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Patriots.com News Blitz - 9/17/2008

The Patriots' passing game has been efficient, yet somewhat different, with Matt Casselat quarterback, particularly in short-yardage situations. Cassel hasn't thrown deep as much, but he's still been equally successful as his predecessor, Tom Brady.

"I'm no offensive coordinator by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't even know the offensive game plan, but I do know that Tom would maybe throw it 50 times a game, and this was different than what we had with Tom and all those big-time receivers," defensive end Richard Seymourtold the Boston Globe.

Wes Welkerplays a major role in the success of those short-yardage passes. The elusive receiver excels on the screen passes, which have become a big part of New England's offense since Brady's injury.

With the defense stepping up in the first two games, Seymour's performance has also been a hot topic. Seymour is finally healthy after an injury-plagued season in 2007 and is making an immediate impact.

"He's come a long way, but it's a gradual process, as we all know," Patriots' head coach Bill Belichicktold the Providence Journal.

Seymour contributed to Sunday's win in New York with three tackles and a sack.

The *Journal *also takes a look at the role Brady is playing in Cassel's development.

Quick hits

ESPN The Magazine catches up with the Cassel family, particularly younger brother Justin, who is trying to follow in the footsteps of Matt and Jack Cassel, a pitcher for the Houston Astros.

Sports Illustrated keeps an eye on early-season favorites for NFL awards, with Patriots' linebacker Jerod Mayocracking the list among the candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

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