Patriots

Patriots bring Game of Thrones theme to send-off rally

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Patriots bring Game of Thrones theme to send-off rally

The Patriots kicked off their Super Bowl week with a send-off rally at Gillette Stadium that began with the team's game-day broadcast duo of Scott Zolak and Bob Socci getting the crowd going. 

Despite the fact that this will be New England's eighth Super Bowl with Bill Belichick serving as the team's head coach and Tom Brady as its starting quarterback, there was a strong crowd of supporters who showed up for the festivities. They filled the NRG Plaza and many overflowed up the plaza steps to get a better view of the stage just outside The Hall at Patriot Place.

The rally began just after 9 a.m. outside The Hall at Patriot Place, and featured a Game of Thrones theme at the NRG Plaza. Three banners were draped inside the plaza -- one for Tom Brady, one for Bill Belichick and one for Rob Gronkowski -- all with their own "house" motto.

After some planned remarks from members of the club, including chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Belichick and team captains, the Patriots will head to T.F. Green Airport to make their way to Minneapolis. 

"Opening Night" of the Super Bowl -- which has replaced the week's traditional "Media Day" in order to move one of the league's marquee events to prime time -- is set to begin just after 8 p.m. Eastern. 

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new National Anthem policy

On Wednesday, the NFL announced a new policy on players protesting during the National Anthem.

The new policy permits players to stay in the locker room while the anthem plays, but requires them to stand if they come on to the field.

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long, now with the Eagles, shared his thoughts on the controversial change via Twitter:

His teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, ripped the new policy on Twitter as well.

Devin and Jason McCourty showed their support for Long and Jenkins' statements by reposting them on their Twitter account:

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Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

Source: Tom Brady not at TB12 while teammates next door at OTAs

A source confirms that Tom Brady was not working out at his TB12 sports medicine facility at Patriot Place in Foxboro while his teammates were on the field at OTAs as was previously reported by the Boston Herald.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, the other notable absence from OTAs, has been at the TB12 facility on the days his teammates were on the field practicing and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who participated in the first day of OTAs, has also been at TB12, according to the source.

The Herald's Karen Guregian reported on Tuesday that both Brady and Gronkowski were at TB12 on Monday, which is right next to Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots were practicing. 

Former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak and Bertrand" show said Brady likely wasn't even in the country this week.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Wednesday that Brady and Gronk are expected to participate in the mandatory mini-camp at Gillette June 5-7.

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