The Patriots had a rare workday on Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. Following a "Victory Monday" day off, New England returned to the office to begin preparations for Sunday's trip to Buffalo to take on the Bills.
Player interviews and traditional weekly conference calls with the coaching staff led to a wide variety of stories emanating from Foxborough.
Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy revisits Bill Belichick's terse response to a reporter wondering if the coach considered pulling Tom Brady from Sunday's win over Miami – “Don’t you dare question Bill Belichick!”
The Globe Patriots notebook writes about linebacker Elandon Roberts adding some bite to the New England defense. The Globe notes that former Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to make his first start for the 49ers on Sunday. The Globe looks at New England’s success in the red zone since the bye week. The* Globe also notes that while yet another AFC East title seems to be a forgone conclusion at this point, the Patriots are still two games away from actually being able to clinch the division crown. The *Globe writes about Belichick and some Patriots players wearing pretty special cleats for charity this Sunday in Buffalo.
The* Boston Herald says that Bills QB Tyrod Taylor is the kind of passer that can give the Patriots defense problems. Though Martellus Bennett barely played in his return to New England, the *Herald says the Patriots offense is adjusting to life without the tight end after the short-lived reunion. The Herald *notes that injured wide receiver Julian Edelman took part in the tree-lighting at Faneuil Hall. The *Herald breaks down how New England is back burying teams behind early-game deficits. The Herald has fullback James Develin praising Dion Lewis’ work in the Patriots revitalized running game.
The Providence Journal also looks at Roberts’ contributions, including a burst of pass-rushing ability. The Pro Jo declares that replacing special teamer Nate Ebner – who is now on IR with a knee injury -- won’t be easy.
ESPNBoston.com notes that Tom Brady can pass Brett Favre for most wins against one opponent if the Patriots get the victory on Sunday in Buffalo. ESPNBoston.com notes that the Patriots filled their two open roster spots on Tuesday and breaks down how Nicholas Grigsby and Jason King can help the team. ESPNBoston.com passes along Belichick saying a “great strength” of his team has been injury replacements. ESPNBoston.com also has the coach saying that teams are probably happy when the Patriots run screen passes these days with the lack of production that New England is getting from those types of pass plays.
WEEI.com writes that we should “stop the nonsense, we are not witnessing the end of the NFL.”
NBC Sports looks at what could be a budding rivalry between Boston and Philadelphia across multiple sports. NBC Sports advises Belichick on what he might still want to correct with his team after the blowout of the Dolphins. NBC Sports also has Belichick and Josh McDaniels talking about New England’s struggles with the screen game. NBC Sports offers up its Patriots report card from the win over Miami.