Dan Shaughnessey of The Boston Globe looks at Bill Belichick's roots. Growing up the son of a Navy football assistant coach, Belichick caught the coaching bug early, helping his father go over hours of game film when he was young.
Nick Cafardo of the Globe reports that Terrell Owens' doctor will not give him medical clearance to play for the Eagles to play in the Super Bowl. Undaunted, the fiery superstar intends to play. This is surely a storyline we will keep close tabs on as the date in Jacksonville draws nearer.
Cafardo also has a feature on the six Patriots who will be at their fourth Super Bowl with the Patriots when next weekend rolls around. Ty Law will not be able to take the field, but he will be there to cheer on fellow vets Troy Brown, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Ted Johnson, and Adam Vinatieri.
**Jim McCabe** of the Globe and **Michael Parente** of The Woonsocket Call detail the Eagles signing of Jeff Thomason. Thomason, who has been retired the past two seasons, has been lured from his job with a construction business to play tight end for the Eagles in the wake of Chad Lewis' season-ending injury.
Parente also looks back at the last time the two teams met in the regular season, and looks ahead at some of the Eagles personnel strengths and weaknesses.
Michael Gee of The Boston Herald gives us the inside scoop on the Eagles and their fans. Gee breaks down what to watch out for in the big game, and also gives some background on the fans' traditions and likes.
Michael Felgerof the Herald spotlights Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli. Pioli has been as integral a part of the Patriots success as anyone, consistently finding diamonds in the rough, and turning has-beens into starting players. The latest case of Pioli making something out of nothing: cornerback Hank Poteat, who Pioli essentially pulled out of classes at the University of Pittsburgh in time for playoff games against the Colts and Steelers.
On that note, The MetroWest Daily News takes a look at Pioli's history of picks, highlighting the many remarkable moves he has made, as well as the few that did not work out so well.
Reid Cherner of* USA Today* has a feature on the close-knit family of Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb. You surely know McNabb's mom, Wilma, from her Chunky Soup commercials, but McNabb gives much credit to his parents tutelage for making him the success he is today.
The Providence Journal is running a piece by Phil Sheridan of The Philadelphia Inquirer contending the Eagle have been but a step behind the Patriots over the last few years. After all, had Philly won the previous three NFC Championship games they lost before getting over the hump this year, we could very well be debating the dynasty resume of the Eagles instead of the Patriots.
Jonathan Comey of The Standard Times attempts to answer 5 big questions about the Patriots.
The Standard Times also runs a associated press article by Jimmy Golen, in which Golen suggests there will be no doubting the Patriots "patchwork secondary" in the Super Bowl, as the unit has more than proven itself at this point.
Joe Theisman of ESPN.com picks up the dynasty debate, contending the Patriots will achieve such status with a win February 6th.
ESPN.com also reports on the progress of Terrell Owens rehab. After being informed he would not be cleared to play by his doctor, T.O hit the treadmill to test out the injured hoof.
Peter King of SportsIllustrated.com features Eagles coach Andy Reid, revealing Reid is far more candid behind the scenes than he appears in his comparatively serious public press conferences. King hopes Reid will use the Super Bowl week media frenzy to showcase his more personable side, but predicts Reid will remain all-business.
Also on SI.com, Jeffri Chadiha takes a great look at T.O the teammate, showing that Owens has put his personal feelings and goals aside for the sake of the Eagles team. In his first year in Philly, T.O has been an excellent teammate, largely debunking previous perceptions created during his often-tumultuous time as a 49er.