Here are this morning’s top stories:
Show of special effects – Dan Duggan
Duggan wrties that Wide receiver Wes Welker, cornerback Kyle Arrington, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, linebacker Rob Ninkovich and safety James Ihedigbo have two things in common: Each is a starter for the Patriots and each began their career playing on special teams.
Keep an eye on Polamalu – Dan Duggan
Duggan writes that Steelers linebacker Troy Polamalu is still a force for Pittsburgh’s defense, and Bill Belichick isn’t taking him lightly.
“Wasn’t he the defensive player of the year last year? You’re making it sound like he doesn’t do anything. He’s one of the top defensive players in the league,” said Belichick.
Back from the Bahamas, Patriots QB Tom Brady talks about the bye, the Gronkowski pictures, Tebow, and Other Stuff – Ian Rapoport
Rapoport has some highlights from Tom Brady’s appearance on WEEI this morning, including his thoughts on the Rob Gronkowski report that was the big story yesterday.
Porn Star Calls Rob Gronkowski a Gentleman – Inside Track
The girls at the Inside track have a story about BiBi Jones’ interview yesterday w/98.5 The Sports Hub where she called Gronk a “Gentleman” and hopes to see him again.
Patriots’ work not complete – Greg Bedard
Bedard writes that unless the pass defense continues to improve greatly, the odds are seriously stacked against these Patriots making a Super Bowl run no matter how good a season quarterback Tom Brady has.
NOTEBOOK: Steeling themselves for a battle – Shalise Manza Young
Young has her notebook this morning, which leads off with a mention that despite initial assumptions from critics that thought the Steelers defense might be on the decline, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien doesn’t quite understand how people could have thought that and expects them to be tough Sunday.
“I have no idea where anyone would get that impression,’’ Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said yesterday via conference call. “I really believe this is a tough defense, a smart defense, a really well-coached defense.’’
’08 Patriots look better and better – Mike Reiss
Reiss writes that the sorry state of Colts highlights what Bill Belichick accomplished without Tom Brady after he went down with a knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2008 campaign.
Bahamas for Brady on bye – Mike Reiss
Reiss writes that Brady spent his time off in the Bahamas with his family, and really enjoyed spending time with his sons.
“I was with my wife and kids and just to see them play and to build sandcastles on the beach, you never think it will be this much fun. You realize how much your mom and dad really love you when you’re able to spend some time with your kids,” Brady told sports radio WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” program Tuesday morning as part of his weekly appearance. We have memories that I’ll never forget.
Bill Belichick on Steelers’ offense – James Walker
Walker has a couple of good excerpts from yesterday’s conference call with Bill Belichick, who talked about the Steelers offense, as well as his thoughts on wide receiver Mike Wallace.
They know what’s coming – Staff
In this article the Patriots know that coming out of a bye they have a lot to prepare for, and should expect a tough challenge from the Steelers’ defense on Sunday.
Patriots open key stretch Sunday against Steelers – Christopher Price
As the Patriots return to work after some time off, Price looks at the tough stretch that now lies ahead in the coming weeks.
Patriots Report Card: Is this a great team? – Kirk Minihane
Minihane wonders if provided we don’t see another Bernard Pollard redux, whether or not this team is going to finish 14-2 again. He also provides grades at each position through six weeks.
Deion Branch, Andre Carter on M&M: ‘We’ve Got Our Hands Full’ With Steelers – Jerry Spar
Spar has comments from Deion Branch and Andre Carter, who told WEEI yesterday they expect a tough battle this Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Tom Brady Reserves Judgment on Tim Tebow, Says Key Is ‘Not to Regress’ – Michael Hurley
Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on WEEI and talked about the Broncos quarterback, and said that it’s tough to tell much after one game, and that even in his 12th year he’s still learning new things each week.
NOTEBOOK: Belichick says Steelers are a throwback – Glen Farley
Farley writes that Bill Belichick said during his conference call yesterday that Pittsburgh’s defense is similar to the same one they’ve been running for 20-years.
“I think defensively not too much has changed there in 20 years,” the Patriots head coach said during a conference call on Monday. “Their defensive system today is similar to what it was in 1991 or 1992 – ’91 (the head coach) was Chuck Noll – but 1992 when Bill (Cowher) came in. It’s pretty similar to that. I don’t know how much has changed there.”
Q&A with Bill O’Brien, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator – Staff
The Enterprise News has the complete transcript of O’Brien’s interview from yesterday.
Q&A with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick – Staff
They also have Bill Belichick’s complete transcript as well.
THE PATRIOT LEDGER:
Q&A with Nick Caserio, the Patriots’ director of player personnel – Staff
The Ledger has a transcript of yesterday’s conference call with Patriots player of personnel Nick Caserio.
MusclePharm Signs NFL Superstar Chad Ochocinco – PR
MusclePharm Corporation, which is a U.S. nutritional supplement company, announced a one-year sponsorship deal with Chad Ochocinco.
Gisele Covers Vogue UK December 2011 – Staff
Gisele Bundchen – Tom Brady’s wife for those of you who live under a rock – is apparently on the cover of the UK December issue of Vogue magazine. The link contains a photo of her.