Thursday's New England Patriots Links 1/16 - Why Belichick is Really A Mad Scientist

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January 16, 2014 at 09:31am ET

Patriots practice report: Brian Hoyer struggles during OTA session
Patriots safety Duron Harmon says he's learned from Costa Rica incident
Patriots defensive end Derek Rivers happy to be healthy
Belichick mum on Brady and Gronk OTA absences
No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs

Here are this morning's top stories:


Patriots D-Line makes major strides vs. run - Mark Daniels - Daniels writes that the Patriots run defense hit rock bottom against the Broncos in week 12, but they've made giant strides since then.

Denver faces D-lemma - Karen Guregian - Guregian writes that if the Broncos key on the run, that puts the ball back in Tom Brady's hands.

Pressure's on Peyton Manning - Jeff Howe - Howe writes that the best way to stifle Peyton Manning is to force him to think his way through every progression of every play, and fans can take the Patriots’ Week 12 game plan for the Denver Broncos quarterback as an example.

Tom Brady sent back to sick bed - Karen Guregian - Guregian looks at Brady being sent home yesterday after feeling sick enough for it to have been necessary.

Notebook: LeGarrette Blount unfazed - Jeff Howe - Howe files his notebook this morning, which leads off with the fact that Blount's picture ending up on the cover of SI, but he's not getting too wrapped up in that.

A fly route for Wes Welker - Adam Kurkjian - Kurkjian writes that Wes Welker thinks it's best not to "overanalyze" anything that happened during the team's week 12 meeting.

Michael Hoomanawanui helps with playoff run - Adam Kurkjian - Kurkjian has an article on Michael Hoomanawanui, who is back helathy after having played every snap Saturday night against the Colts.


Denver has long been dangerous for Patriots - Christopher Gasper - Gasper has his thoughts on this weekend's match-up and relives their 2005 playoff loss.

Peyton Manning explains 'Omaha' signal .... sort of - John Carney - Carney has comments from Manning's press conference yesterday, where the veteran signal caller talked about his pre-snap cadence.


DT Siliga nearly joined Broncos again - Mike Reiss - Reiss writes that defensive tackle Sealver Siliga was with the Broncos from 2011 through the end of camp this year, and the Broncos tried to sign him off New England's practice squad  but the Patriots blocked the move.

Picked-up pieces from Patriots - Mike Reiss - Reiss has his wrap up from Wednesday and writes that there was so much going on at Gillette Stadium yesterday it was almost too much.

Sound FX from Patriots' win - Mike Reiss - Reiss caught last night's "Sound FX" on the NFL Network, which featured some great audio.


Ex-Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker ready to face his old team again - Christopher Price - Price has an article on Welker, with Peyton Manning saying that Welker has been exactly what they thought they were getting when talking about the former Patriots receiver.

Crafting a champion: Patriots, Broncos have similar approach when it comes to team building - Christopher Price - Price has a good article this morning and writes that both the Patriots and Broncos have been shaped the same way.


Borges: Brady, not Blount, should be focus of offense - On Sports Tonight Borges said he feels that Denver will be tough to run on.

Curran: Pats need to move Manning - Tom Curran believes one key to this game is making sure that the Patriots keep Manning from being too comfortable and moving off his spot.


Patriots rookie LB Jamie Collins, who has quietly been a star in practices, is on the brink of breaking out - Nick Underhill - Underhill writes that it didn't take his teammates long to see it, but Collins is a natural athlete.


Patriots - Broncos Injury Report - In this entry the Patriots and the Broncos announce the player injuries and practice participation for yesterday's session.

Brady, Aiken not at practice; Dobson, Allen return - Erik Scalavino - Scalavino has notes from yesterday's practice, which saw Brady miss it due to illness.

Locker Room Quotes - 1/15/2014 - Some additional quotes and comments from yesterday.

Press Conference Transcripts:

Chandler Jones Press Conference Transcript

Devin McCourty Press Conference Transcript

Logan Mankins Press Conference Transcript

Matthew Slater Press Conference Transcript


Pats fans kept Foxboro police busy - Bill Stedman - Stedman writes that Saturday's playoff game yielded the most custodies of the season at Gillette Stadium.


Here's why NFL Championship Weekend is Going to be Awesome - Andy Nesbitt - Nesbitt has his thoughts on this weekend, and wonders if this is the last time we see this match-up transpire.


Why Belichick Really Is a Mad Scientist - Jonathan Clegg and Kevin Clark - In this piece Clark and Clegg look at some of the tactics used by Belichick in replicating some of the game's best players in practice.