"I am deeply saddened to learn of today’s tragic news regarding the death of Steve McNair. He was a player who I admired a great deal. He was a tremendous leader and an absolute warrior. He felt like it was his responsibility to lead by working hard every day, no matter what. I don’t think there was a player who played with him or against him that didn’t look up to him and respect him. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his friends and the many teammates who loved and admired him."
As luck would have it, Phil Bissell had been looking at some photographs of Boston College football players the day [50 years ago when his then boss, Globe sports editor Jerry] Nason told him he wanted a cartoon for an upstart team from an upstart league, and his eye settled on a lineman. From there Bissell’s creativity, which remains abundant to this day, took over and Pat Patriot was quickly born, a 45-minute gestation period before he popped out of the end of Bissell’s ink pen as a Minuteman in full uniform snapping a football with a puckish Irish face while snorting, Now to make some history around here!!
"My experience with Bill, I think we all owe him a great deal, especially anyone who’s been a part of those Super Bowl teams," Izzo said. "Our lives are a lot better because of Bill Belichick. There’s no better coach in football in the history of the game. I learned a lot from him on a daily basis. The attention to details, things of that nature.
"The last couple years, he really spent a lot of time with the linebackers. Obviously, I didn’t get much time as a linebacker, but having sat in those meetings, I always enjoyed listening to him . . . I really couldn’t say enough good things about Bill. He’s a great coach and played a huge role in my life. I enjoyed my eight years there, and I’m very grateful that he valued the role that I played and what I brought to the table."
- Globe 10.0: Could McGinest help the Patriots? Tony Massarotti and Kevin Paul Dupont debate whether Belichick should bring Willie to training camp.
- Chris Gasper catches up with ex-Patriot Larry Izzo to talk about his transition to the Jets, offers a Q & A with Pro Bowl kicker Stephen Gostkowski, and more NFL news and bits.
- Mark Farinella was finally granted permission by the Colts organization to interview Brett McDermott, the former Mansfield High School and Holy Cross standout at wide receiver and defensive back. McDermott will soon be starting Training Camp in Indiana, where his ultimate goal is to make the team.
- Mark Farinella also offers some additional quotes from his Brett McDermott interview. It's terrific to see a local kid make it this far and hard not to root for him - even if he's wearing a horseshoe on his jersey.
Christopher Price says McNair's legacy is one of grit and toughness.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Patrick Chung eager to leave his mark on Patriot foes.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) What can stop the Wildcat? ESPN's Eric Allen talks about what type of defense can stop it. (Quick video, 41 seconds).
- MMQB: NFL needs to take care of former players, Steve McNair, and Ten Things he Thinks. (SI)
- Random holiday takes. NFL news and notes. (NFP)
- Paul Kuharsky (ESPN) McNair set standard for Titans' quarterbacks.
- Jason La Confora Steve McNair, gone far too soon.
- Jamie Dukes (NFL.com) Life lessons about marriage and pro sports.
- Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports) NFL players are poor - at least in comparison to other professional athletes.