Patriots

Brady picks up record-breaking 187th regular-season win, but isn't thrilled

Brady picks up record-breaking 187th regular-season win, but isn't thrilled

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Brady set a record, surpassing Brett Favre and Peyton Manning's mark for regular-season wins in a career, yet he wasn't all that happy with how it went down.

Brady's 187th victory -- a 24-17 win over the Jets on Sunday -- puts him alone atop quarterback totem pole when it comes to success in the regular season as a starter.

That kind of achievement means a lot of things. It means Brady has played for a very long time. It means he's been very durable. It means he's been a part of some very good teams. 

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Yet when asked about the record, he could only think of Sunday and what had just transpired at MetLife Stadium. It was far from one of the more easygoing of his 187. 

"I wish we would have done better," Brady said. "But we won. Probably a lot to learn from it. I wish we could have played a little bit better offensively. We got down early and fought back. We had a good series before the half and hung in there at the end." 

Brady fought some intermittent accuracy issues to finish 20-for-38 for 257 yards, two scores and an interception. He led the Patriots on a 96-yard touchdown drive, completing three of four passes for 45 yards (and getting some help from a 33-yard pass-interference penalty), to cut the Jets lead to a touchdown in the second quarter. At the end of the first half, he took the Patriots 63 yards in six plays and 26 seconds to tie the game on a Rob Gronkowski two-yard score. 

It wasn't perfect. He was intercepted by Buster Skrine deep down the middle of the field. He should have been intercepted by Skrine on the series prior, but Skrine dropped the sideline attempt to Gronkowski. 

But it was enough. Again. 

"That's what we're all here for is to win games," Bill Belichick said. "We've been very fortunate to have had Tom at the helm for a lot of those wins. That's what we're all in it for is to win."

Of all the well-established quarterbacks in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers might have the best shot at catching Brady. But it doesn't mean he has a good shot. Rodgers has 94 career wins at 33 years old. He'd have to win about 13 games over the course of the next seven seasons to get where Brady is. 

On Sunday, Rodgers suffered what could be a season-ending broken clavicle, putting into perspective just how rare it is for someone at the position to have played in as many games as Brady has and won with such consistency. Other than a torn ACL in 2008, he has not missed significant playing time despite dealing with an array of injuries -- including the left shoulder ailment he's dealing with at the moment. 

"I think that's a great thing for any player," Brady said of his durability. "The only way to improve is to stay out there. I think a team can only really count on you if you're out there practicing and playing. Ever since I started playing in sports, I felt like I had to be out there for my team, and I work pretty hard at it.

"I wish I could have played a little better today, but it was at least nice to be out there."

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Will Britt put 'dependability is more important than ability' adage to the test?

Will Britt put 'dependability is more important than ability' adage to the test?

FOXBORO -- Kenny Britt was among the most impressive Patriots during OTAs. Then, on the first day of minicamp, he pulled up lame. Hamstring. 

At the time, it wasn't considered overly serious, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. Yet more than two months later, Britt still isn't able to participate fully in Patriots practices. 


On Sunday I asked Britt if he'd had a setback at some point between then and now. He said, "not really," which makes his inability go all-out in practice even more curious. 

“I expected to be out there,” Britt explained. “But my hamstring told me something different.”

He added: “You never know with a hamstring. One day you’ll feel good, and then it's up in the air and popping. And other days, you might feel bad and then get the fastest time you ran out there. So it’s really a feel thing, day in and day out.”

Britt has taken part in individual drills during training camp, and we've seen him work in side sessions with Tom Brady and other veteran pass-catchers. He was on the field for Sunday's workout, though we don't know the extent to which he participated. 

What we do know is that the 29-year-old (Britt turns 30 next month) has yet to participate in the more competitive 11-on-11 fully-padded practice periods, and he hasn't played in either of the team's first two preseason games. 

With every day missed, the memories of Britt's impressive spring fade ever so slightly, and an old Bill Belichick adage seems to become ever more appropriate. "Dependability is more important than ability," Belichick has told reporters on more than one occasion in the past. 

Britt didn't have the benefit of a full offseason with the Patriots when he arrived late last season. This year, after the Patriots picked up their option on his two-year deal, he had the opportunity to be in Foxboro in the weeks and months building up to the fall, but his hamstring got in the way of his progress within the offense. 

“I definitely feel like I’m behind," Britt said, "because I’m not out there with the guys, getting the chemistry that I need with the quarterbacks and just with everybody on the same page with what we do."

There may have to be some complicated calculus involved when assessing Britt's ability to contribute to the Patriots this season, particularly with a few weeks to go before cuts from 90 to 53. 

Helping Britt? Though he hasn't been participating fully this summer, he has been generally dependable over the course of his nine-year career; he's played less than 12 games just once (three in 2011). 

Working against him? His recent availability. The Patriots have done their best to approach Britt's ailment reasonably. Hamstrings, as he noted, can be finicky. It's not something that can be pushed without risking an exacerbation of the injury, and Britt made it sound as though the team has been conscious of having him advance cautiously. 

"I'm doing what they ask me to do," Britt said, "and I'm doing what I can do . . . I'll be out there when I can."

Britt has benefitted by the fact that the receiver position as a whole seems shallow for the Patriots at the moment. They'll be without Julian Edelman for the first four games of the season, and the only real certainty on the roster after that is Chris Hogan.

Britt provides the Patriots with a body type and an ability level that will be hard for them to find elsewhere. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, there are few targets in the league with his frame and athleticism.

Though Britt's spring in New England was a reminder of his rare traits, even he can admit he needs to show his team more with just two preseason games remaining and summer winding down.

“Coming into spring, (was) focused, ready to go out there and prove myself mentally and physically,” he said. “But that was in the spring. I can’t hold onto that. Know what I mean? It is what it is. Right now, I’m just focused on trying to get back out there.”

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Aaron Hernandez's suicide notes revealed

Aaron Hernandez's suicide notes revealed

Aaron Hernandez's suicide letters to his daughter, fiancée, and lawyer were revealed in his lawyer Jose Baez's new book, "Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and FInal Days of Aaron Hernandez."

Hernandez, a Patriots tight end from 2010 to 2013, hanged himself in his prison cell on April 19, 2017. He was serving life in prison for first-degree murder.

In his letter to his daughter, Avielle Jenkins-Hernandez, he wrote about life being eternal and to never fear him:

“Daddy will never leave you! I’m entering to the timeless realm in which I can enter into any form at any time because everything that could happen or not happened I see all at once! Life is eternal—believe!!!” Hernandez wrote. “Love, repent, and see me/yourself in everyone because that’s what the truth is! I’ll see you all in the heavens awaiting you all with the same love.”

“Never fear me, but love me with all of you! Fear is the only separation between you and I! We are each other—I/you—you/me—there’s no need to fear but what you do unto another will come back around!”

To his fianceé, Shayanna Jenkins:

Shay,

You have always been my soul-mate and I want you to love life and know I’m always with you. I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know [you] are an angel. We split into two to come change the world! Your characteristic is that of a true angel and the definition of God’s love! Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you. This was the supreme almightys plan, not mine! I love you! Let Avi know how much I love her! Look after Jano and Eddie for me —they are my boys (You’re Rich).

I KNEW I LOVED YOU = SAVAGE GARDEN

NOT MUCH TIME

I’M BEING CALLED!

JOHN 3:16

I love you all equally! We are all each other! Don’t shed one tear for I am with all of you and never wasn’t! do not go back to living while worshipping false idols in which I warned you about!

IT’S TIME!!!

The Real Live Forever

According to The New York Post, Hernandez included a drawing of a thin rope dangling from a noose on the bottom of the page.

Lastly, to his lawyer Baez:

“Well, I wrote this letter following my acquittal and wanted to voice how I felt and let some people whos[e] music helped me get through hard times, know that it did. Wrong or right — who knows — I just follow my natural instincts and how it guides me. Pros or cons, didn’t weigh them, but I’m sure you’ll let me know your view."

“Besides that, I want you to know you have me forever like you never understood and time will reveal that I’m not perfect but my love and loyalty is like you’ve never seen! I appreciate all your work, time, effort, and never let that slip your mind! In time, you will see how appreciated you are, as well as all the others equally!” he continued.

“I would like to send you letters so you can send to their [the artists] information or whichever way you think best. I don’t want any media really getting into me, trying to just send my love to all the artists who got me through my tough times and sending my respect to a few of the real ones out there."

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