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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Is Tom Brady a great athlete?

Tom Brady's poor performance on athletic tests at the scouting combine contributed to him slipping to the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. Five Super Bowl rings later, Brady is considered one of the greatest football players of all time. He's having one of the greatest seasons ever by a 40-year-old athlete. But many are still reluctant to call Brady a great athlete.

"What exactly qualifies someone as a great athlete?" Jerry Sullivan asks in his Sunday column after posing the question to Bills players Lorenzo Alexander and Richie Incognito, who both argued that being a great quarterback does not necessarily make Brady a great athlete. Regardless of how you define athletic greatness, Sullivan argues that with Brady, "you're watching one of the best athletes who ever lived. When he's done, you'll never seen anyone like him again."

A cut above: Speaking of greatness, Bill Belichick does just about everything better than his coaching peers — even when it comes to releasing a player from the Patriots. Tim Graham explores his method.

Pregame primer: Jay Skurski provides everything you need to know before today's big game against the Patriots. Mark Gaughan breaks down the X's and O's, highlights the matchups to watch, and illustrates the "bear front" defense New England will likely use to slow down the Bills' running game. Meteorologist Don Paul forecasts the weather.

Injury report: The Bills will be without WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), LT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring) and G John Miller (ankle). TEs Charles Clay (knee) and Nick O'Leary (back), OTs Seantrel Henderson (illness) and Conor McDermott (chest), WR Jordan Matthews (knee), DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest), and FB Patrick DiMarco (ankle) are all questionable. DE Trey Flowers is one of eight Patriots listed as questionable.

Inside the Bills: More than 25 members of the organization will wear customized footwear today as part of the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign. Learn what their motivations are in this Skurski feature.

Inside the NFL: Bills beat reporter Vic Carucci details the league's recent agreement with the Players Coalition and questions whether it will end protests during the national anthem. Related: Carucci's power rankings.



Sports Talk Sunday: Carucci, Sullivan and columnist Bucky Gleason will preview Bills-Pats on WGRZ at 10 a.m. today. Preview the show here.

View from Vegas: The Patriots are winning games and covering the spread in recent weeks. Will those trends continue today?

Advanced stats: E.J. Gaines has been an impactful member of the Bills' secondary when in the lineup. Pass-catching running backs have fared well against the Patriots defense this season.

Bills Backers: Northstar Cafe connects WNY ex-pats in San Francisco.

Trivia: Where does LeSean McCoy rank on the Bills' all-time rushing list entering today's game?


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