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Patriots.com News Blitz - 5/18/2009

An update on Maroney's shoulder injury, plus getting acquainted with two veteran newcomers to the Patriots.

After talking cryptically about it last season, Laurence Maroneyopened up a little about his shoulder injury that ended his 2008 season last October.

He spoke over the weekend to The Boston Globe *and *Boston Herald.

The Globe also caught up with veteran free agent long snapper Nathan Hodel, who's recovering from a knee injury.

"I'm cleared to do the minicamps and everything right now," said Hodel. "I just had to get a little something fixed. I just flew to St. Louis to meet with the doc that did it, and he cleared me to do all my stuff now. I've been in [Gillette Stadium] with the trainers, who are a great group of guys, and they've been helping me work real hard to get it right. I don't see any problems."

Meanwhile, *The Sun Chronicle *chatted up tight end Alex Smithrecently.

"I heard nothing but good things about this organization," he said of his first impressions of his new team. "Their success speaks for itself. They've been very successful over the last few years, so I was definitely excited for the opportunity to come over here."

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