NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS HEADLINES FOR 8/19/10

The Patriots will play their second exhibition game of the year tonight down in Atlanta as they’ll take on the Falcons. Most reports have wide receiver Wes Welker as missing tonight’s game as he continues to take a cautious approach with his knee, as so far he’s had limited contact during each of the team’s practices.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald discusses the topic this morning but doesn’t feel that the time is right just yet for Welker to return to game action.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR TONIGHT:

Quite a few articles of what to look for during tonight’s game, and here are a few you may want to read:

Tom Curran of NECN has five things to watch during tonight’s game, including who will get the carries at runningback during the game, along with who to watch at the left guard position. If you’re a FireFox user you may want to skip this one – because the page wouldn’t open despite multiple attempts. However, the page did open in Internet Explorer.

Our own Russ Goldman also offers his five things to watch as well, and echoes Curran’s sentiments on wanting to see who’s carrying the ball tonight. Goldman also offers some thoughts on what we’ll see from defensive lineman Ron Brace, who finally passed his conditioning test and rejoined the team this week.

Ian Rapoport also chimes in with his five thoughts on tonight’s game, as he’ll be watching the play of Derrick Burgess, who battled some personal issues early this preseason but returned this week and will be on the field tonight.

Chritopher Price of WEEI.com also has an article with what to watch for tonight, including the play of wide receiver Brandon Tate who is still looking for a breakout performance to earn himself a roster spot.

Rapoport also takes a look at New England’s emphasis on the running game this year, which we caught a glimpse of last week during a 93-yard scoring drive which featured quite a few carries by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Rapoport offers up an article on defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, who hopes to see some playing time tonight against Atlanta.

Albert Breer of the Boston Globe has his thoughts on tonight’s game, looking at several positions as he looks forward to seeing how things develop tonight at each one.

Jeff Howe of NESN.com has a live blog that will be updated throughout the day and has some early morning updates with some notes for tonight’s game.

The Boston Globe’s Robert May has an article this morning on linebacker Brandon Spikes, who so far this preseason seems to be in the fast lane toward a starting role with this football team.

Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has a similar article on Terrence Wheatley, and writes that an “opportunity is knocking” for the Patriots defensive back.

The Attleboro Sun Chronicle has an interesting article this morning on the fact that alcohol arrests are on the rise in Foxboro for Patriots games. Despite a lower showing from fans this week (only 52,000 were reportedly on hand for the game) police took 28 fans into custody, including four minors arrested for possession of alcohol in the parking lot prior to kickoff, and 24 who were taken into protective custody for intoxication. According to the newspaper last year during the team’s first preseason game there were only 18 arrests despite a larger crowd who was on hand for that game.

Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe has an article this morning on runningback Kevin Faulk, who says that despite the fact that quarterback Tom Brady seems much more animated this season, Faulk claims he’s actually calmer than he had been previously.

“Actually, I think he has calmed down a little bit out there, to a certain extent,” Faulk told the newspaper. “He is our leader, that’s what he does, and when he thinks that something isn’t right, he will bring it to our attention in any kind of way that he feels the team needs to be addressed — or the offense, that is.’’

The Boston Globe reports that New England also reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Torry Holt yesterday, who is expected to undergo knee surgery this week.  This move in essence makes him a free agent and gives Holt the ability to sign with another team and potentially play this season once he’s healthy again.

That’s it for this morning.  Hope everyone has a good day and we’ll have updates later on.