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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed May 29 - 04:00 PM | Thu May 30 - 09:55 AM News Blitz - 12/15/2006

In today's News Blitz... Mike Wright will fill in for Vince Wilfork this weekend if Wilfork is unable to play, but Wright is also on the injury report with a sore shoulder.

Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe offers an interview with defensive lineman Mike Wright. Starting nose tackle Vince Wilfork injured his right ankle in Miami last weekend, and is listed as "Questionable" on this week's injury report. If Wilfork can't play, Wright will likely replace him. Benjamin discusses technique with Wright and the different strengths he and Wilfork bring to the game.

The Providence Journal's Shalise Manza Young reports that Wright is ready and able to fill in for Wilfork. Undrafted out of Cincinnati last year, Wright has seen regular time on the line this year, getting his first career start in week two against the Jets, when the Pats began the game in a 4-3. His stat line includes 24 tackles (16 solo), a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Hartford Courant writer Alan Greenberg reports that the Pats defense is preparing to play without Wilfork. Wilfork has not missed a game and has started every one since the 2005 opener. Greenberg explains that Wright is listed as "Questionable" on this week's injury report. "[Wilfork's] one of the rocks in the middle. He's one of the loads for us," said four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Richard Seymour, who could end up at nose tackle if neither Wilfork nor Wright can play.

Boston Herald writer John Tomase talks to linebacker Tedy Bruschi about a number of topics, including the state of his healing right wrist, his relationship with Terry Francona and a new book, due out next fall, that deals with his recovery from a stroke.

The Boston Globe's Patriots Notebook offers an interview with Bruschi, who talks about playing with a brace on his right hand. He's worn it all season since breaking the scaphoid bone in his wrist during training camp. Bruschi also shares his thoughts on how the defense accepts coaching. He said he's looking forward to Rodney Harrison's return, as well.

The Boston Herald's Patriots Notebook includes coach Bill Belichick's thoughts on comments made by Brady criticizing the team for not listening to the coaches. "I have all the respect in the world for Tom," Belichick said. "I think he has a real good sense of what this game is about, and what our team is about. Whatever he said, I would stand by." Also included are team notes from yesterday.

Michael Salfino of the Boston Herald takes a closer look at the theory that a good passing game can help a team's running game improve as well, the assumption being that keeping a defense on its toes is the best way to find openings. Salfino discovers that, "this year, there's no significant correlation between running and throwing."

Albert Breer of the Boston Herald takes a look at what new Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak brought with him to Houston from his days as the Broncos offensive coordinator. "I think watching Denver, knowing what Denver did against us and how they attacked us is certainly relevant," Belichick said. "I don't think it's the same, but I'm sure there will be some carryover."

Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports that when safety Rodney Harrison went down (he's missed the last five games), somebody had to step in and take his place. That somebody was James Sanders. "I feel like I have pretty good instincts for the game," Sanders said, not a hint of bravado in his voice. "But I'm young and it's going to take more experience on the field to acclimate with the speed of the NFL and the different type of plays they throw at you. I just need to constantly study and get better so I can anticipate a little more."

Eric McHugh of The Patriot Ledger reports on Brady's closing remarks in his Wednesday press conference. Brady entreated his teammates to listen better to coaches, and McHugh ponders the plea, wondering if it's a means to an end.

The Patriot Ledger's Eric McHugh discusses the Patriots injury report, elaborating on the health of Harrison, Wilfork and tight end Benjamin Watson. He also explains that fullback Patrick Pass was placed on injured reserve this week.

Tom King of The Telegraph takes a look at the Houston Texans. "The New England Patriots can be frustrated, angry and motivated as much as they want by being "only" 9-4 at this point in the season. But, perhaps they should consider the alternative: They could be the Houston Texans, who have been spinning their wheels since their first year in the NFL in 2002," writes King. "I think we made some headway this year as a football team," Texans coach Kubiak said. "but we're going to have to continue to make a lot more to have the depth and competition on our football team that gives us a chance to be successful in this league."

Michael Parente of the Woonsocket Call reports on Texans quarterback David Carr. "The more I watch David Carr, the more ways I can see him being dangerous," Pats linebacker Bruschi said. "I didn't realize he was so athletic with his scrambling ability and the way he makes good decisions with his arm. When you complete 69 percent of your passes, you know he's spreading the ball to his tight ends and running backs with accuracy."

Susan Bickelhaupt of The Boston Globe reports on the Fox broadcasters that announced the Pats-Lions game two weeks ago.That game was called by Matt Vasgersian and J.C. Pearson, the broadcast team listed sixth out of the network's six teams. "Matt is the play-by-play guy for the Padres; he's a young announcer who we're very high on," Fox spokesman Dan Bell said. "J.C. is a former defensive back for Lions and Chiefs.

Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan of The Boston Globe report that Tom Brady and "Six Degrees" star Bridget Moynahan have broken up.

Don't forget to check out USA Today's Inside Slant on the Patriots, updated today.

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