Dolphins meet with Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores a second time
FOXBOROUGH — With Brian Flores taking a second interview with the Dolphins, the Patriots may strike quickly to find a replacement for their defensive play-caller.
According to an NFL Media report, former Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is “likely” to land in New England with a “top defensive role.”
Schiano, who has a close relationship with coach Bill Belichick, was most recently the defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Ohio State.
It’s possible Schiano could become the Patriots’ third defensive play-caller in three seasons, following Flores and Matt Patricia.
While at Rutgers, Schiano coached current Patriots defensive backs Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty, and Duron Harmon, and safeties coach Steve Belichick.
Robert Kraft had a humorous take on the video that surfaced of a laser pointer bouncing off Tom Brady during the AFC Championship game Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“In that last drive, we had three third down and 10s, and he was laser focused,’’ the Patriots owner said Wednesday during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” “So, whatever it was, I think it was a positive influence.”
Brady completed all three of those passes during the overtime march.
Several photographers caught a green laser bouncing off Brady’s helmet and upper body during the fourth quarter of New England’s 37-31 victory over the Chiefs.
“I didn’t see it,’’ receiver Phillip Dorsett said Wednesday. “I had no clue.’’
According to an NFL spokesman, the incident “remains under review,” and Kraft said he believes steps need to be taken to make sure there are no copy cats in the future.
“I think part of the security check has to be [making sure] those kinds of things don’t happen,’’ Kraft said.
This isn’t the first time the league has had to investigate a laser issue, as then-Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler had one flashed in his eyes during a Monday night game in Mexico City two seasons ago.
A silver lining
Monday mornings are never a picnic for anyone, and Dorsett can relate. After arriving at Gillette Stadium in the wee hours following the team’s flight, the receiver was greeted with the same situation that most everyone in the area faced: A car encased in ice.
“Oh, man. I had the worst — the worst — Monday morning,’’ the South Florida native said, laughing at the memory. “I don’t need to go into details, but the only thing that made that day good was that we we’re going to the Super Bowl. I was locked out of my house, my car wouldn’t make it home, the roads were frozen, it was bad. But I wasn’t mad because we were going to the Super Bowl.’’
Two in the front row
Ticket requests for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium was a big topic of discussion, and players said taking care of all the administrative work was done Monday and Tuesday, allowing them to focus on the Rams.
“That’s the thing that can distract you about this game, because there’s so much that goes into it,” Dorsett said. “When it comes to tickets, you’re trying to get the family right, hotels, and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, once you come into this building it’s all ball. So, that’s the good thing about the atmosphere we have here.”
Right guard Shaq Mason, who played collegiately at Georgia Tech (where the Patriots will practice next week), said he “had to be the bad guy a lot” when it came to requests.
A clean getaway
After last Sunday’s victory, Brady posted a picture of his jersey on Instagram as a shout-out to his offensive linemen. The post read, “Not even 1 grass stain. 100%.’’ “That’s our guy,’’ Mason said. “When he doesn’t get touched or doesn’t get sacked, it goes a long way with us, the receivers, [and] the running backs, as well.’’ . . . Kraft showed a lot of support for NFL officials, who have been under a lot of scrutiny lately, especially in light of the missed pass interference call that may have cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl. “They actually do a great job,’’ he said. “I’ll tell you in our game in KC, there were a number of controversial calls that they had to get right and they got them all right. They have a tough job.’’