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New England Patriots Links 11/21/11 - Patriots vs. Chiefs in Prime Time Tonight

Karen Guregian reports Chiefs GM Scott Pioli doesn't understand the harsh criticism Bill Belichick has been receiving lately and attributes some of it to 'urban legend.'

"I’ve heard some of that. And I honestly think it’s ridiculous," Pioli said in a phone interview with the Herald Friday night. "We had a great partnership. We had a lot of success. And I don’t understand (the criticism). I just don’t. The Patriots are still a good football team. They really are. And there’s good players there."

"Hey, I miss plenty, OK? We had a good partnership (in Foxboro). But they’re still doing a good job with the people they have there. I think they are."

"I think a lot of people are looking for things that don’t exist," Pioli said. "I really don’t understand some of it. Bill’s one of the best listeners that I’ve been around. He really is."

"I know Bill seeks out opinions," Pioli said. "I just think some of that stuff is urban legend."

Shalise Manza Young notes Brian Waters' transition to the Patriots has been seamless, and he has already mastered Beli-speak - especially when asked about his left knee that had him limited in practice:

"I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I have no earthly idea what you’re talking about,’’ the offensive guard said in a high-pitched chuckle one might not expect to come from a 320-pound man. "I’m focused on this week, trying to make sure that I’m prepared. So things that happened in the past, I have no earthly idea what you’re talking about.’’

Dan Duggan notes Danny Woodhead has had fewer opportunities than last season, but he's only worried about making the most of each one.

"That’s not for me to worry about," Woodhead said. "I’m more worried about what I can do whenever I’m called upon. That’s the most important thing — trying to be ready for every opportunity that I may have and every opportunity I may have to help the team out."

"You have to be comfortable with it because that’s what a team is," Woodhead said. "Everyone has to do their job on every single play. You need to be comfortable with your job, obviously. I’m trying to get better every day at every part of my game, so whatever is asked of me I’m going to do to the best of my abilities."

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Karen Guregian wonders if Bill Belichick will be able to stymie Tyler Palko as his defenses have been able to do to inexperienced QBs in the past.
  • Ian Rapoport notes the Patriots will be expecting a defense that they're somewhat familiar with but Romeo Crennel hopes to muddy the waters for Brady.
  • Phil Perry says Kansas City hopes to run on the Pats.
  • Tedy Bruschi believes the banged-up Chiefs are a long shot vs. Pats.
  • Christopher Price gives us ten matchups to watch Monday night.
  • Jim McBride scouts the Patriots-Chiefs match-ups to see which team has the edge.
  • Tom E. Curran presents his Patriots vs. Chiefs preview.
  • Mary Paoletti warns the Patriots should keep their guard up against a potential trap game tonight.
  • Gary Marbry offers a Pats-Chiefs pre-game stats nuggetpalooza.
  • Kirk Minihane separates myth from reality in the legend of Scott Pioli.
  • Ian Rapoport explains why Chad Ochocinco kissed a reporter and more from a quiet day at Gillette Stadium.
  • Mike Reiss offers some quick-hit thoughts from around the NFL and with the Patriots.
  • Mike Reiss finds that even with the luxury of having an extra day to prepare for a game, the players are impatient to play.
  • Christopher Price charts the offensive opportunities for the Patriots skill position players through nine games.
  • Ian Rapoport says Ron Jaworski wanted to show how the Patriots destroyed the Jets using their no-huddle, but it was too fast and too complicated to make it work.
  • Chris Forsberg reports Patriots TEs Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are red zone monsters.
  • Chris Gasper says the Patriots have to be the presumptive favorites in the flawed AFC thanks to their 'couch cushion-soft schedule' the rest of the way.
  • Christopher Price gives us five takeaways for Patriots fans from Sunday's action.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Sebastian Vollmer is not focused on his injury anymore and can focus on pass rushers instead; Shaun Ellis has seen his role limited after just seven tackles in eight games; Mark Anderson has received far more snaps on third down recently, responding with six sacks; Wes Welker will be "a little bit anxious" waiting around all day for tonight's kickoff; Welker will likely be up against Chiefs DB Javier Arenas.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Wes Welker is doing his best to deal with his injuries; With 295 yards tonight, Brady can set a league record for passing yards through the first 10 games; Rob Gronkowski was fined $7,500K for his monstrous spike of the ball after his 3rd-quarter TD.
  • Greg A. Bedard Patriots Notebook: Penn State coach Joe Paterno twice turned down offers to coach the Patriots; Tom Brady is dealing with a bone bruise in his right arm near his elbow; Aaron Hernandez was removed from the injury report this week; Doctors still have to keep an eye on Marcus Cannon's heart and nerves to check for lingering effects from chemotherapy.
  • ESPN Boston posts a prediction roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Monday's Patriots-Chief's game playing out.

NATIONAL NEWS

VIEW FROM KANSAS CITY