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Patriots.com News Blitz - 6/23/2006

The Marshfield Mariner reports that the Patriots are seeking volunteers for the 2006 Training Camp at Gillette Stadium from the last week in July through the second week in August. Interested candidates should send an email including their name and phone number to patriotsevents@patriots.com or call (508)698-8590.

The Republican shares an essay on Tedy Bruschi written by Julia Sadowski of Ludlow. Her essay earned second prize in a scholarship contest sponsored by the New England Patriots.

John Murphy of Yahoo Sports discusses the upcoming supplemental draft. Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks, Texas fullback Ahmard Hall, Iowa State defensive end/linebacker Jason Berryman and Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College linebacker Dave Dixon have gained entry to the NFL supplemental draft on July 13, according to the league's player personnel office. One potential supplemental draft prospect - former Minnesota running back Gary Russell - who was expected to replace New England Patriots rookie Laurence Maroney as the Golden Gophers' featured back this season - has not sought entry, according to the league office.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily Patriots blog with notes and quotes.

Reiss also offers his latest mailbag where he shares his thoughts about minicamp and answers readers questions about the kicker situation, Deion Branch, and more.

Previously In the Blitz...

Could the Patriots decide to pass on signing Ty Law? Michael Parente of the Woonsocket Call writes that the Patriots are one of three teams reportedly in the running, along with Kansas City and Arizona, but they might pass up the opportunity to reacquire the future Hall of Famer if Law's contract demands are too high for their payroll. Even after finishing 31st out of 32 teams in pass defense last year, the Patriots would be comfortable letting Law sign elsewhere because of the development of second-year cornerback Ellis Hobbs and the eventual return of several key players who suffered season-ending injuries in 2005. Hobbs finished with three interceptions in the final eight weeks of the regular season. His presence helped solidify a secondary ravaged by injuries and changed the complexion of New England's defense heading into the playoffs. Hobbs could continue to flourish in 2006 if he wins a starting job in training camp among a crowded defensive backfield.

Larry Weisman of USA Today offers an article on second-year offensive lineman Logan Mankins. Mankins became the first Patriots rookie offensive lineman to start every game since Damien Woody did it in 1999. Despite the constant patching and filling, the Patriots averaged 352 yards of offense a game, seventh best in the league. Mankins says he felt at home with this group from the beginning. "We're pretty loose," he says. "We're just a lot of jokesters. ... But it's all in fun. I'm not one of the pranksters, but I get my jabs in."

The Providence Journal offers it's NFL notebook and reports that the Patriots announced they will open training camp at Gillette Stadium on Friday, July 28, in Foxboro.

Robert Carroll of the Boston Globe offers the first in a series of articles about former prominent athletes from the New England area. The first article of the series takes a look at former Patriots wide receiver/special team's ace, Sean Morey. Carroll writes that a solid high school career(Marshfield High School) both on the field and in the classroom landed Morey at Brown University, where he was named the Ivy League Player of the Year in 1997. After a year on the Patriots' practice squad, and some time spent playing in Europe, he was cut by Bill Belichick late in 2000. Morey's journey took him to the Phildelphia Eagles and then finally to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where last year he was named special teams captain and a Pro Bowl alternate, as well as being a member of the Steelers Super Bowl team.

Mark Shanahan of the Boston Globe reports that The Disney movie "The Game Plan," which was supposed to start shooting in Boston next week, has postponed production because the star, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, ruptured his Achilles tendon preparing for his role. Disney announced yesterday the movie is on ice at least until the fall. Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa of the Boston Herald's "Inside Track" also offers a similar report.

The Lowell Sun reports that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will be the guest speaker at the Lowell High School Alumni Golf Tournament dinner on Monday, June 26, at Indian Ridge Country Club in Andover. The event raises money for Lowell High School scholarship programs.

Eric McHugh of the Patriot Ledger previews the top positional battles heading into training camp such as Martin Gramatica vs. Stephen Gostkowski in the battle to be Adam Vinatieri's replacement, Dillon vs. Maroney to be the starting running back and the competition between Reche Caldwell and Chad Jackson to be the No. 2 wideout.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe sits down Patriots vice president of player personnel, Scott Pioli and discusses the concept of team building. For Pioli and the Patriots, new challenges are always arising in the team-building process. "There's a natural attrition on every NFL roster," Pioli said. "Seven years later, depending on when a player is picked up, they're at different points in their careers -- some guys toward the end, others entering their prime, others entering free agency. Those are the things you have to keep in mind; there is always going to be that cycle and motion of players at different points in their careers. That's where the personnel job differs from the coaching job. The coaches are focused on this week, right now, this moment. From a personnel standpoint, you have to think about that, but you also have to keep an eye on the future."

The Boston Globe sports writers each chime in with their grades for the Patriots offseason moves as well as several readers who also offer up their opinions.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that amid all the depth chart speculations, out-of-shape ruminations and other minutia from Patriots minicamp, a moment of appreciation is probably in order for the player who deserves it more than any other. Troy Brown is back for more, 13 years after Bill Parcells took him in the eighth round of the 1993 draft. With Deion Branch holding out and veteran David Givens lost to free agency, Brown was once again a focal point of the receiving corps at minicamp. And while Brown doesn't quite have the jump in his step that allowed him to catch 198 passes between 2001-2002, he still has good hands and an excellent feel for the game.

USA Today's "Inside Slant" also discusses Troy Brown's long tenured stay with the Patriots. In 13 seasons, all of them with the Patriots, Brown has 514 career catches, just 20 behind Stanley Morgan's franchise record. All the other receivers in camp had combined for 82 receptions, 76 of those by free agent Reche Caldwell. The "Inside Slant" also notes that while Branch might extend his holdout into training camp, Brady said he wasn't worried that his chemistry with the Super Bowl XXXIX MVP would be affected. "It's not going to take long with him because I know him so well," Brady said. "When he gets here it's not going to take any time at all. He'll come out here and you'll think he didn't miss a day."

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