Welker: Going to get more opportunites

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Welker: Going to get more opportunites

FOXBORO -- Wes Welker had a monster game when his Patriots visited Buffalo last season in Week 3.

He had 16 receptions for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

The Patriots would love to see him put up those numbers once again against the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday, as they try to get back to .500.

And if there's any type of trend, then Welker could have a similar type of day. His 2012 season has been a steady increase from Week 1 to Week 3, having only three receptions for 14 yards against the Titans in the season-opener, followed by five receptions for 95 yards in a Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and then an eight-reception, 142-yard game against the Ravens on Sunday night.

Welker's Week 3 outburst was a sign that the Patriots were not phasing him out of anything, and that perhaps, it was nothing more than strategy.

"I think that's just the way it's worked out," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Friday. "I mean, Wes is always prepared. He works hard. Sometimes the opportunities come. Sometimes they don't. But, a lll you can do is keep working hard, and put yourself in a good position to take advantage of them when they show up."

Welker has yet to catch a touchdown this season. Whatever the game plan may be on Sunday in Buffalo, Welker -- like the first three games -- will be ready. And he'll be ready to have another big game.

And even if he doesn't have a big game against the Bills, he realizes it's a long season, and that the opportunities will come.

"I just go out there and try to do my job on a daily basis," said Welker on Friday. "And when my number's called and I get that opportunity, i try to take advantage of them. We have a long season to go. And I'm going to get a lot more opportunities. And I've got to make sure that I'm making the plays for the team for us to win games."

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

CBS interviewed Patriots coach Bill Belichick and 1960 Heisman winner Joe Bellino from Navy as part of its Army-Navy Game coverage Saturday.

Belichick's father, Steve, was an assistant coach at Navy when Bellino played there, and little Bill, then 7, took it all in. So much so, that 57 years later, Belichick can still diagram the 27 F Trap play that his dad used to drew up in the 1959 season for Bellino.

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