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News Blitz 8/5: Are the Patriots being over-hyped?

In this edition of the news blitz we check in on some of the news out of Richmond, VA as the Patriots take on the Washington Redskins for three joint practices this week.


ESPN Boston*'s Mike Reiss is down in Richmond this week for the Patriots joint practices with the Washington Redskins. Following yesterday's training camp session, Reiss highlighted some of his biggest observations from the day. Most notably, he said the Patriots offense looked far superior to the Redskin's top defense.

"I asked two veteran NFL reporters/analysts what they thought after practice and their feeling was that the Patriots showed they were in a different class than Washington throughout the practice," wrote Reiss.

This observation was a common one among the media representatives that attended Monday's practice in Richmond. Tom Curran and Mike Giardi of Comcast SportsNet broke down the whole practice and explained why the Patriots offense left the Redskins D gasping for air.

One of the highlights of the joint practices with the Washington Redskins is getting to see Darrelle Revis matched up against DeSean Jackson. Shalise Manza Young of the* Boston Globe* says that it's been fun to watch the two stars go head-to-head in practice and so far it seems like Revis is winning the battle.

"That matchup was on display at their first practice on Monday morning, with Jackson, signed by Washington as a free agent this offseason, seeming frustrated at times because of Revis' coverage," wrote Young.

While Shalise Manza Young was writing about Revis' matchup with DeSean Jackson, her colleague Ben Volin was busy thinking about how the Patriots will utilize Revis in the upcoming season. He says that it's likely the team will use him as the permanent left cornerback rather than matching him up with one receiver each game.

"Maybe it's not so crazy to keep Revis at LCB and Browner at RCB, and for the Patriots to play a lot of zone coverage," wrote Volin. "Certainly, that system worked well for the Seahawks, who just won a Super Bowl with Sherman playing strictly on the left side and Browner on the right before he got suspended."

The addition of Revis and Browner this offseason has certainly given the Patriots defense a 'swagger' that's been lacking in recent years. USA Today's Jarrett Bell says that this Patriots defense might be the best one they've had since the last time they won a Super Bowl.

"It's also been a long time since the Patriots had more questions about their offense than their defense -- which means they may actually be in the midst of developing the formula to finally win another championship," said Bell.


WEEI*'s Christopher Price also wrote an article on the Patriots renewed intensity and swagger. He says that the defense doesn't seem like it will have an issue when it comes to playing with an edge.

"On the field, that tone has manifested itself with a physical, attacking and aggressive style, one that is more hands-on than in year's past," wrote Price.

But with all this positive talk about the team, it begs the question, 'Are the Patriots being over-hyped?' Steve DeOssie joined Michael Felger and Bob Neumeier on CSN's "Sports Tonight" to discuss this topic and he thinks there are still a lot of questions on the Patriots roster.

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