Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 27, 10:00 AM ET
Chat with Tedy Bruschi

ESPNBoston.com editor
  (9:57 AM)

Good morning. Here's hoping for no more technical problems like last week. Tedy is here. Happy Holidays, everyone!

TJ (Melbourne, FL)

Merry Christmas Tedy, I hope you and yours had a great holiday. My question is do you think Sunday lack luster performance was mostly due to missing Spikes, Dennerd, and Talib, or are we still just not that good? Also, Why Arrington, why not Cole outside Arrington on the slot?

Tedy
  (9:59 AM)

TJ, Merry Christmas to you and everyone else on this chat. Moving McCourty back to corner puts that entire secondary in a shuffle. I feel like McCourty is best for this team at free safety. It's very hard to go from free safety to cornerback within the course of a week. It's like going from inside linebacker to outside linebacker. There is a whole different set of responsibilities and athletic challenges. I know McCourty is a great athlete and he's shown he can do it. But for the Patriots to be at their best, at this point in time, I like him safety. Guys need to get healthy.

Bijon Detroit [via mobile]

Chances Both Hou and Den lose?

Tedy
  (10:00 AM)

I don't see that happening.

Tman (Belmont, MA)

Hi Tedy. Given Talib's importance to the Pats playoff chances, given that he was literally holding his hip during plays last Sunday, and given that he went on IR last yr because of his hip, do you sit him this Sunday, even if Houston loses to Indy? Thanks.

Tedy
  (10:02 AM)

Whatever the Patriots have to do for Aqib Talib to be healthy, I'd do it. If it meant resting him a week, then that's what you have to do. When these kind of trades happen, it makes you think that the original organization knew something. Did they potentially see the hip being a problem? If Talib can't go, and McCourty has to be put at corner, you're looking at potential problems.

Avi (Nashville)

Hey Tedy - loved you as a player and now appreciate your insights as a commentator. Question for you about Big Vince: last year, it seemed like he took his game to a whole 'nother level in the playoffs; he practically put the defense on his shoulders and made them Super Bowl contenders from my viewpoint. The question is, with him having played out of his mind all season this year, does he have another gear to go to down the stretch?

Tedy
  (10:06 AM)

I absolutely think Vince Wilfork has another gear. And Vince Wilfork is just as hungry, if not more, than some of these young kids to get a Super Bowl ring. When he won his first, he was splitting time with Keith Traylor. Now he's a leader of this defense.

Tony (Cleveland)

Rumors have Josh McDaniels' name attached to the Browns as a possible head coaching candidate. If you were McDaniels, why would you even consider that at this time? What do you think will happen?

Tedy
  (10:09 AM)

In my opinion, I think Josh McDaniels should wait. This is only his first year back with New England as offensive coordinator. To settle in and continue to establish himself as a brilliant offensive mind would only benefit him in the long run. He can be one of those coaches in the future that picks his spot. He'll continue to be one of the most highly sought after coordinators in the NFL in the future. When you're in a position like that, not only can you look at the potential team, players and quarterbacks already on the roster, but you can also look at where that team is picking in the draft and who is available in the draft. There is no Andrew Luck/Robert Griffin III situation this year, but there could be in the future.

Ash (Toronto, Ont, Canada.)

Hi Tedy! Hope you and you family had great Christmas and wishing them a happy New Year!There seems to be a trend sneaking back in where the Patriots have become their own worst enemy - slow starts and not playing a full 4 quarters football. I'd like to chalk up last week's performance against the Jags an emotional let down. How does Bill and staff get everybody to refocus but also help prevent injuries? Generally now is the time to start getting hot. Also how do you feel about the Patriots not getting any of the top seeds?

Tedy
  (10:11 AM)

Happy holidays to you too, Ash, and there is one aspect of your question that worries me. When you say "emotional letdown", I was also curious why they weren't able to put away the Jaguars last week. I think it makes this game against the Dolphins a little more urgent, to go out there and play good football going into the playoffs is what all teams in the NFL want to do, especially if you're playing the very next weekend.

Anonymous (London)

Who wins the NFL MVP Award? Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year?

Tedy
  (10:13 AM)

If Adrian Peterson breaks Eric Dickerson's record (he needs 208 yards), and the Vikings beat the Packers to improve to 10-6, no direspect to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning but that's one of the most remarkable seasons in NFL history. I'd give Adrian Peterson the MVP. ...

Tedy
  (10:15 AM)

...As for offensive rookie of the year, Robert Griffin III has had an amazing year, but what Andrew Luck has done with a 2-14 Colts team from 2011, getting them to the playoffs in 2012, in my mind is worthy of the award. I would also seriously consider Russell Wilson. ...

Tedy
  (10:19 AM)

... As for defensive rookie of the year, I'm going to wait one more week because I see that race a little bit closer. I have my eyes on some linebackers -- Kendricks (Eagles), Keuchly (Panthers) and Wagner (Seahawks), among others.

Arthur (New York, NY)

If you were the Colts and were locked into the No. 5 seed, how would you approach the regular-season finale against the Texans? It's Chuck Pagano's return, so is that enough motivation for them to play hard and not rest key players?

Tedy
  (10:20 AM)

This isn't just any other game for the Colts. You're playing the leader in your division in the Houston Texans, and these are games Andrew Luck will be playing for the rest of his career. The more experience he and his teammates get playing in games like this, the better. This is also a young team. No need to rest. I'd play.

Rob (Walpole)

How important do you think it is for Rob Gronkowski to get some reps in the regular season, or would it be fine to have his first action be in the playoffs?

Tedy
  (10:22 AM)

Rob, it depends on the injury. If it's healed and he can participate, I'd play him. I don't like a player having a month with no action and then jumping into it in the playoffs. It would take a player like that, even if it is Rob Gronkowski, to get used to the tempo. Why waste a series or two in the playoffs getting used to the tempo if you can do that this week?

Bill B. (Foxborough. Mass.)

If you were Bill Belichick, how would you approach this season finale? Does it remind you at all of the 2005 finale against the Dolphins?

Tedy
  (10:24 AM)

The advantage is that Houston plays at 1 p.m. The disadvantage is that the Broncos play the late game, just like the Patriots. I still feel like this is a league where you never know what can happen, but in terms of the Chiefs-Broncos game, the odds the Chiefs win are slim. The game is in Denver and Denver knows if it wins, it has the No. 2 seed. Denver knows if it wins and Houston loses, it would get the No. 1 seed. And if Houston loses and the Patriots win, New England gets the No. 2 seed. You try to figure that all out!

Surprised in Seattle (Washington)

How surprised are you that Pete Carroll has had success with the Seahawks?

Tedy
  (10:26 AM)

I was thinking about this last night and I truly believe Pete Carroll deserves consideration for Coach of the Year. He might have put himself in the driver's seat at the beginning of the season when he selected Russell Wilson in the third round. There are few coaches who would have taken that risk. You just signed Matt Flynn to a contract from the Packers to supposedly be your starter, but a rookie third-rounder outplays him in camp. Pete Carroll has always stressed competition and Wilson beat out Flynn for the job. To make that move takes guts. Now they're going for their 11th win.

Ben (Miami)

Happy New Year, Tedy. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill = the real deal?

Tedy
  (10:30 AM)

Ben, Tannehill hasn't made the splash that other quarterbacks have (Luck, RGIII, Wilson) but in any other "normal" year for rookie quarterbacks, the attention on Tannehill would be high. I do feel like Tannehill has had signature moments this year already. What he did late in the first quarter in the Seahawks game to get that victory has to get everyone excited in South Beach who the Dolphins have at QB. I really respect Mike Tomlin as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and one of the things he says before a game is, "Let's put an exclamation point on our work." Tannehill has an opportunity to put an "exclamation point" on his rookie season. If he can come into New England and get a victory and lead the Dolphins to an 8-8 record, that's almost as impressive as the other rookie QBs going to the playoffs.

WC (Seattle)

Who is a more dangerous wild-card foe for the Patriots if that's the way it turns out -- the Colts or Bengals? Why?

Tedy
  (10:33 AM)

Watching Cincinnati last week, they looked to me like a team that took another step in their development. It was the first victory for Andy Dalton over the Steelers, and it was like they were sending a message to the entire league that "times are changing in the AFC North." I think Cincinnati could be a tough out for the Patriots in the playoffs, not only because of the maturity of Dalton, but also the Bengals pass rush. They are second in the NFL with 47 sacks.

Tedy
  (10:34 AM)

Thanks to everyone for chatting. Happy New Year, everyone.