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Patriots.com News Blitz 8/31/04

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.

The big story of the day is the health of Troy Brown. Patriots fans continue to hold their collective breath as they await an announcement on Brown's condition. "Brown appeared to injure his knee during a punt return in the first quarter, walking gingerly off the field, twice pausing to bend and grab his knee. He didn't play another down," writes Adam Kilgore of The Boston Globe.

Alan Greenberg of The Hartford Courant reports that Brown is not the only cause for concern among the receiving corps. "Receiver David Givens didn't play against the Panthers because of a hamstring injury," writes Greenberg. "Givens, entering his third year, became a key receiver down the stretch last season and seems to play like a younger and somewhat bigger version of Brown."

Kilgore also features offensive lineman Stephen Neal, one of the players on the proverbial bubble as the roster gets trimmed to 65 later today. Fortunately for Neal, as Kilgore reports, he played extremely well backing up Russ Hochstein Saturday night against Carolina's vaunted defensive line. "His neutralizing of Julius Peppers helped give Tom Brady time to scan the field and find a wide-open Daniel Graham for the Patriots' first touchdown," writes Kilgore.

In today's notebook, Kevin McNamara of The Providence Journal reviews yesterday's transactions, but notes "the toughest decisions are still to come."

McNamara also writes on Tom Brady's drive through the preseason, which he says is geared towards improvement. "Brady has gone out of his way to say his goal through camp is to be ready for the first snap of the season, unlike last year when his ineffective play was a key reason for the Pats' 2-2 start," writes McNamara.

According to Rich Thompson of The Boston Herald, Brady is succeeding thus far. "Against Carolina, the two-time Super Bowl MVP appeared composed and confident, completing 18-of-27 passes for 217 yards, including touchdown passes of 46 and 6 yards to tight end Graham and Benjamin Watson, respectively," writes Thompson.

Thompson also checks in on the progress of linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, who he says "is ready to take the final step in his yearlong comeback from a career-threatening hip injury."

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call forecasts the impact a healthy Colvin could make. "Assuming he's ready for Week 1, Colvin will make the Patriots deeper at linebacker. When he's a full-time starter, it forces veteran Willie McGinest into more of a backup role and gives the Patriots the speedy pass-rusher they were looking for when they signed Colvin last winter. The only question will be whether or not he's as fast as he was during his days with the Chicago Bears," writes Parente. "A hip injury is tough to come back from, and sometimes players don't fully recover. [Coach Bill] Belichick said he won't know if Colvin lost a step until the regular season starts."

Finally, Parente looks ahead to Thursday night's concluding preseason tune-up against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that played the Patriots tough last December. The Pats should expect a strong showing from the Jags. "There is a lot of carry-over from last year because second-year head coach Jack Del Rio retained all of his assistants and lost only 10 players," writes Parente.

If you enjoy News Blitz, you might want to check out www.bostonsportsmedia.com where Bruce Allen also offers links to what the media is saying about the Patriots as well as the other Boston sports teams. Allen also includes commentary on the media and does a good job holding everyone accountable.

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