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Patriots.com News Blitz - 12/21/2006

It's hard to imagine the Patriots needed more motivation heading into Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, writes Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe. "Yet an added jolt has been delivered anyway, in the form of Pro Bowl voting." The only Patriot selected to this season's Pro Bowl was Richard Seymour, and some of the players are using it as evidence that they are not getting the respect they deserve. "If other people who vote don't have the respect for this team, I think we're kind of used to that," quarterback Tom Brady, who was vying for his fourth Pro Bowl appearance, said yesterday. "After what we've accomplished, maybe people just choose not to vote [for us]. [But] I think this team cares about one bowl and it certainly isn't the Pro Bowl."

Hartford Courant writer Alan Greenberg explains that Brady has his sights set on the Super Bowl. Does it matter to him that he wasn't selected to the Pro Bowl this season? "It matters very, very, very little," Brady said Wednesday. "You're judged in this game on Super Bowls, not Pro Bowls. Unless you never win a Super Bowl, and then you are judged on Pro Bowls. But guys on this team, what we're concerned about is winning the championship."

The Providence Journal's Patriots Notebook explains that the Pro Bowl is not atop the Pat's list of priorities. "The Pro Bowl is something every player would like to have on his résumé, but guys here know what the goal is. The goal is to win the Super Bowl," linebacker Rosevelt Colvin said. Also included are Patriots notes from yesterday.

The Boston Herald's Patriots Notebook reports that the Patriots added punter Tom Malone to the practice squad yesterday. Malone joins Danny Baugher, who's been punting on the practice squad since before Ken Walter was acquired. Walter was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. It appears the two 22-year-old rookies will be battling to see who goes with the team to Jacksonville on Christmas Eve. Also included are Patriots injury notes on RB Kevin Faulk and LB Mike Vrabel.

The Boston Globe's Patriots Notebook explains that safety Rodney Harrison has been upgraded to "Questionable" on this week's injury report. When Harrison was injured, he was told he could potentially return in approximately six weeks. Sunday's game would mark seven weeks since he sustained the injury. He practiced yesterday, but one guy who didn't practice yesterday is Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, who's been suffering from a hamstring injury. Included are short pieces on Taylor and a number of Patriots players.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports that Rodney Harrison is on record saying he would return this season and take his familiar spot in the Patriots secondary. He practically guaranteed it. The question is whether he will return Sunday against Jacksonville, next week in the regular-season finale against Tennessee, or in the Pats' first playoff game. Guregian believes Harrison will play this weekend against the Jaguars.

Shalise Manza Young of The Providence Journal reports that the Patriots two-minute defense is the best in the league, allowing only 16 points this season. The source of that strength? "A good front seven," safety Artrell Hawkins said. "That's really it. We have a good front seven, and they play aggressively. They're able to create pressure and get in a quarterback's face. I think when you have a good front seven, you have a good defense, in general, and you're able to make a lot of different things happen. Two-minute situations are just one facet of that."

Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports that Seymour was honored to be selected to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl, saying he felt blessed. "It's still humbling for me," Seymour said yesterday. "You can't take anything for granted in this league. I've always said I've had a blessed start of my career, and hopefully that can continue."

Chris Kennedy of The Republican explains that the Pro Bowl hasn't lost any of its luster for Seymour. "It's just an accomplishment to be considered one of the best in the league," said the defensive end, the only New England Patriots player selected to the AFC squad. "If you can't get excited about something you have accomplished, where's you passion? Where's you love for what you do?"

Eric McHugh of *The Patriot Ledger *takes a look back at the last meeting between the Patriots and the Jaguars, which went down in the postseason of last year. He examines some of the game's subplots and discusses how they'll likely play out now that almost a year has passed. Also included is McHugh's report card for the Pats-Texans game.

Mark Farinella of The Sun Chronicle explains that cornerback Asante Samuel was overlooked in Pro Bowl voting this season, despite being tied for the league lead in interceptions with eight. "You just have to go out there and play and let what happens speak for itself," Samuel said. "You guys know that you don't go out there on the field and try to work on (making the Pro Bowl), you go out there and you try to win."

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call explains that the Patriots are preparing for a physical game against the Jaguars. He takes a look back at the last meeting between these teams, which the Pats won 28-3. "They're a big team physically. They're probably as big as any team in the league," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "They're big at every position and they play a physical game. It'll be tough. We know that."

The Boston Herald's Dan Duggan talks to former Marshfield High School and Northeastern lineman Ryan Gibbons. Gibbons is on the Jaguars practice squad and will be on the sidelines when the Patriots travel to Jacksonville this weekend. "It's awesome," Gibbons said of his NFL experience. "It's been a dream that I've had for a while. To be here, is just the ultimate. You have to realize how lucky you are. That's what my father says everyday."

The Boston Globe's Bruce Mohl reports that the battle over ticket resale between the Patriots and StubHub rages on. StubHub Inc. accused the team of violating the Massachusetts antiscalping law and attempting to monopolize the resale of its own tickets. The countersuit by the San Francisco ticket reseller comes roughly one month after the Patriots sued StubHub for encouraging fans to flout the state's antiscalping law and the team's prohibition against reselling Patriots tickets for a profit. Patriots tickets routinely sell on StubHub for hundreds of dollars above face value.

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