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02/03/2012 - 3:55pm
Vinatieri: No surprise Pats in Super Bowl

Former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, now the kicker for the Colts, suggested in an interview on The Big Show that it comes as no surprise to see the Patriots in their fifth Super Bowl in 11 years. He suggested that the organizational infrastructure is such that success is a likely outcome.

"I am not amazed. They have a great organization. Obviously, [owner Robert Kraft] does everything in his power to make sure the team has got what they need to win," said Vinatieri, who kicked for the Patriots from 1996 to 2005 before signing with the Colts and spending the last six years in Indianapolis. "Bill Belichick is, in my opinion, probably the greatest football coach. I can't say that I've ever played for Chuck Noll, [Vince] Lombardi, but in this modern day era, I don't think there's anyone better out there. When you've got guys like Tom Brady playing quarterback, you're going to win a lot of games with that setup. So no, it doesn't...

02/03/2012 - 1:46pm
King on M&M: 'Excited' Giants have edge

Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports NFL expert Peter King checked in with Mut & Merloni Friday to preview the Super Bowl.

"I'm picking the Giants, I'm picking them 23-20, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Patriots won the game," King said. "But I would be surprised if one of the two teams played poorly. I just can't see it. They're too evenly matched."

King said the Giants are a very, very excited team that loves to practice and appears much looser than previous teams coached by noted disciplinarian Tom Coughlin.

"They're laughing, they're having a great time," King said. "It isn't sort of your father's Tom Coughlin-coached team."

King's other observation from Giants practice this week is that Eli Manning appears to be peaking at the right time.

"Eli Manning is sharp," King said. "Eli Manning is a better thrower of the football than I thought he was. … He...

02/03/2012 - 10:56am
Jets' Ryan: Belichick could be best ever

Jets coach Rex Ryan arrived in Indianapolis for Sunday's Super Bowl and made a brief appearance on Boston's Fox 25 TV station Friday morning.

Ryan didn't offer a predicted winner but said to expect an exciting game.

"Both those teams are playing great. The last two times these teams have played, it's come right down to the wire, and I expect the same this week," he told Fox 25's Doug Goodie.

Despite his rivalry with the Patriots, Ryan was gracious and effusive in his praise of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Asked how the Patriots were able to reach the Super Bowl with 18 undrafted free agents on the roster, Ryan said: "There's two main reasons: Brady and Belichick. That's the main reason right there. Belichick in my opinion is the best coach, maybe he'll go down in the history of the game as the best coach. … It's the truth. I'm not one to beat around the bush. That's [what] I believe. And then Brady, if he wins the...

02/03/2012 - 10:22am
Belichick: Gronk 'moving in right direction'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Belichick addressed the media on Friday for the final time before Super Bowl XLVI and was asked about the status of Rob Gronkowski. The tight end practiced on Thursday for the first time since injuring his left ankle in the AFC championship game on January 22. 

"I think he was OK this morning, I think he was OK," Belichick said. "We'll see how it goes today. Rob has worked extremely hard and has got treatment morning, noon and night. He's gotten better on a daily basis. Hopefully he'll continue to make progress today, tomorrow and all day Sunday. We'll see how that takes us, but I think he's coming along and we'll see where he gets to. But certainly moving in the right direction and getting better on a daily basis."

For more Patriots news visit weei.com/patriots.

 


02/03/2012 - 9:49am
No Celtics among All-Star Game starters

The NBA All-Star Game starters have already been announced, and for the second consecutive season no Celtics are featured on the Eastern Conference starting lineup.

Leading vote-getter Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade will start for the East. Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum are the Western Conference starters.

Two-time All-Star Rajon Rondo received the most votes of the Celtics -- almost 800,000 fewer than Wade -- as he and Ray Allen (a 10-time All-Star) finished third and fourth among Eastern Conference guards.

Kevin Garnett, a 14-time selection, finished fourth on the forwards list behind James, Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. The one Celtics player with the best credentials this season, Paul Pierce (a 10-time All-Star), finished seventh among forwards.

The All-Star Game will be held on Feb. 26. The seven reserves on each squad, as voted by the...

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