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Patriots.com News Blitz - 8/25/2008

After suffering two special teams breakdowns in Friday's loss to Philadelphia, the New England Patriots are working to shore up their coverage units in preparation for Week 1.

"We just haven't really found our groove on the special teams side of the ball," wide receiver Kelley Washingtontold the Boston Globe.

Fullback Heath Evansblames himself for the meltdowns.

Evans also pointed out it's better to have mistakes occur now because it's only the preseason.

"Am I glad it happened now instead of in two weeks? Of course," Evans told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Meanwhile, the veterans refuse to make excuses for their poor play, even if most of the damage was done against backups and fringe players.

"Regardless of who's out there, it's up to us to execute and do our own job," running back Sammy Morristold the Providence Journal.

Elsewhere, nose tackle Vince Wilforkrefuses to be deterred by critics who suggest he's a dirty player after racking up nearly $40,000 in fines in 2007.

On a more positive note, Chris Hansonis back in 2008 after putting together an effective, yet quiet season, last year in his New England debut.

Quick hits

The Patriots' recent struggles have raised eyebrows on a national level. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated gives us reasons to panic and reasons to remain calm, Albert Breer of the Sporting News tells us why the players aren't raising the white flag just yet and Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders explains how wide receiver Wes Welker has become a star in New England's offense.

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