With New England's preseason finale just hours away, many media outlets have published "things-to-look-for" stories for tonight's contest in New Jersey, including the *Boston Herald*, *Boston Globe*, *Providence Journal*, and MassLive blog.
In other news, head coach Bill Belichick is undoubtedly one of football's all-time great coaches. He's also one of the best in an area you might not immediately consider, according to some.
For example, there's an extensive feature today in Forbes magazine about Belichick’s mastery of media manipulation.
"One of the misconceptions about Belichick is that he has no use for the media. In fact, he knows precisely how to use the media," the author declares and goes on to use anecdotes and interviews from beat reporters to validate his argument. It's a worthwile read.
Not much is known about how Tom Brady will spend his upcoming four-game NFL suspension. The QB is being tight-lipped about his plans for this month after tonight preseason finale in New York, but the Chicago Tribune has at least a minor detail about why Brady will be back at his college alma mater for a brief time.
Boston.com also has a lengthy piece about how else Brady might spend his month away from the Patriots.
A topic that just won't seem to go away is this perceived dyanmic between Brady and his backup, Jimmy Garoppolo. The Boston Globe has another feature on this relationship today.
"There's a little competitiveness in all of us, but at the end of the day, we're a team and we're all trying to hope for the best for each other. I think Tom is sincere about that. But we'll find out," the paper quotes Garoppolo from a recent radio interview.
Meanwhile, Brady has teamed up with former Giants DE Michael Strahan to produce a sports-themed documentary airing this fall, as our own Lifestyle page editor shares with you.
Elsewhere, with final cuts looming this Saturday, special teams can be a way for many players to stick on 53-man rosters. An ESPN blog post examines some Patriots who may fall into this category.
The Providence Journal profiles one of those less-heralded players, second-year man Geneo Grissom.
"I always make sure when I go out there I try to leave it all on the field," the 24-year-old told the ProJo. "That's my goal and as for how I think I'm doing, that's more for the coaches to decide. But at the end of the day when I go home and lay my head on the pillow I make sure that I can be happy with my performance."
CSNNE.com chose to feature rookie CB Cre'von LeBlanc as a potential sleeper to make the Patriots final 53-man roster.
Finally today, from WEEI.com, LB Dont'a Hightower says he feels like New England's play-making defense this preseason is poised for something special during the regular season.
"Definitely feel like we're making a lot of great strides in the right direction," he said in a radio interview on the station. "We definitely feel like we've got something special, and we try to take advantage of that every day, whether it's in the meeting rooms or on the field."