Newswire Items 8/27/06
-- With the absence of holdout wide receiver Deion Branch, a host of receivers headed by veteran tight end Ben Watson helped the Patriots demolish the Redskins 41-0 Saturday night at Gillette stadium. Slot receiver Troy Brown, and running back Corey Dillon contributed to the Redskins' demise. The return of injured players who missed significant time gave a boost to the team. Head coach Bill Belichick felt good about the play of those contributors. "It was good to see some players back out there that hadn't played in a while; that was encouraging," said Belichick.. "I thought our team executed a bit better than we did last week. We took a step forward."
One of the bright spots in the Patriot's loss last year to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Championship was tight end Ben Watson's hustle to run down Champ Bailey after he [Bailey] intercepted a Tom Brady pass. Since that time, Watson has become more of a household name among the Patriot Nation. Watson has 13 receptions for 181 yards during the preseason.
-- Tight end Ben Watson was one of the few players that commented on the Deion Branch situation after the game. "Deion's a good player. He's my lockermate," said Watson, "But even more, he's a good friend. Hopefully when the time is right for him and the organization, he comes back and plays. That's about it." Not willing to offer insight on the situation. head coach Bill Belichick declined comment when asked about Branch's status.
-- The Patriots granted Deion Branch an opportunity to be traded and work out a contract with his new team. The deadline is September 1st. The Boston Herald reviews the steps that Branch has taken to arrive at this situation in his career along with the possible teams that might have an interest in Branch.
-- The Patriots saw the return Saturday night of safety Rodney Harrison and center Dan Koppen after being injured last season. Head coach Bill Belichick was pleased to see "guys who haven't played in a while" back on the field. Newly acquired linebacker Junior Seau also made his playing debut. Both Harrison and Koppen saw limited action, but Seau played a bit longer making three tackles and exciting the crowd by pumping his fist.
-- The 32 teams in the NFL will need to have their rosters' trimmed to 52 players by September 2nd. A report by The Sun Chronicle speculates who stays and who goes on the Patriots roster when the cuts come.
-- Tom Curran of the Providence Journal provides a recap of the Patriots dominating display of offense, defense and special teams against a Washington Redskins team unable to get on track. The Patriots starting defense which included Rodney Harrison, Tully Banta-Cain, Richard Seymour and Junior Seau, held Mark Brunell and the Redskins starting offense to no points and just 7 of 16 passing for a mere 51 yards.
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