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New England Patriots Links 12/15/10 - Packers Week; Tom Brady In No Rush To Meet Clay Matthews

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<em>Do Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, Darius Butler and Rob Gronkowski equal one Clay Matthews?</em>
Do Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, Darius Butler and Rob Gronkowski equal one Clay Matthews?

Bill Belichick talks up the impressive Green Bay Packers.

It's been the last day and half or so here on Green Bay and it's a pretty impressive looking team. They can really move the ball. [Aaron] Rodgers is having a terrific year. [He's] very athletic, can run it, can throw it. He's got a great set of receivers [and] tight ends. They have a very good offensive system with Coach [Mike] McCarthy there. They really use a lot of different personnel groups, a lot of different formations. It's very hard to prepare for.

Defensively, [with] Dom [Capers], they've been playing very well. They can rush the passer. They have excellent coverage players, real good corners. They have a nice mix of pressure and coverage. Again, they mix it up on you enough where you have a lot of things to defend. But, they have a lot of good players and they can pretty much play whatever they want to play. It looks good: third down, red area, man-to-man, zone, [and] blitz zone. They haven't given up a lot of points and they make you really work for whatever you get. They've got a number of disruptive players on the whole unit.

[They're] a good football team. They're another challenge for us, different from what we've seen in previous weeks. [They're] a very talented team that's well coached, disciplined, very sound fundamentally and we'll have to really have a good week of preparation here so we can get ready for them this weekend.

DB Coach Josh Boyer tells us how Darius Butler has rebounded from the benching and what particularly he has gotten better at.

He's been very consistent in the way he's approached the game. He's approached it each week like he was going to approach every snap. The other thing with Darius is the technique that we've asked him to work on, he's improved on that. There is still a ways to go as with all of our guys in the back end. We're always trying to improve. He's been very consistent on his approach. He has stepped in the last couple weeks and he's made some plays for us. He had a breakup in the Jets game for us. He had a breakup in the Chicago game for us. He's been able to make some plays for us and we feel good about his progress and where he's going. The guys that you see on the field, those are the guys that we have confidence in. I give a lot of credit to Darius for his approach week in and week out.



  • Karen Guregian reports the young Patriots defense is hitting its stride and hasn't bent as much over the last five games.
  • Brian MacPherson says the Patriots will try to ground the Green Bay Packers' air attack.
  • Greg A. Bedard discusses how the Patriots traded away their chance to get LB Clay Matthews, and they still haven't filled that hole.
  • The Globe Staff shows how Clay Matthews turned into Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski.
  • Karen Guregian talks about the Patriots passing over Clay Matthews in the 2009 Draft.
  • Ian Rapoport speculates on what if LB Clay Matthews had signed with the Patriots.
  • Tom E. Curran believes the Patriots missed the boat on Clay Matthews.
  • Christopher Price tells us the five most important things we need to know about the Patriots on Tuesday.
  • Mike Reiss selects four interesting nuggets from Tuesday's media conference calls with Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio.
  • Karen Guregian caught up with Jerod Mayo yesterday who was signing autographs for an enthusiastic crowd. Mayo is sensing a rise in the excitement level.
  • Chris Gasper writes "Coach Belichick's chess pieces have turned parity into a parody" over the last five games, and they're still improving.
  • Mike Rodak reports the Patriots just placed CB Jonathan Wilhite on IR with a hip/hamstring injury.
  • Mike Reiss takes a look at where the Patriots rank in key NFL statistical categories after 14 weeks.
  • Christopher Price points out the Patriots remain one of the least-penalized teams in the NFL.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the sacks allowed per pass play this season by the Patriots.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the team's 2010 tackle leaderboard.
  • Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein report from the annual Patriots Holiday Party, held last night at Gillette. Pretty cool.
  • Jerry Spar highlights ESPN analyst Cris Carter's appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show this morning. "It's easy to see now" that Deion Branch is having the year of his career.
  • Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag, this time full of excitement and optimism.
  • Karen Guregian Patriots Notebook: Robert Kraft loves the vibe he's been getting from the players; The Krafts, with 11 Patriots players, hosted their annual Holiday party for 250 children in need; DL Louis Leonard should provide some depth; Belichick spoke as if he's expecting Aaron Rodgers to play Sunday; Pats-Bears was the highest-rated NFL game of the year for NBC.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Robert Kraft senses something special about this year's team; Pats have signed DL Louis Leonard but it's unclear whose roster spot he will be taking as Mike Wright (concussion), Myron Pryor (back) have both been out with injuries; DL Eric Moore had a great debut against Chicago (1 strip sack and 4 tackles); CB Chevis Jackson was recently signed due to Jonathan Wilhite's hip injury.
  • Ian Rapoport's Video of the day: Darius Butler looks back to Sunday and looks forward to the Packers.