Analysts talk Pats
CBS is holding a conference call today with Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Bill Cowher, and Boston reporters were lined up to ask for their thoughts on the Patriots' margin of victory, and if the team's approach might be in response to the fallout from the NFL penalizing the team for illegal videotaping procedures.
Here are some of the thoughts that were discussed by Nantz, Simms and Cowher:
"My opinion right now when looking at that is that I see a football team that plays with a tremendous sense of purpose and focus. I'm not so sure when they're out there playing that they are even looking at the scoreboard. ... The fact that you have some of your premier players in the game with the margins being what they are, that's Bill's prerogative. That's his decision and I think the risk he's weighing is that those guys could get hurt in those situations. That's his decision as a coach and he has the right to do that. ... I don't know if I would be willing to risk that, it's a risk/reward type of thing, but he's playing them and they're playing at a very high level. That's a coach's prerogative."
"I don't think there's any question that what they're doing on the field is totally related to what happened at the end of Week 1. Because all of us in the media took that opportunity to go back and review and somehow attach what happened there with the Spygate episode -- that whole debacle -- and some of us took it so far as to say it stained their three championships. How did they win? No wonder they won, because they cheated. Now they've had their championships, their integrity called into question. Maybe it's not something that is verbalized in the sacred setting of a locker room, where it's just the coach and his staff and 53 players. Maybe it's not even something that has to be talked about but I think they've all internalized it and I think their afflicting that punishment on a weekly basis, with that right at their very core."
"That's something Jim Nantz and I hopefully will talk a little bit about during the game if we do have that opportunity, but of course, it's going to be beat to death between now and game-time. But I played for a coach in Bill Parcells and he always said to us 'I'll coach my team. That's all I have the energy for, I can only focus on my team. Let [the others] worry about themselves.' I have not seen the Redskin game, I will get it in the mail hopefully today, I'm really anxious to watch it. A lot of coaches believe you don't worry about injuries. You play your guys and you can't protect them. There are some issues there and it is bringing up some controversy, and I think that always feeds in to helping the New England Patriots. They love controversy. Jim Nantz and I have met many times with Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Tom Brady, you name it, they look forward to the battle. And they're willing to battle from start to finish. You have to prove as the opposition that you're willing to fight that long. All this, to me, really feeds in to what they love. They love the turmoil, they like the action. As my dad once said to me 'be careful when you get into a fight and you're fighting someone who doesn't care about winning and losing but just likes the action -- be leery of those guys.' The Patriots, they love the action and all this stuff you read about -- everything that has gone on this year -- I truly believe it feeds in to the atmosphere they love."