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Patriots.com News Blitz - 12/20/2007

Bill Parcells has upstaged the Patriots ... at least in the Miami area.

Down in South Florida, the upcoming Dolphins-Patriots match-up has been overshadowed by the apparent hiring of New England's former football coach. Parcells will reportedly oversee the Dolphins' football operations now that owner Wayne Huizenga has assured him he won't sell the team, as had been his intent recently.

Today's Miami Herald offers a detailed look at the whirlwind past few days, when Parcells was rumored to be headed to the Atlanta Falcons, but instead turned them down to accept Miami's offer.

That paper also has news and notes from the Dolphins training complex in Davie, Florida, where DE Jason Taylor missed practice Wednesday. He was seen with his left foot in a protective boot.

Back here in Foxboro, the 14-0 Patriots aren't taking their one-win opponents for granted. Head coach Bill Belichick is making sure of that.

"Everybody came in today trying to predict what kind of day we were going to have and in the team meeting; we got about 45 minutes of humble pie," Asante Samuel said of Belichick in a Providence Journal feature today.

"Nobody expected it. I mean, he was just giving it to us, showing us what we need to do better, and everybody pops up on the tape. Nobody's perfect. Everybody's making bad plays or making mistakes, and he just wanted us to see that and realize that we need to improve in certain situations if we want to be a good team."

On Sunday, when the Pats host the Dolphins, nearly 70,000 fans will pack Gillette Stadium. It's safe to say few of them are as passionate about the Pats as Pennsylvania's Pat Noone. He's been named this year's Patriots Fan of the Year, in part because of what he told his wife before they got married.

"I told her, 'The Pats are No. 1 and you'll be No. 2,'" he revealed in an interesting feature in today's Boston Globe. "I told her if she can accept those terms, great, and if not, I'll understand and we can go along just being friends."

Remarkably, she accepted, and Noone had a Patriots logo built into his wedding ring. And that only begins to describe the lengthts to which he'll go to show his support for New England's favorite football team.

QUICK HITS

The Boston Herald explains how Rodney Harrison stays focused by hanging up the phone on family and friends who mention a certain subject.

"It's one of those deals that doesn't mean that much," he told The Boston Globe. "It would be nice, but we have bigger goals to tackle."

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