Michael Felger looks at the Patriots offseason moves, which are the reason they are playing in the Super Bowl this week. Jackie MacMullan has the Globe front page feature story on Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson, who formally kicked off his “One More” Foundation last week, and has embraced his faith ever closer as he reaches the high point of his career. David Brown talks to former Giant Myron Guyton about what he remembers about Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin from his playing days in New York. Mark Farinella has the Patriots veterans dishing out advice on handling Super Bowl week.
Over on Patriots Daily, we’ve got some of the highlights from the initial press conferences by the Patriots as they arrived in Arizona.
Bob Ryan watched every move by Tom Brady at the Gillette Stadium sendoff for the Patriots yesterday, and muses about how Brady “long ago ceased to be just another good NFL quarterback, and who is a major part of Celebrity America.” Mike Underwood (No, Felger hasn’t changed his name) has Brady not limping at the sendoff. Maggie Cassidy has more on the Gillette sendoff. Jennifer D. Jordan reports on the sendoff for the ProJo. Christopher Price has Brady without a boot or limp at the sendoff. Alan Greenwood has a walking, talking Brady easing the fears of Patriots fans.
Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots landing in Arizona, where Brady was naturally the focus of attention there as well. Karen Guregian also focuses on Brady after the Patriots touched town in Arizona. David Heuschkel has Brady saying he’ll be ready to go on Sunday. Jennifer Toland has Brady not concerned about his ankle at all. Chris Kennedy also has Brady feeling good upon arrival.
Mike Reiss has the Patriots ready for business upon arriving in Arizona. Rob Bradford has the Patriots veterans relishing the moment of arrival for Super Bowl week. Paul Doyle gives us seven storylines you’ll be sure to see this week. Dom Amore has the Patriots not at all surprised to be facing the Giants once again. Guregian looks at the solid core of 10 players who have been on the roster for all three Super Bowl victories this decade for the Patriots.
Tony Massarotti examines how deeply Bill Belichick has put his stamp on this franchise and on his players. Chris Kennedy also looks at how Belichick has created a winning culture with the Patriots. Ryan Trepanier has a look at Mike Vrabel, who has been an absolute steal since coming over from Pittsburgh prior to the 2001 season. Price has NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger telling us that we should expect a different looking Patriots defense for this game than what we saw in the regular season finale. Tom King has the Patriots showing plenty of respect for Eli Manning.
Elizabeth Merrill on ESPN.com has a feature on Wes Welker. Steve Buckley talks to 20 people and decides that the whole country doesn’t hate the Patriots after all. Jim Donaldson has part II of The Patriots Story for the Projo. If you missed it, Shalise Manza Young had part I over the weekend.
Reiss has the obituary of former Boston College and Patriots head coach Mike Holovak, who passed away at the age of 88 this weekend. The Herald also remembered Holovak, and Bradford writes about the great impact that Holovak had on the Patriots organization.
The Globe notebook has Bill Belichick in a light mood upon arriving in Arizona. Dan Ventura’s notebook has the Patriots offensive line ready for the huge challenge they’ll face on Sunday. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on the passing of Holovak.
The Celtics played without Kevin Garnett for the first time this season yesterday in Orlando, and while the team was still game, they came up short when new Celtics-killer Hedo Turkoglu hit a 25-footer at the buzzer to give the Magic a three point win, 96-93.
Alan Siegel examines how Garnett has carried the Celtics to the top of the NBA standings. Tim Weisberg looks at Ray Allen’s struggles this season. Bulpett notes that the Celtics might be wavering on Damon Stoudamire because they’d prefer to somehow get Sam Cassell from the Clippers.
Jessica Heslam has a look at WEEI rebounding nicely in the ratings book.
Gordon Edes has an informative account of the New York Baseball Writers dinner, where Dustin Pedroia was presented with his Rookie of the Year award from Craig Biggio.
We plan on stepping up the coverage this Super Bowl week, so check back often for the latest updates, links and happenings.