By: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
August 01, 2003

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Patriots safeties Lawyer Milloy (36) and Rodney Harrison (37) watch Je'Rod Cherry (30) and Dan Stricker (10) face off during practice in Foxboro on Thursday. (PatsFans.com Photo)
FOXBORO, MA -- Judging by the attendance this week in Foxboro for the team's training camp, it appears that Patriots fans are looking forward to the start of the 2003 season.

The good news is they'll get their first taste of game action on Thursday night when the New York Giants come to Gillette Stadium in New England's first preseason game of the year.

The team will have Saturday off, and then according to head coach Bill Belichick will spend Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as their Wednesday, Thursday, Friday preparation days during the regular season. Following a Sunday game during the regular season the team returns to the stadium on Monday to review film and work out, or for injured players to get treatments for injuries. They then have Tuesday as their regular off day before returning on Wednesday to begin preparation for the coming week's game.

Belichick told the media on Friday that the off day will give the players a chance to get some rest after a hard week of practice.

"I'm going to give the players tomorrow off to give them a chance to get their legs back under them and get a little bit of rest," said Belichick on Friday. "We've gone pretty hard, had a lot of contact in pads this week."

"We'll come back Sunday and start working on our preparations for the first preseason game against the Giants next Thursday. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday will be like a regular Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then we're two days away from the game. So that's the setup on that."

Meanwhile the Giants spent their afternoon on a basketball court on Friday. According to the team's official website heavy rain arrived in New York, forcing the Giants to move their workouts indoors at the University at Albany. It was the first time inclement weather forced the Giants to have two indoor workouts on the same day in Jim Fassel's seven years as head coach. Due to restrictions caused by space and surface, the practices were reportedly little more than half-speed walk-throughs.

The Giants will have an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday but are dealing with injuries in their secondary, with three cornerbacks, William Peterson (groin), Rod Babers (hamstring) and Frank Walker (elbow), all nursing injuries.

Pats Cut Two

The team released receiver Scott McCready and cornerback Ben Kelly, and later in the afternoon announced the signing of running back Frank Moreau who played in 14 games with one start in two NFL seasons, carrying 75 times for 206 yards and five touchdowns. This past spring, Moreau played for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe and gained 462 yards on 99 carries (4.7 avg.) with a pair of touchdowns……Belichick told reporters on Friday that Spencer Nead and Rodney Trafford are giving the team good competition at the tight end position. "They have both made some progress," said Belichick. "We've got pretty good competition at that tight end spot. We'll get into the games and I'm sure those guys will both see a good amount of playing time and we'll see what they can do."……Larry Centers was still not with the team on Friday, but Belichick says that he's taking care of some things before joining the team. "When we signed Larry he had some unfinished business in Houston," explained Belichick. "So I gave him a couple days to go back there and get things tidied up."…..Belichick described Centers as being similar to former Patriots runningback Keith Byers. "He's more of a Keith Byars type of player, although Byars was bigger. It's sort of a cross between Byars and [David] Meggett."…..Tight End Christian Fauria received praise from Belichick on Friday. "I think that Christian is going to play a lot of football for us this year," said Belichick. "He is one of our best and most consistent offensive players. He may not be the flashiest guy on the field, but he is dependable. He is consistent and he's productive. He really did a nice job last year for us at that spot. Based on camp this year, it looks like he's at that level."


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