DeOssie to Super Bowl again

The New York Giants arrive Monday at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. The Giants will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Sunday. Matt York, The Associated Press

AP

The New York Giants arrive Monday at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. The Giants will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Sunday. Matt York, The Associated Press

By Tom Canavan

PHOENIX – Zak DeOssie gets a twinkle in his eyes talking about his days as a New England Patriots ball boy.

How many teenagers get to throw passes in 7-on-7 drills, make snaps to punters in training camp, have dinners with players and even be on the sideline when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl title six years ago?

“There was nothing like it, and I’m looking forward to experiencing it again,” said the 23-year-old Ivy Leaguer and son of a former NFL player.

This time, it’s going to be different.

When the Patriots (18-0) try to cap a perfect season with a win in the Super Bowl on Sunday, DeOssie is going to be on the opposite sideline and on the field, wearing a New York Giants uniform.

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    The rookie linebacker from Brown is the Giants’ snapper on punts and part of their special teams unit. His loyalties are clear, especially being the son of Steve DeOssie, a linebacker and snapper who won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 1991 when Scott Norwood of Buffalo was wide right on a field goal attempt on the final play.

    “This is the team that drafted me, and these are my teammates. I don’t think twice about it,” DeOssie said. “My old man won a Super Bowl with this team.”

    Still, DeOssie has nothing but great memories from his time in New England, where his father finished his career.

    The family stayed in Massachusetts, and DeOssie attended Phillips Academy in Andover, along with Amanda Belichick, the daughter of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

    “That’s how I got the job,” DeOssie said. “I was best friends with his daughter at Phillips Academy. Amanda is one of my dear friends.”

    Giants backup guard Grey Ruegamer remembers DeOssie from his three seasons with the Patriots, including the Super Bowl win.

    After playing at Brown, DeOssie was drafted in the fourth round by the Giants, becoming the fourth father-son combination to play for New York. The others were Willie Young (1966-75) and Rodney Young (1995-98), Joe Green (1970-71) and Barrett Green (2004-05), and Don Hasselbeck (1985) and Tim Hasselbeck (2005-06).

    DeOssie got a major role this season when veteran snapper Ryan Kuehl was lost with a calf injury in training camp. DeOssie inherited the job of snapping on punts, and fellow rookie Jay Alford snapped on extra points.

    “I felt it was pretty cool for him when we first drafted him,” Ruegamer said. “I was thinking, he was our ball boy. How old do I feel now?”

    Steve DeOssie was even more amazed about what has happened to his son, who grew up a Patriots’ fan.

    “For him to be drafted out of the Ivy League is ridiculous,” his dad said after completing his radio show in Phoenix for a Boston-based station. “For him to be drafted by the team I won the Super Bowl with is even more ridiculous, and now to play in the Super Bowl.

    “I think it’s going to take him a month or so for all this to sink in,” DeOssie added. “It’s unbelievable.”