The Boston Globe's Ron Borges reports that the Patriots couldn't prove the Jets tampered in the Deion Branch fiasco. Commissioner Roger Goodell reviewed the facts during a five-month investigation by NFL Security, ruling that the allegations "were not supported by the facts." Also included are notes on Patriots players in Miami for the Super Bowl.
Jackie MacMullan of The Boston Globe reports on ex-Patriot linebacker Ted Johnson, who she says is "a shell of his former self. Johnson, 34, suffers from such severe depression that some mornings he literally cannot pull himself out of bed. The 10-year NFL veteran believes his current state is a direct result of a career in which he absorbed 'countless' head injuries, including back-to-back concussions suffered within days during the 2002 season, when he says the Patriots didn't give him proper time to recover." MacMullan talks to coach Bill Belichick about Johnson, as well.
Ron Borges of The Boston Globe discusses the issue of former players with minimal pension benefits and poor disability coverage. Borges talks with former players as well as NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw. "I played next to a guy for seven years who's living in a homeless shelter," said one former player. "Our pension sucks, plain and simple. I think Gene Upshaw and [former NFL commissioner] Paul Tagliabue are responsible. They've been in charge for 20 years."
Ron Borges of* The Boston Globe* offers Super Bowl matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's game.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald also has matchups for this game.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald talks to Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy about the AFC Championship and his postseason resume.
Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe reports on Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who lets his actions on the field do the talking for him. "Marv is Marv," said tight end Dallas Clark. "You're trying to figure out what he's like. We're still trying to figure out what he's like."
The Boston Globe's Colts notebook features offensive tackle Tarik Glenn, who's been with Indy through good times and bad.
Jim McCabe of The Boston Globe offers some comical Pro Picks entering the Super Bowl.
Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe features the Bears Rashied Davis.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers thoughts from the Bears on criticism facing Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman. "I'd like to think that I stay pretty poised and even-keeled," Grossman said. Grossman's grandfather played for the Baltimore Colts when the team still played in the AAFL.
The Boston Globe's Bears notebook features wideout Mushin Muhammad, who played for the Panthers when the Pats beat them in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald talks to Solomon Wilcots, who interviewed coach Belichick following the Patriots loss to the Colts. "Listen, I've lost in big games," Wilcots said yesterday between radio interviews. "I lost in Super Bowl XXIII (with the Bengals). I remember how painful it was. I respect coach Bill Belichick immensely. He's been very helpful to me throughout my career in production meetings. I don't take what happened personally, but I was just surprised. I thought he would respond with something."