Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe explains that the Patriot are one of just five teams to play both Super Bowl teams this year. Reiss talks to a few Patriots players and NFL coaches with ties to New England about the matchup. "When you look at this matchup, it's classic offense vs. classic defense," Pats safety Rodney Harrison says.
The Boston Globe's Christopher Gasper reports from Florida on the Bears, who arrived in Miami yesterday as 7-point underdogs. "We've been in this role all year it seems like for some reason," said Bears coach Lovie Smith. "We're playing the Colts this week. They have a lot of depth. I can see why we're in that underdog role."
Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe explains that Bears cornerback Charles Tillman reflected on the 17-13 Patriots victory against Chicago earlier this year as a time the Bears could have begun doubting themselves. "The error of the past is the wisdom of the future," he said. "I think we figured out the mistakes we made in that game and we learned and we moved on. Look at us now." Included are other notes.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers five things to look for in Sunday's Super Bowl, including an Adam Vinatieri moment.
Jim Donaldson of The Providence Journal is still in a state of disbelief about the Patriots loss in the AFC Championship. "Rex Grossman? Rex Grossman's at the Super Bowl and Brady isn't? Now, that's really hard to believe," he writes.
A sampling of Patriots news published Sunday, 1/28 (yesterday):
Mike Reiss and Ron Borges of The Boston Globe talk to NFL VP of communications Greg Aiello about a pass interference call on cornerback Ellis Hobbs, which came in the third quarter of the AFC Championship and gave the Colts the ball just a yard from the end zone. Aiello said the penalty was the correct call because there was contact made by Hobbs. Had Hobbs not made contact, there should have been no penalty called for "face-guarding."
Ron Borges of The Boston Globe talks about the fact that no black coach has ever been to the Super Bowl... On Sunday, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl will emblazon his name in the history books.
Ron Borges of The Boston Globe discusses the career of retired NFL coach Bill Parcells. "I haven't talked to anybody about anything, but I'll do something," Parcells said. "I'm not a sit-around-the-house guy." Also included are other NFL notes.
The Boston Herald's Michael Felger features the Patriots safeties focusing on veteran Rodney Harrison, who reportedly plans to return next season. Included are other NFL notes.
Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal talks to a few Patriots players about how they make it through the grueling 22-week season. "You sure don't know what's best for you as far as getting better," said nose tackle Mike Wright. "So of course you're going to listen to the training staff. They're extremely helpful attending to everything, and you know they have it in their best interest for you getting back on the field. It's just as important for them as it is for you." Other notes are included.
Chris Kennedy of* The Republican* talks about cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Tedy Bruschi, the two players he sees as big concerns for the Patriots. Samuel will be a free agent in March, and rumors about Bruschi's retirement have been circulating. Kennedy discusses possible moves by the team concerning other players as well.
Mark Farinella of The Sun Chronicle offers a piece on coach Bill Belichick.