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Small ball works for Patriots

In a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com, senior writer Greg Garber writes on how the Patriots are winning with small ball, getting big-time production from undersized players Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Danny Woodhead.

"In a league in which size matters most -- the average player is 6-2, 248 pounds and the average wide receiver is 6-1 -- three of Brady's most effective targets are five inches and more than 50 pounds below the norm," Garber writes. "By season's end, Welker, Branch and Woodhead might be shorter than Brady's Medusa-esque hair."

Garber compares the small-ball approach to other examples from the Patriots' past in which the team has gone the unconventional route.

As for how he's thrived in a big man's game, Branch summed it up this way: "Heart -- it's all heart, work ethic. It's all about what you put in during the offseason. Everybody thinks you've got to be tall, strong, you've got to be fast to play the game, and it's not that way."