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Sherman Heads Home

Posted Sep 14, 2012

Notebook: Fullback grew up near Gillette; Spencer owes career to Belichick

Fullback Anthony Sherman, here scoring a touchdown in the preseason, grew up near Gillette Stadium in New England.

Anthony Sherman is only in his second NFL season and going home to New England is already not a big deal.

Sherman grew up in North Attleboro, Mass., 10 miles from Gillette Stadium, and played football at the University of Connecticut. He requested 31 tickets – about 20 more than he’s had to request before – but playing the Patriots in New England on Sunday is just another game to the fullback.

“The way I’m looking at it, it’s no different,” Sherman said. “There’ll be more family and friends there.

“It’s no different when I played my first game here, it was just to play in the NFL. Again it’s just another road game that is just closer to home.”

Part of the appeal of playing near his hometown was lost during the offseason when Sherman returned to Massachusetts.

Sherman’s a minor celebrity around North Attleboro. He was inducted into the Attleboro Area Football Hall of Fame last Thanksgiving in his first year of eligibility, but because of the Cardinals’ schedule Sherman wasn’t able to attend the ceremony.

With his 15 minutes of fame out of the way, he’ll go to team meetings Saturday night and either go out to dinner with friends and family or have dinner at home with his mother.

OLD FRIENDS REUNITE

They faced each other on the collegiate gridiron, joined forces in the NFL and now they’re on opposing sidelines.

Cardinals special teams coach Kevin Spencer first faced Patriots coach Bill Belichick when Spencer played at Springfield College and Belichick went to Wesleyan College. The two met in the mid-1970s in Detroit, when Belichick said they coached lacrosse.

“Great guy, solid guy, works hard, very loyal, hard-working guy that’s a good football coach,” Belichick said. “(He) demands a lot out of his players but (he) works hard and earns their respect.”

Then in 1991, Belichick was named head coach of the Cleveland Browns and hired Spencer, who was the head coach of Wesleyan at the time.

“We are obviously friends, but I will always view him as a mentor,” Spencer said. “He gave me my start. He could do the worst thing in the world to me and I’d never say anything bad about him because I wouldn’t be where I am without him.

“He’s wicked intelligent. Bill probably would have been there anyway. If it wasn’t for Bill, I wouldn’t be where I am. If Bill hadn’t met me, he’d still be going to the Hall of Fame.”

GOOD CHOICE

It’s only one game into the season and coach Ken Whisenhunt can already tell signing linebacker Quentin Groves during the offseason was a good idea.

Groves had two tackles and a quarterback pressure Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

“The transition for him learning this defense and playing outside linebacker is a tough one. I am quite impressed with the progress he has made,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s become a valuable contributor. That was a good pickup”


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