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Patriots.com News Blitz - 8/23/2006

In today's News Blitz, Branch speaks. What's the big deal with Junior Seau wearing number 55? Plus Rodney Harrison speaks and Nick Kaczur is off the PUP list.

The Boston Globe's Mike Reiss features Rodney Harrison. In it, Harrison discusses his injury, his recovery and his old friend Junior Seau. Apparently, Harrison has yet to do any live tackling since having his knee repaired.

John Tomase also offers a feature on Harrison.

Reiss also explains that only the day after Brandon Gorin was traded to the Cardinals, second-year lineman Nick Kaczur is off the PUP and on the field. *The Globe* reports that Kaczur, a third-round pick in 2005 who started 12 games as a rookie last season, was activated off the physically unable to perform list after missing the first three weeks of training camp.

The *Boston Herald* reports a similar story on Kaczur's recovery, as does *The Providence Journal's* Paul Kenyon and Alan Greenburg of the* *Hartford Courant*. Junior Seau still has a few things to learn, reports *Harold writer John Tomase. He's got to learn the system at least. "I'm not going to go out there and blitz every down and smashmouth with everyone who's been here for 2 1/2 months," Seau said. "There is a maturation process that I have to go through, and I look forward to that."

Michael Parente of the *Woonsocket Call* also offers a piece on Seau.

With recent discussion over whether Seau should wear Willie McGinest's old number 55 jersey still simmering on the back burner, Albert Breer of the Metrowest Daily News explains that the number 55 has a special importance to the players, coaches and fans of USC - the school that both Seau and McGinest attended. Like the No. 1 with Michigan receivers or No. 44 with Syracuse running backs, it takes a certain type of player to wear it.

Mark Farinella, of the *Sun Chronicle*, also offers ponderings on the numerical controversy too.

John Tomase reports that Deion Branch hinted that he and the Patriots are nearing a resolution to his holdout. It happened in a recent interview with Ch. 4's Steve Burton. The story includes much of Branch's dialogue.

Tom Curren of *The Providence Journal* also offers a story on Branch. "I'm pretty sure everything's going to work out," said Branch in his interview with Burton.

Paul Kenyon of *The Providence Journal* reports that Junior Seau may be just the remedy the Patriots need. During yesterday's warmups, Belichick and Seau spent time in what looked like earnest conversation. Minutes later, when the real work of practice began, there was the new guy, No. 55, playing at inside linebacker, along side Mike Vrabel, with Tully Banta-Cain and Rosevelt Colvin on the outside.

*Worcester Telegram & Gazette* staff writer Rich Garven has a similar story on Seau, and Mark Farinella of the *Sun Chronicle* brings a long interview with Seau as well.

*The Republican's* Chris Kennedy offers a hodge-podge of pieces on the success of a few young lineman, Junior Seau and Bill Belichick's recent appearance on a television show.

Dan Pires of *The Standard-Times* offers a story on rookie lineman Ryan O'Callaghan.

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