Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer Peter King joined Mut & Merloni Wednesday afternoon to talk about the affected legacies from Super Bowl XLVI, the recent Hall of Fame vote and what defensive players the Patriots would be smart to look at in free agency.
Now three days removed from the Patriots falling short of their fourth Super Bowl title in the last 12 years, King said that several legacies were impacted by New England's loss to the Giants, most notably that of Eli Manning. The legacy of Bill Belichick was diminished by the loss, according to King.
"I think Bill Belichick’s legacy was affected negatively from the standpoint that he now has lost to Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning in the same way three games in a row, twice in the Super Bowl, so that hurts," King said.
Despite some criticism that the Patriots quarterback has received, King says that Tom Brady did nothing to hurt his legacy by losing to the Giants for the second time in a Super Bowl.
"I think the Brady stuff, I mean, we live in a society of overreaction and the stuff about how Brady stinks now is just so absurd, it’s disheartening to read," King said. "And I’m not talking from fans, I’m talking about people in the press now questioning whether Brady’s any good anymore."
Most notably, King said that while Brady had mistakes in the game, the oft-criticized drop by Wes Welker had nothing to do with Brady's throw. Rather, it was simply a catch that Welker should have made, according to King.
"Anytime a receiver gets two hands on the ball, is not contacted by a defender, and not just the fingertips on two hands -- he had the ball in the palm of each hand and though he was twisting when he had that, that is definitely a catchable ball," King said.
"The thing I fault Brady for the most is underthrowing [Rob] Gronkowski when he’s got a two-step lead on the slowest linebacker the Giants have, Chase Blackburn, and Brady underthrows him by five yards. That is a bad, bad play by Tom Brady. It wasn’t his best game, but Tom Brady had a lot of help in losing this one."
With the Super Bowl loss now in the past, the Patriots will now have the offseason to work on improving their roster. King notes that an easy way to do this will be to key in on landing an elite pass rusher, as many of the NFL's best may be free agents this year. In particular, King singles out Mario Williams of the Texans, Calais Campbell of the Cardinals and Cliff Avril of the Lions as possible targets for the Patriots.
"Quite honestly, if I’m the Patriots, I’m looking very, very hard at those three guys," King said. "The Patriots kind of got away with it this year with Andre Carter, Mark Anderson and some good rush-from-the-interior guys. The Patriots have gone far too long without getting a good young pass rusher on their team and they may be able to do it in free agency this year."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On Bill Parcells falling short of the Hall of Fame: "First of all, let me just say this -- the 44 voters basically agree when they go in there that they don’t discuss the ebb and flow, the pros and cons, what is said in that room. So, respectfully, even though I’d love to talk about it, I can’t talk about whatever negatives anyone had about Parcells. What I can say is this -- there was a 53-minute discussion in that room. I believe the only longer one there ever was was Paul Tagliabue a few years ago when there was a 57-minute discussion on him. I was hugely disappointed by the results with Parcells just from a couple of standpoints. Number one, in 2001, Marv Levy got in despite having as it turns out to be 29 fewer victories, no Super Bowl wins. I just thought it was bizarre and I hope that it’s one of these things that gets corrected as time goes on."
On Curtis Martin's election into the Hall: "I thought he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. I thought he and [Jerome] Bettis were very, very close to each other. It’s fitting that they’re right next to each other in the all-time rushing standings. I’m very pro Cris Carter as well, so I’m on the side of a lot of people who aren’t getting in these days. I think Curtis Martin winning a rushing title in his 30s helped him. What really made my decision -- and this was a year ago -- when people first come up, I examine their careers and he was up for the Hall a year ago and I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but what really impressed me is how when he went from New England to New York, if you look at the Patriots’ record in the three years he was on the Patriots compared to the Jets and then the first years he’s with the Jets, you look at the Patriots. You can talk about how Bill Parcells was a key factor in the decline of the Patriots and rise of the Jets. I think it’s as much or more what Curtis Martin, what his loss meant to New England and what his game meant to the Jets. Clearly the two franchises went in opposite directions when Martin changed teams."
On Peyton Manning's future and his likely landing spot: "I think they’ll probably break up sooner than later and then it’s just simply going to be a matter of whether Peyton Manning can line up and throw a football with significant enough arm strength for someone to give him a contract. Now, he’s certainly going to get multiple offers from other teams, but the question is how the contracts are going to be structured, because most teams are probably going to look at Peyton Manning and say, ‘I don’t want to guarantee him a lot of money because I just don’t know how he’s going to play.’ I honestly think Manning is going to be OK with that and I think he’s going to look for a situation a lot more than he’s going to look for money. He’s definitely going to make a lot of money wherever he goes. I said over the weekend and I believe now in some order it’s going to be Washington, Miami, Arizona or the Jets, with I believe Washington being the most aggressive out of the gate because Mike Shanahan believes that if Manning can play three more years, I think Shanahan feels with the defense that they have, they are a quarterback away from being a deep-into-the-playoffs team next year."
On the likelihood of HGH testing in the NFL next season: "I believe they will. I think that’s the biggest looming issue that is to be decided this offseason and I think the NFL feels like it has done everything humanly possible in order to resolve this with the players. I talked to one owner last week who said, 'Listen, we have basically tried to make this happen with the players, we’ve been unable to do so, and now unfortunately it may have to go the Congressional route and Congress may literally force the players into doing something about this.' I say it’s unfortunate because clearly the NFL thought that it had an understanding with DeMaurice Smith around the time the CBA was agreed to in late July. Clearly that understanding was either a misunderstanding or somebody on the players' side didn’t live up to what the players said they would do. At this point, I think it’s going to get done, I just can’t tell you exactly when. But I would think that by the start of the season, there will be HGH testing in the NFL."
Patriots Safety Devin McCourty joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and talked about covering the Steelers Wide Receivers, and how he's helping the players who are in the AFC Championship for the first time prepare.
ProFootball Talk's Mike Florio told Glenn, Lou, and Christian that the Patriots have a quiet confidence that they can outscore the Steelers, since they've proven they have the ability.
Holley and Keefe check in with NFL Network's Heath Evans for some final thoughts on the Houston win and to look ahead at the Steelers in the AFC Championship.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour two of Saturday Skate as Ken Laird and Rear Admiral kick around the perception of backup goalie Anton Khudobin, B's coach Claude Julien, and possible trade target Gabriel Landeskog.
"D-Wood" Joins the show to talk Brady vs. Rodgers and predicts a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl.
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.
Hour 3. Ben Volin shares a stat about Trump that will blow your mind. Mut wouldn't answer any questions about Trump's alleged sexual assaults.
Old Friend Tim Benz joins OMF, and while they regale tales of dysfunction, Benz manages to predict that the Patriots will win Sunday.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian enjoy the festivities ahead of the Inauguration, and give their predictions for Patriots-Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian love how Bill Belichick reacts to the plethora of stupid questions he receives from the Media during his Press Conferences.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.
We close out the work week with the best sound clips of the day.
We check in with hall of famer Michael Irvin to find out what happened to his Dallas Cowboys and look at the remaining playoff match-ups.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the Thursday K&C show featuring Jon Meterparel back in the saddle.
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.More from this show
Alex's personal life comes up on the show.More from this show
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.More from this show
Fauria couldn't help himself and called into Pittsburgh sports radio to show off his (terrible) Boston accent and to troll Steelers fans. Later on, Josh Miller (co-host and former Patriots punter) calls us to trash talk to Christian.More from this show
Hour 2. Mark Madden hates Dino and the show. Headlines with Kirk.More from this show