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Patriots owner Kraft: 'Team has been like an extended family'

  • By NFL.com
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It's been a tough year for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, but in a wide-ranging press conference the Friday before this weekend's AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens, Kraft told reporters his team has helped him with the passing of his wife, Myra.

"The team has been my savior,” Kraft said, via the Boston Herald. "I've had my kids, four sons and eight grandchildren, this team has been like an extended family."

And it hasn't just been the players on this year's team that Kraft is grateful for, but guys from previous Patriots teams, like Drew Bledsoe, who will be one of the team's honorary captains this Sunday.

"I called Drew (Bledsoe) and he had plans, a dear friend's 40th birthday, so he's in that range, but he changed things to come here," Kraft said. "When we inducted him into the Hall of Fame. I'm not sure how much he understood how much people appreciate him. He decided to come back and change his plans. I pinch myself that I have the privilege of owning this franchise. We have such a great group of young men. They've been great for me, really great. Sometimes, a few of them, come through and they touch the patch. Say, that one was for mama. I hope they keep it going."

Kraft spoke on the Patriots' strong team chemistry, something which he said began to take hold at midseason.

"You could see the chemistry in the locker room," Kraft said. "If you go to practice and you see the interactions, the little things, the things in the lunch room, the pranks they pull on one another, the little groupings, how they interact, talk."

Kraft also addressed wideout Wes Welker's upcoming free agency. "I think Wes wants to be here, we want him here," Kraft said, via the Herald, adding that he hopes both sides will be "wise" enough to work out a deal.

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