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Patriots.com News Blitz - 08/12/05

Today's news blitz revolves around the Patriots preseason openers tonight against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown stadium. Mark Farinella of the Sun Chronicle, Ian Clark of the Union Leader and Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant all offer a game preview.

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that Belichick views preseason games as a continuation of the player evaluation process that had started at the beginning of training camp. "We're evaluating a couple of things," Belichick said. "One, individual players. Two, the combination of players and how different combinations work together. Three, [we're] evaluating where we are on our scheme and how well we're able to execute certain things. And four, we're evaluating the overall conditioning, the playing levels of obviously the individual players, and our team as a whole in preparation for the regular-season opener."

The Patriots preseason opener tonight will debut in HD on Channel 5 at 7:30pm reports Bill Griffith of the Boston Globe. The production is a collaboration of Kraft Sports Productions and WCVB Channel 5.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald reports that special teams will be a point of emphasis in tonght's Patriots preseason opener. How players contribute on special teams will be an important factor in determing their overall value with the team. "The best thing for any young player is to go out there and light it up in the kicking game," Belichick said yesterday. "That's going to lead to more opportunities on offense and defense. Jobs are certainly available, particularly based on our performance last year.''

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal reports that the Patriots go into tonights preseason opener against the Bengals with some uncertainty in regards to Tom Brady. Felger notes that the quarterback barely threw at all during camp this week and was spotted wearing a black compression sleeve on his arm during Tuesday morning's workout. Felger also digresses to say the lack of throwing this week may also be to give QB's Rohan Davey, Matt Cassel and Doug Flutie more reps to better learn responsibilities against Cincinnati tonight.

Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant offers a story on Patriots rookie quarterback Matt Cassel, who looks to make his debut during tonights preseason opener. Cassel has looked very sharp in practice and it will be interesting to see how that all translates on to the field during tonights game.

Ever wonder who the strongest player on the Patriots is? How about the fastest, or the biggest? Who jumps the highest? Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers the answers to those questions.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily Patriots blog with notes and Patriots commentary.

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