Reporting Levan Reid
BOSTON (CBS) – The Pats set some records in the last game and one of them they actually went after. They all admitted that they wanted Rob Gronkowski to get the tight end reception record. They were watching to see what the Saints Jimmy Graham was doing and made sure that Rob did a little better. If you think some of the players minded it, think again. They wanted him to get it.
“You really don’t try to focus on individual things, but you’re definitely excited for a guy like that,” said Brian Waters. “All he does is come and play football. There have only been a few people in my life that you never see a sad face on them at all [and] every time I see the guy he’s smiling. You wonder why he’s smiling, you wonder what’s going on in his head, but the guy is always in a good mood, he’s always happy. He loves football and that’s something you can be excited about.”
Jacksonville Asks To Talk To O’Brien
Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has been a hot name in the coaching ranks. His name surfaced as one of the top candidates for the head coaching job at Penn State. Well that seems to have died and now O’Brien is getting an NFL head coaching look. The Jacksonville Jaguars have asked the Patriots for permission to interview O’Brien.
The deal with Penn State was supposed to be good to go but O’Brien has always wanted to be a head coach in the NFL and it looks like those offers are going to be coming his way. So for right now college will have to wait.
Thoughts From Bill Belichick’s Conference Call
Welcome to the post season. “Obviously, it’s a good feeling to have a 13-3 regular season. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, a lot of challenges we had to face. Players did a good job and performed well enough to achieve that record. It’s not easy to do in this league. We put ourselves in a decent position here and now it’s really time to end that chapter and move on to the next one. There are certainly a lot of things we can do better and improve on; all those type of things. So that’s what we’ll try to do in the coming weeks — this week and in our game preparations for next week, whoever that is against. But I think we can improve on all three phases in the game, and as coaches take a look at some of the things we’re doing and try to figure out better ways and improve some of the things we’re doing to be a little more productive. It’s good to see a couple players back out there yesterday. That’s always good. [Maybe] more of those moving forward but we’ll have to take that as it comes.”
The AFC playoff picture. “There isn’t too much we can do about that for a few days, so I think the most important thing is to focus on our team and what we can do to improve on our end. Certainly we’re aware of the three potential teams we can play next, and will definitely do work on them and make sure we’re prepared and get a little bit of a head start there, but the bigger picture for us right now is just trying to make sure we take advantage of our opportunities in practice and meetings, and the time we have between now and our next game to do the best things we can do to help ourselves individually and help our team. That obviously covers a lot of ground. We’ll try to prioritize those. … If we can get the team 10 percent better than where we are now, whatever the number is, I think we’re helping ourselves.”
Tom Brady Speaks
Tom Brady did his press conference after the game yesterday and he was very happy to do so. This is tournament time and Tom is ready. Here are some of things that he had to say.
On throwing for more than 5,000 yards in a season: “Guys did a lot, catching the ball and running with it. Our passing game has been obviously a big strong point of this team. The pass catchers and the blockers have been great and we’ve run the ball great, too, at times. That’s what it takes – a complementary offense. You run it and we throw it when we need to throw it and we can be effective. You have to stay balanced and those guys have done a great job all year doing stuff with it.”
On individual records: “I play this game for one reason and it’s to win. There’s nothing more important to me than that. As a quarterback you do everything you can do to help this team win. When your number is called upon to go out and execute certain plays, that’s what you’re expected to do. It’s not something I think about, it’s not something I ever [think], ‘Man, I love throwing touchdowns,’ or ‘I love throwing for yards.’ I love winning and that helps me sleep at night.”
On getting home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs: “It depends how well we play. I think that’s going to be the determining factor on whether we win or lose is how well we execute. It’s great playing at home. It’s great to have a bye but I think we have to concentrate here this week on what we need to do to play our best football in a couple weeks.”