New England Patriots players walk to the field before the game in their 24-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship game on January 21 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
A raucous crowd greeted the New England Patriots Monday morning at a rally in Foxborough, Mass., before the team headed to Minneapolis for Sunday's Super Bowl.
Tom Brady was the last of several players to address the crowd, which held up numerous signs, including one that read: "Just like Tom Brady, this never gets old."
"It's going to be fun. It's going to be a lot of hard work. We're playing a great team but I tell you what, we've got a locker room full of guys that are ready for the challenge," Brady told the crowd outside Gillette Stadium.
Brady concluded his comments by praising fans.
"We got one more to go," he said. "We're going to go out there and try to win for you guys. We love you. Patriots out!"
Tight end Rob Gronkowski also appeared on stage but did not address the crowd. He has been in the concussion protocol since exiting the AFC title game with a helmet-to-helmet hit, but returned to participate in some drills Saturday.
Last week Gronkowski was not listed as a projected attendee when the team announced the rally last week. He is not allowed to address the media until he gets cleared from the concussion protocol.
Also addressing the crowd were coach Bill Belichick, receiver Danny Amendola along with defensive backs Duron Harmon and Devin McCourty.
"For those of you who are going to Minnesota, we will see you there. For those of you who aren't, we know you'll be cheering your hearts out, and we'll see you Monday," Belichick told the crowd.
Amendola said the Patriots' fan are "the best fan base in the NFL." McCourty urged the fans in attendance to forget about work and "just keep cheering."
After the rally, the Patriots took off for Minneapolis and landed shortly after 2 p.m. CT.