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."
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tom Brady joined the show before his trip to Phoenix.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show by discussing Belichick's presser Saturday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
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