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Friday, January 24, 2014
Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

By Mike Reiss

Cleaning out the New England Patriots notebook:

Imagine Scarnecchia coaching the Jets: Fun interview this morning to listen to retiring Patriots assistant coach Dante Scarnecchia on the “D&C Show” on sports radio WEEI. Scarnecchia was asked about coaching on the Patriots' staff for 30 years and he expressed how fortunate he was to do so despite numerous head coaching changes. He also revealed that Bill Parcells asked him to come to the Jets with him in 1997, but he declined because his daughter was still in high school at the time and he didn’t want to leave the area. A John Hannah/Logan Mankins comparison and thoughts on what makes Bill Belichick a special coach were among the other highlights.

Gruden on what Patriots need in 2014: In a radio interview on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” program earlier this week, Jon Gruden was asked about the Patriots’ top needs for 2014. After mentioning a return to health for key players, he said: “There’s no question they need to address their receiving corps. I don’t know that [Danny] Amendola, [Julian] Edelman, the cast of receivers, has enough firepower to take you the distance."

Parcells on Wes Welker/Aqib Talib play: In a radio interview on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” program earlier this week, Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Parcells was asked his thoughts on the hit that knocked Talib out of the AFC Championship Game. “These things happen a little bit in football,” he said. “On these crossing and rub plays and picks, the guy that is going over the top, much like in basketball, is kind of the screen setter, and he’s the one trying to pick off the defensive player on the player coming underneath. So the only thing you can question is ‘What was Welker’s intent when he went at Talib?’ I don’t know the answer to that. Obviously Bill thinks it was malicious intent. If it was malicious intent, that’s a lot different than running just a pick play.”

Patriots returning to the playoffs in 2014: In an Insider piece now posted on ESPN.com Insider, Mike Sando ranks the 12 playoff teams from 2013 who are most likely to return to the playoffs next season. He has the Patriots ranked at No. 1 and explains why.

Edelman & Ninkovich on ‘All-Joe’ team: USA Today’s “All-Joe” team is an annual good read, highlighting unsung players in the NFL. Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and defensive end Rob Ninkovich earn a mention.

Gostkowski hopes to preserve the extra point: Count Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski among those who disagree with head coach Bill Belichick on eliminating the extra point.