Curran: Pats 'feeling good about things'


Curran: Pats 'feeling good about things'

It's a new year for the Patriots . . . in more ways than one.

And Tom E. Curran, in a SportsNet Central appearance with Carolyn Manno, thinks the changed atmosphere in the locker room speaks well to the team's 2011 mindset.

"You've seen that in previous years, Patriots players sometimes would go and hide," Curran told Manno. "They'd turn themselves into phantoms, they'd go into the trainer's room, they'd go play dominoes someplace else, anything to stay out of the firing line of the media.

"But on Friday you saw basically every player at his locker. Tom Brady, Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Julian Edelman were all in a row, playing their tunes. Rob Gronkowski behind them. There was a lot of levity going back and forth between those players. And I thought it was interesting because . . . you don't always see that atmosphere in that Patriots locker room.

"It's apparent to me that they're feeling good about things right now."

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”