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Coaches' leftovers: Megatron a top target

Leftovers from Tuesday conference calls with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels:

Getting physical with Megatron. Calvin Johnson is one of the most complete receivers in the NFL, if not all-time. The Patriots can try to get physical with him, but there is a reason he is called “Megatron.”

“You have both sides of the coin with him,” Patricia said. “He’s a big, physical, strong player that is good if you are up there on him and even if you are off of him. So, it’s a big challenge for us to see if we can stop that from happening in either situation. I don’t think there is one definitive answer to say this is how you play this guy because I think he has certainly proved that if you are on him, off him, you double him, three guys on him, guys over the top, guys underneath, I think he has been extremely productive in all those situations.”

It’s not all about Megatron. While Johnson gets most of the attention offensively with Detroit, wide receiver Golden Tate is having an impressive season with 68 receptions for 950 yards and three touchdowns. Tate continues to produce even with the return of Johnson.

“Golden Tate is an extremely explosive player,” Patricia said. “Great run after catch or run with the ball in his hands whether it is a reverse-type play or short pass or a deep pass where he can now get the ball in his hands and make things happen in open space. So certainly tackling is an issue and covering him.”

Possibility of Arrington playing major role again. In the win over the Colts, cornerback Kyle Arrington matched up with receiver T.Y. Hilton for most of the game and strung together a stellar performance. With Tate playing with a similar style to that of Hilton, there is a chance for Arrington to make his mark once again.

“Certainly Detroit has a whole different set of elements that Indianapolis had or Denver had,” Patricia said. “As far as the defense in general, we are going to put everybody in the best position to match up a position and defend the team that we are playing that week to the best of our abilities. Certainly we are going to use everybody we can who is active for the game to have a role and to out there and help us in some capacity whether that is from the defensive line to the linebackers to the DBs.”

No word on return of Siliga yet. Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga is eligible to come off of the team’s injured reserve with a designation to return list any day now. He could have started practicing last week. He is now eligible to play against the Lions, if he is healthy.

“I will make sure that there won’t be any delays in our announcements when [Siliga’s] status changes,” Belichick said.

Value of the first possession. The Patriots have scored touchdowns on their first possession in three of the past four games. Avoiding slow starts has been a key factor in the win streak.

“I think that to prepare hard all week for the opponent and try to put together the things you feel the best about going into the game each week and try to do that right off the bat as much as you can to get an opportunity to get the lead,” McDaniels said. “I think establishing the lead in any game has been a critical statistic in our league for a long time. And playing from ahead is an important factor in every game.

“We try to allow our guys to go out there and do some things they feel comfortable doing and let them play fast and aggressive.”