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Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/10/2012

Greg A Bedard of the Boston Globe writes about the Broncos view of this Saturday's match-up with the New England Patriots. This will be the second game between the two teams with New England winning the first 41-23 in Denver. "They're a very good team, one of the best players in football in Tom Brady playing for you," said Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. "One of the best coaches in Coach Belichick, so you know they'll have a great game plan and you know they'll be well-rested and they play hard, they play well, and we're going to have to go get ready for them tomorrow."

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes about a little known exchange that occurred between Tom Brady and Tim Tebow after New England beat Denver 41-23 on Dec. 18. "We'll see you again," Brady whispered to Tebow when the two met at midfield. After Tebow and the Broncos upset the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Brady and Tebow will indeed be on the same field again. "I guess he's a prophet," Tebow quipped. "What an honor it is to play them again."

[Judy Battista](http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/sports/football/josh-mcdaniels-key-figure-for-the-broncos-now-a-patriot.html?adxnnl=1&ref=football&adxnnlx=1326207602-tnWwDJtOBK9kISx4j 1XaA) of the New York Times writes about the role new Patriots offensive assistant had in assembling this weekend's opponent, the Denver Broncos. McDaniels served as the Broncos head coach for about two years. In that time he drafted Tim Tebow, Demaryius Thomas and Robert Ayers. The three biggest stand-out performers in Denver's upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers. With his recent hiring in New England many believe that McDaniels might bring inside knowledge of the Broncos, but Denver players are not thinking about that. "God put me in a situation to get drafted where I did and blessed me with the ability," Robert Ayers said. "Josh McDaniels pulled the trigger on me with the 18th pick. I thank God, and I also give him a little credit for that, too."

Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe writes about the "work horse" of the Patriots defense, co-captain Vince Wilfork. Wilfork is in his eighth season and played a career high in snaps. "I never look at it,'' Wilfork said. "I know I've played a lot this year, but I think everybody - even guys that have played 20 plays or 100 plays less than me -probably feel the same way as me. It's just a long season.'' Although Wilfork may not look at his role any differently, it is being noticed by his teammates. "He's just amazing,'' fellow defensive lineman Kyle Love said. "I look at him and it's the fourth quarter, he's been out there the whole game and I can see the look in his eyes, but he's still pushing, fighting. It inspires me to play hard because I was always a guy like, 'I'm tired, I'm tired. I need a break, a rest.' I see him, he's not looking for somebody to come get him. He's just trying to play harder and harder every snap, so it just makes me want to play harder and harder every snap.''

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes about recent comments from NFL Network analysts and former quarterback Kurt Warner about Tom Brady. The thought is that Brady is much like the Greek myth who held the world on his shoulders; he has to carry the Patriots to victory every week. "It's very burdensome, the pressure knowing week in and week out you have to play at a certain level," said Warner. "I dealt with it my last couple years in Arizona. There was just so much stress. I mean, you go and you play, and you can play well, like Tom has. And he's played tremendously well. Then, as soon as the game is over, you can't really enjoy the game, because you tell yourself, 'OK, it's time to get back to work, because I have to put in one of these performances again next week,' and the burden just becomes very, very difficult. You're saying to yourself, 'Hey, if I don't play well, we lose.' And if you lose a couple games, the pressure starts to mount and mount on a quarterback, and even more so, now during the playoffs."

Ricky Doyle of NESN.com writes about the newest Twitter craze in New England, Wes Welker's playoff mustache. "And so it begins! Playoffs baby!" Welker tweeted along with a photo. This comes just two days after he tweeted a different picture of him, which was accompanied by a tweet that said, "Starting to fill in a bit. It will look much creepier on Monday!" Welker is hoping that teammates like Rob Gronkowski will also grow upper lip hair for the playoffs.

Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press writes about the Patriots preparations for this Saturday's game with the Denver Broncos, and preparing for Tebow-mania. "That was a great win for them yesterday, a really impressive game," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday. "It didn't take long - one play. He made a great throw, Thomas made a good catch. ... Well-executed play by the Broncos, and it was decisive."

Christopher Price of WEEI.com breaks down the Patriots position-by-position as they prepare for Denver, and today focuses on the linebackers. The Patriots will go into Saturday's game with Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Rob Ninkovich, Dane Fletcher, Gary Guyton and Tracy White on the active roster with Jeff Tarpinian and Jermaine Cunningham on injured reserve. According to one opposing scout, "Getting Mayo back is huge while other guys filled in and got reps. They all seem to execute and know what they are supposed to be doing. Lack a great playmaker, but Ninkovich is a productive guy run and pass. All play with great motor and instincts. Benefit from beef in front of them on the inside running game. Can be tested if blockers can get on them."

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