Bill Belichick explained why he annually has one of the smaller coaching staffs in the league. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick explained why he annually has one of the smaller coaching staffs in the league. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots usually have one of the smallest coaching staffs in the entire NFL.

Some teams have an assistant to an assistant, etc., but the Patriots opt for the standard head coach, coordinators, position coaches, some assistant position coaches and a few coaching assistants.

Appearing on Paul Rabil’s inaugural “Suiting Up” podcast, Bill Belichick explained why.

“My philosophy, really, is that less is more, so I’d rather have fewer people doing more work than more people doing a little more work,” Belichick said to Rabil, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “As long as everybody is busy, as long as everybody feels productive, they feel good about what they’re doing and they feel like they’re contributing; I think when people have lag time and kind of not enough to do, that leads to getting distracted and complaining or being less productive. So even though you have more people, sometimes less work gets done.”

Added Belichick: “From a ‘getting everybody on the same page’ standpoint, which is critical, the fewer people you have to manage, the easier it is to get everybody on the same page,” he says on the podcast. “So if you’re talking to 10 people, it’s hard to get all 10 people doing the same thing or doing the right thing. Now you make that number 20, instead of 10, it’s even more difficult.

“If you have five people supervising another 15 people, now you have another layer there where you’re not dealing directly with everybody, and now you’re somewhat dependent on other people to relay the message the way you want it done and to monitor it that way. Certainly, there’s a degree of that, but as much of that I can eliminate, I think works better for me.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

It’s been several months since Super Bowl LI, but after re-watching the game Falcons coach Dan Quinn has found a reason why his team blew a 25-point lead in their 34-28 loss to the Patriots.

The Atlanta defense was exhausted.

The Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons. (Mark  J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

It’s been several months since Super Bowl LI, but after re-watching the game Falcons coach Dan Quinn has found a reason why his team blew a 25-point lead in their 34-28 loss to the Patriots.

The Atlanta defense was exhausted.

“The guys were gassed,” Quinn said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We had never played in the 90s (snap count). We were not traumatized at all. You could tell there was nothing left in the tank. They would come to the sideline in the fourth quarter and nobody was talking because there was nothing left.”

Added Quinn: “It wasn’t about one play. Those [defensive series] are the ones I evaluated over and over. When you go back and sit through it over and over, you know, ‘I damn sure can’t get a do-over. But I can learn from it.’ I won’t apologize for how aggressive we play and our style and attitude of where we’re headed. But I have learned from that experience.”

Quinn isn’t lying. The 93 plays the Patriots ran were a Super Bowl record.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Don’t expect Tom Brady to go away from football any time soon.

Immediately after the Super Bowl, Brady reiterated to MMQB’s Peter King he wants to play until his mid-40s, and now is standing by it. He even added it could be past 45 if he feels like he does now.

Tom Brady opened up on a number of different topics in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady opened up on a number of different topics in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Don’t expect Tom Brady to go away from football any time soon.

Immediately after the Super Bowl, Brady reiterated to MMQB’s Peter King he wants to play until his mid-40s, and now is standing by it. He even added it could be past 45 if he feels like he does now.

“I always said my mid-40s, and naturally that means around 45. If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to continue,” Brady told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor.

The quarterback noted his wife Gisele Bundchen is on board.

“She wants me to do that, too,” Brady said. “She also wants me to take good care of myself and still have my energy. My kids have grown up faster than I thought.”

Added Brady: “My wife says lots of things sometimes. She makes decisions for our family that I’ve got to deal with. Hopefully she never says, ‘Look, this has to be it.’ … My wife and my kids, it’s a big investment of their time and energy, too.”

Whenever Brady does call it quits, he wants it to be on his own terms.

“My love for the sport will never go away,” he said. “I don’t think at 45 it will go away. At some point, everybody moves on. Some people don’t do it on their terms. I feel I want it to be on my terms. I’ve got to make appropriate choices on how to do that, how to put myself in the best position to reach my long-term goals.”

With Jimmy Garoppolo behind him on the depth chart, speculation has already begun with what the Patriots will do at the position over the next few years.

Brady knows Bill Belichick will always go with the best guy and he wants to make sure he’s that guy.

“When you’re a member of a team sport, the best guy plays,” Brady said. “So I always want to make sure I’m the best guy, and I give our team a great chance to win. But if you’re ever not [the best guy], part of being a great teammate is letting the other guy do that, as well. Competition is what has always driven me. I’ve never been one that was hand selected, to be this particular player. … In high school, college, professionally, I think the greater the competition, the more that it really allows me to dig deep and bring the best out of me.”

Here are other highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

On why he doesn’t want Mauricio Ortega to go to jail for stealing his two Super Bowl jerseys: “I really don’t like anyone to ever get in trouble. To me, I’m just happy I was able to get it back. … My reaction then wasn’t heartbroken. I thought, at the end of the day, it was a jersey. … No, absolutely not [want him to go to jail]. I don’t like conflict. It’s just inherent in who I am.”

On the past season dealing with his mom’s illness: “It was the first year in all the years I’ve played sports where it really wasn’t their choice to come or not come. … I kept saying, ‘Mom, you’ve got to take care of yourself. Dad, you’ve got to take care of yourself.’ They should be taken care of. I was happy they were able to be at home and not deal with flights and not deal with a lot of stress from the games. They wanted to come at different times. I said, ‘Don’t worry, Mom, we’re going to get you to Houston.’ She really set her sights on that as her treatment was coming to an end.”

On who the best NFL player ever is: “I don’t remember a lot of those guys like Jim Brown playing,” Brady said. “I remember Lawrence Taylor, obviously; he terrorized the 49ers. … I know that I haven’t played against a lot of those guys, but I’ve also played against a lot of guys that when I think of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison and Dwight Freeney and Jason Taylor and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and Darrelle Revis — if those guys aren’t the best, then whoever is better than them is only better by percentage points. It’s not a big difference. So, like Deion Sanders, for example. I remember watching him play, how spectacular he was. But I can’t imagine someone that much better than Revis. If there were, you couldn’t complete a ball against Darrelle. So completing a ball against Deion is not much different than completing a ball against Darrelle.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

What keeps Tom Brady going these days, now that he’s approaching 40 years old and won five Super Bowls?

Getting No. 6.

Tom Brady is now chasing Michael Jordan. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady is now chasing Michael Jordan. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

What keeps Tom Brady going these days, now that he’s approaching 40 years old and won five Super Bowls?

Getting No. 6.

The quarterback gave an expansive, long-ranging interview to ESPN’s Ian O’Connor where he acknowledged getting his sixth Super Bowl would “have great meaning” because he would tie Michael Jordan’s six titles where other superstar athletes like Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Derek Jeter all have five.

“The great part is the next one for me is No. 6,” Brady said. “And I’m not on No. 1. I’m trying to reach No. 6 and I’m on No. 5. If I got to No. 6, that would have great meaning to me. It’s not trying to keep up with my idols. It’s not Magic, Jeter, Mariano [Rivera], Kobe, Duncan, guys more my age who I always admired. I just want to win because I owe it to my teammates. I’m working this year like I have none, and hopefully it results in a magical season.”

Added Brady: “I was in awe of Michael Jordan,” Brady said. “And I still am in awe of what he was and what he meant. … He was such an effortless player. He put a lot of effort in, but there’s an art and a beauty to the way he played the game. That was a very inspiring thing.”

Despite all of his success, Brady wouldn’t acknowledge he’s passed Joe Montana as the GOAT of NFL quarterbacks.

“I don’t agree with that, and I’ll tell you why,” Brady said. “I know myself as a player. I’m really a product of what I’ve been around, who I was coached by, what I played against, in the era I played in. I really believe if a lot of people were in my shoes they could accomplish the same kinds of things. So I’ve been very fortunate. … I don’t ever want to be the weak link.”

Why would Brad refer to himself as a weak link?

“I was the backup quarterback on an 0-8 team in my freshman year of high school,” Brady said. “I got to Michigan, I was seventh [string], and I had a hard time getting to be No. 2, and when I finally got to No. 1 there was someone else [Drew Henson] they wanted to be No. 1. I got to be a sixth-round pick behind a great player, Drew Bledsoe, and then I got an opportunity, and I’m still trying to take advantage of it. Part of who I am now is very much who I was, and that was cultivated growing up.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Patriots were scheduled to make their first selection of the 2017 NFL draft at No. 72 overall, but that didn’t happen because they traded down to No. 83.

A few weeks after the draft, now we know why the Patriots traded down.

The Patriots reportedly wanted to draft Indiana OL Jay Feeney. (Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots reportedly wanted to draft Indiana OL Jay Feeney. (Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots were scheduled to make their first selection of the 2017 NFL draft at No. 72 overall, but that didn’t happen because they traded down to No. 83.

A few weeks after the draft, now we know why the Patriots traded down.

The player they wanted to select was taken the pick before at No. 71, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

That player was Indiana offensive lineman Dan Feeney, who the Chargers selected at No. 71. New England then traded pick No. 72 to the Titans for picks Nos. 84 and 124.

It is a little interesting considering the Patriots extended center David Andrews last week. If the Patriots did select Feeney, they likely would not have been able to extend Andrews, as Feeney would likely have been the center of the future.

Feeney was named to the First Team all-Big Ten last year and was a two-time All-American.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

This has been an emotional year for the Brady family as Tom’s mom Galynn has battled cancer for well over 12 months. She attended only one game this season due to the illness, and that was Super Bowl LI — the best of them all.