The teams haven't even arrived yet in Arizona, and already, the talk is starting up.
Trash talk, that is. But it's all one-sided at this point.
Backup cornerback Jeremy Lane of Seattle felt it necessary to call out Rob Gronkowski this week, essentially saying that the Patriots' tight end is not worthy of the All-Pro honors he earned this season.
"I actually don't think he's that good," Lane declared. "He's OK. He does have a big body. But from what I've seen on tape, he doesn't like you putting your hands on him. So if we put our hands on him and shake him up a little bit, he won't catch that many balls."
"Everyone's entitled to their own opinion," Gronkowski responded calmly when informed Friday of Lane's comment. "They've got a great defense overall. We've got to be worried about their whole defense. We've got to be sure we practice hard, prepare hard all week so we're ready to roll."
Gronkowski was pressed on the subject by a reporter wanting to know if he was upset by Lane's remarks.
"I just keep doing what I've got to do," Gronkowski smiled. "I've just got to keep working hard at practice, keep bringing it at practice, keep preparing. Just keep getting ready, because it's not just one player on their defense, there's 11 guys out there at the same time. It's not just 11, they've got the backups, too. So I've got to prepare for their whole defense, no doubt about that.
"I've got much respect for the Seattle Seahawks throughout their whole team. Just got to keep working hard and practicing and getting ready for the game. Bring it out there on the field. I'm super excited, no doubt about that. I can't wait, it's going to be a lot of fun. Definitely playing a great opponent. I'm super pumped and excited."
Meanwhile, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, never a shrinking violet himself, recently said he's the best at his position in the NFL.
"That's great," said Patriots corner Darrelle Revis, who, like Sherman, was a first-team All-Pro this season. Revis had no further comment on the subject.
Sherman did go on to praise Revis – a marked difference from the social media feud that he and Revis engaged in a couple of seasons ago.
"He's had a great year and he's been doing his job effectively," Sherman said of Revis. "I like what I've seen from his game…. I'm sure people will make comparisons. They always do. But we play the game two different ways."
Revis has maintained, throughout this season, that any discussion of who is the best cornerback in football talk no longer is a priority of his.
What is important to Revis is taking time to savor the moment. Next Sunday, the 8-year veteran will be playing in his first Super Bowl, so, he's turning to teammates with experience in the big game for helping in handling the fortnight that precedes it.
"I'm trying to… everything's surreal right now," he admitted. "Actually, I'm asking some of the guys who've been here, 'What's the process?' Vince [has been helping me, Dev has been helping me, even Browner. It's just surreal and I'm trying to go through the process the best way I can."
Revis and his teammates were back inside the Dana-Farber Field House behind Gillette Stadium for their second practice of the week. After a full-pads session on Thursday, Friday's workout was simply a walkthrough. The team will be back on the field both Saturday and Sunday before taking a charter flight to Phoenix on Monday.