BOSTON (CBS) – Bert Breer of the NFL Network called Toucher & Rich Wednesday morning to provide the latest NFL news and topics of discussion.

The first question for Bert was if the Patriots have any interest in Ed Reed, who was recently released by the Houston Texans.

“Reed to me just doesn’t fit,” said Breer. “You look at their safeties and both [Devin] McCourty and [Steve] Gregory have cornerback experience. They like having safeties that can really, really run…and that’s just not Ed Reed anymore.”

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After talking Reed, the conversation shifted towards Monday night where the Patriots travel to Carolina to face the Panthers. Winners of five straight and holding opponents to low scores in each game, is this Carolina defense legit?

“I think the defense is for real,” said Breer of the Panthers. “[Luke] Kuechly is a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and all together that’s a defense that’s so young in so many spots I think they’ll continue to get better as the year goes on.”

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However, Breer said the way to exploit the Carolina defense is to attack their weak secondary. For the Patriots to do that, Breer believes they must spread the field with five receivers and go empty backfield.

“I think the Patriots can find ways to get the strengths of that defense off the field,” said Breer.

Breer also gave his take on running back Shane Vereen and cornerback Aqib Talib’s availability for Monday night, and what their impact will be going forward. Vereen will be fine but Breer is worried about Talib’s hip injury, one that “stretches all the way back to Tampa.”

To hear Breer weigh in on the AFC West, Peyton Manning’s ankle and the tight NFC North race, listen below:


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