12/07/04 Afternoon

Tom King writes that it’s time for the Patriots to get healthy. They’re going to need all their talent down the road when the playoffs arrive. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots need to find a way to keep Chad Johnson quiet this Sunday…in more ways than one. Glen Farley looks at the Patriots preparing for annual holiday season tradition…strong finishes in November and December. Paul Attner looks at Tom Brady being named the 2004 Sporting News Sportsman of the year. Regarding Brady, Bill Belichick says:

"There's hardly anything you can criticize the guy for," says the reticent Belichick, who hands out effusive praise about as often as he loses. "He works hard; he's well prepared; he treats every teammate with the ultimate respect; he doesn't expect anything that everyone else doesn't get, too. If he is doing it, then it's hard for anyone to say they can't do something. But it's not for show. If you bump into him working extra in the offseason, fine, but he doesn't make sure you know he is here."

Mike Reiss looks at some relevant stats for this weekend’s Patriots/Bengals matchup. McHugh’s notebook has Belichick explaining the rationale behind pulling starters in a blowout. Time, not the score is the biggest factor.

Kevin Thomas looks at the status of the Red Sox free agents, starting with Pedro Martinez, who has says does not merit a four year contract. Rob Bradford says those railing against Barry Bonds for cheating should save their indignation…cheating has always been a part of baseball.

Jon Goode catches up with Celtics legend Frank Ramsey. Eric Wilbur has a number of random thoughts from around the sports world.

Two sources say that the Globe is set to add a couple writers to the sports department. Chris Snow, who was an intern with the paper in 2002 is a likely addition and could go to the Red Sox beat. (Bob Hohler headed back to news? Or more feature stuff?) Snow has been covering the Minnesota Wild for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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