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New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Eric Mangini Told ESPN He Still Wishes to Reconcile With Bill Belichick After 10 Years

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Patriots Talk: Eric Mangini Told ESPN He Still Wishes to Reconcile With Bill Belichick After 10 Years

It’s pretty incredible that over a decade ago, the Patriots and SpyGate scandal was all the NFL and sports media would talk about. Back then, it was a never ending torrent of potential implications that painted the Patriots organization as cheaters and law breakers. When in reality, this was simply Bill Belichick spiting the newly elected Commissioner Roger Goodell. On the latest ESPN news for the off-season, Eric Mangini was asked this past Saturday at his alma mater, Bulkeley High School, for his youth training camp, about his current status with Belichick. Mangini confirmed that since 2007, Belichick and him have not once spoken to each other.

“Look, Bill is a big part of my life. Bill gave me a tremendous opportunity, and I enjoyed that experience, and I respect him. It’s disappointing, the way it’s been. Hopefully, it can change at some point.”

“It was never supposed to go the way that it went,” he said. “It was more about, ‘Hey, don’t do this here.’ It wasn’t about reporting it. Sometimes things get out of hand and get rolling in one direction. It was never, ever supposed to go that way.”

Mangini’s relationship with Belichick began in the NFL under him while with the Cleveland Browns. (which spawned many NFL Head Coaches, Coordinators and even General Managers for many years to come) In many ways, Belichick had known Magini arguably longer than many of his former staff from that era. And despite his lack of discussions with the Patriots Head Coach, he is apparently still on good terms with the other staff such as offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia who was an instructor at the Saturday training camp.

While Mangini has been out of coaching, it not difficult to see why Belichick hasn’t exactly let go of the whole ordeal. Before the SpyGate scandal broke, Mangini decided to leave the Patriots in 2006 to become the New York Jets’ head coach, which massively strained their relationship.  But the relationship was severed during Week 1 of the 2007 season. Before the Patriots played against the New York Jets, Mangini told the Jets security to keep an eye on the Patriots’ sideline, where they were illegally videotaping opponents’ game-plan signals.

And this started one of the biggest controversies in NFL history and one of the biggest stings against the Patriots that dubbed them ‘the Cheatriots’ to the rest of the NFL. Belichick and the PAtriots were fined Belichick over $500,000(the most ever fined by a Head Coach in NFL history), the Patriots organization received $250,000 and removed their 31st overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft. What has followed has never left the Patriots even today, despite the team winning two Super Bowls in the last 3 seasons, its a label that the Patriots seemingly will never be rid of.

What Mangini did was the very definition of betrayal of his former mentor’s trust, but he wishes things could have gone differently. It doesn’t matter what Mangini does now, he is out of the league and is unlikely to be given any favors from anybody. When someone rats out his former team and coach like what Mangini did, it will never get you anywhere in the league because trust needs to be earned.

This writer has very little sympathy for the man as what Mangini created was something that went way further than it really should have, but nothing can turn back time. In many ways, Mangini may be earnest about trying to salvage his destroyed relationship with Belichick but there are no signs of it ever happening. The ESPN writer had mentioned in a news conference in 2016 where Belichick listed every single coordinator that he had in New England since 2000. The only name that was not listed was Mangini’s, I think that right there is all that needs to tell any reader where Belichick stands on this.

New England Patriots

Patriots Football Talk: Blowout in Foxborough

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Patriots

It was another cold January night at Gillette Stadium.  But on the field what we saw was an Offense on fire.  The Patriots were playing their, now annual, AFC Divisional Playoff Game.  Yes, that’s right they do this every year!  They have won their Division 9 Straight Times.  They have earned a 1st Round Bye 8 straight times.  And they have played in the AFC Conference Game, ah hem, now 7 straight times.  Yes it has been quite a run.  In Saturday Night’s Game against Tennessee, the Patriots, showed some of the best that the Team had to offer.  As you can see by the title of this post, it was a blowout.  One for the history books!  Let’s get right into the play by play action.

Ok, so it was cold, we know that; but did you see the “Scuba Suit” that Tom Brady was wearing?  Yeah he came prepared to play all 60 Minutes.  Now the Patriots got the ball first at Kickoff and they only had one 1st Down before they had to Punt it.  It was a slow start before the “Fireworks”.  On their next possession Brady just missed an open Rob Gronkowski.  It would have been a big play if Brady didn’t throw it at his shoelaces.  He was wide open and uncovered at the line of scrimmage. You could tell right then and there that the Titan’s Defense had some communication problems.  As Tony Romo commented: “They looked discombobulated.”

Then the longest Drive allowed by the Patriots came.  The Titans went 95 Yards down the field from their own end zone to score.  It was a Touchdown pass by Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis [7-0].  The long Drive ate up most of the clock of the 1st Quarter.  And the Titans looked strong.  But man oh man, did they “awaken a sleeping Dragon.”

The fire was lit under the Patriots and they responded with a huge 2nd Quarter.  They went down the field with several heroic plays by Dion Lewis.  Then James White came in for a 5 Yard pitch and catch TD [7-7].  3 Minutes and 37 Seconds later James White would score another TD, this time on the ground [14-7].  White would end up having 3 Carries for 11 Yards with a Rushing TD, and 4 Receptions for 29 Yards with a Receiving TD.  It was just some excellent “Hurry Up” Offense.  See the Patriots knew that the Titans were using the same Defensive Line.  And as Tony Romo noted throughout the game, they were getting worn out and tired.  The “No Huddle” Offense proved to be New England’s best weapon against a strong Defensive Line.

Later in the 2nd Quarter Brady threw a 4 Yard TD to Chris Hogan [21-7].  Once again Dion Lewis was a huge factor in the Drive.  Lewis would wind up with 15 Carries for 62 Yards and 9 Receptions for 79 Yards.  Another stellar game for him.  The Pats wanted to score again before the Half but Steven Gostkowski missed a 53 Yard Field Goal.  Let’s face it, it was difficult to make in these conditions.

The Patriots would show an impressive Defense in the 2nd Half.  They would go on to Sack Mariota 8 times for the game.  One of those huge Sacks came on Tennessee’s first possession.  It was just what the Patriots needed.  A stop, to get their Offensive Juggernaut back on the field.  They would end up scoring again on a 2 Yard TD Rush by Brandon Bolden [28-7].  One of the key play makers of the Team was Danny Amendola.  Who had 13 Targets 11 Receptions for 112 Yards.  He was sensational!  Then towards the end of the 3rd Quarter Brady threw to Rob Gronkowski for a 5 Yard Touchdown [35-7].  Gronk would get targeted 9 times with 6 Receptions for 81 Yards with a TD.  It was now “officially” a blowout!

Tennessee would score another touchdown but it was in “garbage time”, ie at the end of the game.  [35-14] was the final score and with that the Patriots moved on to their next opponent Steelers/Jaguars for AFC Championship at 3:05 pm next Sunday.  Tom Brady had a heck of a game, going 35-53 Passes for 337 Yards with 3 TDs.  He is now the oldest player to win a NFL Playoff Game, at age 40.  And with this win it became New England’s 26th Playoff Win out of 35 Playoff Appearances.  Wow what a great number, 35!  Congrats Pats!  I can’t wait to watch you next week!

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Patriots Talk: The Rift Within The Patriots Is Overblown

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New England Isn’t Fazed By This News

 

Talking about this subject reminds me of how Deflategate, SpyGate, and many other news reports seemingly jumped on the Patriots. In fact, some reports have been very mixed about the latest ‘bombshell’ from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham. On one hand, the piece goes over many details that come from sources that aren’t named. The writer for the article, Wickersham, has done pieces like this before regarding the NFL. He has been a senior writer for ESPN for years now. Wickersham has stood by his sources in a radio interview he did last week:

 

I think the reporting process in a story like this has to remain as confidential as possible. I was as transparent as I could be in the story.

 

Transparency is one thing but the thing here is that he had gotten this story from multiple sources inside the Patriots organization, ranging from staffers, coaches and even players. However, by not naming the people involved in this report, you also will be criticized because many will suggest you are making these up.

 

But criticizing the writer is not the topic of this article. It’s to report that this is all been blown way out of proportion. To the point, that some writers have stated they believe Belichick will coach the New York Giants next season due to Robert Kraft interfering in the Jimmy Garopollo trade last October.

 

Who Is Stuck In The Middle?

 

Here is where I believe that article is right and wrong. The writer is correct in that the Patriots had some serious decisions to make regarding the Garropolo trade but that was not even close to the main issue. Many have gone as far to suggest that Kraft had made this decision personal which Kraft has denied and called ‘total fabrication and fiction’ multiple times since the report was released. When he was asked about the trade deadline and Jimmy G, Kraft told Peter King of Sport Illustrated:

 

I assumed once the season started, we’d talk again at the end of the season about it. The next time I spoke with Bill about it was the Monday before the trade deadline. Bill asked me if I was OK with this. I was really taken aback a little bit. I wanted to think about it. I talked to Jonathan, who was okay with it, and I called Bill back and said, ‘OK.’

 

The ESPN article was mainly centered around owner Robert Kraft, Had Coach Bill Belichick and star Quarterback Tom Brady. The three have filed  a joint statement regarding this article, staying they are ‘united.’

 

 

But one of the most interesting sides to this story, is regarding Tom Brady’s personal trainer and business partner, Alex Guerrero. From ESPN:’

 

New players felt the surest way to earn Brady’s trust was to join Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and others by seeking advice from Guerrero at his TB12 clinic — and not team doctors, which Belichick preferred … But according to multiple sources, players openly discussed with Patriots coaches, staff and trusted advisers whether to follow Brady or the team, leaving them trapped: Do we risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful coach or risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful quarterback?

 

This right here is just way exaggerated. Brady and Belichick don’t let egos divide players, these are grown men, not children trying to please the teachers. They will follow what will best suit their interests and just follow the Patriots motto ‘Do Your Job.’ Simply, asking advice and ways to improve performance and seeing what will work shouldn’t have to be complicated unless you players are questioning their own life choices.

 

How Much Is This True?

 

Everyone outside of New England has been eager in seeing the Patriots finally falling off, but the latest reports claim that Brady, Kraft and Belichick will have a meeting with each other after the season is officially over. According NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport:

 

But my understanding is [the marriage between Kraft, Belichick and Brady] is expected to continue past this season. First there is Bill Belichick, under contract for several more years and Belichick came out and said he absolutely believes he’ll be the Patriots coach next year and from what I understand I don’t see any situation where Robert Kraft allows anything besides that. Then there is Tom Brady. Of course, he is also under contract, he is never getting traded from the Patriots he is going to retire there, so it’s really on these three guys to come together after the season, figure it out and move forward.

 

So by all accounts, Belichick is not likely leaving because of what he has built in New England, Brady is still under contract till 2019, and Kraft isn’t suddenly handing the reigns to his son Jonathon Kraft, President of The Kraft Group. So this story will contnued to be addressed but don’t expect this story to hurt the PAtriots moral. At this point, the team is just focused on beating the Tennessee Titans at home on Saturday’s matchup at 8:15 PM EST.

 

 

 

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Patriots Talk: Terry Glenn’s Autopsy Discovers Multiple Substances

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Reports Show Alcohol and Marijuana In His System

It’s been almost three months since the news of Terry Glenn’s death hit the NFL like a storm. We see deaths everyday outside of sports but his death unexpected. He had been out of football for almost a decade and he died at the young age of 43.

Terry Glenn died on Nov. 20th of last year in a fatal car accident on a highway in Irving, Texas. At the time, there was some hesitation in the report due to the fact that the report was coming from TMZ Sports. However, multiple reports have come forward that verify that the autopsy report was accurate.

According to the report, Glenn had an blood alcohol level of .165, which is twice the legal limit to drive. On top of that, they found traces of marijuana in his system. This would have contributed to his losing control on the highway that resulted in his death.

His passing has been one that has seemingly been forgotten as Glenn is now buried in Dallas, Texas. His public memorial was held at the Friendship West Baptist Church on December 1st, 2017. He played for 12 seasons in the NFL, he played for the New England Patriots from 1996 till 2001.

Glenn is survived by his fiancee, Verina LeGrand, his mother Denetta Glenn, his four sons; Terrance Jr., Christian, Tatum, Greyson; three daughters, Natalie, Samantha and Vanessa; two stepdaughters, Paxstyn and Vyviene; his sister, Dorothy; and most of his extended family from Ohio and across the country.

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