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Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/12/2010

A story from the Boston Globe wonders if the 2009 Patriots lacked players to fill leadership roles, namely Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, and Richard Seymour. With those faces either on television or wearing a different uniform, QB Tom Bradychimed in the situation and his personal leadership role. "The reality is obviously the leadership on our team wasn't where it needed to be, and I'm speaking for myself, that I was one of those leaders that certainly needs to do a better job of getting everybody on the same page and filling the void left by those key players," said Brady on WEEI. "They don't come around very often," he said in referring to the veterans that have left. "It's not like those guys are just available via free agency every year. These are special players, special guys."

The *Boston Herald *questions which players will return next season by position. To name a few, the story says QBs Tom Brady and Brian Hoyerwill return to Foxborough. However, it's noted that Brady will need to get healthy and have a "better stable of receivers" to help take pressure off Randy Mossand Wes Welker. The running back position should remain relatively in tact, saying that Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis will likely return. The status of RB Kevin Faulkis unknown as he's an unrestricted free agent. TE Chris Bakeris likely to stay while TEBenjamin Watsonis more likely to be released as an unrestricted free agent.

The *Sun Chronicle *reports on restricted free agent K Stephen Gostkowski. "It's out of my hands," he said. "What I've done here the last four years has already been done. There's nothing more I can do, no more kicks I can make or miss. Hopefully my four years here will speak for themselves. Gostkowski has scored more than 100 points in each of his four NFL seasons and stated, "It's definitely a place that I want to be back at."

A story by *The Union Leader *[believes the team's rookies performed well this year in comparison to previous years.](http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Brian MacPherson's Patriots Notebook: The kids were alright&articleId=0b270b73-407f-4bb6-baa4-ddb71c47974a) Specifically, CB Darius Butlerand T Sebastian Vollmer topped the list. Butler recorded 35 tackles, eight pass break-ups and three interceptions and "played his way ahead of second-year cornerbacks Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite" according to the story. Vollmer took over for T Nick Kaczur when the playoffs started and played both right and left tackle during the season.

Bill Belichick is seeking coaches who will question his decisions. According to a story in the Providence Journal, Belichick reflected on past coaches and the issue as a whole. "I've talked to other coaches about that – coaches that are pretty well established...definitely Romeo or Charlie or somebody; they wouldn't really be afraid to at times say, 'What are you doing? Are you serious? Are you seriously considering that?'" he said. Belichick added that there's transition on coaching staffs each season but gave no sign of any changes coming to his own staff.

Profootballweekly.com also reportson coaching developments with Bill Belichick.

*The Providence Journal *also reports last Sunday's loss to the Ravens concluded "the end of an era."

Tom Brady on the 2010 season (ESPN Boston): "The positive that I take is that I have another opportunity to do it next year…my body feels really healthy and strong and I said, 'you know I'm just very fortunate that I'll have a chance to really redeem myself and our team can redeem itself next year' because this isn't obviously the last game I'll ever play."

LB Derrick Burgess hopes to return to the team next season. Read his comments in full here.

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