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In The Boston Globe, Nick Cafardofeatures linebacker Roman Phifer. Phifer, at 36, is the elder statesman of the Patriots vaunted defense, despite playing one of the game's most physically demanding positions. "Phifer doesn't have many secrets to longevity, except for a strong spiritual base. Everything else evolves from there," writes Cafardo.
Rich Thompsonof The Boston Herald looks ahead to Sunday's game in Buffalo. "The Bills are undergoing a makeover, but many of the players that crushed New England, 31-0, in last year's season-opener are still on the roster," writes Thompson. "The Pats defense may not know much about [new head coach Mike] Mularkey's playbook, but it is familiar with the guys the Bills will field."
In his notebook, Thompson examines Ty Warren's attempt to redeem a poor performance last year against the Bills, and the advantage the Pats hope to enjoy in the running game. "If Sunday's contest between the Patriots and Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium turns into a battle of ball carriers, [Corey] Dillon gives the Pats a big edge," Thompson writes.
Kevin McNamara of The Providence Journal writes the Patriots are happy to be through their bye week, and set to get into the rhythm of weekly games. "The Pats, or at least their coaching staff, are big on routine," writes McNamara. "They point to that single-minded focus as the chief reason they've won 17 consecutive games, including the first two of this season."
In his notebook, McNamara discusses the winning streak and the showdown with former Patriots Pro-Bowl quarterback, Drew Bledsoe. "While the Bills have other weapons besides Bledsoe, he is clearly the key to his team's offense," writes McNamara.
Last evening, Journal beat writer Tom Curran participated in his customary Pats Chat.
Alan Greenberg of The Hartford Courant draws comparisons between this year's team of defending champions, and that of two years ago. Greenberg cautions fans not to be relieved by Arizona's inability to run like the Colts did in the opener, and points out that the Patriots face three premier backs in the month of October.
Mike Reiss of The MetroWest Daily News takes a look at Daniel Graham, and charts how he matches up with the rest of the many tight ends taken in the 2002 draft. " No one from the '02 tight end class has more career TD grabs," writes Reiss.
Bob Velin of USA Today has a nice feature on former Patriots Hall-of-Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti. Since his son Mark was paralyzed in a college football game, Buoniconti has worked to raise money for researching spinal cord injuries. To date, Nick has helped raise millions of dollars for research. "Those millions have helped put the Miami Project on the cusp of a major breakthrough in finding a cure for paralysis," writes Velin. "That's why Buoniconti is more hopeful than ever."
Finally, ESPN.com is running a story about Tom Brady's Super Bowl MVP gift. For his performance in last year's championship, Brady received a Cadillac XLR Roadster, valued at $76,200. According to Darren Rovell, Brady is "donating it to his high school, Junipero Serra High School, in San Mateo, Calif., as part of a $10 million capital campaign to help raise funds for the building of new facilities around the school's football and baseball fields."
If you enjoy News Blitz, you might want to check out 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.