Tom Brady Dad Was Hospitalized for COVID in 2020 ... 'Matter of Life & Death'

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A SCARY SITUATION
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Tom Brady's father says both he and his wife battled COVID at the beginning of this NFL season -- with Tom Brady Sr. needing to be hospitalized for 3 weeks.

"I was in the hospital with COVID for almost 3 weeks and my wife was sick with COVID at the same time," Tom Sr. said Monday morning on ESPN's 'Greeny' radio show.

"We didn't even see the first 2 games of the year. First 2 games I've ever missed in his career because I was sick as a dog and my wife was sick as a dog."

"It was a matter of life and death just like anybody [who] goes into the hospital ... serious stuff."

Seems Tom Sr. had a much tougher time with COVID than his wife, Galynn -- who is a breast cancer survivor.

Fortunately, both Tom Sr. and Galynn are doing much better now -- but Tom says the whole thing was scary.

"We’ve never missed a game [when Tom was playing] at Michigan or New England or wherever. [But] for the first 2 games [of the 2020 NFL season] when I was in the hospital, I didn’t even care if [The Bucs] were playing much less missing the game."

Tom Sr. says his son "fought through it" and continued to play -- but the news definitely explains Tom's unusually bad play in the Week 1 opener against the Saints, when the Bucs lost 34 to 23 and Tom threw 2 interceptions.

"Now it’s in the rearview mirror," Tom Sr. said ... "We’re healthy, we’re happy and everything is good."

Still, Tom says his son tries to FaceTime him every single day on his way to and from practice.

Tom Sr. finished by noting his family isn't special when it comes to being affected by COVID -- "We’re just representing the 25 million Americans who have had it so far this year. So, it’s nothing to shake a stick at."

Bills Mafia Braves Cold To Welcome Team Home ... After AFC Title Loss

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MIDNIGHT MAFIA
Buffalo Bills

It was 3 AM and a freezing 15 DEGREES -- but Bills Mafia came out in force at the airport in Buffalo Monday morning to welcome the team home after a crushing loss in the AFC Championship.

... and the video is pretty awesome!

They held signs, rocked Bills flags and chanted "Let's Go Buffalo" to cheer on their squad as Josh Allen and the boys returned from Arrowhead.

It's just another amazing show of support from a fan base that's not only lifted Buffalo -- but rallied to support opposing teams and players ... just ask Lamar Jackson and Andy Dalton.

Of course, the Bills fell short to Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion K.C. Chiefs on Sunday night in a 38-24 loss in the AFC championship game -- but the team had one helluva 2020 season.

Buffalo finished the season with an impressive 13-3 record, winning the AFC East in the process over the surging Miami Dolphins.

Plus, they lost to the Chiefs one game shy of the Super Bowl -- nothing to be sad about!!!

Josh Allen has vowed to lead his team back to the AFC title game next season -- and yeah, he's got the talent and the squad to get there ... so, get warm and keep your heads up, Bills Mafia!!!

Bills' Jordan Poyer Wife Claims Chiefs Fans Harassed Her ... At AFC Title Game

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Troubling allegations from the wife of Buffalo Bills star Jordan Poyer ... Rachel Bush says she was harassed by Chiefs fans at the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City on Sunday.

The model took to social media during the Bills' loss to the Chiefs to explain the situation ... saying while her hubby was playing against K.C. on the field at Arrowhead Stadium, fans spewed "disrespectful" vitriol her way in the stands.

"These drunk chiefs fans behind me knowing damn well I'm a wife saying s*** directly to me smh yuck," Bush wrote on Twitter.

"I've NEVER gotten into it with fans but holy cow ... disrespectful ... embarrassing ..."

Bush continued, "Most classless s*** I've ever seen ... even the fans around them are embarrassed."

Rachel -- who deleted the tweets shortly after making the claims -- went on to clarify, "not all chiefs fans are awful lol."

"Some were so nice!..just the ones behind me directly harassing us were [thumbs down]," Bush explained. "the rest of their own surrounding fan base was even embarrassed so that’s that lol"

It's unclear if Bush went to stadium security over the incident ... but she did later write on Twitter she was proud as hell of Jordan for the way he capped off an awesome season.

"One proud wifey tonight," she wrote. "Told me he was gonna give it his all and he sure did."

Gisele Gushes Over Tom After Bucs Win ... Mahomes' Fiancee Goes Crazy After Chiefs Win!!!

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The 2 best QBs in the NFL also have some Tier 1 support systems ... 'cause after Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes moved on to the Super Bowl on Sunday, their sig figs showed crazy love!!

Gisele gushed over TB12 after the Bucs finished off the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game ... with the model writing, "We love and are so proud of you, Papai!!!'

Gisele also posted a pic of her and Brady's children in Tampa Bay gear, captioning the adorable shot, "We are already cheering here papai! We love you!"

Of course, Tom was able to show some love right back to his fam after beating Aaron Rodgers ... cameras caught the future Hall of Famer seeking out his son, Jack, after the game and giving the boy a big hug!

"He’s a special kid," Tom told reporters after the game ... "I love my family. Obviously, I love my team, and there’s just no greater feeling than to spend those moments with all of us together after a great win."

As for Mahomes ... his fiancee, Brittany Matthews -- who's several months pregnant with the couple's baby daughter -- completely lost her mind watching Patrick destroy the Bills.

CLUBHOUSE CHAOS

Britt documented her day start to finish on her social media page ... and she screamed for Mahomes from kickoff to trophy presentation!!

Seriously ... watch the clip -- Matthews LOVES her future hubby!!!

KISSES TO THE GIRLS
Courtesy Of NFL

Cameras also caught Mahomes returning the support ... with the 24-year-old blowing kisses to Britt shortly after capping off the victory.

For now, Mahomes is listed as the favorite to beat Brady in Super Bowl LV next month ... and if that happens -- someone better record Britt's reaction ASAP!!

Matthew Stafford's Wife Pens 'Thank You' Note to Detroit ... Amid Trade Reports

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It's not an official "goodbye" ... yet ... but it's close.

Matthew Stafford's wife Kelly penned a "Thank You" note to the city of Detroit amid reports the Lions QB has mutually agreed with the franchise to continue his career elsewhere.

Matt has played every down of his pro career with Detroit since he was drafted out of Georgia with the 1st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Now, ESPN says Detroit -- and Stafford -- have agreed to a conscious uncoupling ... so Detroit can draft new franchise QB and 32-year-old Matt can try his luck in another city.

Enter Kelly ... who is bracing for the move.

"Thank you," Kelly said in a note to the people of Detroit ... "This place, our home, the people ... it’s hard to find the words to explain what this place means to me."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"Random tears come very often when I think about not being here."

"This place supported me during the toughest time of my life and during the happiest times and I want to thank y’all in the right way."

Kelly and Matt have 4 kids together -- all born during Matt's time with the Lions. Also, Kelly underwent brain surgery for a tumor in 2019.

So, what's next for the Stafford's?

"Whenever I figure out what the future holds, you’ll be hearing from me again with a thank you that hopefully shows how much gratitude and love I have for this place," Kelly said.

"But until then we are going to enjoy our time left in Michigan to the fullest because there really is no other place like it."

There are rumblings Matt could end up in San Francisco to play for the 49ers -- but it's all talk at this point.

Stay tuned ...

Tom Brady Heading to 10th Super Bowl ... No Belichick In Sight

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The G.O.A.T. of football has silenced critics who said he couldn't do it without Bill Belichick ... because Tom Brady's heading to another Super Bowl, now with a whole new team.

The star QB led his new squad, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to Super Bowl LV Sunday with a hard-fought win over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game ... the first time they've been to the big show since 2002, and only the second time ever in their franchise history.

The Bucs ended up squeaking out a victory at 31-26, despite Brady throwing several interceptions in the second half ... giving Rodgers and co. multiple opportunities to gain the lead. That didn't happen though, and Tom was able to string together enough touchdown passes early on to give him and his teammates a big enough cushion to fend off AR.

Rodgers was 10 yards and a 2-point conversion away from tying it late in the 4th quarter, but he and his head coach made a pair of head-scratching decisions that ended up costing them the game. First, on 3rd and goal ... Rodgers broke out of the pocket during a scramble and ended up throwing the ball away, when he had a fairly clear path to the goal line.

Then, on 4th down ... Packers head coach Matt LaFleur opted for a 3-point field goal instead of just going for it and trying to get a touchdown, as it was the last realistic opportunity before the game was sealed. The screw-ups played in favor of Brady ... who held on long enough.

It's his first season with the Bucs ... and already, he's taking them to greatness. This will mark his 10th Super Bowl appearance -- alongside none other than Rob Gronkowski, another Patriots castoff -- and he did it without the assistance of his former head coach and partner in gridiron crime, Belichick.

There's long been a debate over whether Brady's success and greatness was exclusively tied to Belichick's play-calling, or if it was the other way around ... and if TB12 was the one carrying Bill all along. We're sure that's still debatable, but one thing's clear ... Tom doesn't need Bill to get to a Super Bowl, not after this.

The Buccaneers will face off against either the Buffalo Bills or the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7. Right now, the Bills are ahead -- but there's still a lot of game to play. In any case, congrats to the greatest quarterback to ever do it. Quite an achievement, we must say!

Brett Favre I'd Draft DeVonta Smith Over Trevor Lawrence ... He's Like Randy Moss!!!

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A TOTAL GAME CHANGER
TMZSports.com

Urban Meyer, listen up ... Brett Favre tells TMZ Sports the Jaguars should NOT draft Trevor Lawrence #1 overall -- and instead, take DeVonta Smith!!

"I don't know if Jacksonville, in my opinion, I don't know if quarterback is their immediate need," the NFL legend says ... "I would take DeVonta Smith."

It's a scorching hot take from Favre -- most believe Lawrence is the NFL draft's best QB prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012.

And, nearly everyone involved in the draft process has already pegged the Clemson superstar to be Jacksonville's pick in their mock drafts.

But, Favre says he'd go with the Alabama wideout regardless ... explaining the Heisman Trophy winner is just different.

"I think you go with a guy like that," Favre says. "Nothing against Trevor Lawrence but I think you can find a free agent guy or a guy in the latter rounds or mid-rounds in the draft."

"But, you just don't find a guy like a -- this guy could be a Jerry Rice. He could be different. A Randy Moss. A total game-changer."

FINGERS CROSSED
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The take sounds very similar to Quinnen Williams' -- the Jets star told us just a few weeks ago he's hoping his New York squad takes Smith over a QB as well.

So, could the Jags shock the world and make the move? Draft is set for April 29 ... stay tuned.

Andre Reed Praises Bills' Allen And Diggs ... They're Like Jim Kelly And Me!!!

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KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
TMZSports.com

Andre Reed is SO fired up for the Bills ... he's droppin' some serious praise on the team's star players -- telling TMZ Sports Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are like him and Jim Kelly!

The Buffalo legend spoke with us before the Bills take on Kansas City on Sunday for a spot in Super Bowl LV ... and you can tell, he's absolutely PUMPED for his former team.

In fact, Reed -- who did the interview rockin' a Bills t-shirt -- said he could hardly contain his excitement!!!

As for the players that helped get Buffalo to this point ... Reed had nothing but great things to say about the guys -- especially Allen and Diggs.

"I think they're a great combination," Reed says, "like me and Jim!"

Of course, that's a VERY lofty compliment from Reed ... Kelly and the star wideout are two of the best to ever do it -- both dudes are in the Hall of Fame because of how good they were together.

But, Reed clearly believes it ... telling us he's hoping Diggs can one day smash all his Bills records!

"That's what it's made to do," Reed said of his career marks, "and I think he definitely has a chance if them two guys stay together for a while."

Reed, though, says there will not be notable smashing from him if the Bills do get the win this weekend ... he tells us his table smashing days are one-and-done.

NO THANK YOU
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Probably a good call, Andre ... leave all those shenanigans up to Bills Mafia!!

Kristin Cavallari, Jay Cutler Post Photo Targeting 'Users' Back Together???

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler are telegraphing things are copacetic with them, and maybe even more than copacetic ... and they're suggesting their divorce has somehow been mischaracterized.

Kristin and Jay each posted this pic of the 2 of them hanging out together, with the caption, "The world is full of users. 10 years. Can't break that."

There's a lot that's unclear here. Are they back together? Are they just saying they're still a family and will happily co-parent? And, who exactly are the "users."

It seems the "users" comment is directed at the media/social media, which characterized the divorce as contentious. If that's the case, it's a little bizarre.

As we reported, Jay filed for divorce back in April after 7 years of marriage. He asked for joint custody, but when Kristin filed her answer, the bitterness was apparent. She alleged "misconduct" on Jay's part. Her answer read, Jay "is guilty of such inappropriate marital conduct as renders further cohabitation unsafe and improper."

Kristin then insinuated Jay had accused her of "inappropriate marital conduct." Her lawyer wrote, "any misconduct alleged or implied against her in the complaint for divorce was in response to and/or as a result of misconduct on behalf of the Husband." That's weird, because Jay never mentioned misconduct on Kristin's part in his divorce petition.

Kristin had initially asked for sole physical custody of their 3 kids and only wanted Jay to have visitation.

Fast forward to September, when Kristin said there was NO scandal regarding Jay, saying it was simply a case where the marriage "just didn't work out."

It did seem like they were getting over the anger, because they agreed in September to joint custody and seemed to lower the temp.

10/10/20
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
TMZ.com

Kristin had been linked to comedian Jeff Dye since October, but their latest post now suggests ... well, actually, we're not sure.

To be continued ...

Buffalo Bills Fan Smashes Table After Smashing Cancer ... Epic Video!!!

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Even Chiefs fans are gonna love this!!!

Here's Buffalo Bills superfan Victor Neilson celebrating his victory over cancer in the most Bills way possible ... BY SMASHING THROUGH A TABLE!!!

BILLS MAFIA 4 LIFE, BABY!!!

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42-year-old Nelson (who works in restaurant food supply) had just wrapped up 5 months of "intense chemotherapy" for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville. Nelson tells us he had a "baseball-size mass against my aorta."

So, after ringing the famous victory bell, Nelson took his celebration to another level!

Nelson strapped on his Bills helmet, his Tremaine Edmunds jersey and a pair of Zubaz pants -- and took out a folding table LIKE A CHAMPION!!

"Through all the prayers and support, I have prevailed," Nelson posted after the table-smashing.

I am" officially cancer-free. Thanks to all for the prayers and support. Couldn’t have done it without you. GO BILLS, BEAT THEM CHIEFS!!"

Check out all of the nurses, doctors and other staff on hand to help Vic celebrate -- it's awesome!

Nelson says he hopes the video will inspire others who are fighting cancer -- and now he's raising money for Vanderbilt Oncology in Nashville via his GoFundMe page.

Bills Mafia ... are they awesome or what?!

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Cleared to Play In AFC Title Game 'Out of Concussion Protocol'

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READY TO GO
Kansas City Chiefs

Great news for Chiefs Kingdom ... Patrick Mahomes says he's been CLEARED to play in Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills.

"Yeah I'm actually ... just got out of the protocol," Patrick told reporters on Friday.

"The week has just been a bunch of testing, a bunch of different things just to make sure that I'm good to go and there's no lingering effects or anything like that. But everything's been good, I went through what 3, or 4 different doctors have said. Everything's looked well and I'm out of it now."

Of course, Mahomes was knocked out of last week's playoff game against the Cleveland Browns following a shot to the head. He's been in the NFL's concussion protocol ever since.

Mahomes was replaced by veteran Chad Henne, who played pretty well filling in for Patrick against the Browns ... and the big question -- would Henne get the start against Buffalo?

But, Mahomes just addressed reporters on Friday afternoon and confirmed out of concussion protocol ... which means HE'S BAAAAAACK!!

Kansas City was a 3 point favorite going into the match up -- but now that Mahomes is cleared to return, it's possible the spread could widen even further.

As for the Buffalo Bills, led by QB Josh Allen, they've been preparing this week as if Mahomes would play.

Smart move.

Antonio Brown Out For NFC Championship Game ... Bucs Announce

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If Tom Brady is going to beat Aaron Rodgers, he's gonna have to do it without Antonio Brown.

The Tampa Bay Bucs confirmed the superstar WR is OUT for Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Packers in Green Bay.

The 32-year-old has been nursing a knee injury he suffered in the 1st half of last week's playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.

AB barely played in the 2nd half of that game -- and sat out of practice on Thursday. In other words, it was a long shot he was going to play anyway.

MOVIN' FORWARD
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Now, Tom will have to rely on his other weapons -- which include Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Scotty Miller, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones and more.

Yeah, TB12 has a ton of weapons -- but worth noting Brown was Tom's top target in the final 5 games of the regular season.

Green Bay was a 3.5 favorite before the Antonio Brown news. This will likely only widen the spread.

Super Bowl LV Attendance Capped At 22,000 ... NFL Gifts Free Tix For Health Care Workers

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Coronavirus be damned -- 22,000 people will get to sit and watch Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay next month ... with 7,500 of those scheduled to be vaccinated health care workers.

The NFL made the announcement Friday ... saying they consulted with officials and experts throughout the country to ensure they can keep that many people safe despite the pandemic.

The Shield also laid out the safety guidelines fans must follow if they do get a seat at Raymond James Stadium ... saying masks, social distancing and "podded seating" will all be requirements.

NFL officials also say there will be "touchless in-stadium experiences at concessions, restrooms, and security checkpoints" to further help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As for the health care workers part of it all ... the NFL is doing some REALLY awesome things there -- giving out 7,500 free tickets for those who have put their lives on the line for others in the pandemic.

In fact, league commish Roger Goodell surprised a group of nurses and front line hospital workers with invitations on a crashed video call Friday that was seriously awesome.

"We owe them our ongoing gratitude," Goodell said. "We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes."

The league says most of the health care workers who have been invited to the big Feb. 7 game will come from the Tampa and central Florida area.

FYI -- the NFL says it played host to more than 1.2 million fans at its 116 games this season.

Shout out to our pal, JT The Brick, for first suggesting the idea to gift Super Bowl tickets to health care workers.

Julian Edelman Admits It's 'Weird' Watching TB12 on Bucs ... 'It Is What It Is'

BROTHERLY LOVE
Pardon My Take

They played 11 seasons together -- so what's it like for Julian Edelman to watch his former Patriots QB Tom Brady ballin' out for the Tampa Bay Bucs??

"It's obviously, definitely weird."

The MVP of Super Bowl LIII opened up about his current relationship with TB12 on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast ... comparing it to a marriage.

"It’s kind of like a relationship, or a marriage, where you grew apart but you still love each other," Edelman says.

"You still may have a couple kids [read: championships]. We have 3 kids. So there’s still communication of what you guys are going through and how you’re doing but you both got your own lives that you have to keep on going towards and that's kind of how it's like."

Edelman says he still roots for Tom and his other former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski -- "I wanna see those guys do well. It's awesome seeing Gronk and Tommy doing well and playing and making big plays ... it's obviously, definitely weird, but it is what it is."

Edelman was also asked when he thinks 43-year-old Tom will hang up his cleats for good -- and spoiler alert, don't hold your breath.

"I don't know what his plan is, but knowing him -- it's all in [when] that little fire turns off in his little chest and I don’t think that things gonna be turning off here soon."

Edelman began his career with Tom Brady when he was selected by the Patriots in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

The big question -- will they reunite in Canton one day??

Dwayne Haskins Signs With Steelers ... Picks Symbolic Jersey Number

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New year, new team, new number ... new Dwayne Haskins??

The former first-round pick just inked a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers ... in hopes of resurrecting his NFL career.

Remember, the Washington Football Team cut Haskins after several team-related issues during the season ... including COVID-19 protocol violations and attending a stripper-filled party, which he later apologized for.

The 23-year-old is getting a fresh start in the Steel City ... with the former Ohio State star officially signing on the dotted line to presumably serve as Ben Roethlisberger's backup.

Haskins addressed the move on Thursday ... sharing several edited photos of the signal-caller in his new Black and Gold threads with a #3 jersey.

Haskins -- who wore #7 with the WFT -- explained the new digit, saying, "3 in the Bible stands for restoration and eternal life. Let’s work 🙏"

Haskins has played in just 16 games since entering the league in 2019 ... throwing for a little over 2,800 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

If DH was, in fact, brought on to be Big Ben's successor, he'll have HUGE shoes to fill -- after all, the dude's a 2-time Super Bowl champ!!

Ted Thompson GB Packers Legend Dead at 68 Drafted Aaron Rodgers, Traded Brett Favre

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Ex-Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson -- who made some of the most important moves in franchise history -- has died.

He was only 68.

Thompson (a former linebacker) spent 10 years in the NFL as a player -- signing with the Houston Oilers as an undrafted free agent in 1975 --  before getting into the operational side of the business.

He started with the Packers in 1992 as a scout -- and worked his way up to GM in 2005 ... and that's when he really got cookin'.

Ted's first draft pick as GM? Aaron Rodgers. Yeah. Not bad.

Followed by ... future Pro Bowlers like Nick Collins, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews, Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb, Mason Crosby, David Bakhtiari, Davante Adams and many, many, many more.

In 2008, Thompson also famously traded away the team's most famous and beloved player of all time -- Brett Favre, which ended up working out great for GB.

There's so much more ... he also landed top free agents over the years including Charles Woodson in 2006 and Julius Peppers in 2016.

Thompson was a low-level staffer when the Packers won Super Bowl 31 in 1997 -- but was the acting GM when the Pack won Super Bowl 45 in 2011.

He stepped down as GM in early 2018 after he was diagnosed with an autonomic disorder. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2019.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur just spoke about Thompson's death Thursday -- saying, "Our condolences go out to his family. He's a guy that's held in the highest regard in this building and around the league."

"His impact is still felt to this day when you look at our roster."

Current Packers GM Brian Gutekunst also released a statement ... saying, "Ted was a man of great character and integrity who cared deeply for his family and friends."

"He was honest and hard-working. He valued his scouts and always did what he felt was right for the Packers organization."

Mark Murphy, Packers CEO, added ... "What really stands out to me is the consistency."

"Everything is designed to make it difficult to win that way, but you look at what Ted accomplished, it's remarkable."

RIP

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