By: Ian Logue
Here are this morning’s top stories:
Power rushing coming back in these NFL playoffs – Ben Volin – Volin has his “On Football” column this morning and writes that this year’s playoff field has an old-fashioned feel, noting that several teams have been relying on a powerful running game behind fullbacks, extra offensive linemen, and blocking tight ends.
Words With Frenz mailbag: Josh McDaniels not a guarantee as next Cleveland Browns head coach – Erik Frenz – Frenz has his mailbag for this week, and writes that he feels McDaniels stays in New England.
Under Scott O’Brien, Patriots special teams delivered – Michael Whitmer – Whitmer has an article on special teams coach Scott O’Brien, who’s special teams units have been outstanding this season.
Patriots make no changes because of snow – Shalise Manza Young – Manza Young files her notebook this morning, which leads off noting that despite the snowstorm, the team had scheduled a rookie meeting at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning. That left veterans like Aqib Talib joking that he would be staying at the hotel at Patriot Place, which is within walking distance from the team facility.
LeGarrette Blount finds career revival with Patriots – Jeff Howe – Howe writes that Blount has become Bill Belichick’s latest reclamation project.
The Chatham Report: Bye week is good thing – Matt Chatham – Chatham has his weekly report, and writes that the bye week is something this team desperately needs after their roster has endured even more anguish this season.
Patriots have Hulk Hogan under their belt – Mark Daniels – Hulk Hogan mentioned the Patriots in a video on his Facebook page yesterday, including mentioning Matthew Mulligan, which the tight end thought was pretty cool.
Pats work on (snow)ball control – Jeff Howe – Howe files his notebook this morning, which leads off with the team taking advantage of the messy conditions to work on ball control.
Matthew Slater discusses new role in breaking down team – Jeff Howe – Howe has a note on Slater, who has taken over the role of breaking down the team in the middle of the locker room following games.
Groupings: Usage of TE, FB increasing – Mike Reiss – Reiss looks at the different personnel groupings the Patriots have been using recently, which has included straying away from their most prevalent grouping, the 3 WR/1 TE/1 RB against the Bills and Ravens.
Possible playoff opponents: Chiefs – Field Yates – Yates looks at the Kansas City Chiefs, who will visit Foxboro if they beat the Colts and San Diego defeats Cincinnati this weekend.
Possible playoff opponents: Chiefs – Mike Reiss – Reiss has some thoughts on some potential Patriots opponents, as well as some good insight about many different players on each roster.
Patriots Potential Playoff Opponents: Broncos – Christopher Price – Price gives his take on another match-up against the Broncos and writes that the Patriots still have reason to be afraid of them.
ATTLEBORO SUN CHRONICLE:
Patriot rookie not so green – Mark Farinella – Farinella has a good read on Logan Ryan, who is getting ready for his first trip to the postseason.
SOUTH COAST TODAY:
Who should Pats fans be rooting for this weekend? – Jonathan Comey – Comey ponders who the Patriots fans should be rooting for this weekend during the AFC Wild Card Round.
Patriots’ pounding ground game taking pressure off Brady – Paul Kenyon – Kenyon writes that having a solid run game may ease the burden from Tom Brady this postseason.
Patriots rookie Logan Ryan part of routine – Jennifer Toland – Toland has an article on Logan Ryan, who said he doesn’t feel like a rookie anymore as he starts preparing for his first playoff game.
Josh Boyce’s season over; Austin Collie back – In this entry Boyce’s trip to injured reserve and Collie’s return is highlighted.
Patriots to be tuned in this weekend – Glen Farley – Farley writes that the situation the Patriots faced last weekend bordered along the lines of a must-win. That now leaves them this weekend with a must-watch when it comes to the Wild Card games, which several players admitted they’d be tuned in.