The Washington Times-Herald

Sports

January 29, 2012

Patriots arrive in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS -- The first surprise of Super Bowl week came early Sunday

evening.

Bill Belichick smiled.

Not only that, the famously gruff New England Patriots head coach laughed

and joked with the assembled media about the reaction he expects from

local fans.

"I've never had too much hospitality here until I went for it on

fourth-and-2," Belichick said to a roomful of laughter. "That created a

lot more friendly environment."

Belichick was referencing his 2009 regular season decision not to punt

from deep in his own territory while protecting a small late

fourth-quarter lead against the Indianapolis Colts.

The short pass play the Patriots called failed to gain two yards, and

Peyton Manning quickly answered with a game-winning touchdown pass to

Reggie Wayne.

That comeback victory was part of a 14-0 start for Indianapolis that

helped propel the Colts to the AFC championship and a spot in Super Bowl XLIV.

Two years later, Tom Brady and his New England teammates arrived back in

Indianapolis with an AFC crown of their own.

Brady said it actually feels good to be in this city and not be preparing

to play against the Colts.

"We drove by Lucas Oil Stadium on the way in, and you see (defensive end)

Dwight Freeney's picture up there," he said. "To come to Indy and not play

him is definitely a relief. He's terrorized me for a long time, and I'll

be terrorized by some other players in some other uniforms this week."

Clearly, this is a relaxed New England team.

And why not? Next Sunday's Super Bowl will be the fifth for Brady and

Belichick as a quarterback-coaching tandem.

A Patriots win would give Brady four NFL titles, tying him with childhood

idol Joe Montana of San Francisco and Pittsburgh's Terry Bradshaw for the

most ever by a quarterback.

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