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Patriots.com News Blitz 2/9/05

Yesterday was a day for revelry, as the Super Bowl Champs showed off their hard-earned hardware during a rolling rally through downtown Boston. It is estimated nearly one million people turned out to show the Patriots their support, as the team passed by in a series of Duckboats. Jonathan Kraft addressed the crowd, as did Tom Brady and Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, among others. Brian MacQuarrieof The Boston Globe and Scott MacKayof The Providence Journal review the championship celebration.

Donovan Slack of the Globe compares the Patriots parade-day attitudes with that of the self-proclaimed "Idiot" Red Sox, adding the team left the craziness to the legions of fans in attendance.

Steve Bailey of the Globe extends a thank you to the folks who have made this incredible success possible, team owners Robert Kraft and family. As Bailey contends, the Krafts have served as role models during their tenure as Pats owners, exhibiting valuable examples of loyalty, humility, and generosity.

On that note, Peter Kingof SportsIllustrated.com and Karen Guregianof The Boston Herald look back at comments made by Lawyer Milloy last month regarding the Patriots players being underpaid. As both writers point out, in the era of the salary cap, it is difficult to win championships and be the highest paid player, evidenced by Patriots like Tedy Bruschi accepting below-market deals to stay in New England.

The Globe also reports Corey Dillon, who was named as a replacement in this weekend's Pro Bowl, will be unable to go, and will be replaced by Pittsburgh Steelers back Jerome Bettis. Dillon injured his groin in the fourth quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Nick Cafardo features the man they call "RAC," recently departed Patriots defensive coordinator and new Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel. Crennel has quite a challenge ahead of him, as he takes over a team that went 4-12 last season and appeared to lack the desire and heart necessary to be successful in the NFL.

In his notebook, Michael Felger of the Herald looks at the coaching shuffle, examining how sought-after Eric Mangini will affect the hirings of a number of teams around the league.

Jeffrey Chadiha of SI.com contends the Patriots will be just fine despite losing their two top assistant coaches, Crennel and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Chadiha says with Bill Belichick still at the helm, Patriots fans should feel confident. Chadiha then goes on to forecast the success Weis and Crennel should expect, looking back at other top assistants who have gone on to become head coaches.

Jackie MacMullen has the story of a diehard Pats fan named Michael Chace. Known as "The Senator," Chace proudly brought his Patriots-decorated "War Van" to all Patriots home games, and even drove it through the victory parade in 2002. Sadly, Michael Chace died last March after being diagnosed with cancer, leaving his eldest son, Michael Jr., 26, to care for his three younger sisters.

Dan Shaughnessey of the Globe writes a letter to late coaching great Vince Lombardi, in which he explains why the Hall-of-Fame coach would enjoy the attitude and demeanor of the modern-day New England Patriots.

Kevin Mannix of the Herald looks at Tom Brady's numbers over his first five seasons, and stacks them up against other Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks. As you will see, the results are quite favorable for Brady.

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call dishes out his unit-by-unit grades from Super Bowl Sunday. There are a nice number of A's on this transcript.

Parente also discusses where the team's recent success should place them among history's other dynasties.

Mike Reiss of The MetroWest Daily News provides some interesting odds and ends from his flight back from Jacksonville.

In the Journal's NFL notebook, it is reported that Philly QB Donovan McNabb may have been sick or dehydrated as the Super Bowl wore on, citing center Hank Fraley's contention that McNabb was so ill he was unable to call a play at one point during the fourth quarter.

On ESPN.com, John Clayton reviews the performance of Eagle receiver Terrell Owens, calling his ability to make nine catches for 122 yards on a recently broken leg "simply amazing."

Also on ESPN.com, Len Pasquarelli praises the Patriots innovative defensive scheme employed against Philadelphia as a major key to Sunday's success.

Finally, Nick Cafardo describes the scene of Patriots packing up and heading home for the offseason. The next few months certainly constitutes a well-deserved break for the Super Bowl Champs.

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