Patriots

Tom Brady 'not judging' Antonio Brown for tumultuous stint with Raiders

Tom Brady 'not judging' Antonio Brown for tumultuous stint with Raiders

Antonio Brown's antics in Oakland have led some to question the Patriots' signing of the superstar wide receiver, but Tom Brady isn't concerned.

On Monday night, the Patriots quarterback discussed Brown joining the Patriots with Jim Gray of Westwood One.

“You don’t judge anything,” Brady told Gray, per ProFootballTalk. “I’m not judging anything before I have a chance to go out and practice and prepare. You know, Antonio, meeting him today I really enjoyed being around him, he’s a very smart football player, knows how to play the game. He’s been extremely productive.

"The only thing that I know what we can do is to go out there and work at it to meet and to communicate and get on the practice field and go through things. I’m not buying into any hype or potential. I’m into work. He’s into work and our entire offense is into doing what’s in the best interest for the team and I’m really excited to get to practice on Wednesday."

While Brady doesn't seem to be worried about Brown's behavioral issues, the 42-year-old admits it may take a while for the former Steeler to contribute.

“That’s definitely a challenge, that’s just the time of the year and we are going to deal with those from now to the end of the season,” Brady told Gray. “We are just going to deal with those the best way we can. You’d love to have a training camp or an offseason to learn, but that’s just not our reality and we are going to do the best we can possibly do with the time that we have.”

Following the shocking signing, Brady reportedly told Pats owner Robert Kraft he's "a million percent in" on the move and even extended an invitation for Brown to stay at his house until the wideout gets acclimated in New England.

Regardless of whether Brown takes Brady up on that offer, the two will be spending plenty of time together in the foreseeable future.

“Yeah, you know we’re going to meet as much as we possibly can,” Brady said. “I think that quarterback-receiver relationship is so important. The more you know each other the more you know what each other’s thinking, the faster you can accelerate the trust and confidence in one another when you get on the field.

"I have that with a lot of guys that I played with certainly with the guys that are on the roster now, Julian [Edelman], Phillip Dorsett, Josh [Gordon]. You saw that last night. But when you haven’t played with guys, you got to try to do it as quickly as possible, and the clock is ticking on us right now. This is not the offseason program. This is about real games that count and we are going to try and spend as much time as we can together and really get up to speed and lock in with what are roles and responsibilities are.”

The Patriots made their signing of Brown official on Monday after waiving safety Obi Melifonwu and releasing tight end Lance Kendricks. The polarizing 31-year-old is expected to make his Pats debut next Sunday in Miami.

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Todd McShay's new 2020 NFL Mock Draft has Patriots taking a top pass rusher

Todd McShay's new 2020 NFL Mock Draft has Patriots taking a top pass rusher

The New England Patriots defense has been hit hard by departures in NFL free agency, and one of the best places to replenish talent on that side of the ball is the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Patriots, over the last few weeks, have lost the following defensive players in free agency or the trade market:

Danny Shelton, DT, free agency (Detroit Lions)
Kyle Van Noy, LB, free agency (Miami Dolphins)
Elandon Roberts, LB, free agency (Dolphins)
Jamie Collins, LB, free agency (Lions)
Duron Harmon, S, trade (Lions)
Nate Ebner, S, free agency (New York Giants)

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With the Patriots losing their two sack leaders from last season in Collins (seven sacks) and Van Noy (six), it only makes sense to target a pass rusher with the No. 23 pick in the first round. And that's exactly where the Patriots go in ESPN expert Todd McShay's latest 2020 mock draft.

Here is McShay's explanation for slotting Iowa edge rusher A.J. Epenesa to New England at 23rd overall:

These aren't the Patriots we are accustomed to seeing. They could use upgrades in a bunch of areas, including quarterback, wide receiver and a handful of spots on defense. I don't expect coach Bill Belichick to reach for a QB here, and while wide receiver is in play, it seems unlikely two years in a row on Day 1. So how about an edge rusher? LSU's K'Lavon Chaisson is the better player, but Belichick has a strong relationship with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, and Epenesa fits nicely with the Patriots' 3-4 system as a 5-technique.

Epenesa was a force for the Hawkeyes last season. He set or tied career highs with 11.5 sacks, 47 total tackles, three passes defensed and four forced fumbles in 2019. Epenesa spent a lot of time in the opponent's backfield over the last two years with a combined 22 sacks and 20.5 tackles for a loss during that span. 

The Iowa star and 2019 third-round pick Chase Winovich could form a young, athletic pass-rushing duo that could serve the Patriots quite well for the next three to five years.

Perry's Mock Draft 4.0: Pats invest in protection

David Tyree randomly praises Julian Edelman for circus Super Bowl LI catch

David Tyree randomly praises Julian Edelman for circus Super Bowl LI catch

The coronavirus shutdown is bringing some blasts from the past out of the woodwork.

With professional sports on indefinite hold, FOX filled the void Sunday by rebroadcasting the New England Patriots' historic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

To promote that game (which Tom Brady seemed to enjoy) the NFL's Instagram account posted a clip of Julian Edelman's insane catch in the fourth quarter that kept the Patriots' drive alive.

Guess who popped up in the Instagram comments of that post Monday? A guy who's familiar with circus catches in the Super Bowl: David Tyree.

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"Can’t lie...this catch was crazzzyyy!! Legendary @edelman11," the former New York Giants wide receiver wrote, adding eight emojis (four flames and four folded hands, in case you're wondering) for emphasis.

For Patriots fans who have endured too much this offseason, skip ahead. For the rest of you: Tyree became famous thanks to his wild "helmet catch" in Super Bowl XLII that, like Edelman's grab, saved a late Giants drive and helped New York upset an undefeated New England team in Super Bowl XLII.

Tyree was out of the league two seasons after that historic grab, but it's clearly followed him in his post-NFL life.

As for which catch was better, Edelman's or Tyree's? We'll let Patriots and Giants fans hash that one out.