Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower checked in with the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Monday to look ahead to Sunday’s AFC title game against the Steelers. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Dont'a Hightower responded to the Steelers' Facebook Live video. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Dont’a Hightower responded to the Steelers’ Facebook Live video. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower checked in with the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Monday to look ahead to Sunday’s AFC title game against the Steelers. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Following the Steelers win over the Chiefs Saturday night, Antonio Brown posted a Facebook Live video (which has since been deleted) from the locker room.

In the video coach Mike Tomlin is captured calling the Patriots a-holes when discussing how they will have an extra day to prepare for the game.

Hightower didn’t see the video, but was told what was said in it.

“I don’t care,” he said. “Is that supposed to hurt my feelings?”

Hightower and the Patriots defense will have their hands full Sunday with running back Le’veon Bell, especially with his patient running style. Since Week 10, he has an insane 1,565 yards from scrimmage.

Even with his different running style, Hightower said he won’t change the way he plays.

“I don’t have to switch to stop it, but he does a really good job with his patience,” he said. “He lets his linemen do a good job of climbing up over the top of the linebackers and he does a good job of getting those guys to shift in one direction and he takes the gap and he shoots it.”

Bell ran for 81 yards on 21 carries in the previous meeting between the two teams this year.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
In 2007, Pittsburgh's Anthony Smith talked about the Patriots and Randy Moss before the game. Things did not turn out well for him. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In 2007, Pittsburgh’s Anthony Smith talked about the Patriots and Randy Moss before the game. Things did not turn out well for him. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Antonio Brown’s video of Mike Tomlin’s postgame speech on Sunday unknowingly caught the Steelers coach cursing out the Patriots. But it isn’t the first time that a member of the franchise has said something before a big game against New England that could come back to haunt them.

In the days leading up to the 2001 AFC championship game in Pittsburgh — a year when there was only one week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl — the Steelers made a sizable show about the fact they needed to take care of any potential Super Bowl travel business as early as possible so they could focus on the AFC title clash with New England. Those statements made their way back to the Patriots, who took great exception to the idea that Pittsburgh was putting the proverbial cart before the horse, at least publicly. After the game — a 24-17 win over the favored Steelers — Lawyer Milloy told reporters exactly what he thought about Pittsburgh’s approach. “You never disrespect anybody,” said Milloy, who bristled before the game when told of the Steelers’ Super Bowl plans. “You just make it hard on yourself. I’m just surprised the veterans on that team didn’t shut the younger guys’ mouths on that team. It was a momentum-builder for us. We rallied around that, and in the end we were the AFC champions.”

Prior to a game against the Patriots in 2007, Steelers defensive back Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the then-unbeaten Patriots while dismissing the New England receiving corps. “They’ve got [Wes] Welker and [Randy] Moss, but they’re not like Cincinnati,” Smith said. Almost predictably, Smith was targeted on several occasions by Tom Brady and the New England passing game on the way to a 34-13 win over Pittsburgh. In his postgame press conference, Bill Belichick piled on when asked about Smith. “We’ve played a lot better safeties than him, I’ll tell you that,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
In 2007, Pittsburgh's Anthony Smith talked about the Patriots and Randy Moss before the game. Things did not turn out well for him. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In 2007, Pittsburgh’s Anthony Smith talked about the Patriots and Randy Moss before the game. Things did not turn out well for him. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Antonio Brown’s video of Mike Tomlin’s postgame speech on Sunday unknowingly caught the Steelers coach cursing out the Patriots. But it isn’t the first time that a member of the franchise has said something before a big game against New England that could come back to haunt them.

In the days leading up to the 2001 AFC championship game in Pittsburgh — a year when there was only one week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl — the Steelers made a sizable show about the fact they needed to take care of any potential Super Bowl travel business as early as possible so they could focus on the AFC title clash with New England. Those statements made their way back to the Patriots, who took great exception to the idea that Pittsburgh was putting the proverbial cart before the horse, at least publicly. After the game — a 24-17 win over the favored Steelers — Lawyer Milloy told reporters exactly what he thought about Pittsburgh’s approach. “You never disrespect anybody,” said Milloy, who bristled before the game when told of the Steelers’ Super Bowl plans. “You just make it hard on yourself. I’m just surprised the veterans on that team didn’t shut the younger guys’ mouths on that team. It was a momentum-builder for us. We rallied around that, and in the end we were the AFC champions.”

Prior to a game against the Patriots in 2007, Steelers defensive back Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the then-unbeaten Patriots while dismissing the New England receiving corps. “They’ve got [Wes] Welker and [Randy] Moss, but they’re not like Cincinnati,” Smith said. Almost predictably, Smith was targeted on several occasions by Tom Brady and the New England passing game on the way to a 34-13 win over Pittsburgh. In his postgame press conference, Bill Belichick piled on when asked about Smith. “We’ve played a lot better safeties than him, I’ll tell you that,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Steelers didn’t score a touchdown in their victory over against the Chiefs Sunday, but Kirk Minihane predicts they’ll have a big day against an untested Patriots defense in the AFC championship next Sunday.

Josh McDaniels is staying in New England.

The Patriots offensive coordinator interviewed with the Rams, Jaguars and 49ers last weekend and every job has been filled besides the 49ers job.

Josh McDaniels will be staying with the Patriots. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

Josh McDaniels will be staying with the Patriots. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

Josh McDaniels is staying in New England.

The Patriots offensive coordinator interviewed with the Rams, Jaguars and 49ers last weekend and every job has been filled besides the 49ers job.

On Sunday night, it was reported he was conflicted about taking the job, or staying in New England, but he won’t be taking the job after all.

“I was really impressed with Jed York and Paraag (Marathe) and Brian (Hampton), the people that came from the 49ers organization,” McDaniels said on a conference call Monday. “They did a great job with their presentation. I was humbled to be included in that process. At this time it’s just best for my family and myself to remain in New England and focus on this year’s playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out.”

McDaniels previously was a head coach with the Broncos in 2009, but was fired after 12 games in the 2010 season. He was with the Patriots from 2001-08 (last three as offensive coordinator) before returning to the team in the same position in 2012.

Given head coaches don’t typically get three chances in the league, he needs to make sure the job he takes is the right one and given his situation in New England, he will likely always have his choice of where he wants to go. The 49ers could have been viewed negatively because it’s all the way across the country and the organization having three coaches in 24 months.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan Monday morning to discuss Saturday’s win over the Texans and also to look ahead to Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Steelers. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan Monday morning to discuss Saturday’s win over the Texans and also to look ahead to Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Steelers. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.

The Patriots beat the Texans 34-16 on Saturday night, but it wasn’t one of the better performances of the season. Brady threw two interceptions and had his lowest completion percentage ever in a playoff game at 47 percent. (He took responsibility for his first interception when he led Michael Floyd too far.)

“Yeah, I said after the game the overall execution just wasn’t as good as we would have liked,” Brady said. “There were a lot of good plays that were made and there were plenty of bad ones. It was just inconsistent by us. We’ll talk about that pretty much all week. We’ll try and play a lot better against Pittsburgh next week.”

The quarterback said he stayed up to watch all of the Steelers-Chiefs game Sunday night and knows it will be a tough game Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

“Yeah, I did. I wanted to watch the end of it,” he said. “It was a good game. It was two  hard-nosed, tough football teams that battled all the way to the end. It was a good game. I think that is what you expect this coming week. I feel like we are a tough, hard-nosed football team. Certainly, we know the Steelers are. They have a lot of tough guys. They run the ball well. Ben [Roethlisberger] is an incredible player. They have a lot of good skill players and they’ve always had a great defense. It’s going to be a tough game.”

On Saturday night, Seattle safety Earl Thomas and former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis went after Brady on Twitter. This didn’t seem to bother the quarterback.

“I don’t think I have ever been one to say anything negative about anybody,” he said. “That’s just not my personality. I love Earl. He is a helluva player. I wish him the best in his recovery.”

“We had a lot of battles with Ray on the field,” Brady added on Lewis. “I would love to make sure the officials are paying close attention because if we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important.”

Last week, Bleacher Report had an in-depth feature on the quarterback looking at what he does to play at the level he is at age 39. His diet was mentioned and Brady discussed that at length, saying he’s not a vegan.

“I am not 100 percent vegan,” Brady said. “I probably eat a lot of vegan meals, but if someone asked me if I am a vegan I would say no. I probably eat a lot of vegan meals.

“I don’t think I am 100 percent anything. I think there should be a little balance with what you do. If you want a cheeseburger, you should go out and eat a cheeseburger. It’s not that hard. I think once you get used to a certain way of living — like going to bed at a certain time. I don’t think it’s hard to go to bed at 9 o’clock. That’s just what you do. If you go to bed at 10:30, then it’s not that hard to go to bed at 10:30. It’s all learned behavior. After a while you learn what works and what doesn’t work and you just do more of it.”

In the NFC, the Packers will take on the Falcons in the NFC championship game and Brady has been very impressed with the way Aaron Rodgers is playing.

“He does things that no one in the league has ever done, or can do just because of his physical ability,” he said. “Some of the plays he makes are just phenomenal. I’ve seen a lot of them. Not just the throws, but the scrambles. He had one in the Giants game and some of the plays yesterday. It’s just his style of play. He’s been doing that for awhile, so I always love watching his tape, admiring what he can do because I can’t do many of those things. He’s just had an incredible season. He’s definitely on a roll so it’s going to be a hell of a game — Atlanta and Green Bay.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

With the postseason in full swing, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell typically attends one or two games per weekend.

On wild card weekend, Goodell went to Seattle for the Seahawks-Lions game. Then, this past weekend he was in Atlanta for the Falcons-Seahawks game on Saturday and Kansas City for the Steelers-Chiefs game Sunday night.