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Patriots.com News Blitz - 9/7/2006

The Boston Globe's Mike Reiss features kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Although Gostkowski didn't miss a kick in the preseason, he has missed crucial kicks before.

The Globe's Ron Borges explains why kickers are getting more credit these days - and why they're under more pressure. He offers an interesting look at the evolution of kicking.

Jerome Solomon of The Boston Globe looks at what it's like to take a high-pressure kick in the NFL.

The Boston Globe's Patriots Notebook features Ben Watson. The 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pound Watson totaled 13 receptions for 181 yards and one touchdown over the exhibition season. It also touches on Bruschi's statis going into Game 1, coach Dick Jauron's Massachusetts roots and Tom Brady's thoughts on the Pats passing game.

The Boston Globe also reports that the Patriots are younger than they have been recently. How does this play into their chances as a playoff contender? Reiss breaks it down and takes a look at the starters.

The Herald offers a similar story on the team's youth, but with a different slant.

Mike Reiss also reports that NBC is back broadcasting NFL football, and they're proud as a peacock about it. Al Michaels and John Madden are moving over from ABC. NBC is touting its studio show as "Football Night in America" and Bob Costas will serve as host. He'll be joined by Cris Collinsworth, Jerome Bettis, Sterling Sharpe, and Sports Illustrated's Peter King.

The Boston Herald's* *John Tomase reports that Laurence Maroney, thought to have a knee injury, is just fine and not on the Pats injury report.

John Tomase also has a piece on the role of the Pats cadre of veterans. They know what being in the Pats system means and take it upon themselves to help the young guys.

The Boston Herald features defensive powerhouse Richard Seymour. Seymour wears size 17 shoes, which go quite nicely with the rest of his massive frame as well as his wealth of respect in the league.

Tom Brady is far from satisfied, though he's entering his seventh season with the Pats, reports the Herald's Michael Felger. That makes him No. 4 on the team in terms of experience on the team.

The Herald also reports that Stephen Neal has an ankle injury that's just surfaced. Neal wasn't at yesterday's practice, though he's been healthy all preseason.

John Tomase also reports the upcoming matchup between Buffalo linebacker Takeo Spikes and Daniel Graham. "I'm going out and preparing to play Buffalo, not an individual. I can care less what he's thinking, what he's doing. It doesn't concern me," says Graham.

The Boston Herald has more! Follow this link for pieces on the coordinators, the defensive line, ticket prices, Rodney Harrison, Ben Watson and much more.

The Providence Journal's Joe McDonald reports on the Patriots preparation for the season opener Sunday against the Bills.

McDonald also has a piece featuring Ben Watson.

Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant explains that rookie tackle Ryan O'Callaghan looks ready to start. At 6-7, 330 pounds, he's a mountainous but mild mannered guy.

Greenberg also notes that the Patriots average ticket prices are the highest in the league again this year, though the price hasn't risen.

Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports that Brady is comfortable with his receivers.

Mark Farinella of The Sun Chronicle disputes Brady's comfort, saying that Brady is definitely missing Branch.

Lenny Megliola of the MetroWest Daily News reports that Doug Flutie is going to appear on the Wheaties box.

[Ian Clark](http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=On Football: Patriots' strength starts up front&articleId=78228233-8db6-4598-81df-93df043932d0) of The Union Leader reports that the Patriots strength starts up front.

Michael Parente of the Woonsocket Call offers an update on the Deion Branch situation.

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