Newswire: Mitchell, Caldwell, Branch & More

News from around the web includes: New England Patriot's safety Mel Mitchell injures his bicep; The Patriot roster depth appears to be shaky; Patriot's wide receiver Reche Caldwell is catching on fast; Patriot head coach Bill Belichick will keep it simple in Atlanta and Patriot's starting quarterback Tom Brady sticks up for wide receiver Deion Branch.

Newswire Items 8/06/06

-- New England Patriots' safety Mel Mitchell sustained an injury to his bicep in all likelihood ending his season. Mitchell was projected to work beside middle linebacker Larry Izzo and linebacker Don Davis as a core member of the special teams. Mitchell's agent Ken Harris told the Boston Globe…"he'll [Mitchell] spend this season rehabilitating and continuing to learn the defensive system."

During the New England Patriots' run of three Super Bowls in four years, roster depth was among their 'aces in the hole'. The Boston Herald reports that after the first week of practice, that roster depth is gone. Injured this week were Tedy Bruschi and Monty Beisel . Wide receiver Deion Branch isn't on the field. Head coach Belichick had this to say…"depth is what you have in October, November and December…"

-- Veteran wide receiver Reche Caldwell appears to be catching on fast. He has impressed starting quarterback Tom Brady. "He's very exciting and is going to be a really great playmaker for us this year." Brady said. After eight days of practice Caldwell has shown that he is ready to be a major factor in the Patriots passing game.

-- The Patriots will play their first pre-season game this coming Friday against the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Bill Belichick intends to keep things simple so he can "get the best look possible at players who are fighting for roster spots". Not only are the players jockeying for roster spots, new linebackers' coach Matt Patricia is also settling in on his new assignment.

-- Starting quarterback Tom Brady had some intriguing words to say about wide receiver Deion Branch last week in an article published in Paraphrasing Brady…Branch is extremely important to the Patriots. Brady went on to say that he [Brady] is "mad as hell" over the contract holdout. Though Brady has done some backpedaling since then, his message is clear and his stand is strong in the clubhouse.

-- The versatility of veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel is well known as he moved from outside to inside linebacker last year. The Patriots may need to rely on that versatility again this year. Last week linebacker Tedy Bruschi went down with an undisclosed wrist injury. "I'm probably going to end up at different spots throughout the year." Vrabel said.

These articles and more can be found in Today's Newswire


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