Football

Former TCU standout has ‘no complaints’ at Super Bowl

Patriots offensive lineman Marcus Cannon no longer is a starter, but he could be in for more work next season.
Patriots offensive lineman Marcus Cannon no longer is a starter, but he could be in for more work next season. AP

Marcus Cannon doesn’t have a starting job, but he does have good health, a new contract and a chance to win a Super Bowl ring.

“No complaints,” the former TCU standout said. “It’s a blessing.”

The New England Patriots offensive lineman opened the season as the starting left guard. He lost his job after four games, but the Patriots thought enough of Cannon to sign the former fifth-round pick to a two-year extension worth up to $9 million.

With Dan Connolly scheduled to become a free agent, Cannon’s role could expand next season. For now, Cannon serves as the team’s swing tackle and sixth lineman in jumbo packages.

“Every year is a learning experience,” Cannon said. “I’m thankful for actually having this experience. Not everybody is fortunate enough to be here. I’m just having fun.”

Cannon discovered just before the 2011 draft that he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He said he is now in remission and no longer fearful of hearing the “C” word.

“All is well,” Cannon said. “It’s not my job to worry.”

Cannon, 26, bought a house in Benbrook. He will return home after the Super Bowl and conduct his off-season training at TCU alongside Patriots teammate Josh Boyce and others.

He hopes to bring a title home with him.

Bennett honors friend

Everyone wanted to know about the white cowboy hat that Michael Bennett has been wearing all week. The native Texan was honored to share the story.

The hat belonged to a family friend, Mark Alexander, who served as a mentor to Bennett, his brother Martellus and others in Alief. Alexander’s son was a high school teammate of Bennett’s.

Alexander died of cancer earlier this month. He was 59.

At the funeral two weeks ago, Alexander’s widow, Jan, gave the hat to Bennett.

“He meant everything to me,” the Seahawks defensive lineman said. “Just a good friend. It’s not very often you meet somebody who means a lot to you and does a lot for you and you’re just compatible with.

“I think he’s somebody who used to push me. He did a lot for me. Words really don’t do him justice.”

The hat, Bennett said, was Alexander’s favorite. Jan Alexander promised it would bring good luck.

“He grew up in Texas, lived in New Mexico — lived all over — so he spent a lot of time doing the rodeo and everything, so he loved this hat,” said Bennett, a Texas A&M product. “His wife gave it to me, and I said I’m going to wear it the whole week.”

Dez still the talk

It’s been more than two weeks since replay overturned Dez Bryant’s catch against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs. But players still are being asked about the controversy.

“I’ll ride with Dez,” Seahawks safety Earl Thomas said. “Yes [it was a catch].”

Bryant caught a 41-yard pass from Tony Romo on fourth down late in the fourth quarter only to have it overturned by “The Process Rule.” Instead of first-and-goal at the Green Bay 1, the Packers took possession and ran out the clock.

The Packers lost to the Seahawks in overtime in the NFC title game.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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