A different Denver matchup for Waters

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A different Denver matchup for Waters

FOXBORO -- Brian Waters played football in the AFC West for 11 years. You've got to assume he has some hatred banked for the Broncos, right?

"Not as much as I used to," Waters said Wednesday. "Being where I was before, that just kind of came along with the job. You kind of got accustomed to the fact that there were going to be certain rivalry weeks that things were going to be more emphasized."

Though the rivalry aspect is lacking in New England, Waters is expecting a dogfight Saturday night. He refused to be surprised at Denver's regular season highs and recent Wild Card win over Pittsburgh. And all the pooh-poohing about the Broncos running a college-style option offense? Waters isn't listening. From what this Patriots O-lineman can see, Denver is getting by on something more tangible than Divine Intervention.

"If you watch them and really play close attention to them, they play the type of football that has always been very productive in the NFL," Waters said. "They run the ball well, they move the ball in the run game, they get after the quarterback and they also stop the run. Theyre a very fast defense. They have some really good specialists, with a kicker who is able to kick the ball far and make lots of long field goals. They have a really good returner back there in Eddie Royal. They play the football game the way a lot of teams have played historically that have been productive."

New home team, same old mission of beating the Broncos.

But there's one, big thing about this Denver matchup that escaped him in Kansas City: the chance at a conference championship. Waters has been to the Divisional playoffs before (the Chiefs lost to Indianapolis in 2003) and wants to step forward. He's excited, he's ready.

He hopes the rest of New England can feel it as the Broncos ride into town.

"I expect it to be electric. Its the playoffs. Its a great opportunity for everybody, whoever is touching that field from both sides. I think the energy will be high. I expect it to be as electric as its been. It was electric out there, so I expect it to be even better here."

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."
 

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?


Phil Perry and CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran debate which receiver has been better for the Patriots: Wes Welker or Julian Edelman? It's part of this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.