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New England Patriots Links 11/11/10 - Belichick: "It's Time To Strap It Up And Go Play."

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Bill Belichick addresses the media Wednesday.

The Steelers look about like they always do: good. I've been real impressed watching them on tape. [They're] a real physical football team offensively, defensively [and] in the kicking game. They're strong. They're tough. They do a real good job. They've got an explosive offense. [Mike] Wallace has certainly added a lot to them in terms of the deep ball [and] his ability to stretch the field, along with all their other outstanding players: [Rashard] Mendenhall and [Mewelde] Moore and the receiver, tight end group, Heath Miller, [Hines] Ward and [Antwaan] Rande El and all that. [They have] a lot of familiar names on defense. [They're] a tough, physical football team. We know what kind of game we're in for on Sunday night. Hopefully we'll have a good week here at practice and be ready to go Sunday. These guys are good. They're good at home; tough at Heinz Field. So it will be a big challenge for us. I'm looking for to it, but we understand what's ahead of us there. They're a good football team.

Bill Belichick responds to questions about the roster changes in the kicking unit and the time frame for the kicker, snapper and holder to come together.

I think just [Shayne Graham's] performance in the league is definitely a positive for him. He's had a good career - an outstanding career. I thought he performed well this year when he's had an opportunity. Scott [O'Brien] had him, so he's got a background with him. I think all those things were favorable for him. But he's a good kicker. He's had a real good career.

Well we've got a few days, so it doesn't really matter [how long it normally takes for a kicking unit to click]. We'll do the best we can in the time that we have. I know those guys have gotten started on it already. We know there's a lot of work to do, so we'll get at it. But, you know, they've all played in the league. They're all hardworking guys and I'm sure they'll do what they can in the next few days to get it the best that it can be.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Steve Buckley catches up with new Patriots kicker Shane Graham about the tough life of a journeyman kicker looking for a home.
  • Peter Abraham notes Shane Graham hasn't made a field goal in an NFL game since last season, he'll be working with rookie holder Zoltan Mesko and a new long snapper Matt Katula.
  • Ian Rapoport reports what Stephen Gostkowski thought was a pulled quad turned out to be a torn quadriceps in his right leg. His consistency and accuracy will be missed.
  • Mike Reiss analyzes the recent moves on special teams.
  • Mark Farinella points out that changing kickers in midseason is uncharted territory for Bill Belichcik during his tenure as head coach of the Patriots.
  • Mark Farinella gets Bill Belichick's explanation as to why teams use a valuable roster spot for long snapper duties.
  • Mike Reiss recaps a busy Wednesday for the Patriots.
  • Mike Reiss feels the key matchup for Sunday's game will be Tom Brady vs. the vaunted Pittsburgh pass rush.
  • Robert Lee sees the Pat's-Steelers matchup as a good measuring stick.
  • Jim Donaldson wonders if the Pats' season will drift away after their visit to Pittsburgh.
  • Ian Rapoport talks about Fred Taylor being limited in practice yesterday and Bill Belichick's caution with his return.
  • Shalise Manza Young reports Fred Taylor returned to practice yesterday, healing from a painful case of turf toe. He's cautiously optimistic about his return to action.
  • Mike Reiss notes the Patriots filled the final spot on their eight-man practice squad by signing CB Thad Turner yesterday, and lists the 8 players that make up the squad.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Tom Brady has a sprained foot but was seen walking in the locker room without a limp; The kicking unit was shaken up with roster changes; The Steelers were expected to stumble without their starting QB, but went 3-1 instead; Steelers WR Mike Wallace has been a successful replacement to Santonio Holmes.
  • Boston Globe Patriots Notebook: Tom Brady missed practice with a sprained foot, but is expected to play Sunday; Matt Katula replaced Jake Ingram as the Pats new long snapper; Rob Ninkovich will miss his friend Ingram; Stephen Gostkowski was placed on IR with a torn quadriceps; Injury update; and the Pats signed CB Thad Turner to the practice squad.
  • Chad Finn reviews the Best and Worst of the NFL season's first half.

NATIONAL NEWS

VIEW FROM PITTSBURGH

  • Kevin Gorman (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Steelers put LT Max Starks on injured reserve.
  • Ed Bouchette (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Coach good at plugging line holes.
  • John Harris and Kevin Gorman (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Steelers notebook: Kemoeatu questionable with knee, ankle injuries; Roethlisberger looks forward to playing against Brady and more.
  • Ed Bouchette and Michael Sanserino (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Steelers Notebook: Harrison pleads case to NFL brass; Laundry list of injuries; Praise for Patriots, and more.
  • Gerry Dulac (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) NFL Forecast: Week 10. Steelers over Patriots 30-24.
  • Bob Cohn (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) NFL enjoys topsy-turvy first half of 2010 season.