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August 22, 2003

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PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The goals heading into any preseason game are to play well, and to leave healthy.

New England accomplished one, but the center position continued to suffer some further blows after the Patriots saw Dan Koppen and Bill Conaty get banged up during the Patriots 24-12 win over the Eagles on Friday night.

Patriots center Dan Koppen started the game but suffered an arm injury in the 1st quarter and had to leave the game. He was then replaced by Bill Conaty who later also suffered an injury early in the fourth quarter.

Guard Russ Hochstein came in to replace Conaty at center and it appeared to have an immediate effect on the offensive line's continuity. On the first play from scrimmage after Hochstein took over, Pats QB Damon Huard was immediately pressured and threw an interception to Ivory McCoy that was returned 66-yards for a touchdown by the Eagles. It was Philadelphia's only touchdown of the game.

After the game Belichick told the media that he hopes to have everyone back prior to next week's game against the Chicago Bears.

"I hope so," said Belichick when asked if he'd have a healthy center for next week. "When I talked to [Damien Woody] when we left on Thursday [he was] feeling better."

"Dan's got a sore arm, but hopefully that won't be too bad either. If not then we'll just have to fill in with [Bill Conaty] if he's healthy, or Russ if those three can't play."

New England will take on the Chicago Bears next Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.


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