Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe reports on the Patriots release of the injury report. Solomon writes that the Patriots didn't complain publicly about Falcons coach Jim Mora's handling last week of the Michael Vick injury situation, but may be using this weeks injury report as a statement. The injury reports lists 15 players that are probable for Sunday's game at Denver, indicating by the NFL definition that it is a "virtual certainty that the player will be available for normal duty." Belichick normally lists players as questionable, which means there is a 50-50 chance they will play. Solomon speculates that this change in injury reporting is most likely a response to last weeks Falcons injury report which listed Michael Vick as probable, was downgraded to questionable on Saturday and did not play in the game. Players of note on the injury report are LB Willie McGinest(finger), DE Richard Seymour(knee), RB Corey Dillon(ankle) and WR Troy Brown(foot). All were listed as probable. Expect some or all to be downgraded to questionable by the end of the week. Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald also offers a similar report.
Bill Griffith of the Boston Globe reports that the New England Patriots have launched Patriots On Demand, a virtual network in conjunction with Comcast and the NFL Network. The content available to Comcast's digital subscribers includes the "Patriots Video News", "Patriots All-Access," "Totally Patriots," "Patriots Football Weekly," and "5th Quarter" programs as well as locker room interviews and Bill Belichick's news conferences. Team-produced programs such as player profiles, cheerleader tryouts, and the making of the annual swimsuit calendar are also available under the Patriots virtual network on Comcast's On Demand.
Mark Farinella of the Sun Chronicle reports that the Patriots signed former Miami Dolphins defensive back Arturo Freeman to an undisclosed contract. The move came after the Patriots placed cornerback Chad Scott on the injured reserve list. Last season in Miami, Freeman started nine games at safety and tied for the team lead with a career-high four interceptions, including one against the Patriots in the final minute of their Dec. 20 game. He was released on Feb. 23 of this year and had been in training camp with the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that this weeks matchup between the Patriots and the Broncos involves the matching of wits between offensive genius Mike Shanahan and defensive genius Bill Belichick. "From a coaching standpoint, I've had the privilege of coaching in this league for a long time against a lot of great people, especially offensively. I think I have to put Mike right up there with any of them I've ever coached against," Belichick said. "I don't think there's anybody better at game-planning and creating problems for the defense. He takes a look at what you do and presents situations for you that are tough to deal with. It's always something that is a little bit different but it always kind of hits where it hurts the most." Tom Curran of the Providence Journal also offers a similar article. This weekend's game against the Broncos will be somewhat of a homecoming for Patriots Tom Ashworth and Daniel Graham reports Albert Breer of the MetroWest Daily News. "It's a neat experience to be able to do that," said Ashworth, who enrolled at Colorado in 1996, a year ahead of Graham. "Especially when you grow up, your whole life, going to the games there, knowing how passionate the people are about the Broncos." Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant also offers a similar article.
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe offers a story on Patriots fullback Patrick Pass. With Kevin Faulk out with a broken left foot, Pass has gotten more opportunities early in the season, and he has proved he can do the job. "Knowing your role is basically putting the team first," Pass said. "I've done everything I could do. I've won [individual] stuff in high school, and I've been the man. Winning with the team is the most important thing."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal reports that Broncos linebacker Al Wilson spoke with the New England media yesterday and noted how impressed he was with Tom Brady's coolness under pressure. "He's always calm, always laid-back and relaxed, and you never see Brady panicking," said Wilson. "And I think that goes off into the team, as well. When the team sees its quarterback relaxed, no matter what the situation, it gives them a sense of comfort, and that's what he's brought to the table. He's very knowledgeable. If you watch him on film, you see he doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He's definitely the best in the league right now."
Glen Farley of The Enterprise breaks down the series history of the Patriots vs. Broncos.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.