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Patriots.com News Blitz - 11/15/2006

Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe reports that the Patriots signed 43-year-old quarterback Vinny Testaverde yesterday. "Fortunately, both [Tom Brady and Matt Cassel] are healthy and we're happy with both of them," said Belichick, indicating that Testaverde will be the third quarterback.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald speaks with Testaverde's agent Mike Azzarelli about the veteran's addition to the team. Azzarelli said Testaverde never had a formal workout with the Pats, only an informal visit last month, and that he probably underwent a physical yesterday. Testaverde is expected at practice today in Foxboro.

The Providence Journal's Shalise Manza Young reports that Testaverde and Belichick have a long history together.

Just how is Brady, wonders Hartford Courant writer Alan Greenberg. "Is Brady injured?" Greenberg notes that Belichick's Patriots have always carried at least three quarterbacks on the roster. Brady was 10 when Testaverde entered the league.

The Boston Globe's Mike Reiss reports that two days after the Patriots and Jets tore up the muddy Gillette Stadium playing field, team officials took the matter one step further: They had the entire field torn up for good. With two weeks before the next home game, Patriots owner and CEO Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft moved quickly to replace the natural grass field with synthetic FieldTurf. The new surface is expected to be ready for the Bears game on Nov. 26. All told, 13 other NFL stadiums have synthetic playing surfaces, nine of which are FieldTurf.

The Boston Herald's Michael Felger speaks with receiver Troy Brown about the installation of FieldTurf in the stadium. "I'm a grass guy myself. I'm natural," said Brown last night. "It's not always going to be the way you want it, but that's part of football. You've got to have a little bit of history, don't you? It's just going to be (a mess) some time. That's the way it goes. That's the way it's supposed to be. Next thing you know, every stadium is going to have a dome or something like that." Center Dan Koppen speaks about the surface as well, saying, "It's really just like grass, I really don't mind it at all. It's just that you don't get dirty."

Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant reports on the change of playing surfaces as well.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald discusses recent Patriots game plans, noting that the spread formation worked well for Brady and the offense against Minnesota. Against the Jets and Colts, the Patriots used more tight formations and both of those games were losses. Asked which he prefers, Brady said, "I always feel for me, for a guy who can't run, it's nice to have as many options as you can, because if you put two options out there and they're covered, then I'm pretty much (done). If you can put four or five out there for me, hopefully I'll find the guy who's open. And the ball has to come out much quicker when you're in a five-wide set because the protection is pretty much man-to-man up front."

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald reports that defensive end Richard Seymour went back to school. Shaun Toney, a seventh-grader at Roslindale's Washington Irving Middle School brought him. The visit was part of the NFL's "Take a Player to School" contest. Seymour spoke at an assembly on topics such as education, self-discipline and pride.

Eric McHugh of The Patriot Ledger reports that the Jets shook the Patriots last weekend by blitzing on 23 of 41 Patriots pass plays. Mchugh discusses the game and talks about upcoming games.

Glen Farley of The Enterprise reports that back-to-back losses have the Patriots concerned, but not panicking. "We've lost two games in a row. I don't think it's time to push a panic button and we're scrambling and saying, 'How are we going to win?" defensive lineman Richard Seymour said Monday.

USA Today has the Inside Slant on the Patriots, which was updated today

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