Bruins thrill Patriots crowd with Cup

Bruins thrill Patriots crowd with Cup

By Mary Paoletti Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
FOXBORO -- Finally, that Gillette goal horn fit the moment.

In Foxboro they call it the "fog horn;" it blares from the stadium's lighthouse to signal Patriots success and get the crowd worked up. But most New England fans recognize it as the Boston Bruins' trademark horn that rings true every time the team scores.

Which is why it was perfect for Week 5.

The 2011 Stanley Cup champions showed off their hardware before the Patriots-Jets game Sunday evening. The team ran out from the tunnel and out to the 50-yard line to a thunderous ovation. Goalie Tim Thomas and defenseman Zdeno Chara were named honorary Patriots captains for the day. Understandably so. Thomas, the NHL's Vezina Trophy winner and fan favorite, amped up the energy with his solo entrance. When Chara, Bruins captain, came out with the Cup and raised it aloft, Patriots fans -- already roiling before this AFC East rivalry game -- went into a full frenzy.

It's not every day you see Lord Stanley's mug at midfield for the coin toss, after all.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14


Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took to the practice field behind Gillette Stadium on Friday with all but one player. 

Wideout Danny Amendola was the only player not present at the session. Newly-acquired receiver Griff Whalen was present and wearing No. 14. 

Safety Jordan Richards was back on the practice field for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Jets in Week 12. Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Elandon Roberts (hamstring), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot) were all limited in practice on Thursday, but were on the field Friday.

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

FOXBORO – Back in March, Eric Weddle batted his eyes longingly at the Patriots. The two-time All-Pro safety’s time was done with the Chargers and he wanted to spend his NFL autumn with a team that had a chance to win it all. 

He didn’t land in New England, but he didn’t too badly, winding up with the usually competitive Ravens.  

On a Thursday conference call with New England media, Weddle confirmed that there was mutual interest expressed. 

“Obviously, I was interested,” he acknowledged. “I have nothing but high regard, respect and admiration – and envy, quite honestly – of the success of the New England Patriots over the years. Obviously, battling them in my career, it’s always been a great game. I love the way they play, love the foundation, love everything about it. It was definitely on my radar. There were talks both ways, it just didn’t end up [working out].”

The numbers massed at the position with Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played a role in the two sides not being able to reach accord, according to Weddle. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin [McCourty] is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Weddle’s New England attraction apparently wasn’t love that bloomed late in his career. Toward the end of his conference call, Weddle said, “I’m still wondering why they just didn’t draft me in ’07; I could have been still playing there now.”

As reporters puzzled for a moment trying to recall the 2007 first-rounder, Weddle chipped in with the answer: “[They took] Brandon Meriweather.”