Football

Former TCU star Marcus Cannon enjoying yet another Super Bowl

Patriots RT Marcus Cannon on what TCU meant to his career

The Patriots drafted TCU's Marcus Cannon in the fifth round of the 2011 draft.
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The Patriots drafted TCU's Marcus Cannon in the fifth round of the 2011 draft.

Marcus Cannon was quick to correct a reporter who asked if he could appreciate being in “two” Super Bowls when some players never get to experience one.

“Three!” Cannon said laughing.

Ah, yes, the Patriots lost to the Giants in Cannon’s rookie season of 2011 before beating the Seahawks in the 2014 season.

“Even though we’re trying to stay focused, I’m still happy to be here, blessed to be here,” Cannon said. “I don’t take it for granted, but you’ve got to remember why you’re here.”

Three Super Bowls in six seasons could spoil a player. Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has played 14 seasons without making it even to one Super Bowl.

This guy, he goes out there and he competes, and I know he’s going against great players this week as well, but I just think he’s playing with a lot of confidence, and he has maxed out his skill set because his body can work and function at its highest because of a loss of weight and the way he’s moving around.

Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia on Marcus Cannon

“Every one is different,” Cannon said. “But of course, it’s awesome to be back.”

The former TCU standout, who makes his off-season home in DFW, wouldn’t reveal where he keeps his Super Bowl ring.

“It’s a secret. It’s a secret location,” Cannon said.

Cannon wore his ring after he first got it, but he’s always been one to look ahead rather than behind.

“It’s like once the next season starts you put it up,” Cannon said. “Maybe after I’m done playing I’ll wear it more, but at this point it’s kind of overkill.”

Cannon had his best season this season, earning second-team All-Pro at right tackle. Pro Football Focus rated him the eighth-best tackle, regardless of side, in football and the second-best right tackle. Cannon allowed 2.5 sacks, according to STATS, and was called for only two holding penalties.

It’s like once the next season starts you put it up. Maybe after I’m done playing I’ll wear it more, but at this point it’s kind of overkill.

Marcus Cannon on his Super Bowl ring

“You have to look at the physical part of it,” Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said. “He lost 30 pounds. I think that was huge. He reshaped his body, and I think that helped a great deal. Then, he got the one thing that they all wish they had, and that’s confidence. As each game progressed and he became more confident in what he was doing and how he was doing it, I think that really helped him a great deal.

Patriots OL coach Dante Scarnecchia said a loss of weight and a dose of confidence was the difference for former TCU standout Marcus Cannon this season.

“This guy, he goes out there and he competes, and I know he’s going against great players this week as well, but I just think he’s playing with a lot of confidence, and he has maxed out his skill set because his body can work and function at its highest because of a loss of weight and the way he’s moving around.”

The Patriots rewarded the former fifth-round pick with a five-year, $32.5 million contract extension late this season, guaranteeing him $14.5 million guaranteed.

Schaub’s return

Matt Schaub is back where he began his career in Atlanta, now a backup on a Super Bowl team in a city where he had his most success.

“It’s interesting how it works,” Schaub said. “With Atlanta — a great organization and great team — and to come back to this city where we called home for seven years and have a chance with what’s in front of us, it’s awesome. I don’t know if it’s quite hit me now. It probably won’t until months from now.”

Schaub, a third-round pick of the Falcons in 2004, was traded to the Texans in 2007. He remains the most successful quarterback in the Texans’ short history, with a 46-42 record, a 64.6 passer rating, 23,221 passing yards, 124 touchdowns and 78 interceptions.

But after a 2-6 record as the starter in 2013, the Texans traded Schaub to Oakland before the 2014 season. He has gone from Oakland to Baltimore to Atlanta in three seasons.

The Texans, meanwhile, have counted Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Weeden, Case Keenum, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates, Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage as starters since Schaub’s departure.

“It’s definitely a shame that that’s how it happened,” said Schaub, who is Matt Ryan’s backup. “You never want to have that type of situation, but that’s this game. One minute thinking you’re unbeatable and the next minute it’s very humbling. That was too bad it ended like that, but you come out from it, you learn from it, and you just move it. You put things behind you. You have to have short-term memory in this game.”

Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson gives his thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons offense. (Video by Gil LeBreton)

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Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

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