Newswire: Atlanta, Maroney & Belichick

News from around the web includes: A review of the New England Patriot's first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons; Patriot's running game impresses head coach Bill Belichick; Patriot cornerback Asante Samuel shows the good and the bad; Patriot's starting quarterback Tom Brady assesses the game and Patriot head coach Bill Belichick is still on the top of the heap.

Newswire Items 8/13/06 -updated

-- The New England Patriots opened their 2006 pre season schedule against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. The game ended with a 26-23 loss as the Falcons kicked the game winning field goal near the end of the game. A report by Patriots Insider recaps the game for both teams. Backup quarterback Matt Cassel took the helm of the team for most of the game as starter Tom Brady played only the opening series for the Patriots. A bright spot for the team was in the running game of veteran Corey Dillon and rookie Laurence Maroney. Dillon sums up the running performance. "We've been working hard, getting things straightened out and it's showing up…everybody was out there doing their job. I was just reading the great blocks that were given to me by our offensive line."

-- New England Patriot head coach Bill Belichick appeared impressed with the performance of running backs Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney. According to the Boston Herald, Maroney was more explosive than advertised as was evident the first time had the ball, which "was a 12-yard gain that saw Maroney reach the secondary in a flash". Dillon ran for 27 yards in 5 carries and "looked like himself… blasting through holes and requiring multiple tacklers to bring him down."

-- Patriot cornerback Asante Samuel showed the good and the bad sides of himself as he was beaten for a touchdown, but intercepted a pass in the end zone killing a scoring drive by the Falcons. Samuel has slipped to nickel back behind starters Eugene Wilson and Ellis Hobbs. "This is the NFL," he [Samuel] said. "You'd better be able to stay stride for stride with a receiver. I'm just playing ball to the best of my ability."

-- Patriot head coach Bill Belichick was his old self after the game with his 'stock' evaluations; "There were a lot of good plays out there by some players. And then there were other players -- and the same players -- where some of the plays weren't so good." The Providence Journal reports that starting quarterback Tom Brady was a little more open with his evaluation of the team.

-- With the success of the New England Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick, other teams have wanted a piece of what he has brought to the NFL. Former Patriot coaches Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis and Eric Mangini are now head coaches themselves. Though the gap between the other coaches and Belichick appears to be narrowing, the Boston Herald still considers him as the top coach in the NFL.

-- The New England Patriots have announced they have re-signed rookie defensive back Gemara Williams who was earlier waived by the Patriots on July 25th. Williams participated in the team's minicamps in May and June before being released.

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


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