Bruschi no stranger to all things Super Bowl XLIX

Tedy Bruschi holds the Lobardi Trophy. (Courtesy Tedy Bruschi)
Tedy Bruschi holds the Lombardi Trophy. (Photo courtesy Tedy Bruschi)

NFL analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi is no stranger to the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots or to the state of Arizona, site of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX.

During his 13 NFL seasons – all with New England – Bruschi played in five Super Bowls, including the last NFL championship game in Arizona in 2008 (Super Bowl XLII, where the New York Giants beat the Patriots, ruining the chance at a perfect season). Additionally, Bruschi attended college at the University of Arizona in Tuscon, and early in his NFL career, he played for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll in New England.

Bruschi will play a big role in ESPN’s week-long coverage from Arizona, including tomorrow (Tuesday) when he, two-time Super Bowl champ Ray Lewis and anchor Steve Levy will be live on SportsCenter from Media Day.

Bruschi discusses his special connections to this year’s game with Front Row.

What memories do you have of Arizona as you return to the state this week?
I really split that state in half in terms of memory. The good memories I had down at the University of Arizona and then you drive up two hours. That drive, you know, up north to Glendale where we lost that Super Bowl, it’s the loss in Super Bowl history. To me it is the loss.

How do you compare the coaching styles and personalities of Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick since you played for both?
Belichick puts the demands in front of you. This is what you must complete. Pete put it on us in terms of taking control of the leadership, taking control of the team, taking it to the next level, things like that. [Carroll is] really a player’s coach, really relates to his players. But Belichick, he knows what he wants and then expects his players to get it done.

Is it hard for you to be unbiased when you know one of the teams and the coaches so well?
It is sometimes hard for me to be unbiased. For goodness gracious, I presented them [the Patriots] with the Lamar Hunt Trophy after they won the AFC Championship. There are moments where I’ve been critical of them. The same way, as hard as they coached me, I try to give them my input back, too. That’s what I try to do as best I can.

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