- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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As he sat in his locker following practice, he counted a large stack of game tickets, wondering how they'd be divided among the 20-plus family members, former coaches and friends making the trip from his native Malden, Mass.
That has made this a different week for Giacomini, the five-year veteran prepping to face the team he grew up rooting for as a kid.
"It is kind of exciting in terms of having family and coaches out here, kind of cheering for both teams," he said. "It's pretty cool just to go up against your hometown team."
The 27-year-old Giacomini said his interest in the Patriots began when quarterback Drew Bledsoe arrived in town (1993). Like many kids, he had dreams of playing either professional football for the Patriots or basketball for the Boston Celtics.
Giacomini credited the annual Malden-Medford game as opening the door for him to attend Louisville and play football. He was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, and spent most of his first two NFL seasons developing behind the scenes. The Seahawks signed him off the Packers' practice squad in 2010, and he didn't break into the starting lineup until 2011 after a knee injury to first-round draft choice James Carpenter. He hasn't given up the spot since.
"They are both good players, high-effort guys," he said. "[Ninkovich], you just have to try to outwork him. [Jones], he's still young; he has some speed to him and some good moves. We have a good plan for them, we just have to go out and execute."
As for his ties to Malden, they remain strong, as evidenced by the presence of his old basketball coach, Don Nally, at Friday's Seahawks practice, along with other coaches from high school.
"He's one of the biggest influences in my life, besides my father," Giacomini said. "He was one of the guys that really believed in me, and stuck with me ever since I got here, and all through college. He helped and supported me in any way he could and now I'm trying to support him. I take care of him when he comes out here."
Giacomini, who appears to like a good laugh, only asks for one thing in return: support for the Seahawks.
"All the coaches from Malden that are here this week, I'm trying to convert them over. I got nine out of 10, so I'm doing pretty well," he cracked. "And I hope my boys back at home are cheering for Seattle."
Seattle Seahawks starting right tackle Breno Giacomini has 20-plus family members, former coaches and friends making the trip from his native Malden, Mass., to watch him play the Patriots.