On Thursday, the New England Patriots held their first practice in anticipation of the Super Bowl XLVI matchup against the New York Giants. While some players like Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork have played in multiple Super Bowls during their career, but for other players like tight end Aaron Hernandez, this Feb. 5 will mark their first.
Hernandez was asked by the Boston media what playing in the Super Bowl means to him. Just like any other second year player that's never been, Hernandez is very excited and anxious for the opportunity.
"It's a dream come true. It still hasn't hit me yet, but obviously when I get down there, I'll start to realize that it really is the Super Bowl. I'm excited. I can't wait for us to get down there. It will be a great experience." (via Patriots.com)
The big headline at Thursday's practice was the absence of Hernandez's running mate, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who continues to nurse a left ankle injury. Hernandez described Thursday's practice without him as "boring" and described how much he benefits from having Gronkowski in the offense.
"It's great having a tight end, especially like him; he can do it all. That makes it that much easier on me. If he's not here, then it's obviously going to be a lot tougher on me and he draws so much attention for how big he is, how physical, his speed. So, it makes it a lot easier on me to make me into a better player." (via Patriots.com)