Yesterday was open media day at Gillette Stadium, and both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady took to the podium.
Brady spoke of his playoff experience being a helpful tool for himself and his teammates, and added that the playoffs represent a special opportunity that one is fortunate to get. Brady appeared very focus on the task at hand. Frank Dell'Apaof The Boston Globe, Michael Felgerof The Boston Herald, and Tom Curranof The Providence Journal report on Brady's views.
As Alan Greenbergof The Hartford Courant and Michael Parenteof The Woonsocket Call report, Belichick and his staff will be in their offices this weekend, scouting their potential playoff opponents. When he spoke yesterday, Belichick downplayed the significance of the team's 6-0 record in the playoffs during his tenure, rather, pointing out that whoever the team faces next will already have one playoff win under its belt.
The other big news in the locker room yesterday surrounded defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who inured his knee against the Jets nearly two weeks ago. Seymour spoke to the media about his injury, but was very vague about his availability for the playoffs. He is hopeful he will be able to play, but went no further than disclosing that. Dell'Apa, Felger, and Parente have the story.
Kevin Mannix of The Boston Herald writes on the head coach of the newly crowned National Champion USC Trojans, former Patriots head coach Pete Carroll. Mannix notes Carroll, a California native, may be lured back to the NFL by the recently vacated San Francisco 49ers head-coaching job. However, Mannix asserts the NFL does not mesh well with Carroll's nature, and suggests he is better suited to succeed in the college ranks. It is hard to find more success anywhere than Carroll has the last two years with the Trojans.
Jarrett Bell of USA Today dishes out his AFC awards. Bell honors, among others, Scott Pioli as Executive of the Year, Adam Vinatieri as the clutch kicker of the year, and Troy Brown with the Deion Sanders-inspired, two-way player award.
Karen Davis of The Providence Journal reports another generous donation to the community by team owner Robert Kraft. Yesterday, it was announced that Kraft, on behalf of his family and The Patriots Charitable Foundation, would donate $100,000 to help restore Conley Field and Stadium in Providence, Rhode Island. The field, now used for high school football, is the sight of the Boston Patriots New England debut. In 1960, the Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos 43-6 in a preseason game in front of 4,700 fans at Conley field.
Finally, Bill Reynolds of the Journal features former Patriots backup quarterback Scott Zolak, who has found a niche as a member of the Boston media.