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Patriots.com News Blitz 10/15/04

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe highlights the fact that while Bill Belichick is having unparalleled success in the professional league, his predecessor, Pete Carroll is having similar success in the college game, as the head coach of defending national champion USC. "The last two coaches Patriots owner Bob Kraft hired are arguably the most successful football coaches in America right now," writes Cafardo.

Cafardo also updates the injury to Corey Dillon, who is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. "If Dillon can't play, the Patriots would likely go with a running back by committee, with Kevin Faulk, Rabih Abdullah, and Patrick Pass likely sharing the load. Dillon would be missed. He leads the team in rushing with 417 yards on 84 carries (a 5-yard average)," writes Cafardo.

Michael Felger of The Boston Herald writes that though Faulk is back and ready to play, he expects Dillon will give it a go. "Faulk is also well aware of what kind of football player Dillon is, which is one that doesn't miss games very often. That's why Faulk is not anticipating stepping into Dillon's role as the Patriots primary ball-carrier Sunday against Seattle," writes Felger. "He expects Dillon will once again fill that role himself."

Felger looks at the myriad injuries currently plaguing the offensive skill positions, but notes that the team has ways of working around such problems. "Regardless of all the shifting bodies, Brady believes the Pats have the depth to get the job done. The three constants at the skill positions have been receivers David Givens and David Patten, and tight end Daniel Graham," writes Felger.

In his notebook, Felger reports help may be on the way, as the Patriots appear close to signing former Bills wideout Bobby Shaw, who caught 56 balls last year. "Shaw, who was released by Buffalo Wednesday, was at Gillette Stadium yesterday meeting with the Pats coaches and other personnel," Felger reports. "If all goes well, it's possible Shaw could be in uniform in time for Sunday's game against Seattle."

Tom Curran of The Providence Journal looks ahead to Sunday's game, focusing in on Seattle' two most potent offensive weapons, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and running back Shaun Alexander.

In his Patriots notebook, Curran recounts Belichick's comments from yesterday's press conference regarding the progress of rookie defensive lineman Vince Wilfork. Curran also updates the injury report and the situation with Bethel Johnson.

In the Journal's NFL notebook, it is reported the NFL is promising a tasteful Super Bowl halftime show, after last year's unpleasantness.

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call explores the maturation process Matt Hasselbeck has enjoyed during his time in Seattle. "When he arrived in Seattle three years ago, Matt Hasselbeck's desire to win was a coach's dream. His unwillingness to listen was a nightmare," writes Parente.

In his notebook, Parente reports on the recent injuries to P.K Sam and Tyrone Poole, and looks at how that will impact the Pats game plan this weekend. Parente also updates Brady's sore mouth, and highlights Mike Holmgren's effectiveness in building the Seahawks into the playoff team they are today.

Alan Greenberg looks ahead at the tough stretch the Pats face over the next four weeks, and asserts things may not roll along as smoothly as the first four games did.

Ian Clark of The Union Leader takes on what is becoming the Bethel Johnson scandal, and reports the second-year man from Texas A&M does not seem to be learning his lessons. "Obviously not, since Johnson was goofing off in the locker room yesterday," writes Clark. "As the media's locker room session opened, there was Johnson taking batting practice with an umbrella as running back Patrick Pass pitched a soft, squishy type ball."

Brady, an avid links man, is featured in the November issue of Golf Magazine. Peter Richmond chronicles Brady's day on the course at the Riviera Country Club, with an eye towards hi play on the football field as well. "Brady marches up the fairway, expecting things to improve. No: willing things to improve. For Tom Brady, two-time Super Bowl MVP, a bad start is just another chance for a comeback. He soon heads for the fourth tee, leading with his dimpled chin," writes Richmond.

On ESPN.com, John Claytonhighlights the Patriots-Seahawks battle as the game of the week. "Though they are the best team in football, the Patriots aren't constructed to blow out opponents … unless the foes are terribly inept. That gives the Seahawks hope of being competitive in this game. What also gives them hope is that they are 2-0 on the road, matching their win total away from home last season," writes Clayton.

Also on ESPN.com, Michael Smithlooks at the Seattle defense, under the control of accomplished defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes. "Rhodes' recipe is to give you a lot of a little. These days, when complexity rules, that qualifies him as different," writes Smith. "But every year, Rhodes, who declines most interview requests, gets the same results. He's had a top 10 defense in five of seven seasons as a coordinator."

Greg Garber of ESPN.com notes the Patriots are a team who follow trite clichés, particularly Belichick's one game at a time mantra. Garber also blows up the tickets from last week's game, and highlights the clever subtleties that commemorated the team's nineteenth consecutive win.

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