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Bianca Wilfork shows love for Patriots fans, even in the Bahamas

02.08.15 at 5:44 pm ET
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Spotted a person in bahamas with a 75 jersey on in the bahamas had to walk up on them 🙈😂

A video posted by Bianca Wilfork (@mrs75) on

Maybe it was the joyous hangover from the Super Bowl victory or maybe it was just wanting to thank a fan but Bianca Wilfork couldn’t resist making the day of a particular Patriots fan on Sunday while she and her two-time Super Bowl-winning husband were vacationing in the Bahamas.

Bianca spotted a Patriots fan wearing her husband’s No. 75 in a blue home jersey Sunday. She and Vince walked up to the balcony where the man and two others were standing, minding their own business.

Bianca pipes up, “You know whose jersey you’re wearing?” After a smile and polite response, Bianca chimes, “His!” and points to her husband.

The fan shook Vince’s hands and jokes, “Almost your size.”

The whole moment was captured on Bianca’s Instagram account on video and broadcast to the world.

Read More: Bahamas, Bianca Wilfork, New England Patriots, Vince Wilfork

Maybe the best Super Bowl XLIX highlight video you’ll see

02.08.15 at 11:24 am ET
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This popped up on YouTube on Thursday, and it’s too good not to share. A unique look back at the craziness of Super Bowl XLIX. Enjoy. And yeah, football is awesome.

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Sunday NFL Notes: Past misdeeds of some Patriots critics leave charges sounding hollow

02.08.15 at 5:30 am ET
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Jerry Rice made some critical statements about the Patriots this week. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Jerry Rice made some critical statements about the Patriots this week. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

1. This past week, Hall of Famer Jerry Rice added his voice to the chorus of ex-players who are trying to discredit the Patriots and their recent run of achievement. Rice quickly backpedaled on his statements (after video of him surfaced talking about how he used to try and gain a competitive edge with Stickum — which had been previously banned). That led him to fire off a Tweet where he fundamentally explained away his indiscretions by saying that everybody was doing it. It’s another sign that when it comes to firing off allegations of cheating in the NFL, you have to clean up your own backyard before you go knocking on your neighbors’ door. As for comments from Charles Haley this week saying he “lost all respect” for Brady because of the chargers, well, let’s take a good look at Haley’s track record before considering the charges. The same was true of former Carolina GM Marty Hurney, who speculated about a “culture of cheating” with the Patriots. Of course, a quick Google search of Hurney’s background reveals that while he was running the Panthers, alleged steroid use on the team was so rampant it alarmed a member of Congress. (In the context of this conversation, it was shocking that so little play was given over to the fact that an NFL owner copped to pumping artificial noise into their dome in an attempt to gain an advantage.) Ultimately, it serves as a reminder that not everyone is as clean as you might think, not even a player like Rice who was so consistently above reproach over the course of his career.

2. With the 2014 season in the books, attention now turns to the 2015 slate. With the understanding that the NFL prefers to have the defending champ open at home on a Thursday night with what should be a marquee game, it caused us to go back and look at the 2015 home schedule and ponder who might be the best possible candidate to open at home against the Pats. Truthfully, it’s not a wildly dynamic home slate for New England in 2015. In addition to the three divisional foes, the Patriots will host the Steelers, as well as AFC South matchups against the Jags and Titans and games against the Eagles and Redskins of the NFC East. Of that group, the three likeliest candidates for a prime-time opener against New England in Foxboro are probably Pittsburgh (while the Patriots-Steelers rivalry isn’t what it once was, it still can offer some occasional spice), Philly (Chip Kelly vs. old pal Bill Belichick would certainly be interesting) and Buffalo (Rex Ryan with his new team might attract some viewers). From this viewpoint, it likely depends on what sort of offseason buzz might start to build around Rex and the Bills, but that might be the most intriguing matchup, at least when it comes to TV. One more thing, as it relates to the 2015 schedule — the league mandates that the last couple of weeks are divisional games, and Gillette will host the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2016, which might necessitate the Patriots going on the road for the final week of the regular season. Something to remember when the league schedule is announced in April.

3. We touched on what the market might be for potential free agent running back Shane Vereen here, but one Tweeter provided a possible framework for a new contract for the Cal product with the deal that was recently done for Darren Sproles when the third-down back signed with the Eagles prior to the start of the 2014 season. Sproles signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with Philly last March, one that included a $3 million signing bonus and $5.5 million guaranteed. (For comparisons sake, old friend Danny Woodhead signed a three-year, $7.25 million contract with a $3 million signing bonus last July with San Diego.) While Vereen doesn’t have the past resume of Sproles, the 25-year-old (he’ll turn 26 in March) is considerably younger than Sproles (31), and so the difference might be relatively negligible when you’re talking about total dollars. Regardless, the market for Vereen should be an interesting one — the 5-foot-10, 200-pounder could be hitting free agency at the right tine, as he was only one of five backs to finish the 2014 season with at least 50 catches and 50 carries last year, and ended up as a Super Bowl champion.

4. Given the level of talk around here about how the Patriots had to sign veteran offensive lineman Richie Incognito after the struggles of the first few weeks of the 2014 season, it was interesting to see the Bills made the occasionally mercurial offensive lineman their first big addition of the offseason, as the two sides agreed to a deal Saturday. The 31-year-old Incognito, made famous via the bullying scandal in Miami in 2013, sat out the duration of the 2014 season, occasionally making headlines for various off-field scrapes like beating up his own car. From a practical perspective, the Bills have had issues at the guard position the last few seasons — both Kraig Urbik and Erik Pears struggled last year, and Chris Williams (who many consider to be their best option at guard) had a lower-back issue for most of 2014. But the move reeks of pure Rex. He promised to “build a bully” in Buffalo, and he certainly put his money where his mouth is, as he welcomes the former outcast back into the league with a flourish. If Ryan can harness Incognito, it’ll be hailed as a masterstroke for an struggling offensive line. If he can’t play anymore — or even worse, engages in another episode — it’ll leave Ryan and the new Buffalo ownership with some egg on their faces.

5. The annual scouting combine will take place from Feb. 17-23 in Indianapolis, and while most of the eyes will be on the elite-level talents, there are always a few New England connections to consider. This year, there are a few of players with local ties who are set to perform for scouts and personnel men in Indy later this month. Here’s a list — running back: Tyler Varga, Yale; wide receiver: Geremy Davis, Connecticut; tight end: Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts; offensive linemen: Andy Gallik (C), Boston College; defensive linemen: Zach Hodges (DE), Harvard; defensive backs: Byron Jones (CB), Connecticut. (View the complete list here.)

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Malcolm Butler details crazy week in wake of Super Bowl heroics

02.07.15 at 12:32 am ET
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Malcolm Butler became a National superstar with this interception Sunday night. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Malcolm Butler became a star with this interception Sunday night. (Harry How/Getty Images)

A lot has changed for Malcolm Butler over the last week.

After the cornerback made a game-saving play in the Super Bowl last Sunday against the Seahawks, he was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. He’€™s done most of the major network morning shows, and made a trip to Disneyland with teammate Julian Edelman. For the relatively shy West Alabama product, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.

“You know, [life] changed real fast,” Butler said in a conference call with the media. “I’ve been busy a lot. Been having to do a lot of things. I probably can’t go grocery shopping or whatever. That’s what this game comes with at times. I’m just enjoying the moment. Life changes dramatically, in good ways. It just changed.”

It’s been a remarkable ride for the undrafted free agent this past season, who was signed shortly after the draft and fought his way onto the 53-man roster. As the only rookie cornerback, playing time was occasionally scarce over the course of the season, but he said Friday that didn’t deter him.

“I came in trying to make the best of my opportunity — I came to practice and I played like my hair’s on fire,” he said. “I did everything the coaches asked of me to make the team. Once I made the team, I wanted to keep striving. It’s kind of hard sitting back and not playing and just playing special teams, but I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do.

“When I get my opportunity to get in the game, everyone has good ones, everyone has bad ones. No matter what, I’m going to do my best to play the best I can and just took advantage of my opportunities.”

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Robert Kraft on keeping Tom Brady, Bill Belichick together with Patriots: ‘As long as the good lord lets me breathe, that’s my objective’

02.06.15 at 3:23 pm ET
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Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

Appearing on CBS This Morning, Robert Kraft answered a number of questions on a number of different topics, including Deflategate, the Super Bowl, Malcolm Butler, and keeping Bill Belichick and Tom Brady together with the Patriots.

The quarterback and coach duo have been to six Super Bowls, and have won four of them, solidifying their spot as the best coach, quarterback tandem of all-time. Kraft said he does not want there to be a time where one of them is on the Patriots without the other.

“As long as the good lord lets me breathe, that’€™s my objective,” said Kraft on CBS This Morning. “We’€™ve been able to keep it together for 15 years, and I don’€™t think there is any other head coach-owner relationship like that. Tommy is just so special the way he takes care of himself, the way he trains and the kind of leader he is.”

Belichick and Brady were attacked in the media in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl with all things Deflategate related, and Kraft backed his coach and quarterback the Monday prior to the big game with a statement demanding the NFL apologize if there was no wrongdoing on the Patriots’ part.

Kraft backed his guys again on Friday.

“Whenever you’€™re privileged to get to this big game there’€™s always a lot of distractions that come about. The bottom line is we won our championship game 45-7 and we won the Super Bowl 28-24, and the league pretty much had full charge of the footballs,” said Kraft. “They’€™re looking into it and I’€™m really comfortable with the people we have in this organization.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Malcolm Butler, Robert Kraft, Super Bowl XLIX

NFL fines Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui for their roles in Super Bowl fight

02.06.15 at 2:18 pm ET
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It was the ugly fight that marred the end of one of the greatest Super Bowls in NFL history.

On Friday, the NFL handed out fines to the four players at the heart of the fisticuffs. For instigating the whole brawl, Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin was fined $10,000. This comes in addition to his ejection from the game.

Irvin was spotted grabbing the facemask of Michael Hoomanawanui in the back of the end zone with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Irvin initially got into it with Rob Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage. Also fined was Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett. He was docked $8,268 for his role in the altercation, which included tackling Gronkowski to the ground after Irvin was pushed off to the side.

Gronkowski appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Tuesday and pretended to not be aware of throwing any punches before Kimmel showed him the tape. “I don’t think I did. No, Roger [Goodell], I did not. Oh. Ooh. Ooh. Roger, that wasn’t me. Don’t fine me. I have to buy a new party bus.”

Left with no other choice but to admit his role, Gronk explained, “Screw it, last game of the year, I’m throwing some haymakers.”

Those haymakers cost Gronkowski $8,268, the same amount his teammate Michael Hoomanawanui was fined. Gronkowski will no doubt still be able to upgrade that party bus with his Super Bowl winners’ share.

Read More: Bruce Irvin, Michael Bennett, Michael Hoomanawanui, New England Patriots

Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘New England dictated’ Seattle’s decision to pass on goal line

02.06.15 at 1:08 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the Patriots’€™ Super Bowl victory. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

The most talked-about play of the game is the Seahawks‘ decision to throw the ball on the goal line instead of letting Marshawn Lynch run. The play resulted in the Malcolm Butler interception that sealed the victory for the Pats.

“I thought the real key part of that play was that New England brought on its goal-line defense, and when New England brought on its goal-line defense, that was when Seattle went to the three-wide receiver package,” Schefter said, adding: “The bottom line for that is that New England dictated to Seattle rather than Seattle dictating to New England the type of play that was going to be run. … Obviously that worked out very very well for the New England Patriots.”

Schefter expressed a belief that Seattle coach Pete Carroll is receiving too much blame for the play call.

“If they had thrown a touchdown there, I promise you people would have said, ‘Look at how smart Pete Carroll is, and how creative, and going outside the box, and running their play on that spot,’ ” Schefter said. “But it didn’t. If the play worked no matter what he ran, he was going to be brilliant. And if it didn’t work no matter what he ran, he was going to be ripped.”

The Super Bowl championship is the Pats‘ fourth in 13 years, solidifying them as one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.

“[The Patriots] have done this in a free agent era that is designed to promote and implement and have parity,” Schefter said. “This league is built for everybody to finish 8-8, for teams with great players to lose great players. And yet New England during that time has still managed to find a way to go to six Super Bowls. … The only one of those dynasty type of situations that we’re talking about that’s had to fend off the salary cap and the parity that the league always is striving for.”

Leading up to the Super Bowl, the Patriots were under scrutiny for the Deflategate controversy.

“There are people in the Patriots organization, multiple people, that are adamant that nothing happened, they did nothing wrong, this is an overdone, blown-up situation that got carried away when they did nothing,” Schefter said.

With the season over, one of the most interesting decisions the Pats will have to make has to do with the future of corner Darrelle Revis.

“I don’t think that they’re going to exercise the $20 million option,” Schefter said. “I’ve always thought that to be unlikely. So I think they sit down, they try to get something worked out. … If they don’t and he gets out in the market — you can take this to the bank — the Jets and the Bills are going to make major runs at him.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Read More: adam schefter, Darrelle Revis, Patriots, Super Bowl

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