NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs BALTIMORE RAVENS
*Thursday, August 7, 2008 - Gillette Stadium (68,756) - 7:30 p.m. EDT
The Patriots open the 2008 preseason at Gillette Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Aug. 7. New England opens the preseason at home for the first time since 2004. The Patriots have won three straight when opening the preseason at home, but will look to open the preseason with a victory for the first time since 2005.
TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by the Patriots Preseason Television Network and can be seen in every New England state as well as Eastern Canada, Alaska and Hawaii. The network's flagship station is WCVB-TV Channel 5 in Boston. Veteran CBS broadcaster Don Criqui provides play-by-play and is joined by three-time NFL Pro Bowler and CBS analyst Randy Cross. WCVB principal sports anchor Mike Lynch offers on-field reports from the sideline.
PATRIOTS PRESEASON TELEVISION NETWORK
New HampshireManchester, N.H. WMUR-TV Ch. 9
Canada (Quebec/Maritimes)Rogers Sports Net East
RADIO:WBCN 104.1 FM is the flagship station for the Patriots Rock Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 36 stations can be found in this press release. Play-by-play broadcaster Gil Santos is in his 32nd season as the voice of the Patriots and will call the action along with Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. Santos and Cappelletti are celebrating their 25th season as a tandem.
The Patriots and Ravens will meet for the first time in the preseason. The Houston Texans are the only other team the Patriots have yet to face in the preseason. The Patriots and Ravens have squared off four times in the regular season since the Baltimore franchise was founded following the Cleveland Browns' move to Baltimore in 1996. New England owns a perfect 4-0 record over Baltimore. The teams met week 13 of last season with the Patriots overcoming a 24-17 fourthquarter deficit to keep their perfect regular season alive and improve to 12-0. The Ravens' first trip to Gillette Stadium came on Nov. 28, 2004 with the Patriots claiming a 24-3 victory. The teams met in the final game of the 1999 regular season, a 20-3 New England win. The first meeting between the teams came during the Ravens' first season in Baltimore, when the Patriots prevailed 46-38 on Oct. 6, 1996. The 84 total points scored by both teams in that game rank as the secondhighest total number of points in a game in Patriots history.
PATRIOTS VS. RAVENS' PREDECESSORS
From 1970-83, the Patriots faced the Baltimore Colts 27 times, recording a 12-15 record in those games. The Colts moved to Indianapolis prior to the 1984 season and Baltimore was without an NFL team until the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens in 1996. Prior to the move, the Patriots were 4-11 against the Browns, including a 2-4 record against Cleveland while Bill Belichick was the Browns' head coach from 1991-95.
- The Patriots and Ravens do not play during the regular season. The Patriots do not play any of their four 2008 preseason opponents in the 2008 regular season.
- The Patriots will open the preseason at home for just the third time since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002. The Patriots previously opened the preseason at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 7, 2003 with a 26-6 win over the New York Giants and on Aug. 13, 2003 with a 24-6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
- The Ravens are one of three teams the Patriots face in the preseason that have won the Super Bowl this decade. Following the Ravens (2000), the Patriots will battle the Buccaneers (2002) and close out the preseason against the Giants (2007).
- Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi scored his first career touchdown at Baltimore (10/6/96) during his rookie season when he picked up a loose ball after a blocked punt by Larry Whigham and returned it four yards for a touchdown. It was his first touchdown scored at any level of competition.
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichickwas raised in Annapolis, Md., approximately 30 miles from Baltimore. Belichick was also the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for the five seasons that immediately preceded the franchise's move to Baltimore (1991-95). In 1994, Belichick led the Browns to an 11-5 record, tying the second highest victory total in the franchise's 59-year history.
- Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli was the Ravens' director of pro personnel in the team's inaugural season of 1996. Prior to that, he was with the franchise in Cleveland as the Browns' pro personnel assistant from 1992- 95, where he worked with head coach Bill Belichick.
- Ravens general manager/executive vice president Ozzie Newsome was hired by Bill Belichick as the Cleveland Browns' special assignment scout in 1991.
- Adalius Thomas was originally selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round (186th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. He was a member of the 2000 Super Bowl squad and earned Pro Bowl honors with the Ravens in 2003 as a special teams player and 2006, when he started at linebacker.
- Patriots special assistant/secondary coach Dom Capers was the defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins when Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was the Dolphins head coach in 2007.
- Ravens director of pro personnel George Kokinis was hired by Bill Belichick as a college scouting assistant for the Cleveland Browns in 1991.
- Ravens cornerback Corey Ivyoriginally signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 5, 1999.
- Patriots tackle Ryan O'Callaghanblocked for Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller at California in 2002. With the help of O'Callaghan and the offensive line, Boller threw the secondmost touchdown passes in school history (28) as a senior. The Ravens drafted Boller with the 19th pick of the 2003 NFL Draft via a pick obtained by a draft-day trade with the Patriots.
- Patriot Pierre Woodsand Raven Prescott Burgesswere members of the same linebacking corps at Michigan.
- Patriots defensive linemen Santonio Thomas and Vince Wilfork were teammates of Ravens running back Willis McGaheeand safety Ed Reedat the University of Miami and were part of the 2001 BCS National Championship team.
- Patriots fullback Kyle Eckelattended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
- Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks, a New Bedford, Mass. native, was a two-year letterman at Massachusetts, where he also held his first coaching position overseeing defensive ends. During his time at Syracuse (1980- 89), Brooks was on the same staff as running backs coach Ivan Fears(receivers, 1980-90) and strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik(strength and conditioning, 1980-89).
- Patriots strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicikis a native of Baltimore, Md.
- Both of Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson's parents were athletes at the University of Maryland. His mother, Diana, was a synchronized swimmer and his father, Ken, played linebacker.
- Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron held the same position for the San Diego Chargers in 2002 when Patriots safety Rodney Harrison was on the team.
- Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg was the secondary coach at Boston College from 1997-1998.
- Ravens assistant strength and conditioning coach John Dunn was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
- Ravens assistant strength and conditioning coach John Dunn was the head of strength and conditioning for the San Diego Chargers while Patriots safety Rodney Harrisonwas on the team (1993-96).
- Ravens tight ends coach Wade Harman was a coaching assistant for the Minnesota Vikings during Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss'rookie season with the club in 1998.
- Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler held the same position for the New York Jets when Patriots linebacker Victor Hobson and running back LaMont Jordan were on the team (2003-04).
- Ravens linebackers coach Greg Mattison was the codefensive coordinator/defensive line coach at the University of Florida when Patriots wide receiver Chad Jacksonwas on the team (2005).
- Ravens director of college scouting Eric DeCostawas born in Taunton, Massachusetts and played fullback and linebacker at Taunton High School.
- Ravens assistant director of pro personnel Vincent Newsome was a special assignment scout for the Cleveland Browns when Bill Belichick was head coach (1993-95).
- Ravens area scout Jack Glowikheld the same positon for the Miami Dolphins in 2007 when Patriots special assistant/secondary coach Dom Capers was the defensive coordinator.
- Ravens linebacker Jarrett Johnson and Patriots defensive lineman Kenny Smith were teammates at the University of Alabama.
- Patriots offensive tackle Wesley Brittand Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain were teammates at the University of Alabama.
- Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi and Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister were teammates at the University of Arizona during the 1995 season.
- Patriots cornerback Jonathan Wilhite and Ravens guard Ben Grubs were teammates at Auburn (2005-2006).
- Ravens safety Dawan Landry and running back P.J. Danielswere teammates with Patriots wide receiver Chris Dunlap and linebacker Gary Guytonat Georgia Tech.
- Ravens safety Ronnie Prude and Patriots linebacker Eric Alexander were teammates at Louisiana State and were part of the 2003 BCS National Championship team.
- Patriots cornerback Lewis Sanders played college football at the University of Maryland.
- Patriots linebacker Shawn Crable and Ravens guard Adam Kraus were teammates at the University of Michigan.
- Patriots running back Laurence Maroney and wide receiver Ernie Wheelwrightwere teammates at the University of Minnesota. The Gophers were one of the top offenses in the Big Ten as Maroney and Wheelwright set multiple school records during their time there.
- Patriots defensive linemen Le Kevin Smith and Titus Adams were teammates with Ravens punter Sam Koch, running back Cory Ross and cornerback Fabian Washington at the University of Nebraska.
- Patriots cornerback Mike Richardsonand Ravens safety Tom Zbikowskistarted in the same secondary at Notre Dame.
- Ravens tackle Mike Kracali blocked for Patriots quarterback Kevin O'Connell at San Diego State (2004-06).
- Patriots receiver Matthew Slaterand Ravens receiver Matt Willis were part of the same receiving corps at UCLA from 2004-2005.
- Patriots nose tackle Steve Fifita played for the Miami Dolphins when Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameronwas the head coach (2007).
- Patriots nose tackle Steve Fifita and Ravens nose tackle Kelly Talavou started on the same defensive line at the University of Utah in 2005.