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Moore re-signed, practice squad named

Linebacker Marty Moore was re-signed by New England just two days after being released to help the team get down to the 53-man roster limit.

Head Coach Bill Belichick the release and re-signing of Moore was a procedural move the team had to make. The spot for Moore was freed up because the Patriots released veteran defensive end Greg Spires on Monday.

Belichick said Moore's main focus will be on special teams, where he has been a solid performer throughout his seven-year career. He has 110 special teams tackles, including 17 last season for Cleveland. Moore also gives the team depth and experience at the inside linebacker spots. Ted Johnson and Tedy Bruschi both missed the preseason finale with injuries. Because Tuesday was the first practice for the team in a couple days, the health of the linebackers was not certain.

Belichick also announced his five-man practice squad, which included four players waived by the team on Sunday. Wide receiver Curtis Jackson, who had nine catches for 115 yards in the preseason, linebacker Matt Chatham, guard Drew Inzer and defensive lineman David Nugent all returned.

The fifth player signed to the practice squad was offensive lineman Tom Ashworth, a 6-4, 295-pound rookie out of Colorado. Ashworth started his college career as a tight end, but was moved to left tackle five games into his junior season because of injuries. He added 30 pounds to his frame and started at left tackle his entire senior season.

Brady the first backup

Belichick announced that second-year player Tom Brady would be the team's second quarterback behind Drew Bledsoe to start the season. Brady moved ahead of veteran Damon Huard, who signed with the team in the offseason.

Despite Brady's lack of experience (one game, 1-of-3 passing for 6 yards), Belichick was impressed with the youngster's performance in the preseason games. The coach stressed that the team was not unhappy with Huard's play or abilities, but that Brady had simply outplayed Huard.

In the four exhibition games Brady completed 31-of-54 passes for 384 yards and had two of New England's three touchdown passes, including a 54-yard screen pass to running back Kevin Faulk in the preseason finale. Brady did not throw an interception and was not sacked.

Huard was 13-of-19 for 119 yards and no touchdowns. He was picked off once and sacked twice.

Belichick said he was impressed with Brady's progress from his rookie season a year ago. He also praised Brady's leadership skills, saying Brady was already well respected by the entire team despite his youth.

Notes

Several former Patriots found new homes after the dust settled with roster moves around the league. Wide receiver Tony Simmons was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns, while kicker Owen Pochman was claimed by the New York Giants.

Offensive lineman Stephen Neal, the former two-time collegiate heavyweight wrestling champion was added to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad. Rookie wide receiver Ronney Daniels was signed to the Miami practice squad.

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