Kayce Smith

Patriots Talk Podcast: Midseason awards and fan service show

Patriots Talk Podcast: Midseason awards and fan service show

What areas do the Patriots need to address in their final seven regular-season games? Who gets the first-half awards on this team? Tom Curran and Phil Perry answer that and more.

1:01 - Tom Curran and Phil Perry quickly hit on Phil's recent story on what fixes the Patriots have to make for the remaining seven games of the season.

7:53 - With the Patriots at the halfish-way point of the season, Tom and Phil are handing out awards, including: best offensive player, best defensive player, most underrated defender, funniest play of the season and more.

25:28 - Tom and Phil field a handful of questions tweeted to them and the pair are joined by surprise guest Kayce Smith from Barstool Sports (formally NBC Sports Boston).

33:04 - Next up is the voicemail questions, including inquiries about the Patriots offensive line, the status of N'Keal Harry, the loss to the Ravens and more.

You can leave a question or comment for Tom or Phil on Twitter (@tomecurran - @PhilAPerry), by leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts, or by leaving us a voice mail to use in the show by calling 781-214-0753.

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Amendola: Pats' turmoil overblown, but Butler benching remains a mystery

Amendola: Pats' turmoil overblown, but Butler benching remains a mystery

First things first. All that talk about turmoil in Foxboro?

Overblown.

"There's not really much truth to [the rumors that there was a ton of turmoil inside the walls], to tell you the truth," said ex-Patriots and current Miami wide receiver Danny Amendola. "There is always going to be some friction between a coach and a player in a business."

Second things second. The talk that there's been no explanation as to why Malcolm Butler was benched in the Super Bowl, and that the players -- or at least this player -- remain baffled by it?

Not overblown.

"I don't know the answer to [why that happened] to this day . . . " said Amendola. "[For] whatever reason, [Bill Belichick] felt, you know, he's the coach. I can't make that decision. I can only do my job and focus on my job.

"But in hindsight, it's like, 'Really, what agenda are we on?' It's something that I will probably never really understand."

Amendola said all this, and much more, on Barstool Sports' Comeback SZN Podcast with Kayce Smith, formerly of NBC Sports Boston. Amendola -- who played five years in New England before signing as a free agent with the Dolphins this past offseason -- gave a fascinating glimpse behind the Patriots' iron curtain.

Like when he signed with the Pats on March 13, 2013:

The realization he was headed to New England "set in when Bill called . . . and said, 'Get your ass to Foxboro and ink this up . . . we're not having a press conference, we don't give a [crap] about that.' Then I realized [New England] was all work, no glitz. No glamour. It's just about playing good football, the Patriot Way."

And what it was like with the Pats:

"I got to understand what it was like to put the work in and really grind it out . . . and learn how to win. When I was in St. Louis" -- Amendola played for the Rams from 2009-12, when the team went 17-46-1 and was below .500 every year -- "I learned that wins are hard to come by in the NFL . . . but sometimes we'd win in New England and [Belichick] wasn't happy. Tom [Brady] wasn't happy. Or we knew we could play better here or play better there. I learned how to win and how to play and what it meant to play good football."

Did he enjoy it?

"I have mixed feelings about business is done," he admitted.

However . . . 

"I got to play for the greatest coach of time, [with] the greatest quarterback of all time and [for] one of the greatest owners of all time (in Robert Kraft). I got to understand what it was like to put the work in and really grind it out . . . and learn how to win."

Some of the other things he had to say . . 

On the difference between Belichick and his new coach, Adam Gase: "Adam Gase is one of the guys. He's our leader. He's our head coach, but he's also our boy. It's cool. It's refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, which is something that I haven't had in a long time. You want to fight hard [for a coach like that]. Back in New England, it was almost like you've got a principal and a principal's office and [stuff] like that. You know, in a good way. And in a bad way, too."

On how playing with Tom Brady impacted his career: "Tom is not only a great football player, but he makes every one on his team better around him. He's created a lifestyle for himself and diet and the way he approaches the game on and off the field around the clock. . . . he's preparing his body. He's really instilled that in me. I've watched him do it for five years. That's inadvertently changed that way I approach the game."

More on the Patriots' reported turmoil: "Personally, I can't speak for Tom or Bill. But I know that regardless of business -- and I have mixed feelings of how business is done [in New England] -- I know for a fact that Coach Belichick is one of the best coaches of all time. He has all of his players' respect. I know Tom would say that same thing. I know [Rob Gronkowski] would say the same thing, regardless of how they feel about their contracts or certain situation or whatever may be going down." 

On his favorite off-the-field memoires as a Patriot: "[Going] to the [Kentucky] Derby every year after we won the Super Bowl with Tom was fun . . . we'd gas up the jet and we'd get down there and four or five Louisville cops would pick us up. We could literally do whatever we wanted with cops by our side . . . of course, Gronk and [Julian Edelman] being there (spices things) up a bit. And when you're with Brady, every head in the building turns. He changes the energy in any room. It's fun. It's adult fun.

"I went to the Derby twice and I don't think I saw a horse one time. [Wes] Welker, one year, brought in a boombox.. We created our own club vibe in there. Wes brought like $500,000 in fake 20s and 100s stacked it up on the table and everybody thought it was real money . . . Another year, we had a karaoke machine. And this is like in the most distinguished area of the Derby. People are suited and booted . . . and we have a karaoke machine. Travis Tritt was there . . . and he sang 'Sweet Home Alabama'. It was awesome. It was electric."

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

 

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Gronkowski expected to return to Patriots?

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Gronkowski expected to return to Patriots?

0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Kayce Smith, and Tom Giles discuss Ian Rapoport's report that Rob Gronkowski is expected to return to playing football after pondering his future as an actor and/or wrestler.

5:36 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the Celtics win over the Hornets, Kyrie Irving playing lights out, Greg Monroe showing his ability, and how the bench has been able to contribute to efficiently.

10:50 - Tom Giles talks to Albert Breer, who gives us more information on the Rob Gronkowski situation, Jon Gruden's comments about the Patriots, and some of the potential rule changes in the NFL next season.

15:57 - Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss the way Brad Stevens has been smart with his handling of Kyrie Irving's minutes, and talk about Kevin O'Connor's article about the Celtics expectations.