Making his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley Show, ESPN analyst, and former Patriots linebacker, Tedy Bruschi reiterated his stance that Roger Goodell should be replaced as commissioner of the National Football League.

Tedy Bruschi (Getty Images)

Tedy Bruschi (Getty Images)

Making his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley Show, ESPN analyst, and former Patriots linebacker, Tedy Bruschi reiterated his stance that Roger Goodell should be replaced as commissioner of the National Football League.

“It was just all about me saying what I believed in, what I felt,” said Bruschi regarding his statement on ESPN shortly after Goodell’s Friday press conference, suggesting it was time for a change in the NFL’s commissioner’s office. “Just that I’m proud of the time I spent in the National Football League. I tried to conduct myself during my 13-year career to do the right thing. I still feel part of it, a part of the integrity of the game to how I still conduct myself. My commissioner I want to be that man you can look to and he represents the integrity of our game. He’s got to be the figurehead. He’s got to lead in his image. He’s everything. He represents the players. He represents the owners. And, yes, I do feel he represents the players because he is the face with the shield. Roger Goodell’s integrity has been compromised. Now, has that been proven? There are still investigations. There’s an internal investigation with the NFL All I’m saying, moving forward I just feel, personally, we need a new face.

“We need a new leader to implement new policies and to have a new image. Because going forward when you look to the NFL and you see the head of the NFL, and it is Roger Goodell, no matter what happens with the investigation, you remember and you wonder. You wonder what he’s saying. Is he telling the truth? Is everyone behind him? And right now there isn’t. Everyone is not behind him and I would like new leadership to lead the league forward.”

Bruschi also touched on his concerns in regards to his former team.

He noted that perhaps the biggest issue facing the Patriots is their play at the center and guards positions on the offensive line. If improvement is made on the line’s interior, Bruschi said, there could be a concern in regards to quarterack Tom Brady‘s ability to stay healthy for an entire season.

“There’s been only limited improvement over the first few weeks, so that’s somewhat discouraging,” he said. “Is there still plenty of time? Yes. But I really worry. I really worry about the health of Tom Brady and the interior offensive line and what they’re doing there. To me, inside-out, it starts at the center position, which is a very valuable position now in the National Football League. It’s getting to be just as valuable as the left tackle, how you have to solidify the center of that pocket and the running game because that’s where all the pressure is going to come from. Especially when you have a pocket passer, which is what Tom is. It’s the quickest track to get to him and it disrupts the running game the most, if you get to get disruption over the center and the left guard and the right guard. Right now, they’re having problems in there.

Bruschi added, “You can have the best coach there is, Dante Scarnecchia can still be there, and you still may have a center and a right guard that struggles because the players on the other side of the ball are just better. I think offensively what they’ll try to do is mask their deficincies there. How do you have it more that the interior offensive line to have the advantage in terms of protecting your quarterback? You run the ball more. You try and be more physical. You use misdirection. You do play-action pass. Those type of things you have to win on first and second down and keep it manageable on third down because if it ends up second and long or third and long, I as a defensive pass rusher or linebacker we can attack those A gaps, that’s where it’s going to come. If you have the problems there, coupled with your tackles getting beat like a drum, like they were at times on Sunday, you have some major problems going forward.”

To listen to the entire interview, go to Audio on Demand at the Dale & Holley page by click here.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
Oakland drove down deep into the Patriots red zone with a minute to play on Sunday in a bid to tie the game and send it to overtime. Jones was asked if he and his teammates were nervous at all towards the end; He refuted the assertion saying the team clamped down and became more composed. Veterans Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork are vocal leaders and can calm the defense down. And then, all four of the guys had a laugh over rookie Brian Stork's post-game interview with reporters.
Edelman talked about his scary play in the red zone to start off the 4th quarter, in which he flipped in the air and landed on his head. He was fine, but admits that players need to be aware of the down and importance of putting your health in jeopardy over the course of a 16 game season. The guys asked him about the offense's struggles, and Gronk's inability to pull in a tipped ball in the end zone.

[0:00:00] ... is a patriots Monday at Gillette Stadium for -- with NFB Maloney Christian Fauria -- And Julian Edelman has always brought to you by fire ourselves into play Penske insurance. You're getting flipped. Over like that ...
[0:03:46] ... west hasn't been around right that's one of the things they're reliable Wes Welker was to yourself and that while he was doing his job it. You learn from him is this has become you sort ...
[0:05:55] ... home. And try to get that thing down. -- -- You know Tom Brady get hit and then you get beat up there as well eagle at the human -- -- the turn around he's -- ...
[0:09:55] ... I -- catching the sidelines that is you know look like the Oakland Raiders bench -- eating get -- feet and possessed the ball and it was ruled the kitchen I think huge turnaround of them ...






Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, part of a defense that has allowed just 16 points combined in the last two games, made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday to recap Sunday’s win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Jones and his teammates kept the Raiders out of the end zone in a 16-9 victory, but he said there are plenty of things the team needs to work on.

“I feel like we also have room for improvement, always room for improvement,” Jones said. “We definitely could have done better, but a win is a win, and we’ve got to keep moving forward. That’s our thing is to keep moving forward.”

Jones was complimentary of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr last week, and he said Carr was quick to offer thanks — among many comments he made during Sunday’s contest.

“I spoke to Derek Carr during the game, actually,” Jones said. “He was one of the quarterbacks that actually spoke the most — most of any quarterback I’ve ever played against. … Not trash, not trash at all. Stuff like [saying hello]. Or, ‘You’re not going to catch me. It was strange.”

Added Jones: “I had said in an interview before the game, I don’t see Derek Carr as being a rookie quarterback — which I don’t, he’s a very good player. I guess he’s one of those guys who reads articles about him, because early in the game he came up to me and said ‘Hey, Chandler, I really like what you said about me.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, thanks.’

“He’s a really good quarterback. He’s a very good quarterback. We didn’t get a chance to get him, because that’s credit to him. He has very good awareness in the pocket. There were a few times when I would have got another quarterback or someone that stood back there. He got away from me a few times, which is credit to him. He has very good scrambling abilities. He’s a young quarterback; I still don’t see him as a rookie quarterback. He’s a good player.”

Carr led the Raiders deep into Patriots territory in the final minute, looking for the tying touchdown. After a TD run was called back, Carr threw a pass that was deflected and landed in the arms of Vince Wilfork.

“We were just trying to be composed,” Jones said of the final drive. “I know it was a very critical situation at that time of the game where they had the ball in our high red area and we had to stop them. I wouldn’t say we got nervous, I’d just say we knew how critical the situation was, and a big-time player like Vince Wilfork made a great play.”

Jones said Wilfork predicted he would get a pick.

“Vince Wilfork called that. He called that interception,” Jones said. “He told me, he said, ‘I’m feeling one this week.’ He said that to me.”

Jones credited Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo as being the players who inspire the defensive unit.

“Those guys are both vocal leaders out there on defense,” Jones said. “If you guys are watching in the games, you’ll see their helmets going back and forth and them trying to line us up right, them trying to encourage us to move forward to the next play. When we do get a big play scored on us or a big play, a pass completed on us or something like that, those are the guys that are saying, ‘Hey, let’s move forward, next play, you’ve got a whole game to play.’ Or if you have one bad play, those will be the guys who will come to you and be like, ‘Hey, you know what? Move on. We’ve got [more] time to play.’ “

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Alex Smith helped lift the Chiefs to their first win of the season Sunday in Miami. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Alex Smith helped lift the Chiefs to their first win of the season Sunday in Miami. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Here are five things you have to know about the Chiefs (1-2), who will host the Patriots (2-1) in the Monday Night Football debut for both teams next week in Kansas City.

Quarterback Alex Smith can run the football.

Through three games, Smith is second among all quarterbacks when it comes to rushing yards — he trails only San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, 131 rushing yards to 95 yards. He’s had at least 100 rushing yards every year the last four years, including 431 last season on 76 carries, second on the team to Jamaal Charles. Some of that can lead to problems — while the two aren’t directly related, it is interesting to see that Smith has been sacked 11 times this year, second-most in the NFL. (Some of that can also be tied to the Kansas City offensive line, which is apparently having some issues with pass prospection.) But on Sunday against Miami, Smith did a nice job spreading the ball around, as he completed at least one pass to seven different receivers, and added two carries for 17 yards. A fairly conservative passer — his completion rate hasn’t dipped below 60 percent for the season over the last three years — he’s carved out a nice niche for himself with the Chiefs.

When healthy, running back Jamaal Charles is one of the best multidimensional threats in the league.

Charles is a phenomenal offensive threat — last season, he had 1,287 rushing yards on 259 carries, and added 70 catches for 693 yards on top of that. (He finished the year with a whopping 19 combined touchdowns.) The 27-year-old Texas product suffered a high-ankle sprain in a Sept. 14 loss to Denver, and even though he practiced last week, ended up sitting out last Sunday’s win over the Dolphins. Knile Davis started in his place and had a very productive afternoon, finishing with 132 yards on 32 carries. (The Chiefs also got some good work from backup running back Joe McKnight, who moved up the depth chart when Charles went down. Used mostly as a third-down option against the Dolphins, he caught six passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns.) While Davis and McKnight did well filling the offensive void against Miami, there are few versatile options in the Kansas City offense like Charles, and his health status should be closely monitored this week.

Their defense doesn’t force a lot of turnovers.

Remarkably, through three games, the Chiefs are the only team in the league that has yet to force a takeaway. They come into the game minus-five in takeaway ratio, the worst total in the league. (They have three picks and two lost fumbles through three games.) Overall, Kansas City is 12th in the league in pass defense, allowing an average of 223.7 yards per game. On the ground, they’ve given up an average of 130.3 rushing yards per game, 24th in the league. As a team, they’ve allowed 21.7 points per game, tied for12th in the NFL.

They are really tough at home.

Arrowhead is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Known as one of the loudest open-air venues in the league, the Chiefs enjoy the support of a really good fan base when they’re home. Expect the Kansas City fans to bring the noise Monday night against New England.

They’re not desperate for a win, but they’re not too far removed.

The Chiefs went into Sunday’s game at 0-2, and without Charles. For a team that made the postseason last year and fully expects to return to the playoffs again in 2014, that qualifies as a bad start. (Since 1990, 196 teams started the year 0-2, and only 23 of those teams made the playoffs, a rate of 12 percent.) And with the recent renaissance enjoyed by quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers, it complicates things even more for Kansas City. While the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos all made the playoffs last season, Kansas City can ill afford to lose any more ground to either Denver or San Diego, as all three teams figure to jockey for position in the AFC West throughout the year. Considering the fact that over their next seven games, the Chiefs face New England, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, we’ll know a lot about this Kansas City team and its playoff chances over the next month or so.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — There’s a consistent theme developing over the first quarter of the season for the Patriots – inconsistency.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are both searching for consistency. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are both searching for consistency. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — There’s a consistent theme developing over the first quarter of the season for the Patriots – inconsistency.

Julian Edelman said it after Sunday’s 16-9 win over the Raiders at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady repeated it to Dennis and Callahan Monday morning and, after watching the film in detail, Bill Belichick echoed that same message in his Monday conference call.

The Patriots are making plays but not consistently. It’s one of the characteristics of the 2014 Patriots that has fans concerned despite a 2-1 record.

“Pretty much I feel the same way as I did yesterday after the game. Like I said, it was a grind-it-out kind of game ‘€“ tough, hard fought, it came down to a couple plays in the fourth quarter,” Belichick noted. “Fortunately we were able to make them. We just need to do a better job in a lot of areas; just keep working to improve.

“I thought we did some things well but not consistently. We’€™ve just got to keep working to get to a higher level all the way across the board in all positions, all the units, coaches, players ‘€“ all of us. We just have to keep working harder to improve and be more consistent. We have an extra day this week so hopefully that will give us an extra opportunity to do that. It’€™s what we need to do.”

The Patriots don’t play again until next Monday when they travel to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs.

One area the Patriots clearly need to improve is their red area execution. They were 1-for-4, including an ugly sequence at the end of the first half when they had six chances inside the Raiders 5 and couldn’t punch it in the end zone, settling for three points and a 10-3 halftime lead. Tom Brady appeared to lose track of the down-and-distance following a first-down run by Stevan Ridley that had the clock run from 46 seconds down to 12.

The Patriots used a timeout with eight seconds left. That was followed by a bad snap and the Patriots were forced to settle for a field goal. Time management didn’t seem to be ideal.

“I’€™d like to score there,” Belichick said. “That’€™s the main thing. We had eight seconds to go on the last play. The ball was on the three-yard line, two-yard line, whatever it was. Obviously we couldn’€™t afford to get sacked or be tackled but it was a play, a chance to throw in the end zone.

“Eight seconds is really plenty of time to do that ‘€“ throw in the end zone and either catch it or kick a field goal, kind of similar to the Baltimore game in ‘€™11. We had three downs down there. We had our chances. We had three downs and we just didn’€™t, we ran two runs and we felt good about those runs but we just didn’€™t, we weren’€™t quite able to get them in and then threw on third down.”

As for third down overall, the Patriots showed some improvement, converting exactly half of their 18 chances on Sunday, but only four of 10 in the second half as the Patriots were looking to extend drives and put away the Raiders.

“I think third down is related to first and second down,” Belichick said. “That’€™s all tied together. I think we just have to be more consistent on every down, certainly third down. We were 50 percent on third down, including the one at the end of the game, so that would lead the league, or come close to it, almost every year.

“But we have to do a better job on first and second down and create better opportunities on third down or just bypass third down altogether and convert on more second downs. We need to do a better job on third down too. I think our consistency is an area for us to improve in offensively all the way across the board. The downs before third down are important too.

Here are more takeaways from Belichick’s conference call from Monday:

Q: Yesterday you said the defensive pass interference call on Logan Ryan was something you wanted to go back and look at it. Did you see the same things you thought you saw? Also, the offensive pass interference call on Brandon LaFell. It looked like maybe he was close to establishing his spot there after he ran his route. What did you see on that play as well?

BB: I’€™d say going back and looking, they’€™re close plays. I think you’€™d have to talk to the officiating department and the league and get a complete explanation since they were the ones who threw it. It doesn’€™t really matter what I think. The only thing that matters is what they call. We have to play penalty-free.

Q: The timeout before the Rob Gronkowski touchdown, can you take us through what you were discussing during that timeout and what you were trying to correct and what Tom Brady might have seen that he didn’€™t want to run the play that was called?

BB: It was pretty late in the second quarter there, I think there was like less than five minutes to go. We had three timeouts so we felt like [in] a situation like that, a critical situation ‘€“ third down in the red area ‘€“ to make sure we get the best play called and get in the best situation so what we had, I thought that what we had maybe wasn’€™t the best that we could do and I think Tom sort of saw the same thing. We all decided ‘€“ Josh [McDaniels], we all just decided it would be better to take the timeout [and] make sure we got a play we wanted in there and go with it. As it turned out, it would have been good to have another timeout possibly at the end of the half, even though we didn’€™t lose a down or we didn’€™t really need it but it might have been good to have there. But, yeah, that was a critical play and after we saw their substitution and their matchup at the timeout, then we just decided to go to a different look and not let them defend what we had shown the play before that we didn’€™t run.

Q: Kenbrell Thompkins was inactive last week and this week Aaron Dobson was inactive this week. What made Thompkins a better matchup this week against the Raiders?

BB: We just try to take everything into consideration when we go with our final 46-man active roster ‘€“ the game plan, the matchups, the different roles in the kicking game and sometimes how that affects other positions. In the end, if we could have more than 46 players active, we would have loved to have several of the guys that were deactivated at the game. There’€™s probably a good chance that several of them would have played. But in the end, we just have to [with] the combination of all the things I just mentioned, try to make the decision that we feel is best for the team relative to the 46 guys that are there. Again, that is a function of multiple things.

Q: It looked like Vince Wilfork dropped off the line of scrimmage when he intercepted that ball, similar to what we saw the week before with Dominique Easley and similar to what we saw earlier in the game with defensive linemen dropping. Is that something you’€™re experimenting with or is it something you’€™ve always done?

BB: No, that’€™s something that we’€™ve had in our system for quite a while. I would say the difference though in this one is Vince didn’€™t drop out. He was part of the rush. They had all five linemen in and so it was kind of congested there in the middle and I think [Derek] Carr sort of pump faked or looked outside and I think that kind of slowed our rush down a little bit. Maybe Vince saw him pump and he came off the rush thinking he was going to throw the ball. Then when Carr came back inside, kind of reloaded it and came back inside, then Vince had, I don’€™t want to say stopped rushing but was kind of reacting to where the quarterback was throwing rather than continuing to rush.

“So, he was part of the three-man rush on this one, whereas I think the play you’€™re referring to last week on Chandler’€™s [Jones] sack and it came up a couple other times too, where we actually had another guy in coverage. So, on this play, the one you’€™re talking about, the interception, [Rob] Ninkovich actually would have been the eighth guy in coverage and Vince as just kind of rushing the quarterback. But he didn’€™t drop out on that play.

Q: Did Easley drop out on one of the third down plays?

BB: Yes, earlier in the game. Yeah, he did. I think the first third down, he did, [yes]. That’€™s right, if I remember right ‘€“ yeah, the one where they threw to the tight end outside. It was the first third down, or second third down, it was early in the game. Yeah, I know what you’€™re talking about. So, yeah, we’€™ve done that from time to time, yes. But on the interception, Vince was part of the three-man rush and Ninkovich was part of the coverage.

Q: How do you balance your practice time with that extra day? How do you balance that time between addressing the things you need to address with your time at the same time you’€™re preparing and scheming for Kansas City?

BB: Right, yeah, I think that’€™s something that we’€™ll talk about as a staff and try to answer that question, the one that you just asked. Really, that’€™s a question that we have to ask ourselves, is how do we get the most out of the time that we have. That’€™s something that we’€™ll have to talk about this week. Certainly there’€™s a balance between working on things that we need to work on no matter who we play and working on things that are specific to the Chiefs. Yeah, I think there’€™s a place for both there and we’€™ll have to talk about the best way to utilize our time and get the most out of it. As we all know with every long week is a short week and with every short week is a long week. So, it all in the end kind of washes out. This week we have an extra day.

“Next week, we won’€™t have one. Not that we’€™re planning ahead but I’€™m just saying that the opportunity to use the extra day this week, we’€™ll try to figure out how to get the most of that. In weeks when we have less time, we’€™ll just have to look at that whole timeframe and try to maximize the time that we do have. I think that’€™s really more the decision, ‘€˜OK, here’€™s what we have to work with.’€™ Just from a planning standpoint of that particular week, how do we get the most out of it? I think there are a number of things that you take into consideration there.

“One is what do you have to deal with, with your opponent. Two, what are the things that you need to work on. Three, what’€™s the health and physical status of your team or certain positions and how much can you really get done depending on who you have, who can practice, or how much they can practice and so forth? I’€™d say those are all the things that are kind of part of the conversation. Then we have a number of young players on the team, either on the roster or on the practice squad that are developing that it’€™s another opportunity for them to improve, not knowing when you might or might not need them but you want to keep working with those players too and see how they’€™re coming along. That’€™s another consideration. But again, it’€™s a question of how do you utilize your time and that’€™s really a weekly decision. This week we just have a little bit extra work but it’€™s kind of the same thing every week that we have to discuss and plan for.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Julian Edelman, who continues to be the only Patriots wide receiver to have any consistent production this season, joined the Middays with MFB crew for his weekly Monday appearance, one day after a 16-9 victory over the Raiders.

Julian Edelman, who continues to be the only Patriots wide receiver to have any consistent production this season, joined the Middays with MFB crew for his weekly Monday appearance, one day after a 16-9 victory over the Raiders. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Patriots offense has yet to find a groove this season, and the issues cropped up again Sunday as New England scored only one touchdown.

“It’s an overall offensive thing right now. We’re just not clicking,” Edelman said. “We haven’t played one of our best games yet. It’s early in the year. We’re 2-1, so you’ve got to look at that. We’re taking care of the ball. We just have to improve our third down and red area offense a little better and play those situations out better. I’m sure we’ll be going back this week, we’re going to analyze the film today, take from the bad and build from the good and just try to improve. That’s what you do. If you can improve every day in this game, in this league, that’s when your team starts getting good.”

Although the Patriots have won two games in a row, most of the talk has been negative due to the manner in which the offense has played. Edelman said he understands the reaction.

“There’s a lot of expectations out here, especially with the history that we’ve had,” he said. “But that’s all noise. We just have to continue to try to get better, day in and day out. If we get five plays better next game, then you get 10 plays better the next game, then you start to get into a little something, that’s when you start developing your stride. That’s what we’re going to try to do. We’re going to go out here and we’re going to practice hard. We have an extra day of practice, we have a big game coming up against Kansas City on Monday night, so as long as we just try to improve, everyone just do their job, we’ll be all right.”

Edelman had 10 catches for 84 yards Sunday. On one play, he leaped in the air in an attempt to get into the end zone, but he ended up getting flipped and landing on his back a couple of yards short of pay dirt.

“If I would have scored it would have been good, it would have been worth it,” he said. “Definitely have to play a little smarter out there.”

Elaborating on how he approaches dangerous situations like that, he said, “You’ve got to analyze risk, you’ve got to know what situation you’re in. If it’s fourth down, third down and you’ve got to get a first down or something, that’s when you can go out and lay your body on the line a little bit more. There’s 16 games, you’ve just got to play a little smarter.”

Added Edelman: “Individually, trying to be out there for 16 games. Durability is better than ability sometimes, especially in this game, with how tough it is. Sometimes you’ve just got to know when the fight is over.”

Edelman said he learned some of that approach from former teammate Wes Welker.

“One thing about Wes is he analyzed his risk. He knew when the fight was over,” Edelman said. “That’s something you respect in a player like him, who’s done it consistently for years, year in and year out. That’s what Wes did. He protected himself. He knew when to get down. He’s a good player.”

Edelman appeared to be jawing briefly at the Oakland sideline following one play. Asked if he considers himself a trash-talker, he said: “I have fun. I have fun. … I don’t know if it’s trash-talking, it’s more just competing out there.  … It all depends on the game and who’s out there. It’s fun.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar