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New England Patriots Links 3/08/10 - Patriots Better, or Just 'Not Any Worse'?

<em>Former Patriot WR David Givens sketched this portrait of Bill Belichick.  Givens turned to art after his NFL career ending injury.</em>
Former Patriot WR David Givens sketched this portrait of Bill Belichick. Givens turned to art after his NFL career ending injury.

Karen Guregian reports Bills WR Josh Reed is scheduled to visit the Patriots today.

He's no Anquan Boldin, but Bill Belichick has always liked him.

"He’s very hard to tackle," Belichick said on Dec. 18. "Do you remember the slip screen he caught against us a couple years ago up there (in Buffalo)? He broke about seven tackles on the touchdown run. (He is) tough with the ball in his hands."

Reed made four catches for 63 yards in that late-season loss to the Pats. The former second-round pick played for Nick Saban - a good friend of Belichick - at LSU. Reed, who turns 30 in May, has had a pair of 50-plus catch seasons.

Gary Washburn reports Colts president Bill Polian offered attendees at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference all the reasons why it the "fourth-and-2" call was the right decision by Belichick.

“Here’s what happened in that ball game,’’ he told the standing-room audience at the Boston Convention Center.

“We were hot offensively in the second half. The Pats had lost [Tully] Banta-Cain. I think they had lost Jarvis Green. They had another one of their rushers gimpy.

“They were playing with two corners who were not starters because both had been injured. It had been a passing game, so their rushers were worn out having to rush.

“It was fourth and 2, and if we get the ball back, there’s a pretty strong likelihood based on what we had done up to that point that we were going to have a good chance to win the game.

“And they had been very successful in the Tom Brady era going for it on fourth down, and their most successful play with Tom Brady was a quarterback sneak.’’

Polian said the Patriots inserted personnel to indicate a Brady sneak.

“Was it the right call? In my opinion, it was 100 percent the right call. He knew his team. He knew the tactics involved. He gave the ball to Faulk, which was the second-most-effective guy in short yardage.

“So it was the right decision from a football standpoint. All of the statistical analysis that’s done over the course of a season means nothing. The situation on the field at the time dictates the call.’’