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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Feb 22 - 02:00 PM | Tue Feb 27 - 11:55 AM News Blitz 12/10/04

The Patriots are in the news with a rare off-field issue. All reports indicate Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis is in the crosshairs of Notre Dame as they attempt to replace Tyrone Willingham as head football coach.

Nick Cafardo and Mark Blaudschun collaborate on the Charlie Weis story in today's Boston Globe. The alleged pursuit of Weis by Notre Dame makes for a rare controversy here at Gillette Stadium. Among the related concerns is whether Weis would finish the season with the Patriots were he to take the Notre Dame job.

**Michael Felger** of The Boston Herald, **Jim Donaldson** of The Providence Journal, **Mike Reiss** of The MetroWest Daily News, and **Alan Greenberg** of The Hartford Courant also take on the Weis topic in their respective papers. While everyone else is reporting the interview could come in the next 48 hours, Donaldson seems to think the interview has already happened.

Whatever the case, Notre Dame has indeed asked for permission to interview Weis. They were under no obligation to ask, as they are a college team, but they did so as a courtesy. Weis is a Notre Dame alum, but did not play football in college. There is a precedent for this type of situation, as Tom Coughlin was a New York Giants assistant when he accepted the head coaching position at Boston College. Coughlin took the BC job late in the 1990 NFL season, and stayed with the Giants through their Super Bowl XXV championship before heading north to The Heights. In similar fashion, Nick Saban accepted the Michigan State job while a Bill Belichick assistant in Cleveland, and did double-duty until the NFL season ended.

In other news, Frank Dell'Apa of the Globe breaks down the Bengals explosive offense, one that has scored a combined 85 points over the last two weeks.

In his notebook, Dell'Apa brings to light some statistics regarding the Patriots offense this season. With 330 points scored this year, the Pats have a significant opportunity to eclipse the franchise record of 441 points in a season.

Felger features veteran linebacker Ted Johnson, who, after looking like a potential odd man out in training camp, has put together one of the finest seasons of his 10-year career.

In the* Journal*, Tom Curran tackles the issue of Tom Brady's statistics. As we have seen over the last few weeks, many are pointing out the fact that Brady's numbers have fallen off. Curran points out that while Brady's completion percentage has dipped, he is enjoying a career-best 13.2 yards-per-completion, which places him third in the league.

Curran also identifies a potential match-up problem in the form of Cincinnati's dynamic receiving duo of Chad Johnson and T.J Houshmanzadeh. The two tall receivers combined for a ridiculous 21 catches for 312 yards in last week's come-from-behind win over Baltimore, and look to present problems for the Patriots under-manned, under-experienced secondary.

In the Courant, Greenberg point out that the Corey Dillon trade worked out for both teams involved. While we are all very familiar with what Dillon has done here for the Patriots, it should be noted that his departure paved the way for the continued emergence of Rudi Johnson, who, with 1,105 yards so far this season, is on pace to break Dillon's franchise record of 1,435. Furthermore, the Bengals used the second-round pick they received from the Patriots to draft safety Madieu Williams, who, by all accounts, has been one of their top defensive players this season.

On, former Globe writer Michael Smith opines Weis is the perfect candidate for Notre Dame, and suggests they should make him an offer sooner than later.

Finally, Pats owner Robert Kraft was featured on last night's episode of The Apprentice. Kraft was among a panel of four business-folk employed by host Donald Trump to help weed out the candidates.

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