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

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.
 

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

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Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.