By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It would be difficult to argue that the mic’d up footage provided by NFL Films is anything except the very best access in professional sports. No other entity provides such a detailed record of what takes place on the field in the middle of the action, and that remained the case in the release of this year’s AFC Championship Game footage.
The videos from Sound FX are live on NFL.com, ready for your perusal.
Some highlights are included below.
First Half (Video here)
–During pregame warmups, Logan Ryan said to Chris Hogan: “Come on, baby. Play high effort, they can’t cover you.”
Hogan ended up catching nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Logan Ryan knew.
–After Julian Edelman blocked cornerback Artie Burns, the rookie said something to Edelman. It was unclear what exactly Burns claimed to be, but Edelman swiftly shut him down by saying, “The fact that you gotta talk about it means you’re not.”
–After the Patriots scored to go up 10-0, Ryan Shazier defiantly said, “That’s all they’re getting, man!”
This proved to be incorrect.
–When Le’Veon Bell departed due to a groin injury, Bill Belichick dropped to a knee and implored his defense to play differently, now that DeAngelo Williams was in the game.
“Hey we’ve got to be ready to get off these blocks quicker on 34 now,” Belichick told the defense. “This is a different back now. We need to have an awareness of who’s in there.”
Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia reiterated: “34 is much more downhill, and he’s hard to tackle. We gotta wrap him up, OK?”
Second Half (Video here)
–Steelers receiver Eli Rogers talked to the camera while stretching on the sideline before the second half began. He said, “I feel a shift in the tides coming. I feel it coming. It’s a shift about to happen right here.”
Like Ryan, Rogers proved to be prescient … though not in the way he had hoped. The Patriots bombarded the Steelers in the third quarter, outscoring the visiting team 16-0 and turning the game into a rout.
–Rogers was also very confident after Tom Brady’s “fumble” on a QB sneak.
“Oh, he fumbled,” Rogers declared while walking toward the field. “Yup, our ball.”
–The Patriots seemed to be unsure of whether or not Brady actually fumbled, though once they saw the replay, they felt much more relieved.
Edelman: “Hey, were you down?”
Brady: “I swore I was down. My knee was down right there.”
Many Steelers players were quite upset that the ruling didn’t go their way, despite no evidence of a fumble or a clear recovery.
–Steelers outside linebacker coach Joey Porter yelled at his defense on the sideline: “Keep [expletive] hitting ’em! They gon’ break!”
If you’re wondering, Joey Porter as a player won two games and lost seven games when going up against a Tom Brady-led offense in his career. Overall in his 13-year career with Pittsburgh, Miami and Arizona, he went 3-8 against the Patriots, including two AFC Championship Game losses. Just in case you were wondering.
In any event, the editors at NFL Films immediately followed Porter’s assessment with the run of LeGarrette Blount, who carried four Steelers on his back before his teammates helped make a statement of dominance by helping him all the way to the 1-yard line.
–Despite stretching that lead, Edelman yelled at his teammates for more.
“Laser focus!” he yelled on the sideline. “Laser focus! Keep the foot to the [expletive] ground!”
–Even after scoring his own touchdown, Edelman was a bit muted.
Dion Lewis gave Edelman a shove upon the receiver’s return to the sideline after scoring.
Lewis: “You the [expletive] man, boy!”
Edelman: “You’re the man, bro. … It’s not over. Let’s go.”
–After the Patriots forced a turnover on downs when Pittsburgh was knocking on the door of the end zone, Scott Zolak came in with this line: “Holy defense.”
–While sitting on the bench next to rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell, Edelman dispensed some wisdom that was passed down to him from his father.
“My dad always used to tell me when I was a young boy, when you got ’em down, you break their [expletive] neck,” Edelman said, leading to a silent response. “That’s what he used to tell me. I was like 12. I was like, Dad, that’s kind of … that’s a lot. It’s true. That’s why I am the way I am though.”
–Once it became clear that the Patriots were going to win, some players — including Chris Hogan — appeared to be quite happy.
“Let’s go, one more,” Edelman said to Hogan. “Wait until you feel the next feeling. Wait until you feel that next feeling.”
–Though Edelman was stoic about not going overboard in celebrating the AFC Championship Game victory, there was one man who got him to change his tune. That man was Tom Brady.
Edelman: “Are you happy? I’m not happy.”
Brady: “I’m happy.”
Edelman: “I’ll be happy next week. The other one.”
Brady: “I’m [expletive] happy.”
Edelman: “I know you’re happy. I’m a little happy too.”