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Go West Young Men!

Well it is off to the west coast and a visit to what is arguably the loudest stadium in the NFL. Add to the mix they have one of the toughest defenses in the league and you know we will be in a ballgame. It is always tough to cross country and play football, but it is even tougher in this environment. The Pats are only 3.5 point favorites going into the game which should tell you all you need to know. That's like saying they are equal. Another challenge is that this is a team that we are not that familiar with so it makes it harder to prepare. The Seahawks have the largest core of defensive backs in the league averaging 6"1" and 215 pounds. This will be the ultimate test for our passing game. This is the week we need that big running game. I believe it will be the key to victory. That along with a big pass rush by Chandler Jones against the rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. It is shaping up for a great game. Enjoy! 

#54 Brian Waters

#54 Brian Waters - He’s been waiting his entire NFL career for this moment. Brian is at the Super Bowl. In his twelve years he has never been on a team that won a playoff game, let alone go to the Super Bowl. A pro-bowl selection for six of his twelve years, Brian has established himself as one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL. After spending eleven years with the Kansas City Chiefs, he was released on July 28, 2011. Thank you Kansas City!!!

Brian was born on February 18, 1977. He attended Waxahachie High School in Waxahachie, Texas, and lettered in football. As a senior, he was an All-District honoree as both a tight end and as a defensive end. He attended the University of North Texas and went into the NFL as an undrafted free agent. I repeat, “undrafted!”

During the 2004 NFL season, Brian was selected as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his play during a game versus the Atlanta Falcons on October 24, 2004. The Chiefs scored an NFL record eight rushing touchdowns during that game. Waters is the only offensive lineman in the AFC to have received the award, and the only lineman in the NFL to win since 1992. Waters was recognized as the recipient of the 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award which honors a player's contribution on the field as well as off. As a Patriot, he was the only offensive lineman to start every game this year, regular season and playoffs. With the vaunted Giants defensive line, we will need a stellar game from him. Congratulations on a great season Brian!!

New England Patriots Cheerleaders #1

Well, when it comes to a class organization it just doesn’t include the football team. I had to post this article to congratulate the New England Patriots Cheerleader squad and their director Tracy Sormati. We have the best owner, coach, team, front office, and fans, now we have been recognized as having the best Cheerleading Squad in the NFL. How great is that. Kudos' should go out to each and every one of them for a job well done. It may not be surprising but this recognition comes for more than just cheerleading. The criteria is quite substantial. Darren Rovell, highly regarded sports business columnist for CNBC ranks every NFL squad by the brand equity that has been developed by each cheerleading team through marketing, social media, community involvement and fan interaction. Imagine this, our squad ranked ahead of the world famous Dallas Cowboys squad.

 

One of the keys to the success of the NE Cheerleaders is their website, “Cheer365” Ok how many of you knew it even existed? I encourage all of you to check it out. It is well worth the visit. These girls are about more that pom pom’s and gymnastics. Last winter, Tracy along with five members of the team, spent 13 days during the holiday season visiting military bases in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Qatar, where they participated in humanitarian assistance projects and performed shows to increase morale of our boys. Over the next few months they will participate in various philanthropic activities: the Flutie Bowl, an event to benefit the Doug Flutie Jr. foundation for autism; Fitness for a Cure, a benefit to aide St. Judes Children's Research Hospital; TeamWalk for CancerCare in participation with Lowell General Hospital to help generate additional funds for patients undergoing treatment. Please check out the Patriots Web site at http://www.patriots.com for more information on this award.

 

Congratulations again ladies!!!

 

AFC Championship Here We Come !

Bring on Baltimore!

 

With the win over Denver, New England has advanced to its eighth AFC Championship Game. The Patriots have compiled a 6-1 all-time record in AFC Championship Games, including a 3-0 record at home and a 2-0 record at home at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots' only AFC Championship loss was in the 2006 playoffs at Indianapolis.

We all remember the last time we met in the playoff when we were beat up to the tune of 33-14 at Gillette. I remember being stunned when Ray Rice rumbled for 83 yards on the opening play of the game for a touchdown. It never got any better after that. Let’s hope things turn out a bit different this time.

 

Bring It On!!!!!!

Welcome to town Baltimore.

Welcome Back Old Friend

It is obvious that Josh didn’t burn any bridges. How bizarre is this turn of events? Bill O’Brien to Penn State, and then the return of Josh McDaniel’s as offensive coordinator. I know he will only be an offensive assistant for the remainder of this year, but he will be the OC next season. I would love to hear you thoughts on the mater. I think it could be a good thing. It lessens the blow of losing Bill while making the changeover seamless. It will be interesting to see how the playoffs go with the two of them on the sideline. I wonder how much input Josh will have. More importantly, if things get on a role, I wonder if Bill will finish the playoffs in New England. If the Pats make a run at the Super Bowl it will put tremendous pressure on Bill to stay focused. In a week from know college coaches must spend a lot of time getting ready for the recruitment of high school players and that means a heavy burden on their time. Time will tell.

In Memory of Huston Antwine

Former Boston Patriot’s star Houston Antwine. Antwine 72 died after a long battle with kidney disease. A member of the Patriots’ 50th Anniversary Team , Antwine played with the Boston Patriots from 1961-71. “It didn’t take long for him to establish his identity,” former Patriots teammate Gino Cappelletti said. “He was so quick and durable. He never missed a game. I can’t recall him ever missing a practice. He was all-out all the time. He plugged a lot of holes for us.” Tragically his wife Evelyn also passed just hours after her husband. As you all know from our fifty greatest Patriot players, he was number 20 on our top fifty list.

WEEK 13 PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

#18 Matthew Slater – born in Orange, California September 9, 1985. He is the son of “Hall of Famer” Jackie Slater. Matthew was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. Drafted out of UCLA as a wide receiver, he has played a significant role on special teams.

A piece of trivia for you sports trivia fans, Slater was one of two players selected in the 2008 Draft (the other being Chris Long), and the sixth in the history of the NFL Draft, who is a son of a Hall of Fame member. At the start of this season, Matthew was voted by fellow teammates to be one of the six team captains when he was named captain of special teams. A team favorite for his hard work and dedication he is a typical “Belichick” guy. He has also been nominated for the Probowl twice in his career as a special teamer.

This year he is now becoming one of a growing list of Patriot players making the jump from the offensive side of the ball to the defensive side. In the most recent Miami game he played 70 out of 73 defensive downs! That is amazing. As a matter of fact it was the most football he has played as pro. Not bad considering he is a wide receiver. Well it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes for Matthew, but if Sunday was any indication I would expect to see more of him on defense.

2011 WEEK 12 PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

#87 Rob Gronkowski - Born May 14, 1989. He has four other brothers, two of which are in the NFL as well. He was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Many of you may not remember the drama, but we almost lost him to the Baltimore Ravens in the last thirty seconds.

In 2006, he moved to Pennsylvania, where he attended Woodland Hills High School as a senior. He was initially ruled ineligible by the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, but that ruling was overturned and Gronkowski recorded eight receptions for 152 yards and four touchdowns at Woodland Hills. He was named a SuperPrep All-American, PrepStar All-American, Associated Press Class 4-A all-state, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22” Following high school, Gronkowski attended the University of Arizona. As a true freshman in 2007, Gronkowski recorded 28 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns. His 18.8 yards per reception average was the best on the team and his receiving yards were a then school record for a tight end. In 2008 he set the school tight end records for single-game, single-season, and career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Gronkowski was named an Associated Press third-team All-American and All-Pac-10 first-team tight end.

This year up to last week, he caught his first touchdown of the 2011 season on a 10-yard pass from Tom Brady in the Patriots' Week 1 victory over the Miami Dolphins; Gronkowski's 6 passes accounted for 86 of Brady's franchise record 517 yards. After last week, he now has 11 touchdown passes, one more than all of last year. His famous spike has become a fan favorite.

2011 WEEK 8 PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

#17 Taylor Price - He was born in Hilliard, Ohio, October 8, 1987 and attended Hilliard Darby High School. As a junior he was a second-team all-conference selection and as a senior he was an honorable mention all-district selection. He played in all three phases of the game, and blocked five kicks on special teams as a junior.

Price attended Ohio University and played in 14 games as a true freshman in 2006, finishing the year with nine receptions for 77 yards. As a sophomore, Price started at wide receiver and recorded 33 receptions for 464 yards and four touchdowns. He also had six rushes for 23 yards and two passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. In 2008 as a junior, Price started 11 of 12 games made 51 catches for 694 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed five times for 19 yards and had two kickoff returns for 22 yards. In his senior season in 2009, Price started all 14 games and set a career high with 56 receptions for 784 yards, and also carried the ball 11 times for 103 yards. His 149 career receptions set an Ohio record, while his 2,019 receiving yards ranked second in school history. Price also had a 14-catch performance against Wyoming, a school record.

Price was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round (90th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. On May 25, 2010, he signed a four-year deal with the Patriots. Price was inactive for the first 15 games of his rookie regular season before making his NFL debut in the Week 17 finale against the Miami Dolphins. He caught three passes for 41 yards in the game.

I’ve spotlighted Taylor because I think he is now on the verge of breaking out. He had an excellent preseason and we need his ability to shine. With the virtual disappearing act of Chad, we need someone to step up to take some heat off the tight ends and Wes Welker. This could be the week.

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