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Patriots.com News Blitz - 8/6/2012

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High School.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that depth at offensive line continues to be an area of concern for the Patriots, as offensive tackles Darrion Weems and Kyle Hix both left practice on Sunday. "With Weems and Hix out, and veteran Robert Gallery retiring, the Patriots finished Sunday's full-pads practice with just eight healthy/eligible-to-practice linemen," writes Reiss. Reiss notes that Weems seemed to have a knee or leg issue and walked off the field slowly with an athletic trainer. Hix left the field near the end of practice after he appeared to injure his left are in an 11-on-11 drill.

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe writes that quarterback Tom Brady values his experience as an "older quarterback" but says he still hopes to be playing for years to come. "I'm a long way from 42," said Brady in response to questions about his age. "Hopefully, I'm still talking to you guys when I'm 42." Brady, who turned 35 on Friday, is coming off a season in which he threw for 39 touchdowns and a career-high 5,235 yards. "I want to play a long time," Brady told Benbow. "But I think the reality is we're focused on this year and there's no season other than this season that I'm worried about."

Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com observes that the linebacker trio of Jerod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower, and Brandon Spikes have impressed so far in their ability to stop the run. "All three show a very good willingness to take on contact, good fundamentals in fitting blocks, power to shed them, and toughness at the point of contact." Yates sees the Patriots relying on this linebacker unit in running situations and short-yardage packages. Mayo, Hightower, and Spikes all played college football in the SEC at Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida, respectively.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes that veteran wide receiver Donte' Stallworth is having an impressive training camp and has stood out amidst a crowded group of wide receivers. Howe notes that the Patriots currently have 10 receivers on their roster, meaning that another big name or well-respected Patriot will surely be looking for work within the next few weeks." Still, Howe observes that Stallworth is making it "difficult for the Patriots to think he is that guy." "Stallworth has had a strong camp, running crisp routes, catching tough passes and staying in rhythm with quarterback Tom Brady," writes Howe.

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