The Boston Globe's Mike Reiss reports that Colts GM Bill Polian had nothing but kind words when asked about beating the Patriots during yesterday's Super Bowl media circus. "There's no special feeling about the Pats, other than great respect for them," said Polian, whose Colts were knocked out of the 2003 and 2004 playoffs by New England. "They're a great football team, the best-coached team that you're going to play year in and year out, in terms of detail and creativeness. A great organization."
Michael Felger of the* Boston Herald* offers Colts thoughts on the AFC Championship game. Included are thoughts on the Pats offense and defense in that game. "We game-planned them. We thought a good matchup was our running backs and tight ends against their linebackers. That's what you have to do when you feel you have a good matchup. We felt we have some success with our running backs and tight ends against (Bruschi), and our coaches gave us the chance to make some plays in the open field," said running back Dominic Rhodes.
The Boston Herald's Michael Felger features Colts defensive lineman/fullback Dan Klecko. Klecko got the last laugh against the Pats, catching a 1-yard touchdown pass in the Colts 38-34 win in the AFC title game. Klecko punctuated the play by spiking the ball in the vicinity of Mike Vrabel - which he later apologized for - and motioning toward the Pats bench on his way back to the sidelines. "It was a team that didn't think I could play anymore, but here I am in Miami (at the Super Bowl)," said Klecko, who was released by the Pats at the end of training camp last August.
John Tomase of the* Boston Herald* explains that Bears kicker Robbie Gould has always admired Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri. "He was my hero," Gould said yesterday. "He's a guy I looked up to. The New England Patriots were my favorite team. Having the opportunity to be around him (in the Pats '05 training camp) and soak everything up was such an opportunity because he was an inspiration to me.
Boston Herald writer John Tomase offers the thoughts of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher on Tom Brady. "You think (Atlanta Falcons QB) Michael Vick is fast?" Urlacher said. "Tom Brady is shifty, man. He's a shifty dude." Also included are Bears notes.
Keri Fisher of The Boston Globe has a piece on the New England Patriots chef representative at the Taste of the NFL, a charity event that raises money for hunger relief. The rep, Paul O'Connell will make his fourth Super Bowl appearance this year.
John Tomase and Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald offer notes from Super Bowl media day, touching on happenings related to the Patriots.
Lenny Megliola of The MetroWest Daily News offers a piece on the Pats and the Bears, writing as though he left after the first half of the AFC Championship game and believes the Pats advanced to the Super Bowl.
Mark Farinella of The Sun Chronicle offers a piece supposing the Patriots were in the Super Bowl this week called "Dreaming of Miami."
Glen Farley of The Enterprise discusses the 1986 Super Bowl Patriots, quarterbacked by Steve Grogan. "Absolutely," Grogan agreed when it was suggested the Chicago Bears defense he faced in Super Bowl XX might have been the best he ever saw. "They had great athletes, No. 1. No. 2, they played that '46' defense no one else played."
Bob Ryan of* The Boston Globe* features Tank Johnson, defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. Johnson was let off house arrest to play in the Super Bowl. After the game is over, he'll face charges involving six counts of unlawful possession without a firearm owner's identity card.
Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe features Olin Kreutz, the Bears center. He's the anchor of Chicago's offensive line, and will be attending his sixth straight Pro Bowl this year.
Mike Reiss and Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe offer a piece on Colts QB Peyton Manning. "I know how hard it is to get here," he said at Dolphin Stadium during media day. "I certainly would have hoped to have been here earlier, but it just didn't work out. You want to take advantage of the opportunity if you can, and that's what we have right now -- an opportunity. It's one that you don't want to take for granted."
Don't forget to check out USA Today's Inside Slant on the Patriots, posted on 1/29.