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Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/4/2012

Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe writes about the Patriots trying to take advantage of home field advantage in this year's playoffs. For the third straight season the Patriots will have a home game in their first playoff game. After losing the previous two they will be looking to take advantage of this year's opportunity. "It's only as good as you take advantage of it, really,'' said Brian Waters. "It's a comfortable thing for us, to kind of stay in our routine, but outside of that, we've seen a lot of teams with home-field advantage not take advantage of it. Hopefully we'll be able to get the most out of this week and next week, really take all these days, put them together, have some good practices, good preparations, and take advantage of [playing at home].''

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes about the Patriots 2011 log of transactions. Throughout the 2011 season the Patriots have made 150 roster moves with Ross Ventrone being involved in 21 of them, by far the most. "It's a process you go through on a year-to-year, week-to-week, day-to-day basis," director of player personnel Nick Caserio said. "Every team has their short list or emergency type list that they create so that when you get into a situation where you have to bring a player onto the roster, there is a pool of players at each position, roughly five or six deep, that you sort of keep available."

Tom Curran of CSNNE.com writes about the possibility of the Patriots in-game adjustments leading to their slow starts offensively. According to coach Bill Belichick, "[Tom Brady's] seen a lot of things. He does a good job identifying what the defense is trying to do and trying to do the best thing for us offensively as a team to attack it. They only have 11 guys, so they can push the problem, but you can strengthen one area and that leads to other weaknesses. Hopefully we can find those and attack them." But does this process of the offense making adjustments slow the offense down for the start of the game?

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes about how the Pattriots have not lost since releasing Albert Haynesworth. The former defensive tackle was often criticized for playing with little effort and being a problem in the locker room. Haynesworth went to Tampa Bay after leaving the PAtriots, a team who has not won since aquiring the defensive tackle.

Christopher Price of WEEI.com writes about how second year tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have transformed the Patriots offense. In 2009, the year before Gronkowski and Hernandez arrived in New England, tight ends accounted for 43 catches for 546 yards and seven touchdowns. This year Gronkowski and Hernandez have totaled 169 catches for 2247 yards and 25 total touchdowns (24 receiving, one rushing). "I think there's good competition there. I think both those guys are great competitors. They want to do well. I'm sure they learn from each other; I know they do," Belichick said of the duo. "I think there's a lot of mutual respect there. Certainly both players have performed well doing some of the same things, doing some different things. That part of it is good. They push each other, but in a good way, in a very positive way. They both had high levels of production."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com takes his final look at the Patriots defensive tackles chart. Jerod Mayo finished the year leading the team with 103 tackles. Mayo was followed by Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Vince Wilfork and James Ihedigbo. On special teams, captain Matthew Slater lead the team with 17 tackles. He was followed by Tracy White, Antwaun Molden, Kyle Arrington and Sergio Brown. Both Mark Anderson and Andre Carter finished this season with 10 sacks, the first time the Patriots have accomplished two players with double digit sacks since 1985.

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