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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/28/2012
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com tries to predict which game will open the Patriots' 2012 season. Reiss ranks the most intriguing opening game as Broncos at Patriots, with the main storyline being Peyton Manning's Denver debut against Tom Brady. "If this is the choice, expect it to be in prime-time (Sunday or Monday night)," writes Reiss. Rounding out his top three potential openers: Randy Moss and the 49ers visiting Gillette Stadium, followed by the Patriots visiting the Baltimore Ravens in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game.
Boston.com shares a slideshow featuring the 12 new Patriots that were added in free agency this offseason, with Greg Bedard giving comments on each player. In commenting about OL Robert Gallery, Bedard writes, "Long coveted by Bill Belichick, the 6-7, 325-pounder gives the Patriots a veteran presence they lack and allows Marcus Cannon to develop at a slower pace. Gallery can play guard and tackle so he's good to have on Sundays with the 46-man roster."
Christopher Price of WEEI.com writes about 11 under-the-radar prospects for the Patriots to ponder. Here's a look at the players included in his list: Appalachian State WR Brian Quick, Bethune-Cookman DE/OLB Ryan Davis, UMASS TE Emil Igwenagu, South Dakota G/T Tom Compton, Presbyterian DB Justin Bethel, Furman CB Ryan Steed, Albion CB Chris Greenwood, Maine S Jerron McMillian and S Trevor Coston, and Merrimack LB Shawn Loiseau. In writing about Brian Quick, Price notes that the Patriots have shown extreme interest in the wideout, according to multiple sources. "The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder, a former high school basketball star, is relatively new to football, as he played just one year in high school before reaching college, so he's still developing. Regardless, there's plenty of pre-draft buzz around Quick, as his size and senior numbers (71 catches, 1,096 yards and 11 touchdowns) mean he likely won't last past the third round."
Jeff Howe of NESN.com reports that Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has beaten WR Brandon Lloyd in the first round of the Madden 13 cover bracket. Fan voting in the tournement-style bracket will determine which NFL player appears on the cover of the popular video game. Gronkowski will take on Vikings defensive end Jared Allen in the second round, where voting runs through April 4th. In a major upset, Texans running back Arian Foster defeated Jets QB Tim Tebow in the first round. Vote for Rob Gronkowski here.
Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com reports that the Patriots are showing interest in free-agent DT Amobi Okoye. The former 10th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Okoye spent last season in Chicago on a one-year deal. Curran writes, "He's kind of stubby and a little undersized for a two-gapping player so he may have minimal relevancy for the Patriots in a 3-4 scheme. But his speed and power -- still untapped, it seems -- should make him a decent penetrator."