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Patriots.com News Blitz 8/18/04

Hey Patriots fans... we have you covered. Let Patriots.com be your personal clipping service. Patriots.com News Blitz will scan the newspapers and Internet for everything Patriots and serve it to you every morning, Monday through Friday. Be sure to check out Patriots.com News Blitz every day for the latest on what's being written about your favorite team.

Kevin Mannix of The Boston Herald looks at Dan Klecko's switch from defensive line to linebacker, as well as the advice he is receiving from Tedy Bruschi, who made the same move several years ago. "If anybody can relate to his transition to linebacker, it's Bruschi. Who better to sound out about the adjustments that he's being asked to make?" writes Mannix.

Mannix also has a piece on Michael Jennings, who is trying to make the team at the very deep wide receiver position. "He was actually cut by the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe," writes Mannix in describing the longshot's chances. "But there's something to be said for speed and the ability to change directions without losing a stride. Jennings has them. In Friday's preseason opener against Philadelphia, he had a touchdown catch on which he had to work his way around the end zone, and had a couple of kickoff returns on which he came close to breaking big plays."

Jennings seems to be a hot topic around camp, as Joe Burris takes on the story in today's Boston Globe. "The road he's traveled makes Jennings realistic," Burris writes. "He knows he's in for a battle if he is to make the roster of the Super Bowl champions, but his enthusiasm remains undiminished."

Also in today's Globe, Burris reports on Earthwind Moreland. Moreland may be new to the Patriots, "but University of Massachusetts football fans may have heard of him before that," writes Burris. He was a starting cornerback for the Georgia Southern squad that entered the 1998 Division 1-AA national championship game undefeated and then lost to the Minutemen, 55-43."

Adam Kilgore of The Boston Globe highlights an interesting theme discernible among the linebacking corps. "Think it's just a coincidence that some Patriots linebackers played with their hand down in college? Just look at the linebackers on the roster," writes Kilgore. "In Belichick's 3-4 defense, college defensive ends aren't big enough to play, since it's more of an inside position. If Belichick likes a college end, he has to convert him."

This phenomenon is not lost on Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call, who zooms in on the transition being made by both Klecko and Tully Banta-Cain. "Because of their size, they have the 'linebacker-type athleticism' that Belichick looks for, in addition to the intelligence to learn new coverages and the versatility to play on special teams," writes Parente. "He also said that defensive linemen who zone blitz in college - in other words, occasionally drop back in coverage - are more capable of making the switch because they have experience playing on their feet."

Kevin McNamara of The Providence Journal writes about Rohan Davey's attempt to secure the role of number-two quarterback. "Davey certainly has the first crack at the number-two job, but Belichick clearly isn't ready to hand it to him," McNamara writes. That's why he signed 10-year veteran Jim Miller in the offseason, and also why the Pats could give second-year vet Kliff Kingsbury more playing time over the next few weeks in the preseason."

McNamara also previews this weekend's matchup with Cincinnati in today's notebook.

In The Hartford Courant, Alan Greenberg puts the spotlight on the Patriots newest two-way player, Troy Brown. "Usually, when a coach tells a veteran to learn another position, it's because he's not doing well at the one he's in," writes Greenberg. "Not in Brown's case. Belichick loves what Brown brings to the offense. But Belichick prizes versatile players because of the roster flexibility it gives him when injuries mount."

Finally, take a look at the conspiracy theory being cultivated by Jonathan Comey of The Standard Times. Comey sees the latest NFL rule changes to be somewhat in response to the Patriots success last season, referring to them as "the 'Patriots Protocol.'"

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