Shanda Foster

That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

The Patriots may have been missing from the NFL's Championship Sunday, but that didn't stop them from being mentioned and having their former personnel play prominent roles in the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

Whether it was former Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel coaching the Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs or former New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo helping the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers to reach Super Bowl 54, the Patriots continue to be a talked-about team. 

On the latest edition of the "That 617 Life" podcast, Leroy Irvin, Shanda Foster and Cerrone Battle discussed how the Pats still loomed over the games on Sunday.

"You can not say anything bad about the Patriots because we are always constantly producing talent," Foster said. "I think this is the perfect testament to Bill Belichick."

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Battle said it speaks to the dominance of the Patriots the past two decades that connections to their former players and staff are now all over the league.

"That's what happens when you win," Battle said. "When you win, everybody wants a piece. They want your waterboy. Look at the new head coach of the Giants [Joe Judge, the former Patriots special teams and receivers coach]?... When you're good for 20 years eventually you're going to have your roots all over the league. After years and years of success, I'm not shocked by it."

Irvin and Foster said instead of lamenting a rare NFL Final Four without New England, Pats fans should be grateful.

"I wish Patriot Nation would grow up," Irvin said. "By that I mean I'm tired of seeing on social media people just crying and complaining, 'Oh it's boring without the Patriots.' We've had almost two decades of excellence. We're not there. Get over it."

Said Foster, "I was grateful more than anything. Filled with gratitude. We may never see a run like this again."

In his "Hot Takes and Cold Cuts" segment, Battle says those crowning the Super Bowl 54 opponents as the next dynasties might want to pump the brakes a little. 

"First thing I heard [after the games] is, 'Kansas City they're gonna be around for years and San Francisco they're gonna be around for a long time. They're gonna be contenders forever,' " Battle said. "That was the story all day. 'What is anybody gonna do about these teams next year?' What are they gonna do next year? Not even worry about them. Why? Because this is the Not For Long League. The NFL. Every year, the teams that were hot the year before are never guaranteed to be hot the year after that. Unless you're the Patriots."

The crew also gives their reactions to the new Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary. It's all in this week's "That 617 Life" podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast network. Click here to listen and subscribe.

 

That 617 Life Podcast: Keeping Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't have saved the Patriots

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That 617 Life Podcast: Keeping Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't have saved the Patriots

As Patriots fans watch Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback taking the San Francisco 49ers now one win away from the Super Bowl, there's plenty who lament letting Tom Brady's former backup go.

On the latest "That 617 Life" podcast, Cerrone Battle tells Pats fans to be careful what they wish for. Because when you take a closer look at how Garoppolo has performed with the 49ers, Battle says it's Jimmy G's supporting cast as much or more than the QB that have put the Niners in the NFC Championship Game.

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"The dude's got Emmanuel Sanders, he's got the best tight end in the league [George Kittle] and the best offensive line in the league," Battle tells Leroy Irvin on this week's episode. 

Click here to listen and subscribe to the That 617 Life Podcast.

"The 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo are dead last in the league in yards per pass," Battle said. "The ball travels seven yards per pass with Garoppolo. The San Francisco 49ers are No. 1 in the league in yards after the catch. He's throwing six yards slants and they're taking it 80."

Patriots fans longing for Garoppolo are thinking of the future, argued Irvin.

"What people are looking at is he's 28. Brady's about to be 43. A lot of Patriot Nation is saying the potential is there for him to be great. He's moldable...," Irvin said. "I think it's all about potential." 

The pair make their AFC and NFC Championship Game predictions, touch on the Red Sox cheating scandal that cost manager Alex Cora's his job, Shanda Foster has her "Shanda Sounds Off" segment which includes her take on Julian Edelman's arrest in Beverly Hills and more. 

It's all in this week's That 617 Life" podcast on the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

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That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

The Boston Celtics are coming off a disappointing back-to-back which saw them drop games to the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. While these two teams are among the best in the Eastern Conference, the losses have sparked some debate about this Celtics club.

Are they contenders or pretenders?

While the team has a 17-7 record, there has been chatter that because the team hasn't beaten the best teams in the East, they may not be able to make a lot of noise in the playoffs. But is that chatter being fueled by recency bias and the team's two latest losses?

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Shanda, Cerrone, and a special guest from NBC Sports Boston, Kyle Draper, debated the issue on this week's episode of "That 617 Life Podcast".

Draper defended the Celtics right out of the gate and pointed to the available personnel and level of competition the team has faced as reasons for the mini losing streak.

They played two very good teams. Can we at least say that? I'm not gonna be down on this team or concerned about this team. Let's go back to that Indiana game. If Gordon Hayward doesn't leave that game, if Jaylen Brown doesn't foul out, maybe you win that game. And you played without Marcus Smart. Same thing against Philly. That was a high-level game. I thought both teams played well.

Cerrone agreed with Draper and called the Celtics "one of the tougher outs in the NBA" ... when everyone's healthy. But getting everyone healthy is the big key for the team.

I think they'll get into a groove and they've gotta get into a rhythm as a team the more these guys stay healthy. That is the key to the whole thing, it's health.

The Celtics have seen a number of starters miss significant time with injuries and illnesses including Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. So Cerrone's point is well taken, and the C's will be better off competing in close games against top-tier teams once they have their full complement of players available.

Hear more of the group's thoughts on the Celtics and other major Boston sports stories on the latest episode of the "That 617 Life Podcast", which drops every Friday as part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Mavericks, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.