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News Blitz 2/5: Thursday Night Football coming to network television

Posted Feb 5, 2014

The Patriots.com News Blitz gets you up-to-date on the latest Patriots news from local and national media.

Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports writes that CBS will air eight Thursday night early season NFL games next season. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will call the action.

"The NFL fielded bids for the rights of eight early season Thursday games, and CBS landed the rights for the 2014 season, with an option to extend the agreement for one year thereafter," notes Edholm. "CBS will broadcast the eight games, which also will be simulcast on NFL Network, which had owned the Thursday night rights previously. NFL Network then will also televise eight late-season games leading up to the playoffs, which includes a mix of Thursday night games and two late-season games on Saturday."

Andy Nesbitt of FOX Sports writes that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is hitting the links with Broncos QB Peyton Manning at this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

"Tom Brady will also be playing in the event but he wasn't with Peyton and Belichick during their practice round," adds Nesbitt.

Luke Hughes of NESN reports that the next cold-weather Super Bowl could be in Chicago, New England or Washington, D.C.

"Denver and Philadelphia already have expressed interest in hosting the Super Bowl in the near future, and now the NFL can add Chicago, New England and Washington, D.C., to that list, according to The Associated Press," writes Hughes. "With the Super Bowl sites for 2015, 2016 and 2017 already set, and a list of three finalists made for 2018, those five cold-weather sites would be vying to host the game in 2019 at the earliest."

Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com shares the Patriots team needs heading into the 2014 NFL season. He puts tight end, defensive tackle, cornerback, and wide receiver on the list.

"The Pats could shore up this need by re-signing free agent Julian Edelman, getting Danny Amendola healthy, and developing in-house talents Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins," writes Silva. "So an addition isn't necessarily required. If Belichick does prioritize upgrading at wide receiver, free agent Eric Decker would make a lot of sense. OC Josh McDaniels drafted Decker in Denver."

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes about former Patriots assistant coach Pepper Johnson's decision to join the Buffalo Bills as a defensive line coach.

"My legs are still shaking a little bit," Johnson told the The John Murphy Show, via BuffaloBills.com. "But I’m excited, I’m so excited. I have always been a fan of (Bills coach) Doug (Marrone) and the Buffalo Bills, and just getting the opportunity to spread my wings, and to get up from under the shadow of coach Belichick. So it’s a good thing, a good opportunity."