The work for Super Bowl 49 is almost over and one key remaining chore is just waiting for the Sunday afternoon kickoff with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks.
“It’s real exciting,” Patriots receiver Brandon LaFell said this week. “As we get closer ... whenever you’re doing anything, our mind goes straight to the game. You go thinking about plays you’re going to make; you think about this and that. It’s getting real exciting, but we’re not there yet. I just can’t wait for that game to come.”
Other Patriots will pass time in other ways.
“It will be easy: I’ll probably just sleep,” defensive end Chandler Jones said. “I think just getting rest, watching film, movies. My hotel movies … I can’t tell you how many movies I’ve ordered. Every night, I probably watch two or three movies. I’ve been trying to get my mind off it. But when it’s time, I’ll watch my film. But at night when I’m trying to go to sleep, I just watch movies and try to get my mind off it.”
Running back Shane Vereen was asked if he thinks it’s possible for Saturday to pass like any other Saturday of the season.
“Yes and no,” he said. “It’s hard to forget that you’re here at the Super Bowl. It’s going to be as normal as Coach (Bill) Belichick can make it; but you can’t ignore what’s right in front of you.”
New England players made their final pregame media appearances Thursday.
That left Friday to Belichick, who appeared in a joint press conference with Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
“We’ve had a great week down through our hotel setup, the Cardinals’ facility and the accommodations: Everything’s been great,” Belichick said in his opening statement. “We’ve gotten a lot done. Certainly it’s a huge challenge to prepare for the Seattle Seahawks. They’re a great football organization and they have a great team. … They do so many things well on so many levels, and we’re going to have to try to match that performance on Sunday.
“With that being said, our team’s excited. They’ve worked very hard to get to this point. We’re excited for the opportunity, and it will be a great matchup.”
PLENTY OF PENALTIES
This Super Bowl pairs the two most penalized teams in the NFL.
Seattle was penalized 144 times, and the Patriots 133. In terms of yardage, the Patriots lost 1,180 yards in penalties, while the Seahawks were fourth at 1,112 yards.
“It can hurt you sooner or later in the game,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “Being a New England Patriot, we definitely want to keep the penalties to a minimum because it can hurt you. But we do play aggressive. The game is so fast. Things are going to happen, and you’ve just got to go to the next play and just focus on the next play.”
The Patriots’ final injury report before the game lists center Bryan Stork (knee) as questionable. Listed as probable are quarterback Tom Brady (ankle), linebacker Donta Hightower (shoulder), defensive tackle Chris Jones (elbow), defensive lineman Sealver Siliga (foot), linebacker Akeem Ayers (knee) and cornerback Darrelle Revis (noninjury-related).
All of those players were listed as having had limited participation in Friday practice, except for Brady, who was full in.