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February 2, 2015
IF YOU ARE anything like me, when you heard about the Patriots' "deflategate" scandal your thoughts immediately went back to the 2004 Super Bowl. I was in Jacksonville that day, and I attributed the Eagles' loss to some bad decisions by coach Andy Reid, some blown opportunities, and poor leadership by quarterback Donovan McNabb down the stretch (I make no judgment on "vomitgate"). I didn't know that several Eagles later said that it seemed as if the Patriots knew exactly which plays they were calling.
SPORTS
January 31, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHANDLER, Ariz. - James Develin started working on his resumé in the summer of 2010. He failed to make the Cleveland Browns after a tryout following a decorated career at Brown University. Weeks shy of turning 22, the Gilbertsville native and Boyertown High graduate needed to decide whether to pursue his dream of professional football or put his mechanical engineering degree from an Ivy League school to use. Develin's classmates were headed to New York and Boston for consulting and finance jobs.
SPORTS
January 30, 2015 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHOENIX - It seems like ages ago, but Danny Amendola once was with the Eagles. It was for a cup of coffee, and he never played in a game in Eagles green, but the Patriots wide receiver said his nine-month stay in Philadelphia was beneficial. "I came into Dallas, went to Philly, and I was behind some great receivers that are still playing at a high level," Amendola said. "I learned a lot from them, and I knew that if my opportunity were to arise I was going to be ready. " The Eagles signed Amendola in January 2009 after he spent the entire 2008 season on the Cowboys practice squad.
SPORTS
January 30, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHANDLER, Ariz. - When the New England Patriots drafted Logan Ryan in April 2013, the Eastern High School graduate sent a text message to another alumnus: Adam Taliaferro. "Hey, man, I'm playing for you," Ryan wrote, according to Taliaferro. Taliaferro starred for Eastern in the late 1990s. He went to Penn State, where he played as a freshman for Joe Paterno. On Sept. 23, 2000, Taliaferro suffered a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the neck down. Doctors gave him a 3 percent chance to walk again.
SPORTS
January 30, 2015 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
PHOENIX - A little more than 2 months ago, LeGarrette Blount left the Pittsburgh Steelers' bench during a game at Tennessee, got dressed and headed for the team bus, apparently upset that he wasn't getting the ball. Blount's actions on Nov. 17 ultimately affected the playoff fortunes of two AFC contenders. The Steelers, who released the former Oregon star the next day, ended up losing a wild-card round playoff game to the Ravens in no small part because they didn't have a viable backup to injured running back Le'Veon Bell.
SPORTS
January 30, 2015 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
CHANDLER, Ariz. - Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork are the only two New England players with Patriots Super Bowl rings. They earned them 10 years ago in Jacksonville, as Eagles fans all too vividly recall. That 24-21 victory over the Birds brought home the Pats' third championship trophy in 4 years. Yesterday Wilfork, who was a rookie starter at nose tackle that night, acknowledged that he'd figured on having several more rings by now. "Oh yeah," Wilfork said yesterday, as the Patriots prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX meeting with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks.
SPORTS
January 30, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHOENIX - LeGarrette Blount's football career seemed in peril after he threw a punch at an opposing player following Boise State's upset of Oregon in 2009. The incident came in Chip Kelly's first game as the Ducks' head coach. Kelly needed to make a decision about Blount's future. He suspended the running back but kept Blount on scholarship and in the football program. Kelly ultimately reinstated Blount after the running back met certain academic and behavioral conditions. That helped save Blount's career, which continues Sunday when he plays in the Super Bowl as a key part of the New England Patriots' offense.
SPORTS
January 30, 2015
CHANDLER, Ariz. - And so there they stood, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the NFL's iconic duo, the symbol of success in the free-agency era, models of consistency and innovation and unquestioned football brilliance. There they stood on a stage at a dais and waxed eloquent on their 15 years of shared success with New England, how they have grown as fathers and tacticians, how they better appreciate now what they often assumed in the past. There they stood, benefactors of the two most remarkable cheating scandals in American professional sports history.
SPORTS
January 29, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHOENIX - The New England Patriots reached the Super Bowl with Patrick Chung as their starting safety, which might seem like a cruel joke in Philadelphia. In March 2013, the Eagles signed Chung away from New England hoping that he could help solve the team's ongoing problems at safety. In one season, Chung further contributed to those problems. The Eagles released him after the first season of a three-year, $10 million deal. He resurfaced in New England and earned a roster spot, a starting spot, and ultimately a contract extension.
SPORTS
January 28, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHANDLER, Ariz. - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered a defiant defense of his organization, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady amid the ball-deflation controversy on Monday, further entrenching the team's position that it committed no wrongdoing. Kraft even demanded an apology if the league's investigation vindicates the team. "I want to make it clear that I believe unconditionally that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate in this process or were in violation of NFL rules," Kraft said.
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