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Patriots.com News Blitz 9/22/04

With an early bye this week, the Patriots look ahead to next weekend's road game with the Buffalo Bills and old friend Drew Bledsoe. While the Bills sub par play in the season's first two weeks has caused many to question what Bledsoe may have left, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports that the Patriots remain wary of the once, and possibly still, prolific passer. "I know all of us who have played with or against Drew know he's capable of making any throw on the field. You're not going to find a guy with a better arm playing quarterback in this league," Bledsoe's former teammate Ted Johnson told Cafardo.

Cafardo also features Patriots second-year safety Eugene Wilson, who has given the team's secondary a big boost by switching over from cornerback, the position he played at Illinois. "The number on his check stub in the future would be larger if he played [Ty] Law's position, but Wilson at least has guaranteed himself a starting job in the NFL for the foreseeable future," writes Cafardo.

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call looks at Wilson's progress as well, writing, "Wilson learned the ropes quickly and helped veteran Rodney Harrison form a dangerous 1-2 punch in the secondary."

In today's notebook, George Kimball of The Boston Herald looks at lineman Adrian Klemm, who is seeing more playing time this season, after three years commuting between the injured list and Bill Belichick's doghouse. "This year coach Bill Belichick has made it a point to use a seven-man rotation among the five offensive line spots, ensuring some quality time for Klemm," writes Kimball.

Kimball revisits Cardinals coach Dennis Green's post-game comments about Mike Vrabel.

Also in the Herald, Michael Felger writes that Don Shula, who coached the 1972 Miami Dolphins to an NFL-record 18 consecutive wins, used the same tactics of downplay that Belichick is using in regards to the Patriots 17 game streak. "Fans will be hearing a lot about Shula and his former Miami teams in the coming weeks, as the Dolphins are in the record book twice for most consecutive victories and their perfect 1972 season remains the gold standard for winning football," Felger writes.

From the Herald's Inside Track, Laura Raposa and Gayle Fee report on Matthew McConaughey's sitdown with Tom Brady in the new Interview magazine. "Proving why actors should stick to acting and leave the interviewing of hot jocks to professional journalists, Matthew McConaughey turns in a real snoozer of a chat with New England Patriots QB/QT Tom Brady," write Raposa and Fee.

You can read the online version of the interview here.

David Pevear of The Sun checks in on the Pats winning streak, as he also points out the silent treatment in practice. "Not only is The Streak hardly ever discussed in Foxboro, but listening to Belichick yesterday analyze where his 2-0 Patriots stand in the 2004 scheme of things as they head into their bye week, one would never guess that the Patriots are knocking on the door of history," writes Pevear.

ESPN.com has unveiled its newest Power Rankings, and with wins in the first two weeks, the Patriots remain at the top. "Looks like Deion Branch's injury isn't too serious. The Patriots are built on depth and they have shown that they won't let an injury slow them down, but losing Branch would have hurt."

In his Week 2 Judgements on CBS.Sportsline.com, Clark Judge says little can be taken away from Sunday's game in determining if the Patriots have fixed the run defense problems that plagued them against Indianapolis. Judge does point out that the questions will be answered soon enough, as "from Oct. 3 through Nov. 28 [the Patriots] will face 1,000-yard backs six times in nine games."

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