Friday New England Patriots Links 11/26

Ian Logue
November 26, 2010 at 11:34am ET

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower returning to practice field an encouraging sign
Why was Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy doing pushups at a bowling alley?
Patriots owner Robert Kraft owns no concerns that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are missing OTAs
New NFL policy lets players who don’t want to stand for anthem stay in locker room
Former Patriots rip NFL’s new anthem policy

The Patriots came away with the win over Detroit yesterday to improve to 9-2 on the season, but didn't get any help from the Bengals last night after Cincinnati fell to the Jets in their Thursday night meeting at the new Meadowlands.  As a result New York is now also 9-2, and we're poised for 10 days of hype heading into their showdown on Monday Night Football when they face off again on December 6th.

Bob Glauber of NewsDay has an article that's syndicated in the Boston Herald this morning on Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who moments after beating the Bengals said he's already looking forward to coming to New England.
"It really is special," Ryan said of the Patriots after the Jets rallied with 23 second-half points to put away the 2-9 Bengals. "We win this game, (that means) we beat ’em twice, and that’s huge. This is a huge test, but we’re looking forward to it."

The New York Post also has a similar article, with a couple more quotes from Ryan that are worth noting.
"They're clearly the best team in football," Ryan said of the Patriots. "That's what all the experts say . . . except me."
"I think they've won 25 straight at home. We've won eight on the road," Ryan said. "We plan on making it nine. We know it's going to be tough. But we're just the men for the job."

Greg Bedard of the Globe also has an article on this upcoming match-up, which he feels not many games will rival the buildup heading into it.

Meanwhile, with that match-up looming large, there are still some articles on from New England's win over the Lions this morning.   Mike Reiss of has the recap from the game, along with some interesting game notes at the end of the piece which shows the difference between the Patriots and Lions during Tom Brady's career here in New England.

Ian Rapoport writes that despite a slow start where they looked pretty ragged, they shook out the cobwebs and came out and dominated the second half.

Rapoport also writes that Welker was back in fine form yesterday, finishing with eight catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

Jeff Howe of also has an article on wide receiver Wes Welker, who said after the game he's finally starting to feel like his old self again.
"My knee has felt great," Welker said at his postgame news conference. "These past few weeks have been awesome.  [I've] really just staying on top of it, but this is definitely the best it's felt. I feel like it continues to make strides, but I'm not worried about it at all. I'm out there playing and feeling like my old self."

Rapoport also broke the story yesterday that Danny Woodhead has received a contract extension from the team, and followed it up with this story from this morning's Herald.

Dave Hogg of the Herald has a story on Devin McCourty, who had two interceptions during their win over Detroit yesterday.

Ron Borges has a column this morning on Deion Branch, who he writes the receiver "knows where home is" now that he's back here in New England.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has yesterday's "Play Of the Game", which was Deion Branch's 79-yard touchdown catch in which he shed two tackles on his way to the endzone.

Guregian also has an article on Brady, who she writes was a "Motown Hit" after his perfect game yesterday against the Lions.

Mike Reiss takes a look at the offensive snaps yesterday, which saw more playing time for Rob Gronkowski and fewer for wide receiver Brandon Tate, who had a big drop during yesterday's game.

The Grand Rapids Press has an article on what the mood was inside the Lions locker room after the Loss, with cornerback Alphonso Smith taking full responsibility for costing the city of Detroit a happy afternoon.

The Detroit Free Press has another article that ran on the Boston Herald's website, with some of the players in the Lions locker room lashing out following their second half collapse against New England.
"There’s a bunch of guys that need to be called out," defensive tackle Corey Williams said. "A bunch of guys need to look in the mirror, realize that there’s more to it than just playing in the NFL. There’s more to it than getting paid. You got guys, everybody out here got their career on the line, you know what I mean? You can easily take your last snap at any moment, so I think guys need to take it more serious. I don’t think guys take it serious enough."

The Detroit Free Press has their report card on the Lions performance yesterday, which included a couple of D's along with some interesting comments.

That's it for this morning.  Hope everyone has a good day and we'll have more later on.