Ihedigbo: 'I want to be called a champion'


Ihedigbo: 'I want to be called a champion'

At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, James Ihedigbo and the rest of his teammates are ushered into an expansive white tent at IUPUI for another media session. Ihedigbo, in gray team sweats, his jersey, and a red hat, takes a seat at the table marked "1". He shows me the background on his cell phone: it's a photo of the Lombardi trophy raised amid a swirl of confetti.

We talk about football.

I'm into the week. Every morning, every night. This is why we're here.

It's amazing that you can work and get to this point, but it says what you have to be as a team to get here -- how together you have to be, how focused you have to be, how you have to pay attention to every detail.

Because this doesn't happen.

There's a lot of good football teams that have played over the years, but we have the opportunity to be a great football team. And the difference is so small between being good and great. So small.

A lot of times you have tunnel-vision and you're making accomplishments, and people are telling you about the accomplishments that you make, but you don't have a second to notice them because it's on to the next thing, week after week after week.

But this is the only game that's left. There is no tomorrow, there is no next week. It's now.

It means everything, to be called a champion. People pass their boards and are then lawyers their whole lives; people who become doctors are doctors their whole lives. When you are a champion, people will call you a champion for the rest of your life.

I want to be able experience, after you win, the drive that you have to get back, to always pursue that level of football. Tom Brady is a testament to it. Kevin Faulk's been in the league forever and he just continues to play for this opportunity.

It says a lot about the man -- the ability to stay humble, to be successful, but continue to be driven.

My teammates are keeping me grounded in the moment. We haven't done anything yet. Right now, we're AFC champions who've had a good season. We want to have a great one. Winning the Super Bowl determines that.

The game will be here before we know it, he tells me. We'll talk more about that tomorrow.

Miller, Krejci game-time decisions tonight; O'Gara called up

Miller, Krejci game-time decisions tonight; O'Gara called up

BRIGHTON, Mass – It wouldn’t be a Bruins game this season if there weren’t some health question marks entering a game night, so the B’s will once again have a few players up in the air for the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.


David Krejci (back) and Kevan Miller (upper body) were both on the ice prior to morning skate and Krejci participated in the optional practice, along with Patrice Bergeron and a handful of others on Saturday morning at Warrior Ice Arena. Krejci and Miller were termed game-time decisions based on the way things went this morning and Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy could have more lineup juggling in front of him based on those players.

Krejci said he was taking things “day-by-day”, but didn’t think it was going to be a long-term injury even if he misses the game.

“We’ll kind of take it day-by-day and we’ll see. I feel better than two days ago, so I guess we’ll be taking it day-by-day,” said Krejci. “I got hit in the last game and that forced me to leave the game. It’s a brand new injury and it just happened the other day. So that’s what it is.

“I don’t think it’s an injury that would be long term. It’s just one of these things that happens [during the games]. I wouldn’t lie to you if it was something that was a week or two weeks. We’ll just see how I feel later tonight. Injuries happen to every team. Hopefully, this is it for us here early in the season, and down the stretch, we’ll be healthy pushing for the playoffs.”

First the definite situations for the Black and Gold: Bergeron will play for the second game in a row and Paul Postma will be in the lineup, with Adam McQuaid shelved for the next couple of months with a broken leg. Beyond that, the Bruins could swing Miller from the left side to the right side if he plays, Charlie McAvoy could be added to the penalty kill and David Backes could end up playing some center if Matt Beleskey draws back into the lineup.

“We’ll probably move people around. [David] Backes, [Tim] Schaller has played some center over the years and obviously [Patrice] Bergeron looks like he’s going to play,” said Cassidy. “I think we’ll be okay. We sat out a forward the [Thursday vs. the Canucks], so we’ll move people around.

“Kevan will be a game-time decision, so we had a discussion about that and we’ll look into that as well. [Krejci] got hit in the lower back the other night, tried to finish and it’s one of those ones where at puck drop we’ll know.”

Robbie O’Gara popped on the Bruins roster on their team website early on Saturday afternoon, so the Yale alum will get the call if Miller can’t answer the bell on Saturday night. Another piece of good news: Noel Acciari skated with the injured players ahead of the morning skate and appears to be progressing slowly from his broken finger.  

Anything, it seems, is possible for these banged-up B’s as another body drops with each passing game or practice. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Sabres based on an optional morning skate: