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Josh Reed on the brain

Patriots coach Bill Belichick goes into his best Lou Holtz mode whenever he gets on a conference call with Buffalo media. Holtz was one of the masters at talking up his opponents, no matter how poor the Little Sisters of the Poor team that Holtz was facing was looking.

Likewise, Belichick frequently makes a reference to the Bills' 31-0 drubbing of the Pats in 2003, no matter how far removed we get from that game or no matter how many blowout-paybacks the Pats deliver to the Bills. For several years in a row, Belichick made a reference to how well Josh Reed played against the Pats ... and harkened back to the time Reed "ran through" the entire Pats defense. Never mind that the score by Reed (a 51-yarder in 2005) came at the end of a 35-7 Pats rout in Orchard Park.

So it didn't go unnoticed by reporters on Wednesday that Reed's name actually crept into one of Belichick's answers about the Bills' offense. Reed, of course, left the Bills after last season and isn't playing football this season.

Answering a question about the success of smaller recievers in general, Belichick said: "The Bills have several different types of guys, Johnson or Reed or Nelson, all the different guys that have played for them this year, they’re not all the same. But they’re all effective and they all have their own way of getting open, catching the ball and running with it after the catch. They run different routes, but if they can be effective in getting open and giving the quarterback a target, then he’ll throw it to them."

Belichick does a phenomenal job of preaching the "respect the opponent" mantra to his players. You almost never hear any Patriots trash talking in the media or saying anything disrespectful before a game. That's probably one reason why the Patriots almost always beat the teams they're supposed to beat.

---Mark Gaughan

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