SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The New England Patriots are headed to Denver for an AFC showdown with the Broncos.

“Teams change,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew, noting the Patriots are much improved since the beginning of the season. “Sometimes we talk about coaches — you know this guy’s a good coach, that guy’s a good coach — and we forget that coaches are teachers. We kind of think that their team is the same as the team that they started with. But if they’re good coaches and good teachers… rookies aren’t rookies anymore. Young players who haven’t played aren’t young players who haven’t played anymore. Players who are new aren’t new anymore. And they’ve been coached and they’ve gotten better. Sometimes pundits will say the same thing about teams all year, but if they’re taught and they’re coached, they’re going to become better.”

Odds-makers list the Patriots as six-point underdogs for Sunday’s game.

The Chargers stayed close with a successful on-sides kick in the fourth quarter before falling to the Bronco’s in Sunday’s AFC divisional game. Madden liked the kick, but has a complaint about kickers.

“I’m getting upset with kickers now… They think they’re cute,” John said, noting their exemption from team uniform rules. “Have you noticed that they’ll have one colored shoe for their plant foot and one colored shoe for their kicking foot… just because they can. They’re becoming individuals. They’re becoming divas. Of all things that kickers shouldn’t be it’s a damn diva.” (8:00)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 am Mondays and Fridays on KCBS during the NFL season.


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