ESPN NFL analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dale & Holley show, said that he had his children stay up to watch the first half of Sunday night’s Broncos game against the

ESPN NFL analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dale & Holley show, said that he had his children stay up to watch the first half of Sunday night’s Broncos game against the 49ers to watch quarterback Peyton Manning surpass Brett Favre for the most career passing touchdowns.

“Having played against Peyton, it was great to watch him accomplish something so historic,” said Bruschi. “I’ve seen a lot of those touchdown passes first-hand. He’s a great quarterback. It’s a record that he’ll hold for a long time.”

Though the former linebacker said that he would choose former teammate Tom Brady over Manning, Bruschi raved about Manning and the kind of unique challenges he used to present to opponents.

“That’s a close one. Sometimes I think about it myself: Who would I go with? Peyton or Tom?  The history I have with Tom, the experience we have, of course I’m going with my guy in Tom Brady, but I recognize the greatness of Peyton Manning and both of the players. They’re both special players. Actually different, I feel,” said Bruschi. “I think there’s a difference in their success because of how Peyton has switched teams and how Peyton has had to bring his system — I call it his system, because basically he’s developed it over the course of the years from Indianapolis to Denver. You can put on film from Indianapolis years ago and then see very similar things of what they’re doing in Denver. To be able to do that and bring what he does over to another organization and also make them very successful, that’s unique in itself. That’s something you have to recognize with him, also, with him doing it with different organizations.”

Bruschi offered an illuminating anecdote to explain some of the mind games in which Manning engaged.

“Much more intellectual of a game with Peyton than it is with any other quarterback that you’ll ever go against in terms of listening and processing and sometimes thinking you have the right answer. You always try to get a jump on what that you think that word says or what this formation means. Then, just when you think you’re right, you’re going to be wrong,” Bruschi recalled. “I remember one game in Indianpolis that we had. I swear I heard him say Raider — ‘Raider, Raider’ — early on in the game. It was a screen to our right that goes quickly to the running back or wide receiver. The running back goes from an offset formation and goes and blocks the defensive back. And then me as a linebacker, you have to chase [the receiver] down and make the tackle as the running back makes the block.

“I went to the sideline after the play thinking, OK, I’ve got that word. I know what that means. If I hear it again, I’m going to jump it. Later on, second half, there it was. I heard, ‘Raider. Raider.’ I’m thinking, ‘I got this. I got this.’ Same start of the play, but instead of the running back blocking the defensive back on a screen, he turned it up field, and there I was trying to chase a wide receiver. He got me with changing up his audibles in game because he knew we were listening,” Bruschi continued. “That was pretty much the last time I paid attention to what he was saying and I basically started to react to what I saw. Intellectually, fighting that urge to think you’ve got that answer, to think that you know what he’s doing — there’s always a change off of it.”

Bruschi recalled seeing in Manning a quarterback with unmatched arm strength in his heyday — something that has made his adaptation to his current skill set all the more remarkable.

“Physical skills, I remember being on the field, being back in coverage, seeing a ball thrown from one side of the field all the way back to the other with such velocity that I almost stopped running, just shook my head and said, ‘We can’t stop that.’ It was so spectacular in terms of the ability. That was a long time ago though,” said Bruschi. “Watching him now and seeing the ball wobble out of his hand, the loss of arm strength at times — he can still rear back and get some heat and spin the ball very well, but it’s just not the same. I remember a couple years ago, covering him as an analyst, thinking, ‘This guy, it’s not going to happen.’ You didn’t think he was going to come back because the arm just wasn’t there. It was slow. You were waiting on a nerve, waiting on it to regenerate. It looks like through the work he’s put in, the balls, they still look ugly, but they get there.
I think he’s still skilled in terms of accuracy at a high level. And he’s smart.”

As for Brady and the Patriots, Bruschi suggested that he’s been impressed by the adjustments made by New England’s offense to permit Brady to run the offense, but he suggested that the narrow two-point win over the Jets last Thursday pointed to vulnerabilities that aren’t likely to go away.

“I think they can get better, but I think some of those things you saw in that game vs. the Jets is what you’re going to get when certain teams want to attack them a certain way, especially defensively. If they want to make that commitment to running the ball, I think teams will have success,” said Bruschi. “If you want to have a game, as an offense, going against the Patriots, just get it in third and manageable. I think that’s very achievable in terms of first and down based on the run game and some of the players that the Patriots have. They may be struggling against the run at the linebacker level. I think that’s what you’ll see going forward with the New England Patriots.

“You’re getting to see what kind of team this is. I think it’s getting to be pretty clear now, the good adjustments they’ve made on the offensive side of the ball have been great, how they’ve gotten the ball out of Brady’s hand very quickly. One thing I think Tom has done a great job of is threatening the ball down the field with minimum time in the pocket or with the ball in your hand. If you noticed, versus the Bills and even last week at certain times, Tom will throw it deep but it’s out of his hands in less than two seconds because he has the ability to put more loft on it, which will give the receiver more time to get under it which equals then a longer route. Tom has that arm talent and that ability to do it that sometimes makes up for an offensive line that sometimes can’t give him three or four seconds in the pocket.”

To listen to Bruschi’s complete interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

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Patriots DT Chris Jones wasn't even sure he was the one who blocked NIck Folk's FG attempt to seal the win against the Jets. He also talked about how well LB Dont'a Hightower has done in place of Jerod Mayo.

[0:00:27] ... Chris jones' life. Invent some lawmakers for a great patriots Monday here Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Chris is filling in for Chandler Jones today brought to us by heiress restoration specialist. Jumper to iron five masked ...
[0:08:18] ... second year right so reserved guy when your coming up in college high school. A pop Warner. Who was a guy that you said defense wanted to know you're going to be different Plummer are you ...
[0:09:13] ... up like girl from Miami and hates him but on a watch Jason Taylor can when I was young man and I like to adjacent room play and he was also. It became more relevant when he does he went to Akron parent and I went to Bowling Green says to Matt guys right there and so. Or looked at them as a player. You can. You come close to what ...

Julian Edelman joined the show to talk about the win over the Jets and the quick turn around involved with Thursday night games. He also praised Danny Amendola's job on the kick-returns and how Chicago will most likely respond positively to the reported fights in their locker room following Sunday's loss to the Dolphins.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday, as the Patriots prepare for next Sunday’s game against the Bears. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday, as the Patriots prepare for next Sunday’s game against the Bears. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Patriots played four games in 18 days and it appeared to take a toll as they struggled in Thursday’s two-point win over the lowly Jets.

“When you go out and it’s a short week like that it’s all mental, it’s all like walk-through stuff,” Edelman said. “It’s tough for both teams. As athletes we’re creatures of habit. You throw a wrench in a routine it’s a little different. But we both had to deal with it. We came out with a win, and now you do get to have a long weekend.”

The normally reliable Edelman had a couple of costly dropped passes in Thursday’s game. Although he’s having his second straight strong season, Edelman said he wants to prove himself to Tom Brady.

“I definitely have to go in there and I’ve got to show him in practice that I can go not drop easy balls, or try to run with the ball before I have it,” Edelman said. “I’m sure that he’ll come back, because that’s how he is. He’s going to throw to the open guy. It’s definitely a different situation [than in past years], but I definitely have to eliminate that immediately and go back to the drawing boards and catch more balls and work on it.”

After a slow start, the Patriots offense has picked it up, due in no small part to the play of Edelman. The 28-year-old has 44 receptions for 453 yards and a touchdown through seven games.

“Like we say every week, we just try to go out each and every week and get better,” Edelman said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. There’s a lot of situations that we have to get better at. But we consistently put in the work. Guys are going out there, they’re working hard, they’re making plays in practice and it’s translating into games. It’s going to help the team. As long as we can just keep it going, keep getting better, everyone contributing, everyone doing their job, that’s how it goes.”

The Bears reportedly had some issues in the locker room following Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins that dropped Chicago to 0-3. Edelman said he expected an emotional team next Sunday in Foxboro.

“Chicago, they’re a good team, they’ve got a lot of weapons,” Edelman said. “Their defense is kind of that old-school Bears defense, where they’re going to do a lot of zone, possibly this, that. You always expect a team’s best when they come in and they play us, especially at home. And after last week, what they had to go through, they’re going to be fired up, that’s going to probably bring them together. It’s going to be the ‘my bad’ in there this week — ‘That was my bad.’ And then everyone’s going to kind of get together, and they’re going to try to fight. So we definitely have to take this in and we have to go out and practice and do our jobs.”

The offensively challenged Jets made a move over the weekend, acquiring wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Seahawks. Reports emerged after the deal that Seattle wanted to get rid of Harvin because he was a negative influence in the locker room, but Edelman said Harvin’s talent can’t be overlooked.

“It’s got to make them better,” Edelman said. “And I’m not saying that [with] any disrespect to the Jets. That guy’s a good player. Percy Harvin, he’s flat-out a playmaker in every aspect of the game. He can get you on special teams, he can do you on the fly sweep, as you guys call it.  He can go out and he runs unbelievable routes, he’s strong, he’s big, he’s fast. He’s not tall-big, but he’s 207 pounds and he can fly. … He’s a dynamic player.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

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Jerry Spar

ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss quarterback Peyton Manning‘€™s record-setting career and the Patriots’ upcoming game against the Bears.

ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss quarterback Peyton Manning‘€™s record-setting career and the Patriots’ upcoming game against the Bears. To hear to interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Manning broke the NFL touchdown passing record Sunday night in Denver against the 49ers. Despite the disparity in Super Bowl wins, Hasselbeck said he would rather have Manning’€™s career over three-time champion Tom Brady.

Said Hasselbeck: “I get it, Tom’€™s won more Super Bowls, and in many cases when people have this debate about who’€™s better, they say, ‘Well, more rings means you’re better,’ and it’€™s a team sport and those types of things. It’€™s true, but that being said, every quarterback is aware of the touchdown passes they throw, the yards they throw for, the records that they may hold and the company that puts them in. Just look at Peyton’€™s reaction to the touchdown pass last night that broke the record. He says all the right stuff, but clearly everyone was fully aware of where he was in terms of his place in history.

“And really, I think once you look at the touchdowns, the fact that he’€™s won a Super Bowl, you look at the longevity and if he plays next year, pretty good shot that breaks the yardage record, it’€™s very hard to argue that he’€™s not the best of all-time because when you start to look at just strictly at wins and losses, especially in the postseason, there’€™s so many other factors outside of just how the quarterback plays.”

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Many, including the hosts, point to the fact that Manning has fewer Super Bowl titles than his brother Eli. Although this is true, Hasselbeck still defended his assessment of Peyton’€™s career.

“Eli has two Super Bowls, Peyton has one,” Hasselbeck said. “It’€™s simple: who’€™s better? … There’€™s plenty of guys who have more Super Bowls than Peyton Manning. So who’€™s better, Kurt Warner or Peyton Manning? Kurt Warner has put up great seasons, Kurt Warner has taken two teams to a Super Bowl, won it with one team. Kurt Warner‘€™s done a lot of the things that Brady was able to achieve throughout his career — won MVPs, did all of that stuff. When you choose one guy over the other, it oftentimes comes across as you don’€™t think the other guy is good. Tom Brady is obviously awesome.”

Continued Hasselbeck: “For my money on it, the longevity of Manning, the way that he also changed the game, too. I think that’€™s part of the glasses I’€™m wearing when I look at Manning’€™s career. He changed football in a way that I’€™m not sure any other quarterback that I’ve ever watched has changed it based on how he operates at the line of scrimmage.”

Going back to Manning’€™s postseason history, the hosts felt it was fair in a comparison of Brady and Manning to look at how well Brady has fared and how Manning has had many difficulties in playoff games.

Said Hasselbeck: “I have less postseason losses than Peyton Manning. To me, that’€™s not a fair criticism. People say, ‘Hey, Brady loses to the Giants in the Super Bowl.’ Obviously you rather win, but that’€™s not worse than not being there. It’€™s not all equal, though, when you look at it from a statistical perspective. It’€™s not. When you look at Manning’€™s numbers, Manning’€™s numbers are significantly better than Brady’€™s. Not in the postseason, but here’€™s what we’€™re talking about: We’€™re talking about nearly a 20-year career at the quarterback position and the numbers that he’€™s compiled. … Part of what [the Patriots] started doing, they started copying what [Indianapolis] was doing offensively.”

Over a career, Hasselbeck said Manning is the quarterback that he would want, but on a play or a single game, he said that is where there can be an argument.

“Now what is debatable is one game, or a two-minute drive in the postseason, who do you want. I get it, absolutely I get it. The pick to Tracy Porter that Peyton Manning throws in a Super Bowl that is closely contested. Brady doesn’t have those. If you want to have that debate, fine, but  if you’€™re just talking about the scope of a career, week in and week out and how the game has changed because of the quarterback play of either of those two guys, it’€™s Peyton Manning. And I don’€™t know if it’€™s really much of a discussion. Now you want to have the postseason discussion about who’€™s more clutch and that type of thing, fine, I’€™d probably take Brady if I had one game in that environment.”

Continued Hasselbeck: “I’€™m acknowledging that when you start to look at the postseason and the touchdown-to-interception ratio, the win-loss record and stuff like that, that doesn’t look good for Peyton Manning. But I think taking a snapshot of these postseason results in terms of wins and losses, when you narrow the sample size down to postseason play, the element of good fortune starts to play a bigger role in terms of the outcomes of the game.”

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On if Manning benefited from playing a lot of games in a domed stadium: “I think it’€™s a huge benefit because they clearly like to throw the football a bunch. And you take the element of weather of half your games, that’€™s a big deal. I also think, you talk about a 38-year-old quarterback, and you talk about playing inside, well now I believe you need to talk about playing in the altitude, what that does for somebody that the ball doesn’€™t come out of his hand that it once did. There’€™s plenty of throws from him where the ball is just dying when it gets there.”

On if Jay Cutler should be on a list of underachieving quarterbacks: “Here’€™s what I’€™ll say about Jay Cutler: He breaks your heart. Ultimately you watch him and there’€™s throws that he makes that you look and you go, ‘Man.’ I’€™m not sure that anybody outside of Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick and Matthew Stafford could’ve made that throw. He does things at times like that that you have to say, ‘Wow.’ You have to appreciate the physical talent. Then there’€™s other times where you think, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. I can’€™t believe you would make that decision in that in environment falling away.’ ”

On if the Bears’€™ locker room issues will help the Patriots next week: “I think it’€™s a good thing. … It’€™s definitely not a bad thing. It probably doesn’t matter, but I would say that it’€™s more of a good thing for New England. When you look at Chicago, sometimes it feels worse than it really is and people start to panic. … Sometimes you just have to keep fighting the fight.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano
Tom discussed Peyton's record breaking night.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning and talked about Peyton Manning as well as the reported infighting going on with