Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe reports that Tedy Bruschi took part in his first full-contact practice yesterday at Gillette Stadium. When asked when he is likely to see game action, Bruschi responded "I've always believed and trusted my coaches, ever since I was in high school. I've always trusted my coaches' judgment. Whatever my coach decides to do, I trust that." Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant also offers a similar report.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick responded to questions as to when he might make a decision to activate linebacker Tedy Bruschi. "We'll take it day to day and see where it goes,'' Belichick said. "He's an experienced player, so it's not like he's starting from scratch. He's a good, fundamental player, so he's got a lot he can fall back on."
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe reports that Corey Dillon has been slowed by a knee injury that caused him to miss the Denver game. "I'm going to get back as soon as possible," he said yesterday. "Hopefully sooner than later." Dillon also responded to questions that at 31, his age is playing into his lack of production this season. "For somebody to write that and say what they had to say, that's absurd. That's them. That's their own little conclusion about when people turn a certain age. Hey, more power to them. Me, I don't take it personal at all. I know I can still play this game and if I couldn't I wouldn't be here." Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald also offers a similar article.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that after weeks of Oakland and Carolina and Denver and Atlanta, the Patriots embark on the AFC East portion of their schedule this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. "It's nice to finally have a game where you know the cornerbacks and know the scheme,'' Brady said. "I think we're going on the eighth week of the year where that hasn't been the case. The team is starting to develop a little bit and we're starting to understand our roles. Now we can hopefully start making some solid improvement."
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini has escaped blame so far for a defense ranked among the worst in the league. Instead, critics have pointed their finger at a few select players as part of the problem such as linebackers Monty Beisel, Chad Brown and cornerback Duane Starks. "I don't think you can pinpoint some of our problems to, well, 'It's because Eric's out there, as opposed to Romeo,' for instance,'" linebacker Don Davis said. "I think he's done a good job of getting the team prepared. It's just been a series of unfortunate events that we're not as good as we probably should be at this time. But, we're going to continue to come together, and rally around him, and all play better."
John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports that cornerback Tyrone Poole may be closer to returning. Poole suited up but rode a stationary bike during kickoff drills at the start of practice, then stretched with his teammates. Though he didn't look game-ready, it's at least a step in the right direction for a player who has appeared in just six games since the start of last season. "We'll get out on the field and see how it goes,'' Poole said. Poole is listed as doubtful with an ankle injury for Sunday's game against Buffalo.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that Monty Beisel has been criticized recently for throwing his teammates in the secondary under the bus. Yesterday, Beisel chose to address the issue. "I don't regret saying anything I said, because they didn't quote the whole comment,'' Beisel said. "The whole comment was in regard to a statement made earlier by a writer as to the secondary struggling because they're trying to step up to help the inside linebackers with the run. In talking about that on the show, my comment was it's our responsibility as inside linebackers, as outside linebackers, to stop the run. It's not their concern to come down and try to help us. In saying that, I said just as it's not my concern to stop a 70-yard pass. That's the statement I made, and the end of the statement got into the paper. There's not a whole lot I can do about that."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that the Patriots have a good chance to get the running game back in gear against the poor run defense of the Buffalo Bills. Through seven games the Bills are allowing an average of 159 yards per game to its opponents. "In the National Football League, unless you make your corrections from the previous week, you will get big doses of that to see if you've made those corrections," said Bills free safety Troy Vincent. "We've struggled since Week One in the running game. We've given up big plays periodically in each of those football games. Until we make those corrections, we'll see that every week. They've had an additional week to break us down and an additional week for Corey (Dillon) to get back on his feet. He's a fine football player, one of the best backs in the league and a Pro Bowler a year ago."
Glen Farley of The Enterprise breaks down history of the Pats-Bills rivalry. Farley writes that this weekend's game will mark the 91st regular-season/postseason game between the two teams with Boston/New England holding an advantage of 49-40-1 in a series that has seen them outscore the Bills, 1,808-1,688.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.