Patriots’ Special Teamers Ready to Pounce on Reeling San Diego Unit

FOXBORO, Mass. — It sounds like the Patriots' special teamers are salivating over their shot to take down the Chargers' maligned unit.

San Diego has buried itself on special teams during three of its four losses this season. Two weeks ago, the Chargers surrendered two blocked punts in a four-minute stretch of the first quarter — of which the Raiders turned into a safety and a touchdown — and that could be a big area of concern for the Chargers this weekend against New England.

The Patriots' special teams unit has been on fire in 2010, and Friday morning, head coach Bill Belichick said special teams coordinator Scott O'Brien was as good as anyone he's ever coached with. Also, prior to the Patriots' last full practice before heading to San Diego on Friday, they held a brief special teams walkthrough, perhaps to clear up some last-minute focal points for the weekend.

Linebacker Tracy White, who leads the Patriots with eight special teams tackles, hasn’t noticed any changes in the Chargers' punt protection. After the Raiders beat the Chargers, they said they noticed some flaws in San Diego's punt protection, and they were clearly able to exploit them.

And you know if the Raiders saw them, the Patriots have certainly done the same.

"I think [the Chargers have] got the same type of guys that are blocking and stuff like that," White said of the punt protection. "So we're probably going to test that area and just run our plays that we have designed for them."

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