ATLANTA (AP) — Neither the New England Patriots nor the Los Angeles Rams broke a sweat Saturday in what was their final "practice" for the Super Bowl.
More than 800 friends and family joined Patriots players, coaches, and front office staff at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday morning. After finishing a week of work at Georgia Tech, the Patriots did not hold a walkthrough, but came to the site of the game for team photos and a gathering with their guests. This is the same routine they have followed for previous Super Bowls.
"This breaks up the day and lets them participate in it with their families," said coach Bill Belichick, who is working his record ninth Super Bowl as a head coach. "This is a dream for every player to play in this game, so to be able to share it with loved ones and family is special. We have tried to embrace it."
All members of the 53-man active roster and 10-man practice squad were present, along with players on injured reserve, including running back Jeremy Hill and defensive back Eric Rowe. The Patriots have no players with an injury designation for the final game of the season.
Quarterback Tom Brady, also in his ninth Super Bowl, walked in the stadium holding the hand of his 6-year-old daughter, Vivian, with his wife and two sons walking close by. Brady spotted former teammate and Hall of Fame nominee Richard Seymour, who rode in with the team, and wrapped him in a warm embrace.
Later on, Brady met up with his parents and sisters, while Vivian did cartwheels nearby. The traveling party of Devin and Jason McCourty, the first twins to play together in the Super Bowl, sported shirts that read, "All we do is twin," with "win" printed in contrasting red letters.
The Patriots have not played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Rams also had family time following meetings and a walkthrough, but at their hotel in Buckhead, then took team photos inside the stadium.
Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth chased his four children around the field, running back C.J. Anderson's mom chatted up coach Sean McVay, and cornerback Aqib Talib introduced defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to his youngest son.
"It's great," McVay said. "This is something I've never really been a part of. It's really special. We've got a few players and coaches that have been a part of Super Bowls in previous years, but for a lot of guys it's their first time, and I think it's definitely something you want to cherish."
McVay said his team enters the game healthy; both safety Blake Countess and kicker Greg Zuerlein, who were previously on the injury report with foot injuries, are good to go. Both practiced in full Friday.
"I feel really good," McVay said. "I think they understand the time where they can enjoy themselves right now, but when we're doing football-related things, locking into the game plan, they've done a great job. And I think that's kind of been this team's personality really this whole season. It's a good balance; they enjoy themselves, but not at the expense of allowing it to affect our focus and concentration."
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