Ty Law 'a Patriot to the core'

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Ty Law 'a Patriot to the core'

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

Despite playing for the hated Jets and making "pit stops" in Kansas City and Denver, Ty Law has again pledged allegiance to the New England Patriots.

Law began his career in New England, winning three Super Bowls and intercepting 36 passes over 10 seasons. He returned to Boston Tuesday night as an honoree at the 10th Annual The Tradition.

"I always get a great welcome home when I come back. It's humbling to realize the fans don't forget about you," Law said as a guest on Comcast SportsNet's Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight. "They say you always were a Patriot no matter what team you played for, so it feels good for me because that's how I feel in my heart: no matter what other uniform I ever wore, when you stripped me down I was a Patriot to the core."

At times, there was a lot to be stripped. Embroiled in a contract dispute in 2004, Law betrayed his core. "That bridge is burned," he reportedly said. "I can't even see myself putting on that uniform again, that's how bad I feel about playing here."

He suited up for just seven games with the Patriots in the 2004 championship season, after which Law was released. He then had two stints with the rival New York Jets, played two seasons for the Chiefs and ended his career in Denver. But, as they say, time heals all wounds.

"Those were pit stops for me. Sometimes you've got to do what you got to do. I'm happy to be back. I'm a Patriot, man. I'm a civilian, man, and I can say that's my team right there," said Law. "The Patriots are my team for the rest of my life."

Prior to the The Tradition event, he expressed a desire to officially end his career as a Patriot with a one-day retirement deal.

A championship run, McCourty's ceiling

With renewed allegiance to the Patriots, Law predicted the team has another championship run coming in the near future.

"There's going to be another championship coming around real soon; as long as you have No. 12 you have a chance," said Law. "I'm looking forward to seeing those guys play and pick up where they left off last year."

The Patriots lost to the New York Jets 28-21 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs Round, after a 14-2 regular season. The team received major contributions from rookies on both sides of the ball, most notably cornerback Devin McCourty and his seven interceptions.

"He's a great young corner," Law said of McCourty, the latest heir to the position Law anchored during New England's three-Super Bowl run. "He's a different style of corner than myself, but he's remarkable in his own rite. He can do it all: he can play aggressively, he can play from bump-and-run, he can play off.

"The sky's the limit for this kid. To come in your rookie year and accomplish what he accomplished, there's no telling what he's going to do once he gets more experience and plays a lot longer."

It's the promise shown by McCourty and his rookie classmates -- Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, et al -- that gives Law hope the Patriots will build on a successful 2010 regular season.

"There's been a lot of transition with the team, and you've got to think to be such a young team to get as far as they have this year we're going to look forward to another exciting season -- whenever they get it started this year," said Law, who predicts cooler heads will prevail in regard to the ongoing NFL lockout.

Solder, Patriots training staff earn Ed Block Courage Awards

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Solder, Patriots training staff earn Ed Block Courage Awards

FOXBORO -- Patriots left tackle Nate Solder has been through a lot over the last few years. 

He battled and beat testicular cancer before the 2014 offseason and then went on to help the Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl title. In 2015, he tore his biceps in Week 5 and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve. Just weeks later after suffering that season-ending injury, Solder's son, Hudson, was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor in his kidneys. 

A quiet leader in the Patriots locker room, Solder has used his platform with the team to spread awareness stemming from personal hardships in addition to serving as a prominent supporter of the Hockomock Area YMCA. For his devotion to helping those in need, and for the example he sets at his job and in the community, he has been named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner for 2016. 

Solder also participated in the NFL's My Cause My Cleats initiative wearing cleats to raise awareness for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which gives financial aid to cancer patients and their families. He also supports The Fresh Truck, which describes itself as a mobile food market on a mission to radically improve community health.

Rob Gronkowski, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Jerod Mayo, Logan Mankins, Wes Welker and Tedy Bruschi have also recently been named Ed Block Courage Awards-winners for the Patriots. 

The team's training staff, led by head trainer Jim Whalen and assistant trainer and director of rehabilitation Joe Van Allen, was also honored on Tuesday as it was named the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

"The annual award, named for the longtime head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts who demonstrated an untiring dedication to helping others, recognizes an NFL staff for their distinguished service to their club, community and athletic training profession," the Patriots announced in a statement. 

In the release, trainer Daryl Nelson and physical therapist Michael Akinbola are also credited with helping keep the Patriots healthy. 

Others, including head strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera and team nutritionist Ted Harper, have a hand in keeping players at their physical peak. Combined, given the overall health of the roster this season, they've all had a hand in keep the team humming as it heads into its sixth consecutive AFC title game.

Tomlin apologizes for language, calls Brown's actions 'foolish' and 'selfish'

Tomlin apologizes for language, calls Brown's actions 'foolish' and 'selfish'

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that stunts like Antonio Brown’s Sunday night video are the kind that get good players shipped out of town.

“He's a great player, respected largely in the locker room but incidents such as this don't help him in that regard,” said Tomlin told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette and others at a Tuesday press conference in Pittsburgh. “That's often why you see great players move from team to team. Don't want that to happen to Antonio Brown.” 

Tomlin, who referred to the Patriots as “a--holes” after the Steelers beat Kansas City in a Divisional Playoff game, apologized for his profanity and the other off-color comments made in the 17-minute broadcast.

“Like to say the language on the video is regrettable, by me and by others,” Tomlin stated.” That's why we go to great lengths to preserve certain moments and interactions between us. As a parent, as a member of the community I take that very seriously. I issue an apology in that regard.”

Tomlin added that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect on the game, on the Patriots, on the Steelers. Game is too big.”

Returning to Brown – who has yet to address why he thought this was a great idea – Tomlin said, “It was foolish of him to do that, selfish and inconsiderate. It was violation of our policy, league policy. He has to grow from this. He works extremely hard, he's extremely talented and those things get minimized with incidents like this."