Wide receiver Randy Mosshasn't enjoyed the same production through three games as he did at this time a year ago, but rather than point the finger at one player, he's calling on all his teammates to step up as the Patriots prepare for Sunday's game in San Francisco.
"We like what we are doing as a whole offensive unit and hopefully we can keep it going," Moss told the Boston Globe.
Asked if he believes in quarterback Matt Cassel, Moss said Cassel needs to believe in himself first.
"We just have to put guys around him," Moss told the Boston Herald.
Head coachBill Belichickhas been impressed with Moss' leadership in the wide receiver's first season as a team captain.
"I think his leadership last year was every bit as good as it is this year," Belichick told the New Bedford Standard Times.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are trying to prepare for the different defensive looks they expect the 49ers to throw at them Sunday, though no one is quite sure exactly how to combat San Francisco's attack.
"It's hard [to answer] without giving anything away," offensive lineman Russ Hochsteintold the Providence Journal.
On the opposite side of the ball, nose tackle Vince Wilforkplans on staying in New England once his rookie contract expires.
"I want to end my career here," Wilfork told the Herald.
Lastly, Belichick denied Al Davis' claim that the Patriots tampered with Moss prior to the April 2007 trade that brought the wide receiver to New England.
"The first time I ever talked to Randy was the Sunday morning of the second day of the draft last year," Belichick told the Quincy Patriot Ledger.
The focus in San Francisco on Thursday is the play of rookie wide receiver Josh Morgan, who is bouncing back after suffering a staph infection.
"It was a minor setback for a major comeback," Morgan told the San Francisco Chronicle.
In the aftermath of Lane Kiffin's firing and the ensuing firestorm, 49ers tackle Barry Sims is glad he's no longer in Oakland.
"It's a circus," Sims told the Chronicle.
Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan is wary of New England's pass rush, which could cause problems if he holds onto the ball too long.
"When I escape out of the pocket, I need to go full speed until I feel like I'm away from those guys," O'Sullivan told the San Jose Mercury News.