Patriots

Tom Brady gives thoughtful answer to question about Patriots' Super Bowl chances

Tom Brady gives thoughtful answer to question about Patriots' Super Bowl chances

Tom Brady hasn't hidden his frustrations with the Patriots' struggling offense, but he's maintaining a positive outlook on the season with the team at 10-2.

Brady said after Sunday's 28-22 loss to the Texans he has "realistic expectations" given all the turnover and injuries on offense. But obviously, as a team that has won two of the last three Super Bowls, expectations are always going to be sky-high.

On Monday, Brady was asked by Jim Gray on Westwood One whether this Patriots team has what it takes to secure the franchise's seventh Super Bowl title, and he gave an interesting answer.

"I don't have a prediction. I think we have a plan," Brady said. "It's about being committed to the plan. The outcomes are what they are. You're not going to control every outcome. What you can control is the practice, the process, the attitude, the confidence and you work on building trust with your teammates throughout the week. If you do those things, you have good results.

"I know we get so focused on results so often, and I think you can take a lot from wins and losses. And I think you can take a lot from practices. I think focusing on the things that are in our control, and the things we can do a better job of will go a long way towards changing the results. But, if you're always focused on results I think sometimes you can get off track."

While Brady's message is clear, results just got even more important for the Patriots after their loss and the Baltimore Ravens' win on Sunday. New England now has an uphill battle in their fight for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Of course, we saw this same story unfold last year when the Patriots had to visit the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, and things worked out just fine for Brady and Co.

Speaking of the Chiefs (8-4), the Patriots will host them in a much-anticipated matchup Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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Matt Cassel: How Bill Belichick will handle 'Spygate 2.0' behind the scenes

Matt Cassel: How Bill Belichick will handle 'Spygate 2.0' behind the scenes

When “Spygate” originally went down, we as New England Patriots players were unaware of anything that was going on. 

The story became national news pretty quickly. You'd turn on the television and hear everyone calling us cheaters and saying, “This is the reason why they’ve accomplished what they’ve accomplished.” 

It was so blown out of proportion, and it was all speculation at that point.

We were going into our second week of the 2007 season, and Bill Belichick addressed the team to discuss the elephant in the room.

He said, “Look, this is what’s going on, but it’s nothing you guys need to be concerned with. It’s a league issue, and you guys have nothing to do with it."

It was a general statement just notifying the team: "You’re going to be asked about it. I’ll handle the questioning on it."

The fact of the matter was, he wanted to get back to status quo. He reminded us that we had a game that week, and that we had to focus on that.

After that, it was business as usual. “Spygate” wasn’t this overarching theme he addressed constantly throughout the week. Once he said his peace in that first meeting, we were on to the San Diego Chargers (our next opponent), and then the week proceeded as usual.

I think this week's circumstances are completely different from when that development first broke in 2007. 

The players and football staff have no understanding of anything the production team is doing. ... We never saw those guys.

This situation is something in which the film crew for the Patriots' in-house production team was doing their show, "Do Your Job," on an individual scout.

The players and football staff have no understanding of anything the production team is doing on week-to-week basis. We never saw those guys unless they requested an interview with us like any other media outlet.

They weren’t at practice, they were never in meetings. There’s just no communication between them and the players and coaching staff, unless they're doing a story on one of us.

So, this is outside even the realm of football, really.

It's a mishap by the Patriots' production group in that they forgot or didn't acknowledge the rules, and because of the history, everybody immediately draws the conclusion that Bill had something to do with it and this team is somehow benefiting from this. 

That's false -- especially when you're talking about the Cincinnati Bengals, who have won one game all year. That's what makes it more comical when you consider the circumstances.

My guess is Bill won't make more than one quick statement to the team about this.

He'll say, “Look, none of you guys have anything to do with it. Even as a team and a coaching staff, we have nothing to do with this. You let me address it in the media, and if you don’t have any common knowledge of it -- which none of us do -- then there’s really no reason to comment on it.” 

That’s it. Then it’s back to business, back to the work week and back to getting ready for the Bengals. I don’t think it will be brought up any more than that.

Editor's note: Matt Cassel had a 14-year NFL career that included four seasons with the New England Patriots (2005-2008). He's joining the NBC Sports Boston team for this season. You can find him on game days as part of our Pregame Live and Postgame Live coverage, as well as every week on Tom E. Curran’s Patriots Talk podcast and NBCSportsBoston.com.

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Patriots sign trick-shot kicker to the practice squad

Patriots sign trick-shot kicker to the practice squad

FOXBORO — Might as well, right? 

The Patriots have had to trot out four different place kickers in 2019. Three of them have come aboard since Stephen Gostkowski went on season-ending injured reserve. They had another, Younghoe Koo, on the practice squad for a time. 

They're trying everything there. And while Nick Folk has been solid — as solid as a third option could be — the Patriots aren't going to prevent themselves from seeking out ways to improve that spot. 

Even if that means bringing in a YouTube star. 

According to ESPN, the team has signed trick-shot kicker Josh Gable to its practice squad. Gable was out at practice on Wednesday afternoon. 

The Patriots worked out Gable earlier this year but the job went to Mike Nugent. Then Nugent was released in favor of Folk. When Folk had to get his appendix out, Kai Forbath came aboard. 

Now Gable will have a chance to impress on an NFL roster. At least for a time. He did not play college football, and played pro soccer in Europe for a time. He played in the Indoor Football League for the Nebraska Danger and Tucson Sugar Skulls. 

Gable's videos show some clear athleticism and a strong leg, but he'll be tested in the elements in New England (it snowed in the Foxboro area early Wednesday morning). He'll have his hands full carving out a role.

But at this point, for the Patriots, why not? 

The Patriots had multiple practice-squad spots open after two of their p-squad players, defensive back Nate Brooks and offensive linemen Tyler Gauthier, were signed to the active rosters of the Dolphins and Jaguars, respectively. There was a new (at this point unannounced) practice-squad defensive back at Wednesday's practice as well.

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