Each Wednesday during the season Bill Belichick uses his midweek press conference to spew the impressive statistics and strengths of that week's upcoming opponent. He did just that this week with Chip Kelly's Eagles (4-7), a team that's allowed 45 points and five touchdown passes in each of its last to losses.
The Boston Globe *notes that New England wide receiver Brandon LaFell talked on Thursday about how Belichick never shows his team an opponent's bad plays. But Belichick himself disputed that fact, vehemently via the *Globe, in his Friday morning presser: "You should ask Brandon LaFell if I've ever shown any of our opponents missing a tackle. Just ask him that."
The Globe has a unique story on Alan Branch, who is enjoying maybe his best NFL season, and his off-the-beaten-path personality.
Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges says that people "whining about Rob Gronkowski's penalties is a bad call." Elsewhere on the tight end depth chart, the Herald says the Patriots need more production from Scott Chandler. The Herald Patriots notebook also looks at Branch's level of play this season, while New England will be prepared for either Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez to be at quarterback for the Eagles on Sunday.
The Providence Journal also focuses on LaFell's comment regarding New England's film study. The ProJo passes along comments from newest Patriots running back – and locker room singer – Trey Williams.
ESPNBoston.com has a different angle on LaFell, looking at the veteran wide receiver's very particular collection of hats that are a key part of his personal style. Chandler has his own job to worry about, but the veteran also continues to show pride in his Iowa Hawkeyes as they make a potential run at a national title.The site notes Williams' obvious confidence.
ESPN says Patriots impressive offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels may be the top head coaching candidate in the NFL, although there is no certainty he wants to leave New England.
WEEI.com relays that while Gronkowski remains absent from the practice field, Dominique Easley was a participant during the media viewing portion of Friday morning's workout. WEEI.com also has in interesting profile of punter Ryan Allen, who almost gave up football when he was in college. WEEI's power rankings have the Panthers passing the Patriots for the No. 1 spot.
CSNNE.com notes that Broncos pass rusher Von Miller was fined more than $8,000 for his late, head-butt hit on Brady last Sunday, though he says he'll appeal the fine. CSNNE.com also has Belichick talking about the many factors that go into a player's status for a practice or a game.
FoxSports.com offers up six points leading into the Patriots game Sunday against the Eagles.
NJ.com has Kelly stating the obvious as the Eagles coach says Brady and Belichick are first-ballot Hall of Famers.
Philly.com's game predictions aren't going with their local squad.