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."
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg and Chris talk a ton of NFL Draft in hour 1 of the show. They discuss what the Pats might do with their early picks and get Mike Petraglia's thoughts on the issue as well.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.
Buster Olney of ESPN joins the guys to talk about the first two weeks of the baseball season. They discuss the struggling Red Sox rotation and the potential of the high-powered offense.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan after the Red Sox come back to beat the Nationals 8-7.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
The latest edition of Answer The Question Kirk with Rob Bradford and Gary Tanguay.
The Celtics president of basketball operations joined the show to preview Cavs Celts.
The guys discussed the Pats draft with Todd McShay.
Kyle Draper and Sports Radio Hack Lou Merloni make up after beefing earlier in the week, Aaron Hernandez gets taken down by Larry Willmore, and our very own Christian Fauria makes his Country Music Debut
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joins the guys to defend his prediction of Celtics in 6.
After some suspicious outfield play from Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez, the guys question whether or not he has what it takes to play in the outfield, a position he has never played before.
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss this year's Celtics as they enter the playoffs to take one of the best teams in the East in the NBA Playoffs.
We discuss the Britt McHenry suspension from ESPN, and the incident itself, and whether or not we've all had an incident like this, and whether her response was in any way appropriate.
We wrap up the day with some of the best sound of the day and the week.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
Jerry is joined by hockey writer Brian "Rear Admiral" McGonagle of Barstool Sports to perform a post-mortem on what happened to the 2014-15 Bruins, who's to blame and where the team goes from here.
Ben and Alex break down Leg 1 of the quarter finals of the Champions League and talk about some of the most interesting transfer rumors.
The Celtics president of basketball operations joined the show to preview Cavs Celts.More from this show
With their opening round playoff series starting this weekend, the guys discuss whether or not the Celtics actually have a chance to win the series.More from this show