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Could Patriots target Ed Reed? Safety says he could ‘definitely’ play for Bill Belichick

After the AFC Championship Game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots ended, we got the impression that a lot of the guys in purple and black despise Tom Brady and company. Despite the fact that Brady may have tried to cleat him during the game, Ed Reed does not sound like he is one of the Ravens players who dislike the Patriots.

With Reed set to become a free agent after the Super Bowl and New England in need of secondary help, there have already been rumblings about Bill Belichick making a run at Reed this offseason. On Tuesday, Reed said he would welcome it.

“Yeah, oh yeah, man, I could definitely play for coach Belichick,” Reed told reporters, via the Boston Herald. “He is a great coach. I’m sure he can help me to expand my football knowledge even more as a player and as a coach, so if I’m ever able to be around him, just like I was at the Pro Bowl, it’s huge.”

Belichick has always gone out of his way to praise Reed’s intelligence and playmaking ability, and the two seemed to hit it off in Honolulu a couple of years ago. Clearly the admiration is mutual. In fact, Reed said he has even gotten fashion ideas from the three-time AP Coach of the Year.

“It’s the reason why I wear my sweater cut off a little bit,” Reed said. “He’s the first guy I saw like, ‘That’s cool.’ You know, that’s cool. He cuts those sweater sleeves, and he’ll be comfortable. So there’s a reason why. Most people will tell you around the facility that’s how I look. It’s just a blessing to even have met, to know coach Belichick.”

Reed has made it clear that he wants to play next season, and I don’t think anyone would be the least bit surprised if he ends up doing so in Foxboro. Belichick loves signing veteran defensive players, and Reed is clearly one of his favorites.

Shannon Sharpe rips Bill Belichick for skipping postgame interview

bill belichick hoodieBill Belichick’s reputation for being a poor sport precedes him, but that didn’t stop Shannon Sharpe from calling out the coach after the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

According to NFL on CBS host James Brown, Belichick declined an interview with the network following New England’s 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Sharpe unloaded on Belichick for the poor show.

“There’s something to be said about being gracious in defeat,” Sharpe said. “We’ve seen the New England Patriots five times in the last 12 years be victorious. And we’ve seen the opposing coaches that lost come out and talk to our Steve Tasker. Coach Cowher did it when [the Steelers] lost to them. We saw this last week [when the Patriots beat the Texans].

“Bill Belichick makes it real easy for you to root against the Patriots. You can’t be a poor sport all the time. You’re not gonna win all the time. And he does this every time he loses. It is unacceptable.”

Sharpe is absolutely correct with his analysis. Belichick has been doing this for years. He ditched his interview with NBC after losing the Super Bowl to the Giants last year, and he grabbed a referee after being upset following a Patriots loss to the Ravens earlier this season. Belichick was the only coach who blew off the media at owners meetings in 2011. He skipped handshakes when he was coaching the Cleveland Browns.

Belichick is just a poor sport who doesn’t like to lose or work with the media. He does make the Patriots unlikable. What Belichick needs to realize is that you can’t win all the time, so it is important to be somewhat gracious in defeat.

As for Sharpe, though his analysis of Belichick was right on, he needs to work on his balance. I don’t recall him saying anything about Peyton Manning declining an interview with CBS last weekend, nor did he say anything about his brother, Sterling, being inaccessible to the media during his career.

Video via The Big Lead, transcription via Pro Football Talk

Rex Ryan on being voted most overrated coach: I finally beat Bill Belichick

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is not all that upset about recently being voted the most overrated coach in the NFL. Instead, the Jolly Green Giant has found a way to put a positive spin on the whole thing. If nothing else, Rex can now say he beat Bill Belichick at something.

“My first thought was I looked and saw who was second,” Ryan said on Wednesday according to the NY Daily News. “Hey, I finally beat Belichick. I got him. I knew it would take time, but I finally got him.”

Of course, that was just Rex’s tremendous sense of humor talking. Given some of the comments he has made in the past, I doubt being named the most overrated coach in the league is something that shocked the Jets coach. It may not bother him, but it doesn’t sound like Ryan agrees with it either.

“Like it hasn’t been a tough enough year,” Rex said. “Nah, I wasn’t offended by it. At the end of the year, we’ll see who’s overrated.

“If you look at it and (ask) the same players who they want to play for, I’ll probably end up where I always am… right at the top with Tomlin. It’s either me or Mike Tomlin, 1 or 2. I don’t think that will change. As long as they want to come here and play and I’m overrated, that’s fine. But I want them to want to come here and play.”

Rex can say being voted the most overrated coach doesn’t offend him, but if that were totally true I don’t think there would be any need for the self-promotion. If the Jets miss the playoffs again this season, Ryan won’t have much of an argument.

Wes Welker liked sticking big game in Bill Belichick’s face

Wes Welker joked after the Patriots’ win over the Broncos on Sunday that it was nice sticking his big game in coach Bill Belichick’s face.

Welker had 13 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in New England’s 31-24 win, marking his third straight 100-yard game. That’s a big development for Welker, whom the Pats appeared to be phasing out of the offense the first two weeks of the season.

Julian Edelman started over Welker in the team’s first two games, and Wes didn’t even become a big part of the offense until an injury took out tight end Aaron Hernandez. I’m convinced they would have continued to keep Welker in a limited role had the injury to Hernandez not occurred, and that he’s only producing because they’re giving him the opportunity.

It was clear over the offseason when the Patriots signed Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski to long-term deals while only tendering Welker a one-year offer that he was not a part of the team’s long-term plans. It seemed obvious they were phasing him out of the offense to prove they could play without him.

Even though Welker gave a wink with his answer and appeared to be joking, I definitely think there was plenty of honest feelings behind his comment. You don’t think Welker enjoys proving his value to the Patriots at a time when they don’t feel it’s necessary to give him a big contract? If you don’t, you’re just in denial.

Keep in mind that Welker is one of the few Patriots who’s not afraid to go off script every once in a while. This comment was one of those times.

video via CSN New England

Bill Belichick grabs referee after Patriots lose

Bill Belichick can expect to receive a fine from the NFL.

The Patriots coach grabbed a referee after the Pats lost to the Ravens 31-30 in Baltimore on Sunday night. Belichick was not only upset that his team blew a 30-21 fourth-quarter lead, but he likely was specifically upset about the ruling on the field goal to win it.

Kicker Justin Tucker’s winning field goal crossed the upright above where it extended. Belichick probably wanted to argue about the call or have an explanation about it but didn’t get the opportunity. Despite being accosted, the ref continued to run off the field.

[Read more...]

LaRon Landry rips Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan and the Redskins organization

LaRon Landry is playing for the guy he wants to play for. To hell with the rest of them. Rex Ryan loves Landry’s work ethic and Landry loves Ryan’s unique and aggressive defense, which LaRon says is ultimately why he ended up in New York. However, the safety said the absence of Bill Belichick during his visit with the Patriots made his decision to not sign with New England easy.

“He wasn’t even there,” Landry told the NY Daily News. “So that was a no-brainer. I should have never taken that visit. I was like, ‘Damn, if you’re going to visit, the head coach (should be) there.’ I felt, ‘Okay, that’s a slap in the face.’”

Perhaps Belichick had to tend to an emergency. Maybe he enjoys screwing with free agents as much he enjoys screwing with the media. In any event, it wasn’t a good match.

Landry also took aim at his former coach, Mike Shanahan. The former LSU star battled Achilles injuries in 2010 and 2011, and his season ended prematurely both years as a result. The Redskins recommended surgery to mend the injury, but Landry instead opted for alternative medicine and stem-cell therapy.

“That’s why they have great doctors and they have okay doctors, great trainers and okay trainers,” he said. “(The Redskins) had people who just had the job title, but not the passion for their job. … I don’t respect the training staff at all. I don’t respect the coaches over there. I don’t respect (Shanahan). I do respect Coach (Joe) Gibbs, who brought me there, and Coach Gregg Williams. I respect that 2007 organization. After 2007 … nonexistent.”

Something tells me this guy will have trouble getting recommendations from his former employers when his NFL career comes to a close.

Bill Belichick: Larry Fitzgerald might end up being the best receiver of all time

One of Bill Belichick’s favorite hobbies is praising his opponent during the week leading up to a game. Belichick never wants the Patriots to take the opposition too lightly, so he floods the enemy with compliments and fills the newspapers with flattering quotes about them. On Thursday, the subject of his praise was Larry Fitzgerald.

“He’s a great, great receiver, will go down as one of the all-time greats and might end up being the best ever — I don’t know,” Belichick said according to FOXSportsArizona.com. “He has size, quickness, ability to separate and gets open, exceptional hands. He’s good short, deep, with the ball in his hands after the catch; strong, very smart, sets up his routes well.”

From a talent standpoint, Fitzgerald is arguably the best receiver in the NFL and could be the greatest of all time. The issue in Arizona is the quarterback situation. It is one that has been fluid for the past several seasons, yet Fitzgerald still manages to catch 80-100 balls a season for well over 1,000 yards. Imagine what he could do with a consistent quarterback?

Kevin Kolb will get the start on Sunday in New England. He replaced the injured John Skelton last week against the Seahawks and led what turned out to be the game-winning drive. The Patriots have an improved defense, but the Titans proved you can still throw on them. If Kolb wants to lock down his position and prove that the Cardinals knew what they were doing in acquiring him, Sunday will be a good time to do that. Fitzgerald certainly makes his job that much easier.