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Patriots.com News Blitz - 5/30/2006

The Boston Globe reports that Tony Sardisco, the first captain of the Boston Patriots, died Sunday of a massive heart attack at his home in Shreveport, La. He was 73. Sardisco, a middle linebacker for the Pats in their inaugural year of 1960, was considered the leader of coach Lou Saban's defense. Sardisco later played guard for the team before retiring in 1962.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers a story on middle linebacker Monty Beisel. Reiss writes that playing linebacker in the Patriots' defense for the first time was challenging enough for Beisel, but to do it under the circumstances that unfolded through the season's first five games -- where he was suited up alongside fellow newcomer Chad Brown -- was almost over the top. "It was difficult," said Beisel, after a recent workout at Gillette Stadium. "Chad and I were both in the middle, we were new to the system, new to what we were trying to get done. Then we lose [Rodney] Harrison, then Richard [Seymour], and we have all our corners gone. The communication was tough." By the time some of the injured players returned, and the defense included more wrinkles, Beisel had lost his starting job and perhaps the faith of some of the team's followers. His current work is aimed at earning it back.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that there is nothing new to report on Deion Branch and his contract negotiations with the Patriots, but the time is approaching when it might become a front-burner issue. The Patriots mandatory camp this year comes June 12-14, and there is curiosity in Patriot circles over whether Branch will choose to miss the camp in a gesture similar to what Richard Seymour did last year.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal breaks down what four months of offseason work in the AFC East's front offices has yielded.

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

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