Patriots

Super Bowl 45: A running Dallas diary

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Super Bowl 45: A running Dallas diary

By TomE. Curran
CSNNE.com
SUNDAY 9:30 PMI don't floss often. Not that I don't want to. I love thatjust-flossed feeling. Blowing air throughthe formerly plaque-filled spaces between my teeth. Mmmmm. Tidy. I just never get to it. I'm a late-to-bed kind of guy and by the time I get upstairs,I'm groggy from having fallen asleep downstairs in my big, brown comfy chair. And I never have time in the morning because I suffer from CLD (Chronic Lateness Disorder). But this week, I plan to floss hell out of my teeth.See, trapped in a hotel room on the 23rd floor of theSheraton Dallas ("1,840 rooms -- the biggest Sheraton in the world," boastedCory, who checked me in),I'll havethe opportunity to take care of all hygiene with abandon. Why am I telling you this? Because you know the storylines forSuper Bowl 45.Packers. Steelers. Storied franchises. Franchise quarterbacks. Both have yellowin their color schemes. And we'll get to all that. Butwhat happens when you cover a Super Bowl? What's the week like? What do you doooo? I find people are just as intrigued -- ifnot more -- by that.
Sothis week, I'm going to give you the skinny on what goes on. Every day. Most of the minutes. How itall goes down. I'll do my stories on the team arrivalsMonday, do my TVhits for SportsNet Central near the stadium every afternoon, work on a variety of story ideas I fleshed out on the plane, update the blog with as much Patriots-related info as I can. But I'll also keep you up on my hygiene. And so much more. My flight this morning was at 11 a.m. US Airways through Washington and into Dallas at 3:45 Central time. (I know I will screw up the time between Eastern and Central this week. Inevitable. I just hope it's showing up an hour early rather than an hour late.) My nephew Chris drove me in, picked me up at 8:15 a.m. and had me dropped off by 9. Two eggs, sausage, homefries at Sbarro in Terminal B, post-breakfast nap and on the plane at 10:30 sitting in first class (I fly a lot, so I get bumped sometimes). Read the end of a Jack Reacher novel ("61 Hours" . . . I like his books) and . . . napped again. During my little layover in Washington, I drafted a budget of stories for the week for my boss, the estimable Art Martone. There are big picture stories (Rodgers, Roethlisberger and our insistence on lists, lists, and lists, the 18-game season, how teams combat Twitter info flow) and Pats-related stories.It's an aggressive list.We'll see how many Icross off by week's end. On the Washington-to-Dallas flight,we'd barely gotten airborne when the 6-foot-2 woman in front of me reclined. With verve. That erased the chance of me getting my laptop out and working on . . . anything. So I napped. When I woke up, I could feel in my throat I'd been snoring. The lady next to me confirmed that, yes, I'd been snoring. Awesome. By the time we landed, I'd learned that the woman next to me, Angela, was representing a PR firm doing work for Visa on a video game that helps kids get the basics of financial management down. She was doing a seminar Monday with Matt Forte and Lance Briggs of the Bears and Tashard Choice and Felix Jones of the Cowboys. I said I'd try to get to it, but I think the Steelers' arrival over in Fort Worth is going to keep me from getting to both. She'll never find me. After getting to Dallas, I scuttled to my rented Altima and drove the 25 minutes to the city. I've never been to Dallas. Whenever I covered Cowboys games, I stayed in Irving near the stadium. So far, all I've seen is the highway, an off-ramp and the street leading to my hotel. This is my eighth Super Bowl and I usually arrive on Sunday when the volunteers, service staff and everyone elseare giddy to assist folks after months of planning for our arrival. Four guys made a moveto hold the front door of the Sheraton when I approached it. By next Monday, they'll be kicking us in the ass to get us out. Eventually I got into my room. The front desk guy wrote the wrong room number on my room key slip so I spent two minutes trying to get into the room next to mine before going 23 floors down to find out I was actually one room over. But, hey, I'm at the Super Bowl. What's a minor inconvenience? I got the lay of the hotel, found the fitness center, the taverns, checked out the media room and then went down to have some wings in the bar and watch the start of the Pro Bowl. Even for a Pro Bowl, the game was light-hitting.I sat down at the bar next to former Patriots backup quarterback Jim Miller, who now works for SIRIUS. We talked a little about the hasty end to the Patriots' season, the 18-game schedule and what he thinks will happen with the lockout (he thinks it's coming). Monday starts quietly. I'll spend the early morning going over my plan for the week with my boss and trolling the media center for nuggets, tidbits and blog fodder.I'm on with Jim Rome around noon. The Steelers get to town at 1:30; the Packers at 3:30. There is access to the head coaches and a few select players at the Omni in Fort Worth.I'll get in the Altima after the Jim Rome hit to get to that, then go over to the Arlington Convention Center near the stadium for TV at 4 p.m. It's amazing how different this event is when the team you directly cover isn't in it. Had the Patriots made it, CSNNE may have had more than 30 people here on the TV and digital sides to cover it -- a crew that would dwarf the numbers of anyone else in our area. Now? It's just me. Me and my floss.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Julio Jones presents Johnson Bademosi opportunity to prove he's not niche player

Julio Jones presents Johnson Bademosi opportunity to prove he's not niche player

None of us thought Johnson Bademosi would be starting this past Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Jets because -- well -- that’s not what we perceive the 27-year-old to be. He’s a special teamer. It’s how he’s made his mark in the NFL dating back to 2012 with Cleveland. So why would that change in mid-October for a team he’s only been with for six weeks? Because Bademosi is -- and has always been -- intent on proving he’s more than a niche player.

“I see myself as a football player,” he said, “and whatever position they put me in, I’m going to try to be the best because that’s how I operate and who I am as a person. Whether that’s as a cornerback, on special teams, if they ask me to play wildcat quarterback. Whatever…”

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Bill Belichick and his staff asked for Bademosi to go on the field and not come off. He played 73 defensive snaps in addition to his usual core four special teams duties. 

“I felt like I played a whole game,” Bademosi joked, before saying, “I love playing football so I’m going to go out there and empty myself.”

He did just that, getting targeted only two times in the 24-17 win over the Jets. It was hoped that Bademosi would return to his normal specialist role, but with Stephon Gilmore still out with a concussion, it now seems more and more likely that the sixth year pro will have to be an ironman again Sunday night in primetime against the Falcons. Historically, the Pats have defended bigger receivers. That means Bademosi may be responsible for one of the most dangerous players in the league, Julio Jones.

“He’s an amazing player," he said. “We all know what he’s capable of. As a defense, we have to be prepared for him.”

The Pats were on Super Bowl Sunday and Jones still made a couple of ridiculous plays with either Logan Ryan or Eric Rowe in coverage with safety help over the top.

“He’s fast. He’s physical. He can jump. He can run. He’s smart. He’s everything you want in a wide receiver,” said Bademosi without blinking an eye. That’s the kind of confidence you want from a player at that position and facing this type of challenge. 

“You gotta believe in yourself,” he said “ I’m confident in my abilities. I work hard and trust my preparation.”

Being an elite athlete certainly helps. Bademosi was a scholarship football player at Stanford -- “some guy named Jim Harbaugh called” -- before ending up in the NFL. But it’s Bademosi’s willingness to go all in in the film room that impressed safety Devin McCourty. 

“…I think, honestly, the most work he did was probably with just himself jumping into the film, watching more stuff to exactly see,” said McCourty Thursday. “You know, when you’re a backup more, you’re kind of trying to see everything because you don’t know what role you might be thrust upon once you’re in the game. But, I think once he knew he was starting, it was kind of like, ‘Alright, let me focus in on this.’ I thought he did an awesome job of just being ready and competing.”

Bademosi will have to compete his ass off Sunday night, even against what has been to this point a physically compromised Jones. Based on what he did several days ago, there’s no reason to believe the Pats cornerback won’t bring everything he has, trying to prove again that he’s more than just a special teams whiz.

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