Patriots say Belichick can get excited too

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Patriots say Belichick can get excited too

FOXBORO -- One wears a hooded sweatshirt and speaks to the media flatly. The other likes to surf and is enthusiasm personified.

Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll probably could not be more different in terms of their public personas. Carroll, as New England fans may remember from his three seasons here as head coach in the late 1990s, is perhaps the most excitable coach in the NFL. Belichick is not.

Though one might be hard-pressed to find any Belichick quote that includes the words "pumped" or "jacked," he does get excited from time to time. Seriously. He just does it in his own way, according to Vince Wilfork.

"Bill is old fashioned," Wilfork said Thursday. "Bill is laid back. Everybody have their own way of showing emotion or how they coach or how they play. It's just different. I try not to try to compare guys. It's different, but it's very exciting to see when you do something well that your teammates and your coaches get excited. Bill done that before. He done that before."

Belichick's baseline for emotional expression may be set a tad lower than Carroll's, but Wilfork said that when the Patriots coach is excited, it can give the team a boost.

"He might not show a lot on TV, but he'll come to the bench, high five us, tell us a good job, stuff like that," Wilfork said. "It's always exciting to have a coach who'll give you recognition on a play or certain thing that you do that you practice so much for and you finally get it right . . . We do that around here."

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)