Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Sully, Graham video chat at 1; regular chat follows

Fitz and Ribs

INDIANAPOLIS -- I caught up with Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick by phone this morning and Fitz seemed a bit dismayed to know David Nelson had spilled the beans about him playing with cracked ribs this season.

"My only reaction would be, I don't really want to comment at all," Fitzpatrick said from his home in Arizona. "I don't think injuries had any effect on the way I played this year, at any point. I don't want to get into it. It didn't affect my performance at all."

In an interview Friday with NBC Sports, Nelson confirmed long-rumored suspicions that Fitzpatrick suffered cracked ribs in the Redskins game in Toronto on a hit by former Bills linebacker London Fletcher in the first half.

"A lot of people don't know, but Fitz, during the Washington game, actually cracked a couple of ribs," Nelson said. "So after that, he was playing hurt."

Fitzpatrick can insist his performance wasn't affected by the injury, but the numbers suggest otherwise. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions before the injury. He had 11 TD passes and 16 picks after Fletcher drilled him.  Sources say he cracked four ribs and injured his sternum.

Fitzpatrick said he had just returned from Indianapolis, where he attended some Super Bowl events. He was with Stevie Johnson at one event. He has made it clear to Johnson that he wants to see him back in Buffalo next season.

Gronk

INDIANAPOLIS -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Friday that tight end Rob Gronkowski continues to make progress from his left high ankle sprain and said the Amherst native is "moving in the right directino and getting better on a daily basis."

 “I think he was OK this morning," Belichick said of Gronk, who practiced Thursday for the first time since injuring the ankle in the AFC title game. "I think he was OK. I don’t think we had any setbacks. We’ll see how it goes out there today, but I think that he’s been on a ... Rob’s worked extremely hard. He’s gotten treatment morning, noon, and night, and he’s gotten better on a daily basis.

"Hopefully we’ll be able to continue that same process today, tomorrow, and all day Sunday," Belichick said. "We’ll see where that takes us, but I think he’s coming along."

Belichick was asked to elaborate on what Gronkowski was able to do in practice Thursday. “He practiced on a limited basis," the coach said. "He did some of the things that we did in practice, but not all of them. Is that the elaboration you were looking for?”

--- Jerry Sullivan

 

Gronk

INDIANAPOLIS -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Friday that tight end Rob Gronkowski continues to make progress from his left high ankle sprain and said the Amherst native is "moving in the right directino and getting better on a daily basis."

 “I think he was OK this morning," Belichick said of Gronk, who practiced Thursday for the first time since injuring the ankle in the AFC title game. "I think he was OK. I don’t think we had any setbacks. We’ll see how it goes out there today, but I think that he’s been on a ... Rob’s worked extremely hard. He’s gotten treatment morning, noon, and night, and he’s gotten better on a daily basis.

"Hopefully we’ll be able to continue that same process today, tomorrow, and all day Sunday," Belichick said. "We’ll see where that takes us, but I think he’s coming along."

Belichick was asked to elaborate on what Gronkowski was able to do in practice Thursday. “He practiced on a limited basis," the coach said. "He did some of the things that we did in practice, but not all of them. Is that the elaboration you were looking for?”

--- Jerry Sullivan

 

Live Chat With Sully from Indy

Live from Indy, let's chat. Thanks for chatting. Don't forget the Super Bowl chat at 4 on Sunday.

Live Chat at 1

I'll be chatting live from the Super Bowl hotel in Indy at about 1 p.m. The hotel is fine. All the staff make sure to wish me a "super day" whenever they serve my needs. They forgot the milk for the cereal this morning, so I'm thinking of ripping them publicly. The have a direct internet feed, which is nice. It took me four days to discover it, of course. Chat will be only an hour today. Have a couple of stories to do for Sunday's special Super Bowl section in the News.

Brady apologizes for Wednesday comments about Buffalo hotels

News Senior Sports Columnist Jerry Sullivan caught up with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady this morning, one day after Brady had said of the Buffalo's hotels: "They're not the nicest places in the world."

Sullivan asked, "Tom, are you aware that the most elite hotel invited you to stay the night?" (In reference to the Mansion on Delaware's offer to the Pats QB.)

"I appreciate that," Brady responded with a laugh, then said, "I apologize for saying that."

Sullivan responded, "Well, there is some truth to it."

"I know. Buffalo was tough on us this year -- at Buffalo," Brady said, referencing the BIlls' Week Three victory in which he was intercepted four times.

Brady also offered, "I should have picked a non-NFL city for that [comment]."

Sullivan asked, "Speaking of that game, how much did it shake you throwing four picks?"

"Yeah, it was tough," Brady said. "I had done that once before when we lost to them up there [the '03 opener]. Any time you throw four picks you feel pretty miserable the entire week."

Great Hands

INDIANAPOLIS -- You can bet on just about anything when it comes to the Super Bowl. You can bet on which team will win the coin flip, or whether there will be a two-point conversion. There are even wacky wagers like, "Will Kelly Clarkson botch the lyrics to the anthem?" or "What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach?"

But you won't find anyone foolish enough to bet on BenJarvus Green-Ellis to fumble. That's because the chances are zero. The Patriots' fourth-year running back has never fumbled in his NFL career. Green-Ellis, whose nickname is "The Law Firm", has not put the ball on the ground in 562 career touches -- which includes rushes, receptions and kick returns.

That's the longest such streak to start a career since the NFL began keeping track of fumbles in 1945.  LaDainian Tomlinson once had 712 consecutive touches without a fumble during the middle of his career.

I asked Green-Ellis during Wednesday's media sessions if he'd always been good at ball security.

"It's just something I've been blessed and fortunate to do," said Green-Ellils. "It's nothing in particular that I'm doing. It's just that God has allowed me to hold on to the ball. No one wants to fumble the ball. It's something that happens, and sometimes it's just unfortunate."

When was your last fumble, he was asked? Green-Ellis lost five fumbles during his college career at Indiana and Mississippi.

"I don't even want to talk about it."

At that point, I dropped the subject.

Brady Cheap Shot

It's not as if Buffalo fans need additional reasons to hate Tom Brady. The Patriots' superstar quarterback has beaten the Bills 18 times in 20 games. Brady has carved up the Bills on a regular basis. New England has outscored the Bills by 20 points a game during that time. He's a pretty boy with three Super Bowl titles. His rise to stardom has directly paralleled Buffalo's long playoff drought.

But crushing the community's spirits for a decade isn't enough, apparently. Now Brady is taking gratuitous cheap shots at our city. During his press conference at the Pats' hotel on Wednesday morning, in an otherwise harmless reminiscence about his father, Brady decided to take a swipe at the quality of the Buffalo hotels.

"He's been there every step of the way," Brady said of his dad. "Then I went to school a long ways from home, and he and my mom were there at every home football game that they could possibly be at and a lot of road games, too. And even when I started my pro career, he traveled to Buffalo. I don't know if you guys have ever been to the hotels in Buffalo -- they're not the nicest places in the world -- but he would travel to those."

After 23 years, I've learned to laugh off the occasional rip on Buffalo. I've been telling people for years that with global warming on the increase, a time will come when Buffalo will be the chic destination. But I figured I should at least challenge Brady and get him to elaborate. His media session ended a few minutes later, so I had to intercept him as he was being led out of the hotel ballroom.

"Tom, are you saying that Buffalo's hotels are the worst in the league? Do you rank them?"

Brady kept walking, but gave a little laugh and said, "No, they're fine."

As he approached the door, he looked back and said, "Don't write that, you'll get me in trouble."

Sure, Tom, I'll keep it between us. And we won't tell anyone about the four interceptions you threw at Ralph Wilson Stadium back in September.