Light Named To Pro Bowl
|Matt Light 2006 Camp (PatriotsInsider.com Photo)|
New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light will play in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii this weekend. Light was added to the AFC squad after Baltimore Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden opted out due to a toe injury.
Light is the first Patriots offensive lineman to be selected to the Pro Bowl since center Damien Woody received the honor in 2002. Light becomes just the fourth Patriots tackle to be selected to the Pro Bowl since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The others were Bruce Armstrong, Brian Holloway and Leon Gray.
Light will be the only Patriots player participating in the Pro Bowl, after defensive end Richard Seymour withdrew earlier from his own injuries. Seymour is had to pull out with elbow and groin problems.
Belichick And Tomlinson Back On Friendly Terms
|LaDainian Tomlinson in the AFC Division playoffs (Getty Photo)|
The New England Patriots coaching staff will coach the AFC squad in the Pro Bowl. The honor goes to each runner up in the NFL Conference Championship game. When the Colts defeated the Patriots to advance to Super Bowl XLI, Bill Belichick and his staff were given the honor of coaching the AFC.
On Belichick's roster are some of the San Diego Chargers, the team the Patriots defeated in the division round of the 2006 NFL playoffs. Shawne Merriman and LaDainian Tomlinson are two of those Chargers players.
Tomlinson was involved in controversy stemming from the Patriots post game celebration on the field at San Diego where some of the Patriots players mimicked Merriman's sack dance. Tomlinson felt the celebration was inappropriate. In his post game comments he called the move classless, and attributed the lack of class to the players and the head coach (Belichick).
Tomlinson has since stated that he and Belichick have made amends. Tomlinson said they both "kind of apologized."
Belichick also tried his best to put the situation behind them.
"We talked," Belichick said regarding his interaction with Tomlinson. "I have all the respect in the world for LaDainian as a person, as a player, and it's fun to be out here working with all of those guys."
The Patriots allowed 237 points during the 2006 regular season, setting a franchise record for fewest points allowed in one year. The total beat the old record by one point (238) set in 2003.
After losing to the Colts, the Patriots are now 19-12 all-time in the postseason. Even with the loss, New England still own the best playoff winning percentage among teams with at least 10 postseason appearances.
Bruschi Looks Ahead
|Tedy Bruschi and Rosevelt Colvin against Buffalo October 22, 2006 (Getty Photo)|
After losing to the Colts 38-34 in the AFC Championship game, no one was mor edisappointed with the outcome than fan favorite linebacker Tedy Bruschi. Even in disappointment Bruschi's fierce pride came through in his post game comments.
"You can be a Super Bowl champion that wins an individual Super Bowl or you can be one of those teams that are always associated with being a dynasty," Said Bruschi. "They used it for the Steelers, the Cowboys, the 49ers, the Packers and they used it with us. That means we were one of the best teams ever, if not the best. I'd put us up against anyone, but if you ask me, the best team to ever play in this league was the New England Patriots."
Bruschi is another player fans will need to keep a close eye on this offseason. There is speculation that the 33-year old Bruschi, who had a stroke just three years ago, may be thinking about retirement.
"You put so much into the season," Bruschi said. "The last few years I've pretty much been going year to year. I just want to sit back, take some time and reflect on the season before I make any decisions."