Belichick marvels at Stephen Neal's career

The New England Patriots have released a statement from head coach Bill Belichick on right guard Stephen Neal's retirement Wednesday:

"They don't come any better than Steve Neal. In terms of improvement and development as a player, Steve may have accomplished more than any player I have ever been around. His toughness, intelligence and competitiveness were at rare levels and all contributed to him going from being a champion in an individual sport to being an integral part of championship teams.

"I congratulate Steve for an incredible career and thank him for everything he did for me personally, our team and organization."