PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Bill Belichick won’t set any excitement records at his news conferences. His players won’t likely provide any bulletin board material. Yet, the five-time champions are standing in the way of the Eagles’ first-ever Super Bowl title.
New England is appearing in its tenth Super Bowl overall and eighth under Belichick. It will also be Tom Brady’s chance to get his sixth Super Bowl ring. Despite reaching his early 40’s, the future Hall of Famer shows no signs of slowing down. Brady is approaching this Super Bowl the same way he approached his previous seven Super Sundays.
“This isn’t a week for me to go out and do much other than get ready to play football,” said Brady. “It’s a lot of extra film and a lot of extra practice and I have to be as physically and mentally prepared as I can be for the biggest game of the year against the best team we’ve faced all year.”
Many of the other Patriots have echoed the same sentiments of Brady when it comes to their businesslike approach. For Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Sunday’s game will also be a reunion. Gilmore will likely be lined up against Eagles Receiver Alshon Jeffery. Gillmore and Jeffery were teammates together at the University of South Carolina.
“It was fun,” Gilmore said. “There were a lot of jokes. You’re 18 and 19 years old growing up in college. There were a lot of stories and it was a lot of fun.”
It will only be fun for the winner on Sunday and both teams will need production from their receivers. Patriots Wideout Brandon Cooks has seen a host of tough secondaries this season. Cooks believes the Eagles may be the most difficult test for his unit this season.
“These guys have been playing really good ball all year,” said Cooks. “It’s from their corners to their safeties and from their linebackers to their D-line. They’ve been playing at a high level and we look forward to the challenge.”
There seems to be little challenge for the Patriots to stray from the course of preparation which has worked so well for so many years. New England overcame a 28-3 deficit to win last year’s Super Bowl. Belichick has no desire to change what has worked for so long in a host of situations with his team.
“We prepare for all the situations that we can going into the game,” Belichick said. “We have our game plan. As the game unfolds, then we’ll adjust as we go. Every game is different, every team is different and every situation is different.”
Yet Brady is still the same and shows no signs of slowing down, even if he gets asked about needing a reassurance from the Patriots front office about his future if his skills ever do start to slow down.
“Why does everyone want me to retire so bad?,” said a smiling Brady. “I don’t get it. I’m having fun and the team’s doing good. I know I’m a little bit older than most of the guys, but I’m really enjoying it.”