Patriots

'We were flipping people off': Brady recalls famous OT win vs. Dolphins

'We were flipping people off': Brady recalls famous OT win vs. Dolphins

Fifteen years later, it remains one of the most pivotal turning points that defined the early years of the Brady-Belichick era in New England, an overtime win in a place that historically to that point the Patriots had some pretty hard luck.

And as New England's struggles in Miami in more recent years come to light this week with the Patriots get ready to take on the Dolphins down in South Florida, quarterback Tom Brady was asked Friday afternoon to reminisce about his first-ever win at Hard Rock Stadium, that legendary 2003 overtime win sealed by an 82-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown, one that sent coach Bill Belichick into a rare emotional frenzy.

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"That was pretty sweet. It was a great game, great win," Brady said. "Troy was not the intended receiver on the play – it was kind of a toss play. I was supposed to throw it to the backside slant, but I remember the coverage kind of rotated that way and Troy was running a slant on the other side and just kept running and I saw him and just chucked it up there, he caught it and we celebrated."

Celebrate how, might you ask? 

"It was just a great celebration," he continued. "I remember the bus ride leaving was pretty cool. We were flipping people off and it was out of control. We hadn’t won there in so long, you thought we won five Super Bowls in a row. It was pretty fun."

That win, the Patriots' third in a row after starting the season 2-2, improved them to 5-2 and galvanized the team on the way to a 15-game win streak and second Super Bowl title in three seasons. 

To this day, it remains among the most emotionally-charged exclamations we've seen out of The Hooded One.

"Yeah, we all were," Brady said, when asked if he'd ever seen Belichick as happy as he was that day. "That was a pretty special day. There was a long history of us playing a lot of bad football games down there and that kind of broke that a little bit, not that it’s been stellar, but at least that one got us out of the basement."

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Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Scratch that Danny Amendola-Patriots reunion.

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reports the free-agent wide receiver is re-signing with the Detroit Lions, where he spent last season and had 62 catches for 678 yards. Former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will enter his third season as Lions coach in 2020. 

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The 34-year-old left the Patriots after five seasons to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and may have burned a bridge or two with Bill Belichick. 

It had been speculated that perhaps bringing in a former reliable Tom Brady receiver might be part of a plan to lure Brady back to New England, with a report in late January that Amendola could come along to wherever Brady lands in free agency, but a Brady-Amendola reunion in Detroit isn't happening, either. 

Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

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As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.