Patriots happy to return to work


Patriots happy to return to work

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Patriots got back to work Monday after two days off. The team worked in full pads and worked late, arriving to a media session almost a full hour later than expected.

Patrick Chung sighed as he sat down before reporters. He wore the navy blue sweats seen weekly at Gillette stadium. He looked tired but content.

"It feels awesome," he said of being in Indianapolis. "It feels awesome. We're still here on a business trip, though. We're still here to work hard. But it feels good. It feels good to be here. A lot of guys don't get this opportunity, so we've got to take the best of it and play a good game."

Focus is a question. There are loud, colorful, insistent distractions everywhere the Patriots turn. Just the size of the media hoard, multiplied exponentially this week, reminds them of the hype.

It's a wonder how the players manage emotions and expectations.

"You don't want it to feel like a vacation," said Devin McCourty. "Waking up this morning, going to meetings, going over to the facility, going to practice, guys starting to go through the natural routine of the week is better for us. We're guys, we get in a routine and that's what we're in. Once we get in it, we don't know anything else.

"The biggest thing now, since we are in a hotel, guys are coming back, getting together, grabbing something to eat. We're all here so let's go down and watch some extra film. It kind of helps in a way, especially if we can kind of stick together and stay in our little bubble rather than getting outside and being entertained by the circus of everything going on with the media, fans and everything."

Football is the fix.

When New England turns its attention to study, preparation, preparation, execution, the surroundings fade away. Not even Monday practice threw them off. Normally, it's the day after a game -- either they rest on a victory or return for meetings.

So practicing in full pads? It actually feels natural when your sense of time is based on what you do, not when you do it.

"For us, we don't see it as a Monday," McCourty explained. "Today was a Wednesday. For football players, it's kind of like, as soon as you say it's a Wednesday we don't remember the days of the week we just know it in terms of our football schedule."

The Patriots are relieved to return to work. Considering this week business as usual, finding normalcy amid the chaos, is crucial to setting the tone and finding success. Yes, even before a Super Bowl. Especially before a Super Bowl.

Revs beat Toronto FC 2-1, deny Shield-clinching opportunity


Revs beat Toronto FC 2-1, deny Shield-clinching opportunity

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara scored late goals and the New England Revolution, with a 2-1 win, denied Toronto FC an opportunity to clinch the Supporters' Shield on Saturday.

Kamara scored the go-ahead goal in the 87th minute with a header off Nguyen's cross. The Revs (11-4-5) avoided playoff elimination and extended their undefeated streak at home against Toronto FC (18-5-8) to six games. Toronto has three matches remaining to clinch the Shield with a magic number of three points.

Nguyen opened the scoring for New England in the 82nd minute with his 50th career goal, taking Chris Tierney's lead pass from midfield and finishing through a defensive deflection.

Toronto FC's Nicolas Hasler answered two minutes later with a right-footed volley of Michael Bradley's diagonal cross.

Forwards Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore missed the match for Toronto FC, both due to lower body tightness.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 2 Clemson pulls away in 4th quarter to beat Boston College, 34-7


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 2 Clemson pulls away in 4th quarter to beat Boston College, 34-7

CLEMSON, S.C. - Adam Choice had a 6-yard tiebreaking touchdown in the fourth quarter and Travis Etienne had two scoring runs in the final six minutes as No. 2 Clemson wore down Boston College in a 34-7 victory Saturday.

The Tigers, who came in off top-15 wins over Auburn and Louisville the last two weeks, were five-touchdown favorites over the Eagles (1-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). But Boston College quieted the large Death Valley crowd on AJ Dillon's 1-yard TD late in the third quarter to tie the game at 7-all.

Clemson finally got going in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Kelly Bryant led the Tigers on a 76-yard drive, capped by Choice's go-ahead score. The next series, they were at it once more on a 90-yard series and the speedy freshman Etienne burst through the weary Eagles to finally give the Tigers some breathing room. Bryant added a 4-yard TD before Etienne closed the scoring with a 10-yard run.

Clemson (4-0, 2-0) won its seventh straight over the Eagles and opened 4-0 for a third consecutive season.

Bryant ended with 106 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. It was the second straight game Etienne, a Louisiana recruited wooed heavily by LSU, broke off a long touchdown run after his 81-yard score against Louisville last week.

Boston College's defense and punter Mike Knoll kept it in the game longer than most figured. Clemson had only 38 yards in the third quarter and Knoll had pinned the Tigers inside the 10 five times.

The effort clearly wore down the Eagles, who were outgained in the final period 213-37.