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Mike Shalin's Working Press: College QB can't get enough of Brady

By Make Shalin
March 05. 2018 10:08PM

Mar 2, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Luke Falk (QB07) speaks with media during the NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

LUKE FALK wants to BE Tom Brady.

That’s why the Washington State quarterback would be thrilled if the Patriots took him in the upcoming draft.

The Pats need a quarterback and Falk should be there either in the second or third rounds.

“In high school, I had a little bit of adversity, and “The Brady 6” came on,” Falk said, referring to the documentary about the six quarterbacks drafted ahead of Brady.

“I was already a Tom Brady fan,” said Falk, “but just learning about his history at Michigan and adversity he faced with Drew Henson and how he went about each day and how he approached each day and how he’s taken that mindset in the NFL, being a late-round draft pick.

“He’s 40 years old, and he still puts everything he’s got into it. I really just want to do that with my game. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. Just to see somebody at his age, doing it for so long, he’s still so motivated.”

Speaking to’s Ryan Hanable in Indianapolis, Falk’s college teammates talked about Falk’s adoration of Brady, right down to using the TB12 training method. Falk’s admiration for Brady is so strong that his teammates would tease him when the Pats lost.

“Oh my gosh, don’t get me started with that,” said offensive lineman Cole Madison. “Everything Tom Brady. ‘Tom Brady this, Tom Brady that. Tom Brady does this, so this is what we should do.’ He is ride or die (with) Tom Brady, for sure.”

Said wide receiver Tavares Martin: “He loves Tom Brady. Every single thing about him, every little detail about him.”

Now, stay tuned to see if Falk is the young guy learning from Brady.

Nice job

Bill Belichick, appearing on the NFL Network at the Combine, praised the work of mock drafter Mike Mayock and the coverage.

“This has been a great combine and I just want to say on behalf of all the football fans out there, you guys do a tremendous job,” said Belichick, who also presented host Rich Eisen a check for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. “You really do. This is a tremendous production. And Mike, I know how hard it is to do a draft board for one team, and that is hard. You’re doing it for 32 teams, as well as knowing what all the teams are looking for, and who their players are and putting it all together for us — you guys do an awesome job. I can’t tell you how much information you put out there to the fans, and I would say the league, and put me in that group too. … You guys do a tremendous job.”

Asked about former assistant Matt Patricia, Belichick pointed to Patricia’s degree in aeronautical engineering when asked about the new coach of the Lions.

“He’s going to bring a great work ethic,” Belichick said. “A lot of intelligence. A lot of thought into everything they do, from practice to strategy to situational football. And they’re going to work hard, I guarantee you that. Matt’s as hard-working a guy as I’ve ever been around. He grinds it.

“He’s smart, too. He put together those rockets there in college. I can’t even get my cell phone on.”

Remember when Stephon Gilmore made that pass breakup that wrapped up the AFC title game? Brady will apparently never forget it. He gave Gilmore his game shirt from that game.

Rask still hurt

The Bruins go for their fourth win in as many games on their current six-game homestand when the Red Wings visit Tuesday night — and it looks like Tuukka Rask will not be in net, for the second straight game.

With Rask out Saturday night with a minor injury, Anton Khudobin played very well in the 2-1 victory over the Canadiens. Also, the Bruins lost Charlie McAvoy to a lower body injury on his first shift of the game.

Coach Bruce Cassidy said Monday he didn’t think Rask would be ready for tonight, when McAvoy will also be out.

“Tuukka is nursing a minor injury and he stayed off today,” Cassidy said. “We’ll keep an eye out on that one. Other than not having skated now for three days, it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to go (tonight), but that’s just an observation.”

Not impressed

It’s been another tough season for Claude Julien. Last year, he was fired by the team he led to one Stanley Cup and into another final. This season he has the Habs headed for no playoffs — and Julien was upset after Saturday night’s loss that completed Boston’s first series sweep of Montreal since 1994-95.

“I think it’s pretty obvious,” he said. “When your best shooter is on a breakaway and doesn’t get a shot away, I think everybody agrees that it should have been a penalty shot (it was a penalty call on Sean Kuraly. “What’s embarrassing is (Rick) Nash embellishing (a high-sticking call). The stick hits his shoulder, it doesn’t even hit his face and he embellishes and looks at the referee.

“Those are embarrassing things in the game of hockey. We’re a tired team and we have to kill penalties, and it eventually caught up to us. That’s disappointing that when we had some of those things happen, or another (Byron Froese) penalty that’s called five seconds later because we end up on a two-on-one. As I said, we evaluate ourselves and we expect others to evaluate themselves as well.”

Serious Ball-ing

Lonzo Ball appears to be getting his feet wet in the NBA.

The kid hit six 3-pointers in Sunday night’s comeback win over San Antonio and his play has impressed new teammate Isaiah Thomas.

“Just poise,” Thomas told ESPN. “He’s not always going to hit 3s like that, but he took it with confidence. He is a poised young man that has a lot of confidence in himself. Any type of situation he’s in, he has the same mentality. You never see him too high or too low and that is a trait you can’t teach.”

Rhody honors

Lou Lamoriello and Cammi Granato head the 16-member group that is the first class of the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame.

“Our charter class is comprised of 11 who have represented the United States in World Championships, including eight in the Olympics. Ten have previously been enshrined in the International, U.S. and American Hockey League halls of fame. Three of their names are engraved on the Stanley Cup and many have set records that still stand in the sport,? said Hall chairman Vince Cimini, who called the group “The Mount Rushmore of Rhode Island hockey.

“Most of all, as players and as pillars of the game, they each represent the very best of our state’s rich and illustrious hockey heritage,” he said.

Also picked were Bill Belisle, Curt Bennett, Harvey Bennett Sr., Bryan Berard, Keith Carney, Joe Cavanagh, Sara DeCosta-Hayes, Brian Lawton, Lou Pieri, Dick Rondeau, Matt Schneider, Chris Terreri, Zellio Toppazzini and Ron Wilson.

Here and there

Heading into Monday night’s game, old pal Milan Lucic, who has five years left on his Edmonton contract, has nine goals this season, none in the last 29 games. …

That Celtics loss at Houston Saturday night was an instant classic. … Marcus Smart on the Celtics’ great bench play of late: “We’re all on the same page. When we come in, everybody knows what to do.” …

Friday night, Henrik Lundqvist became the first goalie in NHL history to spin 50-save wins in two straight games. …

Nashville’s David Poile became the NHL’s all-time winningest general manager — with just five coaches in his 1,320 wins. …

Alex Edler became the Canucks’ all-time leader in defense scoring, with 323 points. …

Kudos to the Indiana Pacers TV folks for putting up the following graphic in Thaddeus Young’s 800th game: he joined Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only NBA players ever to … get this … average at least 13.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 49 percent from the floor and 30 percent from 3-point range. …

Jaylen Brown on his improved foul shooting: “I’ve been concentrating, just working on my focus and my breathing a lot more, and I’ve been able to slow my heart rate down. I’m thinking a lot less about it and I’m just shooting it.” …

Ichiro is headed back to the Mariners. … Free agent QB Kirk Cousins apparently has narrowed it down to the Jets, Broncos, Vikings and Cardinals. … Cassidy, on Brad Marchand’s dazzling OT winner Saturday night: “He does a great job (being strong on the puck). That OT goal, that’s all-world. To have it that long and then be able to finish, helluva play.” …

Finally, this from Fox Sports on Twitter: “Three weeks after winning the Super Bowl, Eagles DE Chris Long climbed one of the tallest mountains in the world to bring clean water to Africa.” .

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is

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