Hart joins Early Edition to talk about the Patriots final two games against the Jets and Bills, and discusses if New England will be able to ride the momentum from those games into the playoffs.

6:20 - Al Horford will miss his sixth straight game on Wednesday vs the Suns. How concerning is this injury becoming? Kyle Draper and Chris Forsberg debate.

10:41 - Tom Giles sits down with Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown, who answers questions from fans on Twitter such as what a film session was like after a loss and what his first impression of Bill Belichick was.

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