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Patriots.com News Blitz - 10/10/2006

The Boston Globe's Mike Reiss offers thoughts from coach Belichick and Patriots players on the field conditions in Gillette Stadium. "I don't think anybody in this organization is happy about it, or thinks it's in good condition," said Belichick yesterday.

In The Boston Globe's Patriots Notebook, Reiss talks about newly acquired wideout Jabar Gaffney. Also included are thoughts from Heath Evans, the Patriots team captains and Laurence Maroney.

The Pats bye week is officially here, and John Tomase of the Boston Herald takes a look at where they were before the bye last season. The '05 Patriots were 3-3 entering that bye week after a lackluster, 28-20 loss to the Broncos.

The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian explains that the middle of the field can best be described as "green paint covering sand." Miami kicker Olindo Mare also speaks about the conditions.

The Boston Herald also reports on safety Rodney Harrison, whose play is still improving. He's returning from a season-ending knee injury he sustained a little over a year ago. Other Pats defensive backs weigh in on Harrison's improvement as does Belichick.

Boston Herald writer John Tomase reports the facts after rumors began circulating that Patriots guard Stephen Neal was considering a career as an Ultimate Fighter. Neal wrestled on the same college team as UFC champ Tito Ortiz.

The Herald's Albert Breer reports on the critical role being played by Troy Brown, who seems to be Tom Brady's closest thing to a go-to guy. The other four Patriots receivers have a combined 12 games in Pats uniforms.

According to a poll taken by the Boston Herald, fans named Asante Samuel the player of the game against Miami. He won with 77 percent of the voting population. The offensive line didn't make the grade, however.

Michael Felger offers the Boston Herald's Patriots report card. The defensive line came up big with an 'A'. The offensive line, however, didn't make the grade.

Hartford Courant writer Alan Greenberg reports that the Patriots earned a few days off during the bye week. They have a two game lead over their nearest pursuers in their division.

Ron Hobson of The Patriot Ledger* *reports that the Patriots were prepared for Miami's offense last weekend. Asante Samuel, who had two picks, attributed his stellar performance to preparation.

Eric McHugh of The Patriot Ledger* *reports on special teams specialist Mike Wright. Wright blocked a kick against Miami and then tackled the Phins punter on a bobbled snap.

Rick Foster of the Sun Chronicle* *reports on a recent philanthropic donation made by Pats owner Robert Kraft to the Hockomock YMCA's Foxboro branch.

Ian Clark of [The Union Leader* ](http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Patriots report: Pats will have a good bye&articleId=711a6260-9b87-4f99-86484a5c22021282)*offers his Patriots report card evaluating their performance against the Dolphins in a position-by-position breakdown.

Don't forget to check out USA Today's Inside Slant on the Patriots, updated weekly.

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