New Orleans Saints

McCourty twins put Drew Brees on blast after Saints QB's protest comments

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USA TODAY Sports

McCourty twins put Drew Brees on blast after Saints QB's protest comments

Drew Brees' first public comments in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last week have drawn a strong reaction from players across the NFL, including members of the New England Patriots.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback did an interview with Yahoo! Finance that was posted Wednesday, and when asked about players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America, Brees made it clear he's not in favor of that gesture.

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“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees told Yahoo! "Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. ..."

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 was the first NFL player to protest by kneeling during the national anthem, and many other players have done so since.

The official Twitter account of Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty posted a tweet in response to Brees' remarks, calling them "a disgrace."

The McCourty twins weren't the only athletes reacting to Brees' comments on social media. Many others did, too, including two of Brees' wide receiver teammates, Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

2020 NFL Schedule: Tom Brady, Bucs will reportedly face Drew Brees, Saints in Week 1

2020 NFL Schedule: Tom Brady, Bucs will reportedly face Drew Brees, Saints in Week 1

When Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay in free agency, the 2020 Bucs immediately became must-see TV.

And Brady's first game in pewter absolutely looks like it will be appointment viewing. According to Nick Underhill, the Bucs will open on the road against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on September 13 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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A matchup of the top two quarterbacks in career passing yards and touchdowns in Week 1? That's something all football fans would sign up for, whether they're from New Orleans, Tampa Bay, or New England.

Brady actually has a losing record vs. Brees, dropping three of their five matchups dating back to 2002. 

Sept. 29, 2002: Chargers 21, Patriots 14 
Brees: 10-18, 104 yards, TD
Brady: 36-53, 353 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Oct. 2, 2005: Chargers 41, Patriots 17
Brees: 19-24, 248 yards, 2 TD
Brady: 19-32, 224 yards, TD, INT

Nov. 30, 2009: Saints 38, Patriots 17
Brees: 18-23, 371 yards, 5 TD
Brady: 21-36, 237 yards, 2 INT

Oct. 13, 2013: Patriots 30, Saints 27
Brees: 17-36, 236 yards, 2 TD, INT
Brady: 25-43, 269 yards, TD, INT

Sept. 17, 2017: Patriots 36, Saints 20
Brees: 27-45, 356 yards, 2 TD
​​​​​​​Brady: 30-39, 447 yards, 3 TD

Brees definitely has the edge in addition to that 3-2 head-to-head record, throwing 12 touchdowns and only one interception in those meetings, while Brady's TD-to-INT ratio is 7-to-6.

Of course, Brady has the edge where it counts, winning six Super Bowls to Brees' one.

Teams had high praise for Dalton Keene before 2020 NFL Draft

Teams had high praise for Dalton Keene before 2020 NFL Draft

The New England Patriots made a surprising pick late in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. They traded up to get Dalton Keene, a Virginia Tech tight end, with the 101st overall pick after selecting Devin Asiasi, another tight end, just 10 picks earlier.

While Keene was expected to be a Day 3 pick, the Patriots took him early. And it's easy to see why. Keene has been described as big, athletic, versatile and tough. He's a hard worker who should fit in well with the Patriots, as his former coaches indicated in recent interviews.

If you don't want to take the coach's word for it since they do have some element of bias given their ties to Keene, that's understandable. But NFL talent evaluators? Their opinions surely matter.

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As Jeff Howe of The Athletic outlined in a recent story, Keene received a lot of pre-draft praise from evaluators. Notably, a member of the New Orleans Saints organization had this quote about the Virginia Tech product's film.

Dalton, I’ve got to tell you, out of all the film I’ve watched this year of all these guys, you are the biggest d*** on the field. And I mean that as a compliment.

That certainly is a compliment in the world of football. And another team also praised Keene's toughness, motor, and his willingness to do the dirty work for the Hokies.

Your Miami film looked great. You had three touchdowns, but you sold me when you were on the backside of a screen, blocked the linebacker out of bounds, and then you waited for him to come back inbounds so you could hit him again.

The intangible toughness Keene offers clearly intrigued teams in the lead-up to the 2020 NFL Draft. And perhaps that's why the Patriots elected to pick him on the early side; they wanted to guarantee they would have that toughness and tight end/H-back versatility on their roster.

It will be interesting to see how quickly Keene can work himself into Bill Belichick's good graces. But if he's willing to work hard as a blocker much like he did in college, then he should get on the field early in his Patriots career.