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."
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe talked to the Sox right-hander, who allowed three hits and zero walks in the 3-0 win over the Rays.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Tom Brady discussed his feelings on the Logan Mankins trade and the return of Gronk.
Tim joined the show to discuss the start of the NFL season and the future of Tom Brady.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The iCloud was hacked over Labor Day weekend and over 300 scandalous photos were hacked from the phones and iPads of celebrities. And the guy who replaced Michael Sam, Ethan Westbrooks, got a tattoo on his face to motivate himself from ever having a "normal" job.
On this Patriots Monday (on a Tuesday) Chandler Jones talks about getting ready for the Miami Dolphins and his upcoming battle with Brandon Albert. The guys also asked about J.J. Watt's 100 million dollar contract.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.
We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
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