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New England Patriots Links 1/31/12 - Super Bowl Media Day; Patriots Have Day Off From Practice

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Patriots players spoke with the media Monday:

Vince Wilfork (on playing different positions and a high volume of snaps at this stage of his career) "You know what? Each year, I just want to keep getting better. I think conditioning is everything, being able to go. The more stress you can put on yourself in the off-season and training camp, I think it allows you to play at a high level once you get later in the season. That's one I did a real good job of, putting that stress on myself this off-season."

(on where his desire comes from to not come off the field) "All of my life I've been competitive. I always want to be in the middle of everything. If it's going wrong, it's going wrong, but if it's going right, it's going right and I want to be in the middle. All of my life I've thought that I'm a leader, and I think leaders have to take control at some point and show the will to do whatever it takes to turn things around, whether it's bad or positive. At a young age, I always had that fight, but it's a good fight."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (on if not turning the ball over will be important in this game) "Yes, you know it's always important. In any game that you play in, obviously, you want to win the turnover battle. That's the number one thing that correlates to winning in this league, so that's the thing we want to try to do."

(on how he has made it through his career without fumbling) "Just been blessed and fortunate, that's about it. There's no science to it because it's something that happens. It's a part of the game. You don't want to have turnovers, but they happen. No one wants to go out there and fumble the ball. It's something that just happens and I just have been blessed and fortunate. That's the only thing I can kind of take it up to."

Patrick Chung (on how it feels to be at the Super Bowl) "It feels awesome. It feels awesome. I mean we're still here on a business trip, though. We're still here to work hard but it feels good. It feels good to be here. A lot of guys don't get this opportunity but we'll take the best of it and just play a good game."

(on what has jumped out at him that's 'awesome') "Just the atmosphere - there's all these people around, all you in here. It's just a crazy experience and feeling just knowing that we're at the big show."

(on what the biggest lesson they learned from the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens) "The main lesson? Play to the end. That's all I can really say. Play to the end because you never know what's going to happen."

Deion Branch (on giving advice to younger players on the team) "I'm the older guy, exactly. It's crazy. I'm one of the older guys. I was just talking to DP (Former Patriots WR David Patten) about two or three days ago. I was talking to David Patten. He was one of the guys I looked up to and he and (Former Patriots WR) Troy (Brown) showed so much love to me when I was a young guy, and now I have the same opportunity to do the same thing for those young guys."

(on the mentality today of getting back to work) "Exactly. Today it was. We felt that early on. It was good. All the guys were very anxious to get in the meeting room, to get our playbook, to listen to coach break down the film, kick the meeting off, and then we just had practice. So everything is pretty much going the way we expected."

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Mike Reiss tells us what's ahead for today for the Patriots, starting with Media Day at 10 a.m.
  • Mike Reiss caps off the night with the three biggest takeaways from the Patriots' second day in Indy.
  • Jackie MacMullan notes no one is safe from critic-at-large Bill Belichick during Patriots film sessions.
  • Mike Reiss revisits the Mike Vrabel trade, how it all unfolded, how it affected the dynamic between them, and where it stands now.
  • Ian Rapoport reports veterans Brian Waters, Gerard Warren and Shaun Ellis are thrilled to make it to the Super Bowl.
  • Dan Ventura notes Patrick Chung says he feels like they're "playing as a family, playing intense and playing with passion."
  • John Powers spotlights the "universal adapter" the Patriots have at tight end in Aaron Hernandez.
  • Michael Whitmer catches up with Dan Connolly, who continually proves he can, when others tell him he can't.
  • Karen Guregian speaks with a doctor and several former players who have had high ankle sprains, and are convinced Gronkowski will not be effective if he plays.
  • Mary Paoletti reports the Patriots are happy to return to work.
  • Mike Reiss talks about Belichick's easy demeaner, which will probably shift to a more serious tone later this week.
  • Tom E. Curran says Belichick loves this team's consistency and diligence.
  • Ron Borges points out the many similarities between Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin.
  • Mike Rodak runs down Bill Belichick's top 10 most unconventional moves as coach of the Patriots.
  • Mike Reiss notes the Colts players aren't too happy about the Patriots using their facility.
  • Steve Buckley writes about the whiny, hand-wringing of the New York media.
  • Mark Farinella finds the national media is determined to run with the "revenge" motif, but neither Belichick nor the players are cooperating.
  • ESPNBoston links to some photo galleries of the Patriots' top ten Super Bowl moments.
  • Tedy Bruschi was on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike show this morning, talking about losing Super Bowls and the Pats defense.
  • Dan Shaugnessy tries to stir things up by getting Bill Parcells' pick for the Super Bowl, but the Tuna wouldn't bite.
  • Tedy Bruschi offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: BenJarvus Green-Ellis will be wearing a device that measures the force and impact of each hit; Rob Gronkowski was held out of a full-pads practice yesterday; Belichick said there's a "possibility" Sebastian Vollmer will play and that "he's making progress"; Devin McCourty's twin brother Jason will be in Indy today; Dan Connelly, the second of four centers this year is back from a groin injury.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Bill Belichick had his players practice in full-pads Monday, two days after a full-pads practice on Friday at GIllette; Jim Irsay says it's hard to swallow a Super Bowl playing in his stadium, without his team involved; BenJarvus Green-Ellis is thrilled to be back in Indiana, where he spent some of his formative years; Deion Branch was appreciative of the 'beautiful facility' they had to practice in; Vince Wilfork thinks he can throw a ball better than Tom Brady, and Brady thinks he can beat Wilfork in the 40.
  • Bob Ryan says it's clear in hindsight the Giants should have been the NFC playoff favorites to begin with.
  • Dan Duggan reports Giants' RB Ahmad Bradshaw is dealing with a stress fracture in his right foot, but is expected to play Sunday.

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