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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/17/2008

There's sure to be a vastly new look to the Patriots defensive backfield in 2008, thanks to the offseason defections of DBs Asante Samuel, Randall Gay, and Eugene Wilson.

The safety spot, however, should remain fairly stable, with returning veterans Rodney Harrison and James Sanders expected to retain their starting positions.

Today's MetroWest Daily News offers an analysis of New England's secondary situation.

"Our guys are veteran players who are smart and play the game the way it's supposed to be played," Harrison noted in the story. "We're well prepared and we play extremely hard."

"I learn from Rodney," Sanders acknowledged. "I try to come in each year like I'm a rookie. I constantly learn, ask questions and always try to get better and more consistent on the field."

The Boston Herald, meantime, goes searching for some remaining bargains for the Pats on the free agent market.

That paper also takes a nostalgic look back at the career of WR Troy Brown, who appears to have played his last game in New England.

"It's funny," said former Patriots QB Scott Zolak, "[former Pats head coach] Bill Parcells was always cutting Troy and bringing him back. He'd say, 'I don't even know why I'm cutting you. Something's just going to happen to make me regret it.' "

And as we approach the NFL Draft next month, many eligible players will continue to be interviewed and worked out by pro teams, including the Patriots.

One such player is USC linebacker Thomas Williams, who detailed his recent workout with the Pats on yardbarker.com. Here's a sample:

"They had me do 8-10 drills to see how my hips turn, how I catch the ball and how I break on the ball. In all, it lasted about 25 minutes. I think they were trying to get me tired but that's one of my strengths I don't get tired ... they asked me a couple times during the workout 'Are you sure you're not tired? Do you need some water.' [I said] 'No sir, let's keep going.'"

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