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New England Patriots Links 1/03/12 - Bring On The Bye Week

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<em>Master manipulator Bill Belichick appreciates the extra time afforded by the Bye week for his team to rest up and the coaches to plan</em>.
Master manipulator Bill Belichick appreciates the extra time afforded by the Bye week for his team to rest up and the coaches to plan.

Bill Belichick addresses the media Monday.

Obviously, it's a good feeling to have a 13-3 regular season. [There were a] lot of ups and downs along the way, a lot of challenges that we had to face. The players did a good job and they performed well enough to achieve that record and that's not easy to do in this league. [We] put ourselves in decent position here, now it's really time to end that chapter and onto the next one. There's certainly a lot of things that we can do better and improve on and all those type of things so that's what we'll try to do in the coming weeks, this week and in our game preparations for next week, whoever that is against. But still working on things that we can improve on in all three phases of the game. As coaches, take a look at some of the things that we're doing and trying to figure out better ways or improving some other things that we're doing to be a little more productive. It was good to see a couple players out there yesterday who hadn't played in awhile – that's always good. Hopefully we'll see more of those moving forward. We'll just have to take those as it comes. I think the big thing for us right now is to just to use our time and our opportunities and this position in a productive manner so that's what we'll try to do here until we know specifically who our next opponent is going to be.

Wes Welker tweeting after Sunday's weird win over the Bills.

Well, she wasn't pretty, but in the end....she had a great personality!



  • Shalise Manza Young writes about how the Patriots plan to best use their bye week.
  • Tim Britton reports that despite finishing 13-3, the Patriots haven't beaten a team with a winning record.
  • Shalise Manza Young takes a closer look at how the NFL playoff teams stack up in terms of strength of schedule and strength of victory.
  • Christopher Price tells us ten things we learned Sunday: Patriots might be the best of a flawed bunch.
  • Mike Reiss serves up a few leftover thoughts from the Patriots' season finale, including Gary Guyton's fall on the depth chart.
  • Kirk Minihane says the title of Greatest QB of All Time belongs to Tom Brady, especially if the Pats find a way to win three more games this season.
  • Tom E. Curran thinks Drew Brees had a better season than Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers beat them both.
  • Christopher Price posts a positional playoff preview: Running backs.
  • Ian Rapoport thinks Julian Edelman's future is at defensive back.
  • Ian Rapoport evaluates Devin McCourty's stint at safety and concludes he really helps the team in that position.
  • Ian Rapoport takes a look at four players who have successfully made the switch from corner to safety.
  • Mike Reiss wonders how far the Patriots can go, living on the edge like they have been.
  • Bill Reynolds isn't sure the Pats can defy football logic and win an NFL playoff game without any defense.
  • Tedy Bruschi says the Patriots have to kick the habit of falling behind early.
  • Mike Reiss highlights a few follow-up thoughts from coach Bill Belichick on his conference call Monday.
  • Michael Hurley thinks Aaron Hernandez should be insurance against one-and-done and 19 other Patriots thoughts.
  • Christopher Price says the firing of Bill Polian closes a momentous chapter in the decade-long rivalry between the Patriots and Colts.
  • Mike Reiss tells us where the Patriots rank among all NFL teams, after the final game of the regular season.
  • Mike Reiss looks at snaps played by Patriots defenders in the 49-21 win over the Bills, and spotlights Julan Edelman's unsung performance.
  • Christopher Price breaks down the Patriots penalties for the 2011 regular season.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the trickle-down effect of Patrick Chung's return, on special teams.
  • Mike Reiss & Mike Rodak chart the Patriots roster by contract length. Interesting.
  • Boston Globe NFL playoff matchups.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: It's unclear whether Devin McCourty's switch to safety Sunday was a one-time experiment or a sign of things to come; Jacksonville received permission to speak with Bill O'Brien about its head coaching vacancy; Sebastian Vollmer was spotted Dec. 20 still on crutches but he hasn't been placed on IR; End of year statistics.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Bill O'Brien has a dream of being an NFL head coach; Patriots plan to focus on internal improvements this week and game-planning for each team; Wes Welker feels great and as healthy as he's been; Belichick expects Sebastian Vollmer to play at some point; Tom Brady won't miss seeing Jason Taylor on the field.
  • Kirk Minihane issues his Week 17 Report Card, admitting that his criticism of a 13-3 team seems a bit absurd and a tad spoiled.
  • Ron Borges grades the Patriots in his Week 17 Report Card.