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Patriots downgrade six to out for Sunday’s game

12.25.10 at 8:41 pm ET
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The Patriots announced the following players were downgraded Saturday night to OUT for Sunday’s game against the Bills in Buffalo: offensive lineman Dan Connolly, linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, tight end Aaron Hernandez, defensive lineman Myron Pryor and defensive lineman Mike Wright.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Deaderick, Dan Connolly, Jermaine Cunningham

Devin McCourty and Vince Wilfork both hit with fines

12.24.10 at 4:02 pm ET
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Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork were fined $10,000 and $5,000 respectively for penalties that were incurred last week against the Packers, according to multiple media reports. McCourty was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness and Wilfork was fined $5,000 for a facemask penalty.

Read More: Devin McCourty, Vince Wilfork,

Bills list three on Friday injury report

12.24.10 at 3:54 pm ET
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The Bills only have three players listed on their Friday injury report:

Questionable
C Geoff Hangartner (knee) Limited Participation

Probable
T Demetrius Bell (knee) Full Participation
LB Chris Kelsay (knee) Full Participation

Read More: Bills, injury report,

Eight listed as questionable for Patriots, including Aaron Hernandez and James Sanders

12.24.10 at 3:49 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” The Patriots have eight players listed as questionable for Sunday game against the Bills in Buffalo, including Aaron Hernandez, Ron Brace, Tully Banta-Cain and James Sanders. Here’s the full injury report:

Doubtful
G Dan Connolly (concussion) Did Not Participate

Questionable
LB Tully Banta-Cain (groin) Limited Participation
DL Ron Brace (concussion) Limited Participation
LB Jermaine Cunningham (calf) Limited Participation
DL Brandon Deaderick (shoulder/flu) Did Not Participate
TE Aaron Hernandez (hip) Limited Participation
NT Myron Pryor (back) Limited Participation
S James Sanders (flu) Did Not Participate
DL Mike Wright (concussion) Did Not Participate

Probable
CB Kyle Arrington (elbow) Full Participation
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/foot) Limited Participation
WR Deion Branch (knee) Limited Participation
CB Devin McCourty (rib) Full Participation

Read More: injury report, Patriots,

Tom Brady: All I want for Christmas is a win the day after

12.24.10 at 3:05 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The best possible Christmas gift for Tom Brady would be a win the day after. That’s what the quarterback said on Friday, two days before the Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, NY.

With a win in Western New York, the Patriots would not only improve to 13-2 with a 15th straight win over the Bills, they would clinch their second straight AFC East title and eighth in 10 years, and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming AFC playoffs.

“I think it’€™s pretty cool that we’€™re in a position this week to actually do something about it,” Brady said. “To have worked for seven or eight months for a particular goal and then to have this goal sitting in front of you only two days away now, I hope everyone realizes the importance of this game and I think everyone in [the locker room] does.

“I think that’€™s been something that’€™s been emphasized this week is a lot of guys have been putting a lot into this and there would be no better Christmas present this time of year than to go out and win this game. I think everyone has to go out there and play a great game against a very tough team in a very tough environment. But I’€™ll tell you it’€™s very exciting for us. There is no doubt about it. This is a championship game. It’€™s pretty special any time you win a championship.”

And all of that would mean the road to the Super Bowl would go through Foxboro, a small price to pay for practicing on Christmas Eve and flying to Western New York on Christmas afternoon.

“It’€™s always fun playing professional football for a living,” Brady said. “I mean, we couldn’€™t get a better job than this. We’€™ve all worked pretty hard to get to this point. All the teams have worked pretty hard to get to this point. It does take a lot of good fortune to be able to control your own destiny like we do. We’€™ve said nothing has really been accomplished yet, though. I will say that.

“I think we’€™re in a very good position in terms of us being able to win this game and win our division and few other things come along with it, but we got back here in March after a tough season last year and a tough offseason and I think we set the goals understanding that ‘€˜these are the things we need to do to accomplish them.’€™”

Read More: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, nfl, Orchard Park

Bill Belichick: Rob Gronkowski is ‘similar’ to Mark Bavaro

12.24.10 at 2:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had some Christmas reflections on one of the best tight ends he’s ever coached – Mark Bavaro.

Belichick on Friday compared his rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski to the great Giants tight end he worked with in the 1980s. He did admit that while there are ‘some similarities, rookies like Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have a ways to go to be in that class.

“He [Bavaro] isn’t in the [top echelon], that is it,” Belichick said of the best blocking tight end he’s ever been around.

Listening to Belichick, Bavaro – the native of Winthrop, Mass. and Danvers High School product – should be in Canton – Canton, OH that is – as in Hall of Fame.

“The best I’€™ve seen,” he said. “There’€™s a lot of things that any player can learn from watching Mark play but again, the big thing about Mark was his overall consistency: his practice, his meetings, his preparation and how consistent he was as a player in everything that he did, whether it was catching balls after practice, working on his run-blocking, his pass protection, his route running. He and [Phil] Simms would stay after practice and spend a lot of time on various routes and certain coverages and just working on their timing. So they had a real good feel for each other.

“It is a tough position to play because you have a lot of things going on. You have guys in front of you, outside of you, inside of you coming at you from a lot of different angles and it’€™s not like playing on the perimeter where you’€™re dealing with a lot fewer people. At that position you have to release off of the line of scrimmage and you’€™ve got to get into your route, you have blocking adjustments to make against teams playing different fronts. There is a lot less variation the further out you get from the formation. Whether it be in the running game or the passing game, that’€™s a tough spot to play. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Danvers High School, Mark Bavaro

Tonight on “Patriots’ All Access”

12.24.10 at 2:15 pm ET
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This week’s edition of “Patriots’ All Access” features a look back at the win over the Packers, as well as a look ahead at what awaits New England this week as it travels to Buffalo for a date with the Bills.

Read More: nfl, Patriots,
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