FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It has almost become part of NFL lore: You can’t beat the Patriots when Coach Bill Belichick has two weeks to prepare for a team.

The Patriots under Belichick have won eight straight games after their bye week, when Belichick has had two weeks to prepare for an opponent. They are 9-2 overall after byes under the coach heading into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I feel like overall our team came back with a good level of energy on Tuesday and Wednesday practices,” he said. “I don’t have any complaints or any issues with what they’ve done. I think that they’re trying to get ready to go. Hopefully we’ll be there.”

The Patriots juggled their roster Friday, announcing the release of veteran cornerback Leigh Bodden. Bodden started one game this season after missing the entire 2010 season due to injury.

The already-thin cornerback ranks took another shot when rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling didn’t practice Friday and was listed as doubtful while still attempting to come back from a hip injury.


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