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Patriots.com News Blitz - 6/29/2006

Dan Nowak of The Middletown Press reports that Bill Belichick and former Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie took part in the The Travelers Pro-Am, a Buick Championship pre-tournament event yesterday. Nowak reports that Flutie drew the largest crowd(about 75 people) of all the celebrities participating in the golf tournament.

The Norwell Mariner reports that the Patriots are seeking volunteers for 2006 Training Camp at Gillette Stadium. Volunteers are needed to assist in a variety of capacities, including supervision of interactive events and skills competitions, customer service coordination and sponsor relations. Interested candidates should send an email including their name and phone number to patriotsevents@patriots.com or call (508)698-8590.

In his column for the Melrose Free Press "View from the Hill", Sen. Richard Tisei writes that a Quincy District Judge ruled earlier this month that a consumer who was charged roughly six times the face value of tickets by an agency is entitled to sue the reseller under the state's Consumer Protection Act. This ruling has the potential to bring forth much needed change for the entire landscape of the ticket reselling business.

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...

The Lowell Sun reports that Bill Belichick was the guest speaker at the fourth annual Lowell High School Alumni Golf Tournament dinner. Over 300 people attended the golf outing/dinner, which raises money for scholarships for Lowell High School students.

Richard Thomas of the Texarkana Gazette offers a story on cornerback Eric Warfield. After being abruptly cut earlier this year by the Kansas City Chiefs, a team he played eight seasons for, he signed a month later with the New England Patriots, a team that has won three NFL championships in five years. "After being out of work for a month, and then signing with a team like the Patriots, I feel like I haven't lost anything," said Warfield. The Patriots' secondary certainly needs some help after it finished 31st out of 32 NFL teams in pass defense last seasn, allowing 231.4 yards per game. Only San Francisco ranked worse, surrendering 276 yards per game. The Pats also intercepted a league-low 10 passes (Warfield had 20 interceptions in eight seasons at Kansas City).

In his "Tuesday Huddle," Vic Carucci of NFL.com writes that tight end Ben Watson is developing more and more good chemistry with Tom Brady, who is determined to help Watson fulfill Brady's expectation of the tight end having a breakout season.

SI.com's "Truth and Rumors" column speculates that the Washington Redskins may release wide receiver David Patten. The Redskins got minimal bang for the buck on the former Patriot in 2005 and worked hard to upgrade the position this offseason (Brandon Lloyd, Antwaan Randle El). The Patriots should have an interest if he is available.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes that entering his fourth NFL season, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel has taken a different approach to his offseason training. Samuel teamed up with Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jevon Kearse to train two days per week. The work, supervised by trainer Jeff Sanders, was designed so nothing will hold the 25-year-old Samuel back entering the final year of his contract.

Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan of the Boston Globe report that Bill Belichick and his wife, Debby, led one of 31 teams that competed in the fourth annual AccesSportAmerica Mayor's Cup Regatta on Sunday. The event raised more than $150,000 for children and adults with disabilities.

The Daily Advertiser (Louisiana) offers a Q&A with Patriots running back Kevin Faulk.

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that the possibility remains that Deion Branch may choose not to accept any offers from the Patriots and fullfill his rookie deal to become a free agent in 2007. Solomon reports that the Patriots have yet to offer Branch a contract with numbers high enough for him to play ball. Solomon writes that Branch will make a statement by not coming to training camp on time. If nothing is worked out, he will report in time to receive that automatic deposit of the first game check. (If he doesn't, he has until Week 10 to join the team and still be a free agent after the season.) For fans, at least, it seems the debate over what (or whether) the Patriots should pay Branch has turned into whether he is a legitimate No. 1 receiver.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that you never want your Super Bowl hopes to rest on two rookies and two veteran disappointments, but barring any late signings or trades, that could very well be the situation facing the Patriots heading into the 2006 season. The Patriots will hope Chad Jackson is as good as he's looked in non-contact workouts and that Stephen Goskowski can kick in clutch situations. The Patriots will also need linebacker Monty Beisel to step up his performance and prove that he can be a play-maker next to Bruschi. Tebucky Jones will also need to prove he can be an impact player if Rodney Harrison has not fully recovered from his injury(three torn ligaments, including ACL).

USA Today's "Inside Slant" takes a look at what it views as the three most important offseason moves and also offers Patriots notes and quotes.

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