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Football family: The Karras family is steeped in football history

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Ted Karras III, the Patriots upbeat offensive lineman, wasn't there to see his dad's NFL career, but he was there when Ted Karras Jr. received his Super Bowl ring -- 31 years after the game was played.

Karras Jr. played for Washington during the NFL strike, and when he put on his Super Bowl ring from the 1987 Super Bowl in June 2018, he became the third Ted Karras with a Super Bowl ring.

Before Karras Jr. won a championship with Washington and Karras III won one with the Patriots, Ted Karras Sr. earned a ring with the Chicago Bears in 1963.

"He wore it every day. He wore it every day. Now my dad wears his," Karras III said. "Mine, I don't know if it's an everyday ring, but it's special."

Karras III may not have been alive for his father's NFL career, but after decades of not being acknowledged, he was happy he was there to see the players who helped Washington win a championship be recognized.

"I don't know if that was validation for what they did because that was a weird time," Karras III said. "He was cut in camp, and he had to cross a picket line. I mean, that's never an easy decision ... I was very happy for him."

Karras Jr. echoed that.

"It was just cool all around to have the physical ring to add to the collection with my dad and my son," Karras Jr. said.

Beyond the jewelry of the game, football runs deep in the Karras bloodline. Karras Sr.'s brothers, Alex and Lou, both played in the league too. Despite the presence of the game, Karras III said there was never pressure to play football.

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"I always think back to a bad 90s sitcom, like a dad making his kid play football. That was never the case for me," Karras III said. "You know, growing up hearing all of the stories in football, and football is so special to my family because it's afforded everyone every opportunity they've ever gotten."

For Karras Sr., Alex and Lou, football was a way to pay for an education after their father died suddenly.

"They loved the game of football, but really they used it as a means to get an education. Otherwise they weren't going to college," Karras Jr. said. "None of us were very highly recruited, except for Alex, which is interesting, but they made it to the highest level. That's kind of how it started, basically out of need."

Though it started as a need, the Karras brothers paved the way. After his playing days, Karras Jr. turned to coaching, and then he got to see his son continue on this path.

In Karras III first three seasons in the NFL, he has gone to three Super Bowls.

"It's awfully impressive for the whole organization," Karras Jr. "Having been a coach, I have the utmost respect for how Coach Bill Belichick does things. I think he's the ultimate task manager and motivator at the same time. It's just so awesome to be a part of the organization."

He might not have felt pressure in his career path, but being able to follow in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather and earn win a Super Bowl in his rookie year was surreal, Karras III said, but right now, he's focused on what's coming next.

"It was really cool. The moment of winning a championship, you can't find anywhere else besides winning one. We're chasing it again and I hope that I can do everything I can to help on Sunday."

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