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Patriots.com News Blitz - 6/24/20008

It's rare for NFL players to make public appearances this time of year, so when they do, it's usually newsworthy.

Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi took to the links in Norton, Mass. Monday to help raise money for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The medical facility is the same one that helped him recover from his stroke in February of 2005.

"I had a relationship with them before I became a patient, so it was very ironic to me," Bruschi said in today's Hartford Courant story. "I sort of helped them out with some charitable endeavors before. I became a patient and I think it's natural for the partnership to continue and help them raise money for their wonderful hospital."

Bruschi went on to talk about how he never really wanted to play anywhere else but in New England.

Also at the event was Pats QB Matt Cassel, who stopped to chat with The Boston Globe about a number of topics. Here's what he had to say about this being the final season of his current contract with the Pats.

"You try to approach every year the same. For me, I try not to worry about whether it's a contract year, or my fourth year. The one thing I will say is that you start to learn things as you move on, and being my fourth year, I feel very comfortable in the system.

"I look forward to working with Tom [Brady] again and learning as much as I can and being ready to go. It's just one of those things where you go out and compete, and you get going, just like you [media folks] do, competing against each other for the best stories. I have to go out and compete with the other guys and try to put my best efforts out there each and every day to come out and show the coaches and everybody else that I'm ready to go."

On the field, meantime, there's talk that former Detroit Lions RB Kevin Jones is ready to sign with a new team, and that New England could be on the long list of potential suitors. He recently had a workout as part of his rehab from knee surgery, and proclaimed himself ready for action.

"I honestly feel like I'm ready to play right now," he insisted in a story you can read in The Providence Journal. "I think I'll get signed in the next couple of weeks," he said. "But it really doesn't matter when it is - as long as it's before the season."

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