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New England Patriots Links 12/23/11 - Patrick Chung Primed For Return

Mike Reiss reports Patrick Chung "never, never, never" wondered if his season could have been over.

How would you describe the last six games, not being able to join your teammates? "Watching us win, it feels awesome. I wasn't part of it but we're winning. We're a team, not individuals here. I'm not worried about that. We're winning."

Have you felt like you've been close? "It's just a day to day process. Keep working. Keep doing whatever I have to do to get better."

Is talking today a sign that you might play Saturday? "You can think what you want of that [laughing], but I feel good and I'm working hard."

Did a week off from practice last week really help? "Yeah, any time you get time to make your body heal, it's going to help, regardless of whether it's a couple hours, it's a day or a week. It definitely helped."

What are your thoughts on the new players in the secondary? "My thoughts are fine. I'm going to tell you the same thing every week. We're in the same room, learning the same things. So there is no excuse of 'I don't know this' or 'I didn't get that.' We're in the same room. I have confidence in anybody that's playing."

Thoughts on Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman playing defense? "Slater has been our honorary D boy. He's been a defensive back. Then Julian ... I really wasn't worried about those guys. I talked to Julian and said 'I have some faith in you, man.' He's been making plays."

Mike Reiss notes new Patriots safety Vincent Fuller hopes to seize his chance in New England.

So how does Fuller turn the switch to being a contributor after missing most of the year? "It's being a professional," he said. "I was at home working out and preparaing as if I would be able to play in the next couple of weeks. Being a professional, hopefully that allows me to come in and help."

"The coaches have been very helpful, the players have been very helpful and hopefully I get it," he said, adding that he'll continue that process over the next two days with film study and more meetings."

His impressions of the organization? "That they win," he answered. "That's basically the bottom line. I've always had a lot of admiration and respect for Coach Belichick and the staff and the way they run their program. Just coming in here and hopefully getting the opportunity to help is something I look forward to doing."

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Brian MacPherson says Patrick Chung's return would be a huge boost for the Pats defense.
  • Christopher Price gives us ten matchups to watch Saturday afternoon.
  • Mark Farinella writes Reggie Bush doesn't think he'll be kept shackled like he was the last time the Dolphins played the Patriots.
  • Shalise Manza Young has a terrific piece on Aaron Hernandez and his relationship with his brother.
  • Ron Borges concedes if ever there was a team that is better than the sum of its parts, it's this year's Patriots. They're playing intelligent football, which requires talent too.
  • Ian Rapoport reports BenJarvus Green-Ellis doesn't fuss about his lack of carries this year.
  • Ian Rapoport looks at BenJarvus Green-Ellis' numbers through 14 games, compared to last season.
  • Mike Reiss shares some quick-hits from the media-access period in the Patriots locker room.
  • Mike Reiss offers some leftover thoughts from Thursday at Gillette.
  • Rich Thompson reports Pat Chung is feeling good and has been itching to get back on the field.
  • Ian Rapoport notes that thanks to the Colts winning, the Patriots playoffs reality has changed for the better.
  • Zuri Berry ranks the 12 teams currently in the NFL playoff picture, in terms of which team is most likely to win the Super Bowl.
  • Ian Rapoport updates us on the Patriots salary cap situation.
  • Mike Reiss posts the transcript of his weekly online chat.
  • Christopher Price charts the offensive opportunities for the Patriots' skill position players through 14 games.
  • Mike Reiss breaks down the Patriots base vs. sub defense for the season.
  • Chad Finn thinks the time has come for icons Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti to step away from the mic.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Patriots are keeping their defensive scheme for tomorrow under wraps; New safety Vincent Fuller thought there might be a chance he could play for the Patriots, considering their injury issues in the secondary; Aaron Hernandez hopes he can have a game to match his contributions last week; Pats D will be facing RB Reggie Bush at his best.
  • Michael Whitmer Patriots Notebook: Pat Chung looked healthy and active in the locker room but won't say whether he'll play tomorrow; Vincent Fuller wasn't surprised the Patriots called him; Pats may be the last in the league in total yards allowed, but only four teams have forced more turnovers this season; Injury and practice updates.
  • Jim Lazar calls tomorrow's game an 'Eve to believe' and makes his Week 16 picks. Pats win 34-20.
  • Michael Hurley makes his Week 16 picks. Miami in a tight one.

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