PHOENIX — Bill Belichick was right about Junior Seau.

Junior Seau pictured here in his final NFL game of a 20-year career, a playoff loss to the Ravens at Gillette Stadium. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Junior Seau pictured here in his final NFL game of a 20-year career, a playoff loss to the Ravens at Gillette Stadium. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Bill Belichick was right about Junior Seau.

The late linebacker was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday by the organization’s annual selection committee meeting on the day before the Super Bowl.

The nine-hour meeting resulted in the election of eight individuals to the Hall of Fame’€™s Class of 2015. Raising the total number of members in the Hall of Fame to 295 are running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver/returner Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, contributor Bill Polian, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingelhoff, and contributor Ron Wolf.

Belichick had said on Thursday that the election of Seau was a no-brainer. Seau starred for 20 NFL seasons during which time he established himself as one the finest linebackers in league history. Named first-team All-Pro eight times, he was selected to 12 Pro Bowls and named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. His final four seasons were spent under Belichick with the Patriots from 2006-09.

“This is a huge honor for our family. It is definitely with a heavy heart that I am accepting this because he should be here,” son Tyler Seau said, referring to his father’s suicide in 2012. “He is here with us right now, and he is joining this family and team that everyone is talking about, but I think family is even stronger. Emotionally, it is tough because we are missing a huge part, but we are staying strong and this is a blessing. We are humbled to be a part of this family.”

The annual selection meeting was held inside the Super Bowl XLIX Media Center in downtown Phoenix and capped a year-round selection process. The newly elected Hall of Famers were chosen from a list of 18 finalists who had been determined earlier by the Pro Football Hall of Fame‘€™s Selection Committee.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia's Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable previews Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and Seahawks.

[0:00:17] ... come Sunday at 6:30 eastern time it will be home to the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Both teams with a lot on the line legacies being talked about this week. Neither coach on ...
[0:01:53] ... wait to see little PD. Bella check laughed a lot now obviously. Bill Belichick is set all week long. That he has a tremendous amount of respect there isn't a coach in the National Football League ...
[0:02:47] ... not take part that much on the final practice on Friday. And Bill Belichick gave the F patriots essentially the day off they did not have a walk through like they normally do. Before regular season you know game the 24 hours before regular season game. But Bill Belichick giving the team at the day off from the walk through not unprecedented. In Super Bowl history has three years ago in Indianapolis he did the very same thing. His quote to. Poor reporter you Jarrett bell of USA today. Was that we're as ready as we're going to pay you think bill Belichick's pretty confident going into this game. Yeah AC PC and very confident and the team seemed very confident this week to they seem relaxed talking us all week bogus and they certainly weren't. Talking about the flaky dolls that's not distraction seeing them at the fire alarms analysts distraction either and like you mentioned Bryan stork I think his. Insertion back in the province of line is a big part and their success tomorrow as. The biggest thing I think on offenses Tom Brady's protector in his. Comfort abilities so to speak in the pocket and how much time he has come really feels so if say the biggest take away from that failures. Knowing that storks got to play. Yeah and I think that's a huge. Boost of confidence for Tom Brady because. You know somebody was asking me earlier. Today what is it that you're going to be looking for for Tucker from Tom Brady early in this game and I told him. That it's comfort in the pocket when Tom Brady looks like he's very comfortable in the pocket he's moving around but not nervously dancing around. You know there is that fine line that's when you know Tom Brady's pretty much ready to have a good game. Yeah and I I did a piece. Couple weeks ago on the on the ...
[0:04:52] ... so clearly it's a big difference and it makes difference for for Tom Brady so. That's definitely a good thing going. Tomorrow on the Seattle Seahawks side of the ball the F Seahawks did have a walk through today and Pete Carroll. Told Peter king of the pool ...

PHOENIX — The Patriots and their coach feel they are ready.

According to the pool report gathered from Adam Beasley of the Pro Writers Association of America, Bill Belichick spent the final evening before the Super Bowl just reminding his players how ready they are.

“Same thing that we talked about all week,” Belichick told Beasley. “I don’t think there’s anything that’s happened the last day or two days that will change what we normally do, fundamentally. Just kind of reinforcing some of the key points that we talked about all week.”

Fans, friends and family spent the day upstairs at the Patriots team hotel in Chandler, Ariz., anticipating the game in Glendale. The team held its normal Saturday meetings before posing for the team photo at lunch.

The Patriots will have their final meetings Saturday night to go over “a few last-minute reminders,” Belichick said, and then turn in for what they hope is a good night’s sleep, assuming no fire alarms go off.

The Patriots chose not to hold a final walkthrough on Saturday. “We usually don’t practice on Saturday,” Belichick said.

The first chance their players will have to test out the field at University of Phoenix Stadium will be pre-game Sunday.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

PHOENIX — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski headlined the awards handed out at the fourth annual NFL Honors awards show the night before Super Bowl XLIX by winning the AP’s Comeback Player of the Year.

PHOENIX — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski headlined the awards handed out at the fourth annual NFL Honors awards show the night before Super Bowl XLIX by winning the AP’s Comeback Player of the Year.

Coming off a torn ACL last December, Gronkowski was ready for Week 1 and finished the year with 82 catches for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those were the second-best numbers of his career, as he only put up higher numbers in 2011, the last time he played more than 11 games in a season.

The tight end won the PWWA’s Comeback Player of the Year as well, about a month ago.

Here is a complete list of the awards handed out Saturday night:

AP MVP: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
AP Coach of the Year: Todd Bowles, Cardinals
AP Comeback Player of the Year: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
AP Offensive Player of the Year: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
AP Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, Texans
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Donald, Rams
Art Rooney Award: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year: Thomas Davis, Panthers
FedEx Air Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
FedEx Ground Player of the Year: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
Salute to Service Award, Jared Allen, Vikings
Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants Fantasy Player of the Year: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
“Greatness of the Road Award”: Tony Romo, Cowboys
Deacon Jones Award: Justin Houston, Chiefs
Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year: Bruce Larson, Somerset High School

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

PHOENIX — It appears every Patriots player will be ready to go for Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday in Glendale, as Bill Belichick indicated

Bryan Stork

Bryan Stork

PHOENIX — It appears every Patriots player will be ready to go for Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday in Glendale, as Bill Belichick indicated would be the case in post-practice report on Friday.

Bryan Stork (knee) was officially upgraded to probable from questionable on Saturday afternoon, just over 24 hours before kickoff against the Seahawks. Stork was limited in practice all week, and last week as well, after injuring his knee in the divisional round game and missing the AFC title game.

Six other players are still listed as probable, including Tom Brady (ankle) who participated in full in practice all week. Darrelle Revis (rest) was limited in practice Friday for the first time all season, and is probable for the game. Also probable include the players who were limited in practice all week — Akeem Ayers (Thur. and Fri. foot), Dont’a Hightower (shoulder), Chris Jones (elbow) and Sealver Siliga (foot).

The final injury report of the season came out on Friday for Super Bowl XLIX.

Seattle still lists five players as probable: T Justin Britt (knee), S Kam Chancellor (knee), RB Marshawn Lynch (back), CB Richard Sherman (elbow), G JR Sweezy (knee) and S Earl Thomas (shoulder).

Here is the complete UPDATED Patriots injury report:


QB Tom Brady (ankle)
LB Akeem Ayes (knee)
LB Dont’€™€™a Hightower (shoulder)
DT Chris Jones (elbow)
DT Sealver Siliga (knee)
CB Darrelle Revis (rest)
C Bryan Stork (knee)

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

PHOENIX — The Patriots have played in some great Super Bowls over the years, with some memorable — and not-so-memorable — halftime shows. Here’s a quick look back at some of the mid-game entertainment in Super Bowl contests involving the Patriots:

Super Bowl XX involved Up With People. Yeah, it’s about what you think it is.

The halftime show at Super Bowl XXXI involved a mock Fox News report, Jim Belushi and a fleet of guys on Harley Davidson bikes. Somehow, this represented an upgrade from Super Bowl XX.

U2 delivered a legendary performance at halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI. Just crushed it. (For what it’s worth, this and Prince at halftime of Super Bowl XLI were the two best of all time.)

Janet Jackson had a — ahem — memorable show at Super Bowl XXXVIII:

Of all the halftime performances in Super Bowl games involving the Patriots, maybe the least eventful was Paul McCartney at Super Bowl XXXIX. But “Live and Let Die” is still pretty cool live:

Tom Petty performed at halftime of Super Bowl XLII. Not great, not lousy. Free Fallin’ was probably the highlight:

In terms of Super Bowl halftime shows for games involving the Patriots, the production value involving Madonna’s show at Super Bowl XLIV was probably at or near the top of the list. Plus, there was that guy on the wire:

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

PHOENIX — Despite his torn ACL which he had surgery on in December, Patriots running back Stevan Ridley made the trip out to Arizona in time for the team and position pictures on Saturday. He took posted a few photos to Instagram:


A photo posted by KiD-RiD (@stevanridley) on

Greatest. QB. Ever.

A photo posted by KiD-RiD (@stevanridley) on

A photo posted by KiD-RiD (@stevanridley) on

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable