|12.30.09 at 3:49 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Very rarely do you ever hear a professional athlete sincerely thank the media for their coverage of a story. But Vince Wilfork took to the podium on Wednesday to accept the praise for his Pro Bowl selection a day earlier and toward the end thanked reporters in attendance for not hounding him about his contract status with the Patriots.
And that contract status is what makes this Pro Bowl honor for the Patriots’ nose tackle that much more unique. After stating in the summer that he intended to honor the sixth year of his six-year contract with the team and not hold out for a new deal, Wilfork went out and played perhaps the best he’s played in his NFL career.
Throw on top of that the fact that Richard Seymour was dealt to the Oakland Raiders a week before the season, and a lot of weight was placed on his very broad shoulders.
But Wilfork said on Wednesday he’s used to the pressure.
“My wife put it on me,” Wilfork said of Bianca Wilfork. “I have no regrets.”
|12.30.09 at 1:50 pm ET|
Courtesy the Patriots media relations department, here is the transcript from Wednesday’s conference call between Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and New England reporters.
Q: What is your expectation from the Patriots in regards to starters’ playing time on Sunday?
GK: We have to stay focused on ourselves. Bill [Belichick] has a great football team. They are very, very deep. You just watch their performance last week against Jacksonville and it seems like this team is ready to make another run toward another world championship. We’ve got our own issues. We just have to stay focused on ourselves and get ready to play and we’ll have to be as good as we can be to have a chance to win against you guys. So that’s our focus, nowhere else. Read the rest of this entry »
|12.30.09 at 1:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Tom Brady and Randy Moss were again missing from the start of practice on Wednesday as the Patriots began their preparations for the Houston Texans on Sunday in Houston.
With the bitter cold outside, the team held practice in the Dana Farber Field House in sweats and shells to simulate the dome environment they’ll be facing on Sunday.
That wasn’t the only adjustment head coach Bill Belichick made. The Patriots head coach moved practice up one hour to noon so to get his team adjusted to the noon CT start on Sunday.
“We just decided to go out a little bit earlier,” Belichick said. “It’s a noon game in Houston so we’re just going to move up the schedule up a little bit and try to get used to it. It’s an hour, get used to getting out there earlier, practicing earlier and playing earlier. Make sure we’re ready to go. We don’t want to happen to us what happened to Seattle and Miami, get down down by 20-some points in the first or second quarter, it would be hard to win that way.”
Meanwhile, Matthew Slater, Kyle Arrington, Bruce Davis, Thomas Williams, Dan Connolly and Darryl Richard were all recognized as practice players of the week by wearing the black jerseys in practice.
|12.30.09 at 11:40 am ET|
FOXBORO – Patriots coach Bill Belichick gave little indication on Wednesday just how much he plans to play his starters, namely Tom Brady this week in the regular-season finale against Houston, with the playoffs on the horizon one week later.
“We have really only one ball in the air this week,” Belichick said when told the team might have a couple of balls in the air with regard to priorities of resting players versus trying to win the game and head into the playoffs with momentum.
“We just have one game. It’s not a doubleheader. We just have Houston.”
The Patriots will finish as the No. 3 seed in the AFC with a win and host the 6th seed. If they lose in Houston and Cincinnati beats the Jets on Sunday night, the Patriots will have the No. 4 seed and play the No. 5 seed next weekend at Gillette Stadium.
If the Patriots and Bengals finish tied, the No. 3 seed will come down to a strength-of-victory calculation, with the Patriots currently holding a four-game lead.
|12.30.09 at 11:01 am ET|
FOXBORO – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award.
Here is the official release:
The honor is voted on by teammates and bestowed annually upon the player who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration. Brady and award winners from the 31 other NFL teams will be honored at the 31st Annual Ed Block Courage Awards Banquet in Baltimore in March. Read the rest of this entry »
|12.30.09 at 10:36 am ET|
FOXBORO – For the third time this season, Tom Brady has been selected as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Brady was 23-of-26 for 267 yards and four touchdowns and a passer rating of 149.0 in a 35-7 win over the Jaguars that clinched the AFC East title.
Brady passed the 4000-yard mark in the win, the third time in his career.
|12.29.09 at 7:14 pm ET|
Four Patriots players have been named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster: Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork were named starters, while wide receiver Wes Welker and quarterback Tom Brady will go as reserves. Here’s the press release from the Patriots:
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quarterback Tom Brady, G Logan Mankins, WR Wes Welker and NT Vince Wilfork have been selected to represent the New England Patriots and the AFC in the 2010 Pro Bowl on Jan. 31 in South Florida. Mankins and Wilfork were selected as starters, while Brady and Welker were selected as reserves.
Read the rest of this entry »
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