Bryan Cox celebrates after Super Bowl XXXVI. Fifteen years later, he's back in the big game as an assistant coach with the Falcons. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
January 31, 2017 - 11:57 am
HOUSTON — Bryan Cox hasn’t changed much since 2001, other than the fact that there's a little more salt than pepper in his beard. The quotable linebacker spent just one season with the Patriots, but he played a wildly underrated role as a leader for that Super Bowl team. The veteran provided a...
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was a noticeable omission from the NHL's Top 100 Players list. (Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports)
Ty Anderson
January 31, 2017 - 5:43 am
There’s a funny story out there. One that predates the worries of fake news. In Wayne Gretzky ’s final year in the NHL , he looked across the ice and saw the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara , then a fresh-faced youngster trying to make a name for himself with the New York Islanders . Gretzky pointed to Chara...
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Tom Brady drew quite the crowd Monday night. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
Ryan Hannable
January 31, 2017 - 3:05 am
HOUSTON -- No longer is Super Bowl media day held on Tuesday afternoon of Super Bowl week, it now gets its own night -- NFL Opening Night -- and it's just as, if not more crazy. Thousands of people bought tickets to sit in the stands at Minute Maid Park to watch hundreds of reporters interview the...
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Martellus Bennett drew a big crowd Monday night in Houston. (Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports)
January 31, 2017 - 1:34 am
HOUSTON — No podium for Martellus Bennett? No worries. “I guess they needed to spread the awesomeness around,” the Patriots’ quotable tight end said at the start of his media availability at NFL's Opening Night Monday at Minute Maid Park. The truth of the matter? Bennett gets to try out his...
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Tom Brady and Roger Goodell after Super Bowl XLIX. Are we headed for more podium awkwardness this year? (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)
January 30, 2017 - 3:25 pm
HOUSTON — OK, stick with me here, because this is going to take some explaining. But I’m more convinced than ever that Roger Goodell wants the Patriots to win Super Bowl LI. Think about it: A New England win over the Falcons would be the best of both worlds for the commissioner. First, he would be...
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Roger Goodell and the Patriots will be a big story this week. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
Ryan Hannable
January 29, 2017 - 10:20 pm
HOUSTON -- Everyone is well aware by now Roger Goodell didn't attend the AFC championship game because he spent two consecutive weekends at the Georgia Dome , choosing the NFC title game over the AFC title game. The NFL commissioner hasn't been to Gillette Stadium since the 2015 AFC championship...
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The championship identity of the 2016 Patriots was forged in December. (James Lang/USA Today Sports)
January 27, 2017 - 9:56 am
FOXBORO — For the 2016 Patriots, there was no “On To Cincinnati” moment. There was no singular call to arms where the team and coaching staff drew a line in the sand like Bill Belichick did two years ago, marking the end of one stretch and the true start of their championship quest. Instead, this...
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Tom Brady doesn't lose playoff games when he's able to score points. (James Lang/USA Today Sports)
Ryan Hannable
January 26, 2017 - 11:03 pm
FOXBORO -- The week leading up to Super Bowls is a week to find advantages and disadvantages for teams in the game, matchups to watch, and most of all, keys to winning the game for both teams. This week with the Falcons and Patriots, one trend stands out: Tom Brady doesn't lose to teams like the...
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