Tom Brady addressed the media yesterday, and was his usual humble self. Brady looks to collect his third Super Bowl title in the last four years next Sunday, and will head to Hawaii for his second Pro Bowl after that. Dan Shaughnesseyof The Boston Globe, Kevin Mannixof The Boston Herald, and Tom Curranof The Providence Journal discuss the quiet superstar.
Of course we can't get too far into The Blitz without a T.O sighting, as the iconic wideout told ESPN's Michael Irvin yesterday that he will definitely play against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. This is sure to spark a weeklong debate regarding the wisdom behind T.O's decision. On one hand, it is hard not to credit Owens for being so courageous, while on the other hand, many will suggest it is too much of a risk. Others still have already begun to intimate Owens is doing it all for the publicity. For more on Terrell, check out Chris Snowof the Globe, as well as ESPN.com
In the Globe, Nick Cafardo features Eagles owner, and Massachusetts native, Jeffrey Lurie.
Before the 2003 season, the most-celebrated Patriots free agent signing was that of young Pro-Bowl linebacker Rosevelt Colvin who, along with Rodney Harrison was expected to revitalize a New England defense that had turned in a sub-par 2002. However, in the second game of the '03 season, in Philadelphia, Colvin suffered a horrific hip injury that called the remainder of his career into question. Colvin was forced to sit and watch his new teammates go 14-2 and win the Super Bowl last year. This year has been a different story, as Colvin has garnered more and more of a workload, developing into a major contributor to the Patriots talented linebacking corps. Michael Vegaof the Globe and Shalize Manza Youngof the Journal review Rosey's return.
In his notebook, Vega reports on the defense's plan to shut down the ever-dangerous Donovan F. McNabb.
In his Philadelphia notebook, Snow looks as the versatile attack coming from Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, a Villanova alum who does almost as much damage as a receiver as he does carrying the ball.
In the Herald, Michael Felger says the Pats will throw the linebackers at Westbrook the way they handled St. Louis Rams do-it-all back Marshall Faulk in the Super Bowl three years ago. Faulk and Westbrook are very similar in their dynamic ability to create offense, and the Patriots will keep close tabs on him throughout next Sunday's tilt.
In his notebook, Felger reports on what may be the end of the line for 36-year-old linebacker Roman Phifer, one of the league's oldest players. Felger also relays some good news, that being a sighting of Richard Seymour looking good out at yesterday's practice.
In USA Today, Skip Wood extends Troy Aikman's opinion that experience is not all it is cracked up to be in the Super Bowl. Aikman, who won three Super Bowls in a four-year span as the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, points out that when his team of inexperienced Cowboys won their first Bowl, it was against a Buffalo Bills team that had been to the last two.
Tom Weir of USA Today gives the interesting story of Philly linebacker Keith Adams. Adams, a special-teams whiz, was six years old when he watched the Patriots get walloped by the Bears in Super Bowl XX. To Adams, the game held special significance, as his father was New England defensive end Julius Adams.
Jeff Goodman of USA Today contends the Patriots wide receiver gang is an unheralded, but dangerous bunch. There is no doubting the group's versatility, as lightning-quick Deion Branch, powerful David Givens, and crafty David Patten each bring something different to the table. That is not to even mention the elder statesman of the group Troy Brown, who boasts the franchise's two highest single-season reception totals.
Kelly Whiteside of USA Today looks at the city of Jacksonville's ability to pull off the major undertaking of hosting a Super Bowl.
In the Journal, Curran goes back to the Pats-Eagles game in 2003, when the Patriots sacked McNabb seven times and picked him off twice, in one of the toughest games of his career.
The Portland Press Herald spotlights Corey Dillon who, in his first year on a winning team, will have the thrilling opportunity to play for a Super Bowl ring. Dillon has been solid in his first two career playoff games, compiling 217 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call reports on Bill Belichick's refusal to make a big deal of the T.O situation, admitting only that because he is on the active roster the team will have to prepare for him.
Parente also features Philly run-stopper, middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter. Trotter returned to the Eagles this season after an unsuccessful two-year stint with the Washington Redskins, and since working his way back into the starting lineup has anchored the Eagles stout run defense.
ESPN.com's Michael Smith identifies Branch and Eagles tight end L.J Smith as the potential X-factors come Super Bowl Sunday.
SportsIllustrated.com presents its feature matchup of the day, and it is Patriots wild-man linebacker Tedy Bruschi against Philly's Westbrook.
On CBS.Sportsline.com, Pete Prisco credits the Patriots offensive line, which makes up for its inexperience with its mental toughness and ability to work cohesively.
Finally, SI.com gives platform to Eagles defensive end Jevon Kearse. Kearse, known as "The Freak," is a powerful pass rusher, and will present problems for Matt Light and Brandon Gorin, depending on whose side he lines up on. Last week, Kearse switched from side to side, so that he could be responsible for Michael Vick's most expansive area of land. Needless to say, Kearse did a tremendous job containing Vick.