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Patriots.com News Blitz - 9/29/2011

Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald writes about Wes Welker's NFL-record pace this season. Through three games Welker has 31 catches for 458 yards and three touchdowns. These numbers projected out to a full season would give Welker 165 catches for 2,443 yards, both of which would shatter the current NFL records. When asked about his favorite target, Patriots QB Tom Brady said, "He still works as hard today as he's ever worked. I love being out there with him. He's a great teammate, he's an incredible player, receiver, leader on this team. Teams are always trying to find ways to take Wes away from us."

Erik Frenz of NESN.com writes about comments from former Patriots coach Eric Mangini on the Patriots defense. "They're always going to be a contender with what they can do offensively," said Mangini, "but I believe that the defense is going to get better. They're going to figure out how this works best. This is the first time in 11 years that they've run a 4-3 defense, so there's some problems that they're not used to working out. But Bill is going to find some answers, that staff is going to find some answers, and they're going to improve as the season goes on."

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald spoke with Patriots LB Brandon Spikes about the challenge of stopping Darren McFadden and the Raiders offense this Sunday. "I want to come out and be physical, do what I do. I was brought here to help stop the run, and I'm just going to come out when my number's called, be accountable and try to get the job done," said Spikes. With the Patriots 4-3 system, Spikes has taken on the role of playing middle linebacker allowing Jerod Mayo to play outside and create more big plays.

Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger writes about Brian Waters' experience in Oakland's infamous "Black Hole" and how he is helping prepare his teammates for the crowd. "From the time you drive in until the end of the game, you're going to probably see a lot of different things – some good, some bad," said Waters. "But the biggest thing as a player going in there and the one thing you try to get across to the young guys as much as possible (is) don't focus on those things." Waters spent his first 11 NFL season as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, a divisional rival of Oakland.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes about Aaron Hernandez's road back from a knee injury. "I'm just trying to get back, get healthy, and try to make it back for this week," Hernandez said when asked about how his knee felt on Wednesday.

The Associated Press writes about the new hair style of Tom Brady. After having long hair for months, the freshly trimmed Brady caused quite a stir across New England.

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