SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Patriots

January 29, 2012

Who needs Stickum when you've got 'sticky' gloves?

(Continued)

"I feel like if there's a ball anywhere near me, and I can just get a hand on it, I feel pretty confident that I'm going to catch it, whether it's the gloves or hand-eye coordination. If I don't have gloves on," Rudolph continued, "I might not be able to just grab it with one hand. It might slip out."

Slater, New England's special teams captain and someone who occasionally plays on offense and defense, began wearing gloves in high school. He couldn't recall the last time he saw a barehanded player trying to grab a pass on a football field.

And he, like others, noted how the gloves keep getting better. A far cry from when his father, Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jackie Slater, was in the league.

"Nowadays, the gloves are so 'tacky' — they've got a lot of stick to them," the younger Slater said.

When his father played, he added, "They wore gloves, but I don't think they were as, like, high-tech as they are now. The gloves are getting more and more high-tech. Nike's coming out with something different every year."

Sometimes even more frequently than that.

Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy's son Eric plays college football at Oregon and is a receiver, so he's always getting the newest gear from Nike, a major supporter of that school. Dungy said it seems as if Eric calls every couple of weeks to tell him about the latest model of gloves and the improvements.

That equipment maker's website boasts that the rubberlike substance on the palms of some of its gloves is the "most innovative sticky material to date."

As Cleveland Browns tight end Evan Moore put it: "This type of material seems to grab the ball a bit more than just a standard piece of leather."

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