Patriots receiver Julian Edelman joined Middays with MFB on Monday to discuss the Super Bowl and offer a few comments on Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

“Seattle’s secondary is ferocious back there, they cover a lot of ground, they’re all big,” Edelman said. “You know, they play in their scheme, they’re hard-coached. It’s definitely gonna be a battle, and, you know, we’re going to have to bring our A-game to compete with these guys.”

Edelman doesn’t expect Seattle’s injured defensive players, including corner Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor, to affect the game.

“Everyone’s sore. … You expect nothing but their best because this is the last game of the year,” Edelman said. “So you know they’re gonna be fired up, they’re gonna be prepared, they’re gonna be ready to go.”

When asked about preparing for the Super Bowl, Edelman added: “You really just go in, you’re managing your expectations, being level-minded, you know, focusing on your fundamentals, finishing. … Just going out there and trying to do whatever you can each and every day to prepare for this game.”

Edelman discussed the importance of maintaining control of the football for the Pats.

“(Belichick) will tell you, if you’re carrying that ball, you’re carrying the fate of every single person in the organization, from the marketing guy to the ball boy to the coach, to anyone,” Edelman said. “So the ball is the most important thing on the field.”

Edelman also briefly talked about the Deflategate controversy.

“It’s over with, we’ve moved on, and we’re looking forward to getting ready and preparing for the Seattle Seahawks,” Edelman said. “… We’re not going out there to try to prove anyone wrong, we’re going out there for each other.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler
Marty Hurney

Marty Hurney

Former Panthers general manager and current ESPN Radio host Marty Hurney joined Middays with MFB on Monday to discuss Deflategate and his history dealing with the Patriots. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Hurney, who ran the Panthers during their loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl 38 in 2004, discussed his recent comments on ESPN questioning the Pats‘ history with rule-breaking. He got some attention after bringing up unsubstantiated allegations about the Patriots taping a Panthers practice leading up to that Super Bowl.

“If it was anybody but the Patriots, it wouldn’t have been this big a story,” Hurney said of Deflategate. “My point was there are a lot of rumors around the league from 2001 to 2007. And you’re right, you know what? The Patriots won that game; we lost it. There’s a lot of things we could have done to win that game.

“And one of the bad things that I don’t like about what I said was it comes out and makes me sounds like I’m a sore loser. I’m the last guy that wants to take accomplishments away from players and coaches because I know how hard it is to win the game. You look at the Patriots, they have pretty much of a shoo-in of a Hall of Fame coach and Hall of Fame quarterback. I wasn’t trying to take anything away from that.

“I guess what I’m saying is when these things come up they raise questions that normally wouldn’t be raised.”


Added Hurney: “Before this Deflategate thing you would say, hey, Bill Belichick is a detail guy, he’s a good coach, he enforces it every day, it’s a product of good coaching. And that’s still the reason. But human nature, when you connect the two to Deflategate and then those statistics, human nature makes you just ask the question.”

Hurney insists that his comments were overblown and, ‘I never accused the Patriots of everything, but when something happens …”

Said Hurney: “I’m not trying to say, ‘Hey, everybody else is good and the Patriots are the evil empire.’ I’m not saying that. But what I am saying is that when this came up again and there were rumors over a period of time, you start to say, ‘Hey, is this a pattern of behavior?’ ”

Hurney said the Panthers’ close loss to New England in that Super Bowl still leaves him frustrated.

“That’s why you’re in this league, to win a Super Bowl, And when you come that close, you think about it all the time,” he said.

Asked about whispers he heard about possible Patriots’ misdeeds, Hurney said: “There were a lot of rumors, OK, but what you have to ask yourself is when a team’s successful, you know that’s one of the byproducts that you have, whether it’s envy or jealously, whatever it is, you have to be careful. That’s why there are rumors.”

Added Hurney: “I think when you’re successful like the Patriots are, a certain amount of that comes. And that’s why I was very careful to say it’s just rumors and allegations. And I understand that I come off as a guy that, ‘Hey, he’s just a sore loser, he can’t handle it.’ But there were a lot of rumors just about things that the Patriots might do — the communications, a lot of different things. I’m not saying they were true at all.”

Hurney was complimentary of Bill Belichick’s Saturday press conference, in which the Patriots coach defended his team and organization.

“When Bill Belichick got up and said — and this is paraphrasing, but basically said,  ‘We abided 100 percent by the rules for many years.’ I needed to hear that. I was glad he said that. And I believe that. Until proven otherwise, I believed him,” Hurney said. “I like the way he got up Saturday and addressed that and addressed the issue.”

Added Hurney: “I think that was a big help, to get up there and speak the way he did. … You could hear the passion in his voice. I thought that was an excellent press conference.”

Hurney added his desire to put Deflategate aside and focus on what is shaping up to be an appealing game.

“I want to talk about the game, I want to talk about football. I don’t like talking about these type of things,” Hurney said, adding: “This is one of the best matchups in the Super Bowl I can think about for years, because these really are the two teams that you look at as the gold standard right now in the National Football League. So that’s what we should all be concentrating on at this point.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

PHOENIX — Following their Super Bowl sendoff rally at City Hall Plaza at 11 a.m. EST, the Patriots will depart for Arizona to join the Seahawks out West in preparation for Super Bowl XLIX. Here is the Monday schedule in Arizona:

While the Patriots and Deflategate have been dominating football headlines over the past week, the Seahawks are dealing with a problem of their own leading up to the Super Bowl.

The NFL has warned running back Marshawn Lynch that repeating an obscene gesture that he made following a touchdown in the NFC championship game will draw a 15-yard penalty against his team.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll responded to media questions Sunday regarding the issue.

“First off, let’s not miss that he is a very unique individual, and he has a way that we have embraced,” Carroll said. “We understand Marshawn and we support him in every way that we can.”

Lynch has come under fire from the league several times this season. He has been fined twice this year for obscene touchdown celebrations, the most recent being $20,000 after his score against the Packers last Sunday.

Earlier in the season, Lynch also violated the league’s media policy by refusing to talk to reporters, which landed him a $100,000 fine.

With the Super Bowl approaching, the league has made it clear that repeating the gesture will not only affect Lynch himself but also hurt his team.

“I haven’t talked to him yet about the thing that came up with the league, but that will be addressed,” Carroll said. “I think he’s going to have a great Super Bowl week and have a great time doing this and playing in this game.”

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

PHOENIX — Following their Super Bowl sendoff rally at City Hall Plaza at 11 a.m. EST, the Patriots will depart for Arizona to join the Seahawks out West in preparation for Super Bowl XLIX. Here is the Monday schedule in Arizona:

2:45 MT: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll press conference
3:00 MT: Seahawks DE Cliff Avril media availability
3:00 MT: Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin media availability
3:00 MT: Seahawks S Cam Chancellor media availability
3:00 MT: Seahawks C Max Unger media availability
3:00 MT: Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner media availability
3:00 MT: Seahawks K.J. Wright media availability
4:30 MT (approx): Patriots arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
6:00 MT (approx): Patriots coach Bill Belichick press conference
6:15 MT (approx): Patriots QB Tom Brady media availability
6:15 MT (approx): Patriots S Devin McCourty media availability
6:15 MT (approx): Patriots WR Matthew Slater media availability
6:15 MT (approx): Patriots OL Dan Connolly media availability and WEEI is live on site in Arizona all week leading up to and for the game. Here are a few stories to check out up on our site:

5 things to know about the Seahawks,  By Chris Price
Forget the Legion of Boom — How will the Seahawks score against the Patriots? By John Tomase
BIll Belichick gets F in Science, A+ in Media Relations, By Tim Benz

Blog Author: 

Bill Belichick might have some holes in his scientific explanation for Deflategate, but he appeased Patriots fans.</p>
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, making his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, acknowledged that his “feelings got hurt” during last week’s attacks on his integrity and again issued a staunch denial of any role in Deflategate.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, making his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, acknowledged that his “feelings got hurt” during last week’s attacks on his integrity and again issued a staunch denial of any role in Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady insisted he has never told an equipment manager or ball boy to deflate a football after it was inspected by a game official, and that includes last Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Colts, when the Patriots’ offensive footballs were found to have been deflated more than the league rules allow.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “Look, I don’t want to keep getting into this. No, I didn’t and I haven’t and I never will. That’s obviously how I feel and the kind of person that I am.

“No one knows the facts. I picked 24 balls, that’s what I picked. Whatever happened after I did it and whatever the situation was where they measured them, I have no idea [about] any of those facts. I try to stay really humble and deal with the facts that I know. When you don’t know something, all I can say is I don’t know. I know that’s not always the answer that people want to hear, but that’s the reality.”

Asked if he had any idea why the balls were at the improper PSI, Brady offered no explanation.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

Brady said he’s turned a negative situation into a positive one by ignoring the critics and focusing on those who support him.

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” he said. “Everyone will say, ‘God, it’s been a tough week for you.’ It’s been a great week for me. It’s been a great week for me to really be able to recalibrate the things that are important in my life and understand the people that support me and love me and care about me. That’s been the best thing to come out about this week.

“Like I said, it’s all part of the business. You deal with ups and downs, the good and the bad. I’m excited to play in the Super Bowl for the sixth time. It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment for our team based on where we started. That’s where I’m at. I’m at a great place. We’ve had a great week of practice. We’re going to go down and try to finish strong.”

Brady said he plans to focus 100 percent on Sunday’s game going forward, despite the fact that he’ll undoubtedly continue to get bombarded with questions about it after the team arrives in Arizona late Monday.

“I’ve said everything I can on the matter to this point,” he said. “I think it just is a lot of wasted energy for me to talk about it more and more and more. The more energy I have for this game coming up, the better I’ll be. I don’t plan on talking about it at all. I want to go out there and I want to play the best game I can possibly play. This team makes it hard on you to do that because they’ve got one of the best defenses in the NFL, certainly one of the best over the last three years.

“It’s really about this week and ignoring what anyone may say or think or do or feel. Everyone has had an opinion to this point. Everyone can speculate all they want on what happened. That’s their right, that’s their opinion. Part of playing professional sports is dealing with the good and the bad. Coach has taught us for a long time to ignore the noise and focus on what we control. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Brady continues to count coach Bill Belichick among his confidantes, despite speculation that the coach sold out his quarterback in his Thursday press conference.

“I’ve never once felt that we’re not on the same page,” Brady said. “He’s a great coach. He’s the only coach I’ve ever played for; he’s the only coach I’d ever want to play for. There’s a lot of people over the years that have criticized him, but I’d say there’s not one player who’s every played for him who’s not had an unbelievable amount of respect for him and how he prepares and his diligence and his preparation.

“We always see things eye to eye. We both want to win. That’s what it’s always about for us, and I think that’s why we get along so well. There’s nothing that surprises me with him. When he puts his mind to something there’s nobody better at figuring it out.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Marshawn Lynch powers the Seattle ground game. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Marshawn Lynch powers the Seattle ground game. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Here are five things you have to know about the Seahawks, who will face the Patriots Sunday night in Super Bowl XLIX:

When it comes to their offense, their success starts on the ground.

The Seahawks offense has many powerful assets, but at its heart is the ground game, namely Marshawn Lynch. The Cal product has tremendous the last few seasons, and finished the regular season with 1,306 yards on 280 carries, with a career best 13 touchdowns and a whopping 4.7 yards per carry. The 5-foot-11, 215-pounder is nearly impossible to bring down in a one-on-one setting. That means the Patriots ‘€” whose attitude is always to try and take away the No. 1 offensive option on the other team –€” will likely load up, bringing a safety down into the box. Bottom line? They want to try and slow down Lynch by any means necessary. In a perfect world, if you’€™re the Patriots, that means they’€™ll try and force the Seahawks to throw as much as possible against a secondary that probably won’€™t be getting a lot of help. New England has to trust that their defensive backs –€” namely Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington, as well as Devin McCourty, who will likely play the role of single-high safety for most of the game –€” will be able to operate with minimal help, namely in one-on-one coverage against the likes of Doug Baldwin (team-high 66 catches for 825 yards and 3 TDs) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (38 catches, 537 yards, 1 TDs). While Wilson has produced terrific numbers over the course of his career as a pro (including a 63 percent completion rate, 3,475 yards and 20 touchdowns this season) he’€™s occasionally been vulnerable when the game has been placed in his hands. He redeemed himself late after throwing some bad balls early in the NFC title game against the Packers.

Russell Wilson is the best pure running quarterback the Patriots will have faced this season.

The Seahawks have great success up front when it comes to Wilson and his ability to operate as an option in their zone-based running game, which has developed into a nice complement to Lynch in the run game. You have to load up up front to stop Lynch, but you also have to be mindful of Wilson’€™s ability as an extra running back as well. Wilson was the second leading rusher on the team behind Lynch with 849 yards and an average of 7.2 yards per carry. (He led all quarterbacks in rushing yards, and was actually 16th in the league.) He can gash you with the run –€” it’€™s absolutely vital the Patriots defensive front maintains gap disciple and contain on the likes of Wilson. One tactic is to employ a spy — a defender whose responsibility it is to keep his eyes on Wilson and not let him break free if he decides to fake the handoff to Lynch. That might be defensive end Rob Ninkovich ‘€” who did it last year against Cam Newton ‘€” as well as linebacker Jamie Collins.

There are some matchup advantages that could be exploited by the Patriots.

The Patriots will likely have a couple of opportunities in the passing game, namely tight end Rob Gronkowski. In the same way that New England will likely make Lynch it’€™s No. 1 focus on defense, Seattle will try and do the same when it comes to Gronkowski. According to Football Outsiders, one of the Seahawks’€™ two biggest defensive vulnerabilities in the passing game is against tight ends, where they are 18th in the league. Seattle has done well to limit some big time tight ends like Julius Thomas and Greg Olsen. But where opposing teams have done well with tight ends is finding holes in Seattle’€™s Cover 3 ‘€” specifically, the middle of the field. (Antonio Gates had three touchdowns in a win over the Seahawks earlier in the season.) If Gronk is lined up in the slot or flush against a tackle, look for him to draw some combo coverage that includes the likes of Kam Chancellor or Earl Thomas, as well as linebacker Bobby Wagner or KJ Wright. One other thing — when he’€™s split wide, look for a potential matchup against Richard Sherman or Byron Maxwell. The other guy who might be able to achieve some matchup advantages is running back Shane Vereen. One of the only five backs in the league this year who had at least 50 catches and 50 carries, his speed and shiftiness can be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Look for the Patriots to try plenty of presnap movement in hopes of getting Vereen matched up against a slower linebacker, or just getting him in space against a bigger defender. (The Seahawks are also 18th in the league in defending running backs in the passing game.)

They are very physical on both sides of the ball.

There’€™s no way to quantify this, but Seattle is one of the most physical teams the Patriots will have faced over the last few years. On offense, Lynch is as physical a runner as New England will have met, and while the Patriots have done well limiting his total yardage (in five career games against New England, Lynch has averaged 14 carries and 53 yards per contest –€” he’€™s 1-4 lifetime against the Patriots), he’€™s the sort of runner who can wear down an opposing offensive line. He runs hard behind an offensive line that employs a zone-blocking scheme, and while they don’€™t do as much cut blocking as the Ravens, it can still make it very difficult to defend. On the other side of the ball, the Seattle secondary is as physical as they come, and the Seahawks defensive backs will likely look to be as physical as possible with the New England pass catchers on Sunday, looking to get their hands on opposing receivers (especially smallish targets like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola) and disrupt their timing routes. Press coverage is their favored style, and while they will take more than their share of flags (Seattle led the league in penalties this season with 130 –€” the second straight year the Seahawks had the most penalties in the NFL), it’€™s a process that has paid dividends.

They are middle of the pack when it comes to special teams, but are capable of being sneaky.

Football Outsiders had them 17th overall when it came to special teams, and on the surface, they’€™re a fairly unremarkable group. After Percy Harvin left, Paul Richardson became their No. 1 kick returner, and he finished the year with 16 returns for 23.5 yards per opportunity, with a long of 47 yards. (He doesn’€™t have enough opportunities to appear among the league leaders, but his average places him 56th overall.) The Seahawks tried a few different guys as punt returners, but appear to have settled on wide receiver Bryan Walters, whose 7.7 average yards per return is 17th in the league. Bay State native Steven Hauschka was 18th in the league, going 31-for-37 (83.8 percent) on the season when it came to field goals, and punter Jon Ryan was 26th in the league in net average (38.3 yards per punt). Ryan has dropped 28 of his 61 punts inside the 20-yard line, and had one punt blocked on the season. The Seahawks are not above a little special-teams trickery –€” they executed a perfect fake field goal in the NFC championship game against the Packers that ended up going for a touchdown when Ryan found backup offensive lineman Garry Gilliam for a big score. In addition, they came through with an impressive onsides kick late in the same game, their first of the year. And Chancellor twice leaped over the Carolina offensive line in their divisional playoff game in hopes of trying to block and field-goal attempt.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

PHOENIX -- In those fleeting moments when we've torn ourselves from PSI: Foxboro long enough to ponder the actual Super Bowl 49 matchup between the Patriots and Seahawks, here's the question I can't shake: How will Seattle score?