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New England Patriots Links 1/27/12 - Wilfork: 'These Guys Have Every Passion, Everything You Need in a Football Player'

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Aaron Hernandez on being at practice without Rob Gronkowski:

"I'd say it's a little boring, but he'll be back out there soon.

Sterling Moore on what it's like to cope with receivers like Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz when they're all healthy:

"It's a challenge. It's a big challenge but that's what we want. Going into this game, we want them all to be healthy; we want them all to be at their best. That's just the type of game we want. It's going to be a struggle but that's what the films are for. We're going to have to do a great job on the film and go out there and play them tough."

Vince Wilfork on the improvement the defense has made, and what it says about the team.

It lets me know these guys listen - through the coaches, through the guys, the veterans who have been around the game for awhile. It's not like we talk to them every day about certain stuff. No, they get it. They knew how important it was for us to get better as a team and what we needed to do to get better as a team. We made those changes, we made those progresses and we moved forward. Like I said, it's a special bunch. At the end of the day, it's going to be a special team. I think everybody in this locker room, they love this game, they love one another, they have the passion. That's one thing to have a football player not have the passion for what they love and what they do but I can honestly tell you that these guys have every passion, everything that you need in a football player, they have and they love it.

Bill Belichick on "one of his favorite topics - injuries".

That would actually be number one. If you had to rank them, I'd move that up there as number one.

How would you describe the progress of Rob Gronkowski?

Good, good.

How optimistic are you that Sebastian Vollmer will be able to go?

We'll see how it goes. He practiced some last week, he wasn't able to play. We'll practice this week and we'll see if he's ready this week. The [crystal] ball is kind of clouding up, I can't see it clearly.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Ian Rapoport notes this team wasn't supposed to be ready to compete in 2010, but instead they've thrived.
  • Ian Rapoport notes Tom Brady wishes his promise to Robert Kraft remained private, but history shows he'll make good on it.
  • Phil Perry notes a Super Bowl billboard in Indy showcases Eli Manning and Jerod Mayo, with no mention of Tom Brady. Insecure much?
  • Karen Guregian reports Sterling Moore will keep fighting and coming back, even if he gets beat a couple of times, and eventually he'll win.
  • Michael Vega focuses on the importance of special teams play in a football game, something Matthew Slater takes a lot of pride in.
  • Greg A. Bedard reports Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, whose team beat the Giants twice, has a blueprint to beat the Giants.
  • Brian MacPherson says the Giants' chance of winning hinges on their pass rush.
  • Kirk Minihane notes Tom Coughlin returns the love to Bill Belichick.
  • Michael Whitmer notes both the Patriots and Giants have teams stocked with more than two dozen undrafted players.
  • Mike Rodak offers some quick-hit thoughts from locker room access on Thursday.
  • Ron Borges reports the uncle of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, rapper Bryan "Birdman" Williams, bet $5 million on the Patriots to win.
  • Mike Reiss posts the transcript of his weekly online chat.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Players are sticking to the mantra that 2007 was a different team and a different year; Rob Gronkowski didn't practice yesterday and will likely rest until Indy; Belichick is taking a wait-and-see approach to Gronk's and Sebastian Vollmer's injuries; Patriots have six players who have been to multiple Super Bowls, and 11 overall who have been to the big game; Belichick praised former Rutgers coach, Greg Schiano who is now the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Pats D knows they're going to have their hands full with Eli Manning but even Bill Belichick and Tom Brady was heaping on the praise; Pats were back on the practice field yesterday; Brady hopes he can play better than he did against the Ravens and didn't expect the media to have heard him say that to Robert Kraft; Gillette will host a free Super Send-Off Sunday; Matt Light and Rob Gronkowski are each raffling off two Super Bowl tickets for charity.
  • Amalie Benjamin reports Tom Brady has kept his strong ties to his high school, and stayed true to his roots.
  • Chad Finn breaks down how the local media outlets plan to cover the Super Bowl.
  • Ryan Chiavetta reports Drew Bledsoe offers advice to Peyton Manning: 'There's a whole lot of life after football.'

NATIONAL NEWS

VIEW FROM NEW YORK