PIcard and Price discuss the insanely strange presser from Roger Goodell on Friday at the site of the Super Bowl and his "state of the league" address. The guys can't get over some of his responses to the PSI questions and his answers about the data that was retrieved this season. Goodell talks and talk and talks ... in circles.

According to Sarah Wroblewski of Fox 25, it sounds like weather isn’t going to be an issue for Sunday’s Super Bowl contest between the Broncos and Panthers in the Bay Area.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was named the NFL MVP, it was announced Saturday.

Ty Law played for the Patriots from 1995 until 2004.</p>
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Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was named the NFL MVP, it was announced Saturday.

Newton, who has the Panthers to the NFC title and a 15-1 record in the regular season, got 48 of a possible 50 votes. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer each got one vote.

Brady can tell you that winning the NFL MVP is no guarantee of a Super Bowl title. Brady has won the award twice ‘€” 2007 and 2010. In fact, the last NFL MVP to win the Super Bowl in the same season was Kurt Warner in 1999.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Curtis Martin finished as the 4th leading rusher in NFL history. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Curtis Martin finished as the 4th leading rusher in NFL history. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

SAN FRANCISCO — If Curtis Martin weren’t so loyal to Bill Parcells, he wouldn’t just be a Hall of Fame running back. He’d likely be a Super Bowl champion.

This week at Super Bowl 50, Martin took time to reflect on his days in New England with WEEI.com and recalled the days in the late 90s when he had a chance to stay in New England but chose instead to follow Bill Parcells to the Jets after the 1997 season.

Martin’s first year was in New England in 1995, when he was selected in the third round out of Pittsburgh by Bill Parcells. The first year in New England was great for Martin, finishing as the AFC’s leading rusher with 1,487 yards and 14 touchdowns. But the team was just 6-10 under Parcells. The next season, he continued his dominance with 1,152 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns as the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl before losing to the Packers. That ’96 season, Martin met Bill Belichick, who joined Parcells’ staff as an assistant.

“I remember all the guys that he coached telling me that he was a genius,” Martin said. “He was on the other side of the ball but I always knew that Belichick was going to do something great. But I didn’t know he would be as great as he is, though.”

Martin played just one season for Pete Carroll before leaving as a restricted free agent to join Parcells. Belichick, with the likes of Antowain Smith and Corey Dillon as lead backs, led the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles while Martin was playing for the Jets in the early 2000s.

“I don’t know that it changed. I just think that it continued to evolve,” Martin said of his playing style. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I was so against leaving the Patriots because I was loyal to the team. I was willing to take even less money [to stay in New England]. But the fact that it was Parcells made it very appealing to me.

“I’m the type of guy who I’m going to be able to function with whatever coach because I’m a coachable guy. I just think that’s our job. That’s what we get paid to do. But Parcells, he knew how to get out of me what I don’t if any other coach would be able to get out of me.”

“That’s something that I’ve always been proud of because before I came there [the Patriots] along with the Jets were the two teams I never wanted to play for. But Bill Parcells restored some pride to the organization. I just think ever since then, the franchise has just increased from year to year.”

Martin looked at Parcells as a father figure who could get the most out of his extraordinary abilities.

“I think it was more his style and structure that he gave to the team and what he demanded from the players,” Martin said. “He helped players and bring the best out of them. I think it’s just his coaching style that actually caused us to begin to win and establish some pride [among other teams] in the NFL.”

As for the difference between Carroll and Parcells?

“It was kind of night and day,” Martin said. “Bill was a rough coach to be coached by. Pete was a guy that was I like, ‘Oh wow, cool. I enjoy this.’ With Parcells, you didn’t necessarily enjoy it but you believed in his outcome so you stuck to it.”

The numbers indicate Martin made the right move to the Jets. He finished as the franchise’s all-time leader in rushes, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He finished with 14,101 rushing yards and 90 touchdowns. Only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders have more rushing yards in NFL history. He was inducted into Canton in 2012.

But Martin said Friday that he was in the game today, he likely wouldn’t have put up such amazing numbers.

“I would hate the way it is now, just personally, because I was the type of guy who wanted to touch the ball a minimum of 15 to 20 times a game,” Martin said. “After 15 carries, that’s when you’re really just getting into your flow. Yeah, it would have been different but we’re professionals. I’m sure I would’ve adjusted and they’re adjusting now.”

As great as he was, Martin actually sees a back for the Steelers who has more natural ability than he had.

“One of the running backs that I think kind of simulates my style or embodies what I was about is Le’Veon Bell, except he’s better at doing what I used to do.

“I put it this way: If I had his ability when I was playing, his God-given ability, I would have been a first-ballot hall of famer and I would have probably broken many more records.”

Martin, like many running backs, battled injuries toward the end of his career, including a degenerative right knee bone-on-bone injury.

“No, I just think that’s part of the game,” Martin said. “I like having had to overcome certain injuries because you learn how to dig deep and that same determination and perseverance that helps me throughout life. It helps me in business. It helps me in everything I do.”

It’s not the knees he’s concerned about now as much as the upper part of the body, namely the head. Like Ted Johnson, he is actively involved with brain injury awareness through his company Brain Network Activation.

“Just the businesses that I own or part-owner of. I’m here on behalf of one of them, BNA, which is Brain Network Activation,” Martin said. “This is just something I believe in. I think it’s a game-changer because it’s able to literally measure the injury to the brain, not just give you subjective tests that measures the symptoms. That’s what would happen when I would get a concussion, they would tell me to remember words or count backwards or things like that. This actually measures the injury and that is what I believe we need because it will help us be more responsible as players because I was the type of guy who wasn’t going to come out of the game unless my skull was cracked. So, this helps us be more responsible.

“I think it’s changing. I think the NFL has done such a good job at bringing awareness and eduction to the long-term damage and the importance of brain health that people are starting to see injuries to the head the same way they see an ACL tear or an MCL or a broken leg, which I think is great for the game.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Tom Brady took a beating in the AFC championship. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady took a beating in the AFC championship. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson watched like everyone else as Tom Brady was hit some 20 times in the AFC championship, including four sacks.

His main takeaway?

If the Patriots quarterback wants to keep playing at a high level and the Patriots want him as their quarterback, they need to seriously address the offensive line.

The team has already taken one step in addressing the unit with the dismissal of offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo. But Johnson believes reinforcing the unit with some fresh faces through free agency and the draft is necessary as well.

“If Tom wants to play for nine more years like he says, one area you cannot skimp is that offensive line,” Johnson told WEEI.com. “If you’re going to have him as your quarterback for a long time, you’ve got to make sure you keep him upright. In 2014, the season started out 2-2, and I’m getting calls from EEI, ‘What needs to change here for the Patriots to turn this around?’ Protect Tom Brady. Just keep him upright and they went on to win the Super Bowl so that’s the key thing. You’ve got to have an offensive line to protect him if you want him to be your quarterback for the next five-to-seven years.”

Johnson, who works in Houston as a sportsradio talk show host, believes it wasn’t all on the offensive line. He says Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was the one who made adjustments to make it very hard for Brady to consistently find open receivers.

“I give it up to Wade Phillips, who I’ve been critical of as defensive coordinator of the Texans, the team I cover,” Johnson said. “Wade never changed what he did schematically [in Houston]. He kind of ran the same type of coverages, blitzed a lot and just never changed. I kind of thought that’s what he’d do in this game. If you blitz Tom Brady, and you play a lot of man-to-man, he will eat your lunch. By blitzing him, it makes the reads simpler for Tom and the ball comes out fast.

“So when you have an offensive line that is struggling and you have a lot of backups out there, when the ball comes out fast, it really negates their deficiencies. But what Wade did was only rush three guys, four guys, flooded the zones. Tom’s back there holding the ball, holding the ball, holding the ball. He put a really good game plan together.”

As for the Patriots’ own defense, Johnson said the group couldn’t have played much better than they did, save perhaps the two Manning touchdown passes to Owen Daniels on Jamie Collins. Johnson knows the Bill Belichick system as well as anyone and believes players like Collins and Dont’a Hightower anchor a unit that plays the Belichick system perfectly.

“It’s definitely the linebacking corps. But it’s really the front seven, in general,” Johnson said. “There’s just so much team speed. Jamie Collins is that guy, is kind of like that guy that you can use in multiple ways. You can pass rush him, you can have him cover. He’s good against the run. Dont’a is a beast stopping the run. He has a role. Everybody has a specific skill set and role they can do. With Chandler and Rob, they’re great off the edge. They have a legit pass rush and Devin McCourty is a great safety. It was a good move obviously to move him from corner to safety. They just find ways.

“Malcolm Butler, who would’ve thought, right, that he would’ve had the year he had, a Pro Bowl season. Like the defenses I played on back then, very smart situationally. Maybe the proverbial bend-but-don’t-break [defenses]. It’s not going to go down as one of the more dominating defenses in the NFL. But they’re always going to be damn good and very good situationally, and that’s the mark of a good Bill Belichick team.”

Johnson recalled what Belichick always told his teams in the early 2000s, when they were winning three Super Bowls in four years.

“What makes Bill so flipping good is that he can break the game down into simple form,” Johnson said. “Whenever we played against the Kansas City Chiefs, their biggest nemesis for us back then was Tony Gonzalez, particularly in the red zone. So whenever [they] got in the red zone everybody knew on the defense that Tony Gonzalez was going to be targeted [by the quarterback]. That’s where they were going to go to. We would double-team him, we’d emphasize to hit him off the line.

“Wayne Chrebet in the slot on third down, we were going to hammer Wayne Chrebet in the slot on third down. So, he would make the game of these different plays, which can be confusing to process, and break it down into a simple process and break it down into a simple form like that so that we’re all like coaches out there. We knew in those situations what that team liked to do and so we were prepared for it.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

One of the biggest Super Bowl 50 topics in New England this week wasn’t about the game itself, rather would Tom Brady attend the game where all the previous MVPs would be honored?

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

One of the biggest Super Bowl 50 topics in New England this week wasn’t about the game itself, rather would Tom Brady attend the game where all the previous MVPs would be honored?

The announcement came Thursday that Brady would in fact be in San Fransisco for the game despite his ongoing Deflategate case between he and the league.

WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton caught up with Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Friday in San Fransisco and Kraft explained why Brady is attending the game.

“I chatted with him about it and he was his usual selfless self, saying he represents all of the players on the team, the coaches and the New England market,” Kraft said. “Without that sense of team, he wouldn’€™t have gotten those MVP awards.”

The Patriots owner is already looking ahead to 2016 with the hope the Patriots are playing in Super Bowl 51 in Houston.

“We still have a pretty good team and there are a lot of young players on the team. We’€™re blessed with the best coaching staff in the NFL,” Kraft said. “We’€™re going to have some fun next year, I promise.”

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

SAN FRANCISCO — Ted Johnson has made a name for himself after winning three Super Bowls with the Patriots by being outspoken.

He’s at it again.