Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show and talked about the how the Patriots will approach the final two games of the regular season.
New England travels to Jacksonville on Sunday for a game against the 2-12 Jaguars, and King said it isn't likely the Pats will lack motivation despite the lack of a high-quality opponent.
"The reason why I don't think they slip up is because there are too many young players on defense who are still trying to make their way, make an impression, work for playing time," King said. "Aqib Talib is not going to take it easy because it's the Jacksonville Jaguars and they're supposed to beat them 45-3. I'd always be stunned if you're playing Muskingum College this week if Tom Brady took it easy on anybody. So, no, I doubt it sincerely."
Added King: "I just don't think [Bill Belichick is] going to treat the last two games any differently, except maybe to rest guys who need to be rested or maybe to get Ryan Mallett some work."
Rob Gronkowski reportedly will miss Sunday's game, and King said the Pats need to be cautious with the tight end's return from an arm injury.
"The only way I'd play him against Miami next week is if he absolutely was very close to 100 percent and he felt like it was advantageous to get a game in before the playoffs started," King said. "Otherwise I would leave him on the shelf. I'd treat the last two games like the fourth preseason game for him. The only way you play him is if there's some benefit to the team and to him. I don't see how there would be because obviously he's done all this so many times."
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is rumored to be a hot candidate for head coaching openings. McDaniels previously spent two years in Denver as a head coach but it ended with his dismissal late in the 2011 season.
"I talked to Josh quite a bit during that time and after he left [Denver], and I know that he felt that there were some things he would do differently a second time around," King said. "I think what happens when you take a job for the first time, the one thing that you do is you think about it for a long time and you think how you'd handle certain things. Josh McDaniels saw Bill Belichick handle things a certain way for so long that I think he went into Denver and he handled a lot of things in the Belichick way. I think he'd handle a lot of things differently."
Added King: "I think he learned some things. I think he also learned that he's got to be more himself. Because I know people around this league who for years have known Josh McDaniels and have really liked him and had great respect for him. He's not one of those guys who is an autocratic, put-his-heel-on-your-throat guy. He just never has been. He's a guy who's a conciliator and all that. I think that a lot of people in Denver looked at him as a guy who tried to be Belichick Jr. when just being Josh McDaniels, in my mind, would have been very much good enough. And I think if he gets a second chance that's one of the things he will have learned."
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
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Super Bowl champ Vince Wilfork joins the show to talk about his feelings about winning the Super Bowl and what his future holds.
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Ryan Lambert calls the guys to talk about the Bruins playoff chances, Chiarelli's future and if the B's are sellers or buyers as the trade deadline approaches.
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The guys react to David Ortiz recent diatribe against the new rugulations about players in the batter's box
Michael and Dale discuss the re-emergence of the Celtics in the public's eye, especially since the trade to bring in Isaiah Thomas. The grit of this young team just might be contagious.
After David Ortiz' comments yesterday, more players are weighing in on MLB's efforts to try and quicken the pace of games in 2015. We discuss it with you.
Dale and MIchael discuss the Patriots and the plethora of players popping up as available in the NFL right now. Are any of them a fit here? We discuss.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.
After a wild trade deadline, Ben Kichen and Sam Packard breakdown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA. Then Sam yells at Ben about the use of analytics in basketball. Ben yells back.
Chris and Nate from Barstool Sports review the events of Fast Lane and Raw while discussing the potential card at Wrestlemania.
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