BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WPRI) — The media frenzy ahead of Super Bowl LII continued Tuesday at Minnesota’s famous Mall of America.
In addition to players and coaches taking a variety of questions from reporters – from the serious to the silly – they could also be seen walking around the mall and enjoying themselves before the real preparations begin for Sunday’s big game. Both the Patriots and Eagles are set to begin practicing on Wednesday.
According to Eyewitness Sports Director Yianni Kourakis and reporter Ruthie Polinsky, reigning Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady was very candid, telling stories of his summer trips as a child to visit his mother’s side of the family, who lived north of Minneapolis.
Brady said a lot has changed since he last faced the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
“I’m definitely in a different phase of my life,” he said. “To get to this point is a big task and we battled. There’s been a lot of resiliency over the course of the year.”
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Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also took the podium Tuesday. As per usual, he didn’t offer many specifics on his game plan, but said each Super Bowl experience is different and the team’s past successes have no effect on their upcoming showdown with the Eagles.
“I think it changes every year. The venues are different, the team’s are different, the matchups are different, and the road the team has traveled to get here is different, as is the road your opponent has traveled,” he said. “Each one is unique. Each one’s special.”
All of the hoopla is nothing new to many New England players, with more than half of the roster having Super Bowl experience and many returning from last year’s championship team.
During a press conference Tuesday, a few of the Patriots players talked about the winning combination that is Belichick and Tom Brady. Regarding Belichick and Brady’s joint success, Patriots Fullback James Develin discussed preparation, “Both just competitors in the true sense of word know what it takes to prepare and be successful and both take pride in that.”
Center David Andrews explained that regardless of game outcome, the pair is always looking to their next endeavor, “You’re never satisfied, I’ve seen that in both of them. Even after a win, there’s a lot to be fixed and worked on and I think that’s a big thing.”
Defensive end Trey Flowers said Belichick and Brady are always looking to get better, “Understanding that you have to consistently get better, consistently improve. They’ve been doing it for a long time.”
In contrast, a Super Bowl experience will be new to almost all of the Eagles players.
QB Nick Foles, who took over for an injured Carson Wentz late in the season and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in more than a decade, reflected on his team’s ability to prepare and perform.
“The last four weeks, just continued to improve,” he said. “I think we have a great coaching staff, great players around that we just continue to work at practice, continue to do all the little extra things.”
Watch exclusive Big Game Coverage on WPRI 12 – your official station of the New England Patriots:
- Thurs. 7:30 p.m. – New England Nation: A Look Back
- Friday 7:30 p.m. – New England Nation: The Experience
- Saturday 7 p.m. – New England Nation: Pre-Game Show
- After The Game – New England Nation – Post Game Show (switch to WPRI 12)