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Patriots.com News Blitz - 5/2/2006

In today's news blitz, Will Doug Flutie play one more season with the Patriots? The Boston Globe offers the report.

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that Doug Flutie will announce this week whether he plans to play one more season. Flutie, who has played 21 seasons in three professional leagues, returned to the Patriots last year, serving as backup quarterback to Tom Brady. "I still have that passion, but you've got to make that decision if you can stay healthy through the year," Flutie, 43, told the Associated Press at an appearance at Catholic Memorial High yesterday.

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe reports that the Patriots signed Alabama middle linebacker Freddie Roach as a rookie free agent. He was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection last season. They also added Vernell Brown, a cornerback from Florida, and Vanderbilt receiver Erik Davis. The News Journal in Delaware reported that Delaware State All-American safety/linebacker Sam Smith signed with the Patriots. The Tallahassee Democrat said Florida State safety Kyler Hall is expected to sign with the team as well. The Patriots drafted 10 players and will bring as many as 25 rookies to their rookie minicamp May 13-14.

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe and Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant write that Patriots first round pick, running back Laurence Maroney was at Gillette Stadium yesterday for the annual jersey presentation to the Patriots No. 1 pick. Also present at the ceremony was Patriots second round pick, WR Chad Jackson. The Patriots increased their team speed over the weekend with the addition of Maroney, the 21st pick of the draft, and Florida receiver Chad Jackson, a second-round pick taken No. 36 overall. Jackson, who joined Maroney at the stadium and received a Patriots winter jacket from owner Robert Kraft, has run a 4.29 40. His average of 10.2 yards per catch last season is not indicative of how he can stretch the field. Because he was the team's best wideout, he was put inside to be the top target (88 catches for 900 yards) in the Gators' short passing attack.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that wide receiver Chad Jackson said he was surprised to slip out of the first round, but happy to join the Patriots in the second round as the 36th overall pick. He expects to learn from veterans Troy Brown and Deion Branch. Like first-round pick Laurence Maroney, Jackson believes his big-play ability attracted the Pats. "I think so, my ability to make things happen after the catch," he said. "Turn little 5-yard routes into 20-yard gains and hopefully touchdowns."

John Tomase of the Boston Herald also writes that following a Patriots season that, by and large, lacked explosiveness, Laurence Maroney may just prove a revelation. The team's No. 1 draft choice, already labeled an All-Pro running back by Broncos offensive mastermind Mike Shanahan, makes no bones about it: He may be tough, he may run north-south, but he considers himself a home run hitter. "I feel like I can break one from anywhere on the field, given the right situation," Maroney said after being introduced at Foxboro Stadium yesterday. "Every time I get the football I'm trying to score. Hurry up and get off the field." The 21st overall pick out of Minnesota, Maroney brings some impressive credentials to the Pats. He rushed for 1,464 yards on 281 carries as a junior last year, scoring 11 touchdowns. He topped 40 carries in a game twice and topped 200 yards three times.

The Providence Journal writes that Laurence Maroney and Chad Jackson hope they can give the Patriots offense more big-play capability. The team's first two selections in last weekend's draft have the ability to score from anywhere on the field. Maroney, taken 21st overall, became the first running back at Minnesota to start his career with three straight 1,000-yard seasons. He had runs of 80 and 93 yards while playing for the Gophers, the latter for a touchdown against Wisconsin last season. Jackson, a second-round receiver from Florida, averaged only 10.2 yards per catch for the Gators last season. However, he said that was a result of coach Urban Meyer's offense, which utilized him in the slot. Jackson gained a school-record 22.3 yards per catch as a sophomore and had plays of 80 and 81 yards for the Gators. He is only the third player in school history to produce two receptions of 80 or more yards.

Eric McHugh of the Patriot Ledger offers his comments on each player of the Patriots 2006 draft class.

Glen Farley of The Enterprise takes a look at Patriots fourth round draft pick, kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes. Reiss also offers his latest Patriots mailbag.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.

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