Join my chat every Monday to have your question considered for the weekly Bruschi on Tap Q&A.
Q. Tedy, love your chats! What do you make of the report of the Patriots using under-inflated footballs in last evening's game? To me, it's getting a little bit old. And for a player, it has to be as well that every time you win a big game you're accused of cheating. -- Brandon (Cincinnati)
A. You're exactly right, Brandon. It does get old. Coaches complaining they weren't ready for formations. I've heard it all. There is a long line of people who want to find some excuse for how the Patriots have had success for so long, and the bottom line is that it's good coaching and good players.
Q. Jamie Collins is making plays everywhere on the field and improving. Which great LB do you believe he will potentially be compared to someday? (e.g. yourself? Urlacher?) -- Ale (San Mateo)
A. This is interesting because Jamie Collins reminds me of a lot of us rolled into one because of all the things he can do. He covers like Roman Phifer. He can rush the passer like Willie McGinest. He has a knack for making a big play when the Patriots needs it ... I guess that was me, sort of. We all made big plays. Watching him last night from Mr. Kraft's box, I was with Willie McGinest, and we were having a conversation about how great Jamie Collins can be.
Q. Great seeing you out there Bru for the pre-game and post-game ceremonies. Watching the defense dominate Andrew Luck and the Colts offense for 60 minutes, did it make you want to put your pads back on and get out there to make some hits? -- Chris (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
A. Games like last night always get my juices flowing again, but I'm a realist, Chris. I just don't think I can get it done anymore, buddy. Maybe one play. LOL.
Q. Hey Tedy, we've seen the Patriots QB-turned-receiver throw a pass and TE-turned-tackle catch a touchdown in back-to-back games as the Pats are seemingly pulling out all the stops. What "trickery" can we expect vs. Seattle? James Develin used to be a DL, but I don't think he'll be lining up on that side of the ball... -- Jacob (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
A. Off those formation variations, you're starting to see the multiple offensive possibilities. Think about this: Even if Shane Vereen is lined up as an ineligible player, like he was against the Ravens, imagine a three-step drop by Brady, a short hook route run by Julian Edelman, and Edelman catches the ball while Vereen sprints down the field from his OT position and received a lateral. These are the types of things I'd coach up if going against the Patriots. You have to take your team back to school, into the classroom, to be ready for all these possibilities.
Q. Hey Tedy. Based off your experience, do teams have more of a mental edge in the next game after winning big (Patriots) or winning a nail-biter (Seahawks)? -- Kaleb (Pittsburgh)
A. This is an interesting question, Kaleb. To see Russell Wilson and the tears after the game, and all the emotion from the Seahawks players -- where they knew they pulled victory from the jaws of defeat -- I think you all know out there; all of you are very intelligent, when you get a second chance like that it awakens you. I think the Seahawks do have a slight edge because of that. Of course, it's another mental test for the Patriots to come back and play after a blowout, but I'd say blah, blah, blah to that. This is the Super Bowl, you have a week to enjoy it, both teams will come out ready to play.
Q. Great to have you presenting the trophy last night. You almost sounded like Coach Belichick when you said there's still work to be done. Both teams seem to match up well for this game. Do you see any scenario where the Pats can dominate the game? -- CapeMike (Sandwich, Massachusetts)
A. Mike, I don't see a scenario where the Patriots can dominate this game. These are clearly the two best football teams in the NFL. You're not a genius if you selected the Seahawks and Patriots to be in the Super Bowl back in August. Many of us did, my 13-year-old son included. This game is going to be epic.
Q. Hi Tedy! Another great win. Now, since you have been in this type of situation a few times, how do you think the Pats approach this first week before the SB? Do they take a couple days off to rest/refresh? Focus on film/game planning? Do they head early to Arizona to get used to the weather? Thanks! -- Dan B. (Brazil)
A. I think all you have to do is listen to Coach Belichick on the podium last night. Even talking to some of the players and coaches on the field after the game, they have Seattle on the brain.
Q. Hey Tedy, which areas of concern in the Pats do you consider key to winning the Super Bowl? Thank you! -- Hank (Canada)
A. Hank, we have a long couple of weeks to digest this, and yes, I've already been watching film on the Seahawks. I have all year. A quick answer: Pete Carroll isn't afraid to take a chance; like the fake field goal yesterday. Just like you have to be ready for anything against the Patriots, the same is true for the Seahawks and there are two reasons why: Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. Pete Carroll has no fear to take a chance, and every play with Russell Wilson, you could get something you've never seen before (e.g. scrambles, extended plays etc.).
Q. Hi Tedy, a huge Tom Brady fan here. Do you think Tom might finish his career with a different club? As unlikely as it sounds right now, it didn't seem possible with Peyton Manning either. Yet, look at him now. With Brady's passion for the game, do you think he would consider playing for somebody else if the Patriots no longer want him? -- Kristina (New York)
A. Kristina, Tom Brady still has multiple years here with the Patriots, I'll say that. When you watch Peyton Manning play now, compared with Brady, one looks old and the other looks like he's still in his prime. Brady is still in his prime. One play proved it last night -- Brady's scramble in the red zone. He's been doing that all year. He looked nimble, going to his right, cutting back. When he runs, he looks like he can still survive athletically on the field.
Q. Hi Tedy, can we say this is the "Dynasty Super Bowl"? If Seattle wins for a second year in a row, we may be seeing the birth of a new dynasty while if New England wins, we can say the old dynasty is still alive. If so, a lot on the line here in terms of legacy. -- Nissim (Lima, Peru)
A. There are a lot of storylines for this game. The one you mentioned -- one team is trying to go back-to-back against the organization that last did it. One coach, in Pete Carroll, who is going up against his old team. Some people might forget that. The New England Patriots are going back to Glendale, Arizona, where they lost the Super Bowl to go 18-1. Don't remind me of that. So in terms of storylines, this game is far from lacking.
Q. How does this defense... offense... team compare with your glory days? -- Jeff (South Boston)
A. Jeff, I'm going to talk as a former Patriot who is extremely proud to have played for this franchise. Of all the teams I've watched since my retirement, this is the team that I feel can seal the deal. Last night, I felt very proud to watch this team and be there to see them win another AFC championship. I felt extremely honored to present Mr. Kraft with the Lamar Hunt Trophy. Like I told a lot of the players when I saw them on the field "Congratulations, enjoy it, it's your turn." This team is just as deserving and ready to win a championship as the old teams I was on.
Q. Hey Tedy, great tough win and good to get back to the big game. Just put your thoughts on this season and how we started off tumultuously and bounced back. Sort of reminds me of the '03 season. Lose a veteran player, locker room is upset, start of 2-2, turmoil, then reach the big game. -- Mayur (Nashua, New Hampshire)
A. There are many similarities to this team and the '03 season/other championship seasons. But that's usually the story of a championship season -- teams always have to deal with adversity and it's about how they deal with it. The best compliment I can give this team is that they are mentally tough.
Q. The Nate Solder touchdown play was awesome, but was it necessary? We already had the lead and we were pretty much having our way with the Colts. I think the Pats should have saved a play like that for the Super Bowl in a situation when they really need it. Now Seattle has two weeks to prepare for the "eligible receiver scheme." They were definitely going to be ready for the TEs; now they are going to be on the lookout for the LT. -- Matt M. (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
A. This is a good question, Matt, but I'm sure they were looking at the defense in terms of how they played it in the game, to see if it could be run. If the opportunity is there, you have to take it. You don't think that this Patriots coaching staff isn't smart enough to come up with something new and original for the Super Bowl? I'm sure they have a book full of those plays. Don't worry, man, they'll come up with something.
Q. Hi Tedy, always great to read your input and analysis on the Patriots and rest of the NFL. We all know the Pats love specific game planning for each opponent, so do you see the Pats using a power run game approach again or working Gronk and other TEs (Tim Wright, Michael Hoomanawanui) early and leaning often on their backers as the Seahawks have shown vulnerability all season with each strategy? Here's hoping Brady and company capture Super Bowl No. 4! As always thanks for doing your job and being a Patriot through and through. -- Sky (Arizona)
A. Sky, Gronkowski is definitely going to be a factor in the Super Bowl and that's probably the one matchup I'm most looking forward to seeing -- Rob Gronkowski vs. Kam Chancellor. That's two of the best in the business right there.
Q. Tedy, great result and performance -- but Seahawks will be a different kettle of fish. Fully believe that to be the best, you have to beat the best, but honestly can't see the clear path or obvious advantages that we would have. Where do you see any edges for the Pats? BTW, fantastic to see you handing over the Lamar Hunt trophy last night -- just seemed so right. -- Mark (Dublin, Ireland)
A. Looking over personnel, Mark, the one big advantage New England has is their secondary vs. Seattle WRs. So Marshawn Lynch is going to be a battle. I do think the Patriots' secondary can shut those WRs down.
Q. Hi Bru, The most dangerous part of the Seattle defense is their speed. It is unlike any opponents the Pats have played this year. Based on the past two SB losses, we knew how big an issue this can give the Pats' offense. How do think the Pats will solve that? That sweep play from Edelman might be useful? -- Mike R. (Tokyo)
A. Being creative like that with Edelman and running the ball could be a definite possibility. But one thing to look at, and be sure to check Mike Reiss' blog, is the health of center Bryan Stork. The severity of Stork's knee injury isn't known, but with him having two weeks it would be great for the Patriots for him to come back and help solidify that O-line.
Q. Tom Brady wins the next Super Bowl ... does it make him the greatest quarterback of all time? -- Suluuq (Kotzebue, Alaska)
A. I grew up in San Francisco, Suluuq. Joe Montana is the greatest QB of all time and Tom Brady is right up there with him. In my mind, win or lose, Tom Brady is right up there with him. Now, let's not talk about losing.