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News Blitz 2/3: Looking ahead to 2014 season

Posted Feb 3, 2014

In today's Patriots.com News Blitz the media are looking ahead to free agency.

Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald writes that safety Devin McCourty is mixing up his offseason routine entering a contract year.

"Like always, (the plan is) to get better," McCourty said. "I'm going to do some things a little different this year. I’m going to go work out with Adrian Wilson in Arizona, so that should be cool to go work out with him. He's a real hard worker, and that's only from getting to know him for a couple months and staying in contact with him throughout the season. I can't wait."

Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com continues his positional review/offseason preview series with a look at the Patriots linebackers.

Tom Curran of CSNNE.com continues his free agent analysis series with an examination of Aqib Talib. Curran writes that Talib’s impact on the Patriots defense has been significant. As a true shutdown corner, the Patriots have been able to sic Talib on the opponents’ most vital offensive weapon in many games, which allows the rest of the secondary players to play to their strengths. Talib is the closest thing to an irreplaceable defender the Patriots have.

The MetroWest Daily News offers an editorial on point after attempts in the NFL. Recently, NFL Commissioner Goodell said he thinks the NFL could liven things up by eliminating the extra point attempt after a touchdown, scoring the touchdown as seven points and inviting teams to take a real risk: They could tack on another point by completing a conversion - but if it failed, officials would subtract a point. Or they could take the seven points and call in the kickoff unit.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that today marks the start of the "waiver system" in the NFL and offers a quick primer on what that means and how it affects the Patriots.

Nick Underhill of The Republican notes that former Patriots linebackers coach Pepper Johnson has joined the Buffalo Bills coaching staff and will serve as their defensive line coach.

"Pepper made me a better coach and person and helped create some of the greatest moments of my career. He is a great player, coach and lifelong friend and I am sure he will enjoy continued success as he moves forward," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Johnson's departure.

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