December 2005 - New England Patriots Wiretap
Carroll Staying At USC, Agrees To Extension
Pete Carroll, who coached Southern California from mediocrity to dominance since being hired in 2001, agreed to a contract extension with the school. Neither Carroll nor USC athletic director Mike Garrett would provide specifics of the deal. "We love what Pete is doing here," Garrett said in a statement issued late Wednesday. "He does a great job of winning games and graduating players. Pete wants to be at USC as long as he can and we want him here, too." The top-ranked Trojans are one win away from an unprecedented third straight national championship, an accomplishment they can achieve by beating No. 2 Texas in the Rose Bowl next Wednesday night. USC enters the Rose Bowl with a 34-game winning streak, and has a 48-3 record the past four seasons after going 6-6 in Carroll's first year. "We talked today ? we had a nice little talk today," the 54-year-old Carroll said of his conversation with Garrett. "We've been on a great wavelength. I haven't been anywhere five years before. I've been a mercenary coach my whole life.
Bruschi Leaves Game With Leg Injury
Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi was helped off the field with a left leg injury late in the first quarter of Monday night's game against the New York Jets. Bruschi was hurt on a punt, and tried to walk off on his own. But he winced as he put his leg down, and two trainers escorted him to the sideline. The team said he wouldn't return. The 32-year-old Bruschi was playing in his ninth game since returning to the field following a mild stroke. Bruschi had the stroke in February, days after playing in his first Pro Bowl and 10 days after helping the Patriots win their third Super Bowl in four years. He later had surgery to repair a small hole in his heart. Although he said he would take a year off, he was put on the reserve-physically unable to perform list, which left open the possibility of a comeback after six weeks.
Law Could Return To New England
Ty Law's seventh interception of the season was one of the sweetest of his 11-year career. Law, let go by the Patriots after a serious foot injury in 2004, intercepted a pass from former teammate Tom Brady and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown last night as the Jets tied the score at 7 in the first quarter. It was a crowning achievement for Law in an otherwise fruitless season with his new team. He jumped a square-out route by David Givens and timed his arrival perfectly, darting down the Jets' sideline for the longest interception return of his career. Talk about an in-your-face moment. Law never spoke badly of the Patriots, but he's such a competitor that a part of him wanted to prove to the team he helped win three Super Bowl championships that he's still on top of his game. And it came on national TV, no less, in the final Monday night game televised by ABC. Announcers Al Michaels and John Madden pointed out that Law said in their production meetings that he thinks there's a chance he could wind up back with New England. With an $11-million bonus due from the Jets in March, Law is likely to be one-and-done in New York.
Brady Questionable For Bucs
Tom Brady walked to his locker without a limp, stretched with his teammates and said he was feeling better. A few hours later, Wednesday's injury report came out, listing the Patriots quarterback as questionable with shin and shoulder injuries, the first time that's happened this season but hardly a guarantee that his 84-game playing streak will end. Then the gag rule kicked in and he followed his coach's orders not to discuss his condition three days after he hurt his left leg in the first quarter of last Sunday's 35-7 win over the Buffalo Bills. At least the injury report revealed the part of his leg that was hurt. The questionable category means a player has a 50-50 chance of playing. The report will be updated Thursday and Friday, and speculation is likely to continue about whether the player the Patriots can least afford to lose will play in one of their toughest games of the season Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-4).
Carroll's Reps Sending Out Feelers For NFL Jobs
Coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week he would not interview for jobs outside of USC this year. But it turns out there might be some wiggle room in that decision. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that Carroll's representatives are sending out feelers for NFL jobs that would give the Trojans' coach control of football operations and $6 million a year. Would Pete Carroll leave the USC sidelines for an NFL post with power?Carroll told ESPN Radio 710 in Los Angeles on Friday that he will not interview for any jobs outside of USC, with whom he has a chance to win a third consecutive national championship, this year. Mortensen reported Sunday that the NFL explorations by Carroll's agents might be simply an effort to get Carroll a new contract, one similar to that of Notre Dame's Charlie Weis. Weis signed a 10-year contract extension believed to be worth approximately $3.5 million per year with the Irish earlier this season, making him the highest paid coach in college football.
Brady Banged Up
The one player the banged-up New England Patriots could least afford to lose limped through most of Sunday's game and had X-rays taken after it. A day later, though, coach Bill Belichick said Tom Brady was "fine," and the quarterback said he didn't think his lower left leg injury was "too major." Brady has started 84 consecutive games, beginning with his first pro start on Sept. 30, 2001. And New England really needs him Saturday when it plays the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-4), a strong defensive team that has won more games than the Patriots' last two opponents combined. Brady was hurt less than 10 minutes into Sunday's 35-7 win at Buffalo (4-9) on his 3-yard scoring run, his first touchdown on the ground in two seasons. He was injured while diving into the end zone, where he was hit by linebacker Jeff Posey.
Brady Named SI's Sportsman Of The Year
Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback and three-time Super Bowl champion, is this year's Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. The award is presented to someone who symbolizes the ideals of sportsmanship through character and performance. "Tom Brady is the consummate winner," managing editor Terry McDonell said Monday in a release. "Against the steepest odds and on the grandest stage, he refuses to believe his team can be beaten. That character extends to his teammates and his fans." SI's Sportsman of the Year issue hits newsstands Wednesday. Brady will receive the award, a replica of an ancient Grecian amphora, at a party in New York on Tuesday.
Seymour Believes New England Fans Are Spoiled
Judging by the lack of crowd noise Sunday, defensive end Richard Seymour thinks New England fans have become spoiled. "It's really disappointing," Seymour told the Boston Herald following the Patriots' 16-3 victory over the Jets. "The loudest they ever got was when there was a Victoria's Secret model [Gisele Bundchen] on the scoreboard. They don't know when to cheer. You look up and you see half of the stands empty." When asked why the Gillette fans were so quiet, Seymour said: "They're spoiled."
Givens Return To Practice
David Givens, who has missed the Patriots' last three games with a knee injury, was back on the practice field Wednesday, the Boston Globe reports.