Friday's New England Patriots Links 9/16

Ian Logue
September 16, 2011 at 10:01am ET

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Monique Walker of the Boston Globe has her "notebook" for this morning, which leads off with a mention of the fact cornerback Devin McCourty, who registered his first career interception against the Chargers in week 7 of last season, and expects them to throw at him this weekend also.

Mark Farinella also has an article on McCourty, who he writes is up for the challenge against San Diego this week.

Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald also has a similar article, and writes that McCourty is ready for San Diego's 'aerial assault'.

Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram has a similar article on McCourty, and she has a mention from Chargers QB Philip Rivers, who said he remembers the play well.
“I wish I hadn't thrown it,” Rivers recalled this week. “I do remember that. But (McCourty is) one of the guys that stands out, just his speed and ability to attack the football and great instincts.”

Chris Forsberg of writes that the Patriots secondary is on a mission after a rough start last Monday night against Miami, and includes a video yesterday from the media's interview with McCourty.

Forsberg also has an article on the secondary, with safety James Ihedigbo saying he expects Sunday's meeting to be "fun".
"They've got a very talented receiving corps and a very talented offense with big playmakers like Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates," said Ihedigbo. "They can get down the field and make plays. You just have to try to do your best to neutralize them. They are talented, they are going to make plays, and they have a great quarterback in Rivers. We'll have our hands full on defense, so it'll be fun."

Ian Rapoport has his notebook, which leads off with a bit on on safety Sergio Brown, who he writes made a key stop against Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, and is ready to face them again this weekend.

He also has an article on Andre Carter, who has found exactly what he was looking for now that he's a part of this football team.

Former Patriot Rodney Harrison spoke to Tom Curran last night on CSNNE's edition of "Quick Slants", and said he's pleased to see the Patriots getting more aggressive on defense this season.  He also has his reaction to Tedy Bruschi blasting Chad Ochocinco this week.

Christopher Price has comments from former Patriot receiver Troy Brown, who feels Ochocinco 'is losing a confidence game' after some of the recent events that have gone on with him.

Frank Tadych of has comments from other players, who feel Bruschi went too far this week when he went off on the receiver.

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe has an article this morning recapping all the recent comments from different former Patriots on this whole debacle this week.

Sean Gregory of Time magazine has an article this morning looks at a couple of what he feels are the most ridiculous controversies coming out of Foxboro this week.

Meanwhile Monique Walker of the Boston Globe looks at the running game, which she feels should be more effective this season and includes quotes from Danny Woodhead and others in the piece.  There's also a video interview with tight end Aaron Hernandez at the top of the article.

Speaking of Hernandez, Nick Underhill of has an article taking a closer look at his impact on the offense.

Mike Reiss of reports that linebacker Rob Ninkovich has received a 2-year extension.

Jerry Spar has a quick entry this morning on Randy Moss, who ended any chance of returning to Foxboro after saying, "No, I'm done."  Moss was in town playing golf when two radio producers caught him and questioned him on the possibility of playing here one more time.

Chris Forsberg has yesterday's injury report, with Leigh Bodden being added to the list with a 'back' injury.

Michael Whitmer - who seems to be a new addition to the Boston Globe since as of yesterday I'm seeing his name again - has an article on Dan Connolly, who has the confidence of Brady for the foreseeable future now that Dan Koppen will be out for the next few months after undergoing surgery on his fractured ankle.
“Every center-quarterback relationship is special, and [Koppen] and I have had that for a long time,’’ Brady said before practice yesterday at Gillette Stadium. “I’ve known Dan Connolly for a while, he’s been in there at center quite a bit, minicamps, training camps, we’re always preparing for guys playing multiple positions. He’s done a good job of that, he did a damn good job the other night stepping in, and he’ll need to be able to do that for the foreseeable future.’’

Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram has an article wondering if Philip Rivers can match Tom Brady this weekend.

Toland also has her 'notebook' this morning, which leads off with the fact the had Chargers problems with their kicking game last weekend, including the fact they gave up a 103 yard return against Minnesota last weekend.

It's a big weekend coming up for two former Patriots, with John Morris and Drew Bledsoe in town for tomorrow night's Patriots Hall of Fame induction.

Chris Forsberg has an article on Morris, who is humbled to finally have been voted in by the fans after missing out on previous chances.
"I’m tremendously overwhelmed because I was nominated several times and didn’t win through the fans' vote," Morris said Thursday while appearing at the Patriots Hall of Fame in advance of Saturday's induction. "I really never thought there was much chance I would win through the fans' vote -- since most of the fans that are voting were not born when I played. So when the senior committee came along, it just caught me by surprise. I had given up hope, I really had. I was very, very disappointed that I would never make it, but all of a sudden I get this phone call."

Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram has an article on Bledsoe, who's flattered about being inducted this weekend, although he joked yesterday that it would have been nice if  Brady hadn't picked this week to throw for 517 yards and erase his name from the record books.
“I thought it was extremely selfish of him,” Bledsoe said yesterday at a press conference at The Hall at Patriot Place. “I mean, I'm coming here for the Hall of Fame and he can't leave my name in the record book one place?”

Obviously, Bledsoe was joking about being upset.

“Actually, I was quite surprised, honestly, to hear that I still had one of those records,” he admitted.

Toland points out that although Brady broke Bledsoe's team record 426 yards that he passed for against Minnesota at Foxboro Stadium Nov. 13, 1994, the 45 of 70 passes he threw that day are both still not only Patriots records, but NFL records.

Glen Farley of has another article on Morris and Bledsoe, with the former quarterback saying it was "surreal" to be back in Foxboro yesterday.
“It’s kind of surreal,” said Bledsoe. “I live a pretty normal life back in (Bend) Oregon and I’m coaching flag football and playing some golf and making some wine, and then all of a sudden to come back into this world again when I haven’t been involved in it in quite a while, it’s very cool.

“It’s very cool and to be able to share it with my kids now that they’re a little bit older (13-year-old Stu, 12-year-old John, 10-year-old Henry) and understand a little bit more that it’s kind of a big deal is really fun.”

In the same piece Morris mentions that since fans these days didn't really know who he was, he didn't think he'd ever get in for that reason.
“I’m tremendously overwhelmed because I was nominated several times and didn’t win through the fans’ vote and really didn’t think there was much chance I would win through the fans’ vote since most of the fans that are voting weren’t even born when I played,” said Morris. “So I didn’t think there was ever going to be a chance of that."

Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal has a piece on Bledsoe, who looks back fondly on his time in Foxboro and had nothing but kind words to say about what Brady has done since taking over as the starting QB.
“When you’re a part of something, you hope that you make it better and then, when you leave, you hope that whoever follows you picks it up and takes it to a better place," said Bledsoe. "That’s been the case here under the stewardship of the Kraft family, with Tom and Bill. They’ve just taken this franchise to heights that were unimaginable in 1993."

NESN Daily has a video with an interview with Bledsoe from last night in this entry.

Dan Duggan of the Herald writes that Bledsoe is  proud of his role in making the organization competitive again.

Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has an article on both players, with Morris saying that it's unbelievable how things have changed, and he's glad that Robert Kraft went out of his way to make the Patriots Alumni more of a part of the organization.
"Isn't this unbelievable? This is about the fifth or sixth time I've been here, and every time I come down here, it's just so night and day. When I retired from football, there was no Hall of Fame, there was no alumni association once it was over, it was over. You were just outside the tent.

"When the Krafts came here, they immediately welcomed all the alumni with open arms," he said. "And not just to come to a party once in a while, but they really made you feel like you were a part of this organization."

That's it for this morning.  We'll have updates later on, so be sure and check back for more throughout the day.