We've made it! Here's the final practice report of the season, especially as Bill Belichick gave the Patriots tomorrow off from practice. With the same deal as yesterday, Jarrett Bell of USA Today covered the Patriots today, while Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback covered the Seahawks.
Patriots practice, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
TEMPE, Ariz. - The New England Patriots concluded their practice preparations for Super Bowl XLIX on Friday, with coach Bill Belichick sensing that his team had accomplished its mission with three practices at the Arizona Cardinals training facility.
Belichick has determined that he will cancel plans to conduct a walk-through session on Saturday.
"We're just going to meet, take a team picture," Belichick said of the Saturday itinerary after putting his team through a light, soggy practice on Friday.
"This is it," Belichick added. "Practice-wise, we're done. We're as ready as we're going to be."
It won't mark the first time that the Patriots won't have a walk-through on the day before the Super Bowl. That was also the case before their last Super Bowl appearance, four years ago in Indianapolis.
"We'll just meet in the morning, take the team picture and that's it," Belichick said.
The meetings and picture will take place at the team's hotel in Chandler, Ariz.
Despite intermittent rain showers, Belichick practiced the Patriots outdoors for about an hour - excluding a 28-minute "halftime" break -- rather than moving the session to an indoor bubble.
"I thought about going inside," Belichick said, "but not for long."
In Belichick's mind, the wet weather in typically dry Arizona provided a bonus of increasing difficulty.
"Make it tougher in practice than it will be in the game," Belichick said.
One key player, though, caught a break. All-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis watched the bulk of team drills from the sideline, which Belichick said was not due to an injury.
"We backed a lot of guys off," Belichick said. "He took a lot of reps yesterday and Wednesday."
Asked if there are any injury concerns that have popped up, Belichick responded, "No. We're all good to go."
The Patriots devoted significant time on the kicking game with half-speed, non-contact reps on Friday, and as on the previous days this week ran a fair number of plays with the offensive and defensive units working in a variety of situations against scout teams.
As was the case all week, Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft was joined by a couple of his sons and grandsons at practice, including Patriots president Jonathan Kraft and Dan Kraft.
About halfway through the practice, the players left the field and returned to the locker room. They returned about a half-hour later, which mimicked the extended, 28-minute halftime during the Super Bowl that is more than twice as long as the typical 12-minute halftimes for NFL games.
"We've done it before," Belichick said of the simulation.
Belichick said he's pleased by his team's mental state as the Super Bowl looms.
"These guys have worked hard," he said. "I think they're ready to go. We're playing a good team, so we're going to have to play well."
Final preparations before Sunday will include settling on the script of plays for the offense.
"We've talked about a lot of things over the course of the week," Belichick said. "Now we've got to boil it down to the most important thing - the plays that we're going to start the game with, the way we want to start the game, so they can really focus on that. We've got a lot of plays in the game plan. But we can only call so many to start the game. So it's ‘Here's the ones we're going to call. Let's see if we can get them right.' "
Seahawks practice, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
TEMPE, Ariz.-With a diverse crowd including former owner John Nordstrom, former quarterback Jim Zorn and hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg watching, the Seattle Seahawks completed their major on-field prep work for Super Bowl XLIX Friday with a 77-minute practice inside the Arizona State Sun Devils football practice bubble.
"We shut down the tempo today because we've had two great weeks of preparation,'' said coach Pete Carroll. "We're just trying to ice it up now, get everything just right, and make sure we're set to play our best on Sunday."
Forced inside by a steady rain in the Phoenix area, Carroll said he was pleased with how his team adapted to practicing for most of Thursday and all of Friday inside. "It's nothing different than we've often done at home,'' said Carroll.
For the third straight day, all 63 active Seahawks-53 on the active roster and 10 on the practice squad-were healthy and practiced fully, until the second-to-last play of practice. Strong safety Kam Chancellor fell near the goal line, was helped up, then missed the final play of practice. He left the field after practice without a limp but with his left knee wrapped. The other recently rehabbed players, including cornerback Richard Sherman (hyperextended elbow), free safety Earl Thomas (dislocated shoulder) and starting right guard J.R. Sweezy (ankle), all practiced without limitation.
Seattle will list Chancellor on the team's injury report as probable (knee) for Sunday's game.
The Seahawks conclude preparations for the Super Bowl with an 11 a.m. walk-through practice Saturday at Arizona State. The coaches, players and staff will then bus 27 miles to University of Phoenix Stadium for a Super Bowl team photo, scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday's practice was a loose, light-hearted one. Snoop Dogg brought his Los Angeles-area youth football team, the Snoop Dogg All Stars, to practice, and with one of his songs playing at high decibel level, Carroll jogged to the sidelines early in practice and the two hugged.
Although some teams change hotels the night before the game and move to a secret location to avoid distractions, the Seahawks will stay at the team hotel they have used all week in Tempe.