SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Patriots

February 4, 2012

Local football coaches dissect Sunday's Super Bowl match up

The New England Patriots and the New York Giants will square off on Sunday in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI in what's been one of the most hyped football games in NFL history.

And for good reason, considering there are more interweaving storylines surrounding the game than the movie "Pulp Fiction."

There's Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and his high ankle sprain; the pass-rushing maniacs that prowl the Giants defensive line working against a Pats offensive line that appears to be healthy for the first time all season; and of course, there's the matter of settling the score from Super Bowl XLII, when New York ended New England's hopes for a perfect season on the sport's biggest stage.

Will Tom Brady and Bill Belichick cement themselves as greatest coach-QB tandem ever? Can Eli Manning emerge from big brother Peyton's shadow forever? Will Gronkowski borrow Schilling's bloody sock and Boston's good fortune along with it?

Let's see what some of our local High School football coaches have to say.

We'll begin in enemy territory with Masconomet coach Jim Pugh. No stranger to Super Bowls himself, Pugh grew up in Long Island, N.Y., and is a lifelong member of the G-men's fan club.

"I'm happy to report that after moving to Massachusetts many, many years ago from Long Island, my loyalties have remained with the team I grew up rooting for, the Giants," said Pugh, who despite 2007's result, is weary of another match-up against New England. "I have learned to never bet against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. I will be hoping for another upset like four years ago."

Pugh believes the key to the Giants' success is red zone efficiency and getting in Brady's face as much as possible.

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