This week there has been talk of change coming from the two NFL teams that may need it the most. The New England Patriots, the league's worst team at 1-15, and the Minnesotta Vikings, probably the most disappointing, could have new personnel in place by next week.

The Patriots' new chief operating officer, Sam Jankovich, skipped New England's 13-10 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday to meet with what he called an unnamed "consultant to NFL teams" in Miami. Patriots sources said Jankovich met with his friend, Norman Braman, a Miami car dealer and the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.

A team source also said Jankovich hopes to replace first-year coach Rod Rust and other people in the organization by the end of next week.

The weekend before Christmas, Jankovich, the former University of Miami athletic director, met with Dallas Cowboys Coach Jimmy Johnson, the former Hurricanes coach.

"Nothing against the people working with the Patriots now," Jankovich said, "but there have to be new thoughts, new ideas. I want people gearing up and analyzing where Buffalo and Miami {the top teams in the AFC East} are at. I want to make sure we are doing the things we need to do to be playing at their level."

Jankovich said he will have dinner with Director of Player Operations Joe Mendes and General Manager Patrick Sullivan on Thursday. He plans to meet with Rust on Friday.

When asked if it was a wise decision to leave his job as defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers to become coach of New England, Rust said: "I chose to come here. I probably shouldn't have."

Vikings Coach Jerry Burns said this week he also will be making changes. Though he wasn't specific, those in and out of the organization expect Burns to fire some of his assistants. It has been suggested by the media covering the Vikings, last-place finishers in the NFC Central at 6-10, that what Burns really needs to change is his personality.

"I am what I am," Burns said. "I could go in {the locker room} and raise hell and just rip, but what would be the purpose?"

Quarterback Rich Gannon severely criticized his teammates on Saturday, saying the Vikings should "get rid of the guys that talk and aren't willing to work."

He told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "I don't think talent is the problem here. I just think it's attitudes and personalities. We lose four games in a row and we still think things are okay around here. . . . Now we've got a bunch of guys who want to talk a bunch of garbage. These guys think they are pros so they don't need to prepare. But it doesn't matter how many Pro Bowls you've made, what your name is or how much money you make. It's what you do on the field and during the week to prepare." Kelly Improving

The Buffalo Bills received good news regarding quarterback Jim Kelly, who tore ligaments and cartilage in his left knee on Dec. 16. Coach Marv Levy said yesterday that Kelly is scheduled to undergo a rigorous conditioning program this week and could begin practicing on Monday. Buffalo has a bye in the playoffs this weekend because of its AFC-best record of 13-3.

Levy said he doesn't care whom the Bills play the following weekend. If Houston defeats Cincinnati, the Oilers will travel to Rich Stadium to play the Bills. If the Oilers lose, the Bills will host the winner of the Miami-Kansas City game.

"It would be a huge mistake to have a wish list," Levy said. "That's because we have no control over whom we're going to be playing. All we know is we're going to play a . . . good team."

Williams Bucked Colts

Former Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams was approached by the Indianapolis Colts this season after Jeff George and Jack Trudeau went down with injuries. A source said Williams told the Colts he wasn't in shape. It is likely that Williams soon will be approached by the World League of American Football. . . .

The Oilers are the first true run-and-shoot team to make the playoffs. When former coach Jerry Glanville took them to the playoffs they used a version of the offense that Glanville calls the Red Gun, but it wasn't their base offense and there were more running plays involved. The current Oilers always use the run-and-shoot. They beat up the Pittsburgh Steelers and the league's No. 1 defense on Sunday, scoring 34 points. . . .

The San Diego Chargers entered their season finale wanting to find out if rookie quarterback John Friesz is NFL material. They liked what they saw in a 17-12 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders.

Friesz, who replaced Billy Joe Tolliver, performed adequately in his debut, completing 11 of 22 passes for 98 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

"I think we found out something in the kid, and the things we found out are good," General Manager Bobby Beathard said. "So it should put us in a better position. It's only one game, but I think going into training camp next year with these two guys it will be a good competition."