Patriots among many paying respects to Myra Kraft

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Patriots among many paying respects to Myra Kraft

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

The funeral for Myra H. Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, was held on Friday, July 22.

Service attendance was massive, but a number well short of all those touched in some way by her passion and generosity.

New England players of present and past fame were there to pay respects, from Tom Brady to Troy Brown (her "favorite Patriot").

Separate sides of the NFL labor battle -- DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell -- came together on a matter more important than football.

And famous faces from outside the sports world, like Donald Trump and Governor Deval Patrick, took time to look in on the memorial.

She was a celebrity, not for her name, but for the scope of her philanthropy. The funeral's program -- white with Tiffany blue trim -- describes, at its heart, the woman mourners knew.
During her 40-plus year career as an active philanthropist, Myra served on and chaired boards and committees for virtually all of the city's major non-profit organizations. The one position of which she was most proud was becoming the first woman to serve as Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston in their 110-year history.

But the first pages showed more intimate scenes.

Myra standing between her four sons: Jonathan, Daniel, Joshua and David.

Myra sitting with her eight grandchildren: Jessica, Alison, Harry, Rebecca, Sadie, Anna, Jacob, and Joey.

Frozen in black and white, holding her youngest in front of a tree where the three elder boys perched, Robert looking on.

She sorted clothes, watered Marigolds. And in three different frames from three different eras, she stood beside her husband -- ever smiling, ever his blushing bride.

Robert walked behind the coffin as his grandchildren bore it to the hearse. He laid a kiss on the closed door between him and his wife before the hearse left for the cemetery.

His sweetheart needed him one last time.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."