Trevor Reilly is the New England Patriots player you haven't yet heard about with ties to Minnesota. Five members of the Reilly family will be in the stands at U.S. Bank Stadium to watch the Patriots and Eagles in the Super Bowl. One of them, his mother Kris Reilly, grew up just a 20-minute drive south of the stadium.
"Burnsville, class of '77," Trevor Reilly said during Super Bowl LII Opening Night on Monday at Xcel Energy Center.
Reilly is a linebacker on the Patriots practice squad — right now. But the Utah product actually started his first NFL game this season, a decisive November win in Denver. Once ex-Steelers linebacker James Harrison became available, Reilly was released to make room on the roster.
"Seventh-round pick; over the age 30; white guy," Reilly said. "That's the reality I live in right now. I want to change that, but I can't complain man. There are a lot of people out there who would give one of their toes or fingers to be in my shoes."
The Patriots then re-signed him to the practice squad. He now gets to witness from the sideline his first Super Bowl. Reilly's family was in California by the time he was born, so he grew up a Raiders fan. But his grandfather, whom he called a "50-year season-ticket holder, back to the outdoor stadium," would take him fishing as a kid during Minnesota summers. He recalled catching walleye and sunfish in some of the 10,000 lakes.
"They're huge Vikings fans," Reilly said of his family. "So my advice to Vikings fans is keep your head up. See what happens next year."
Brady on WEEI host
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady cut short his weekly appearance on a Boston radio station Monday, citing his unhappiness with disparaging remarks made about his daughter. Radio host Alex Reimer, on a separate WEEI show, called Brady's daughter "an annoying little pissant."
Brady indicated he was reconsidering his appearances on the station, but said Monday night he hopes Reimer keeps his job. Brady added his children shouldn't be part of the criticism he receives.
"We all have careers and we all make mistakes," Brady said, "and I'd hate for someone to have to change their life because of something like that. It was certainly not what he intended."
Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen hails from Minnetonka, is a Skipper and has been educating his Eagles teammates this week on all things Minnesota — "spouting off on facts about Prince and Bob Dylan, you know, talking about Jucy Lucy's and stuff like that," Allen said.
Allen also has a large family contingent vying for the handful of Super Bowl tickets he's allotted.
"That's still kind of being decided," Allen said. "I've been putting my family in a Battle Royale-type situation, so whoever comes out on top actually gets to go to the game."
Gronk still in protocol
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski remains in concussion protocol and was not made available to reporters. He still could clear protocol this week and play, and his presence Sunday against the Eagles would be paramount for the Patriots offense.
"He's a very sophisticated player," New England coach Bill Belichick said. "He can do a lot of things that, if you ask any guys, they wouldn't be able to do, and he does them very well."