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Shots Heard 'Round The Web - Patriots Links 9/18/08

No respect

“We understand how wishy-washy people are. We can’t control the so-called experts on TV, sitting on their butts, saying we’re terrible or don’t have a chance. We have to prepare and go execute on the field, because all you know-it-alls can’t do anything between the lines.” - Rodney Harrison

A Shift in the Force: Unbelievable I know, but Gregg Easterbrook snuck a compliment into his column about the Patriots.  "Bill Belichick may be a sinister threat to western civilization, but he sure is a smart football coach."  Bet he scrubbed his hands after typing it. 

NFL spokesman Corry Rush confirmed that [Shawne] Merriman was fined $7,500 for unnecessarily striking Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme below the knees.  I have to side with Vince Wilfork on this one, and believe Chief's Bernard Pollard should have been fined for hitting Brady below the knee - regardless of intent.

PRACTICE NOTES:  The four players not on the field today during the media-access portion of Wednesday's full-pads practice:  Kelley Washington, LaMont Jordan, Laurence Maroney, and Eric Alexander.

Practice players of the week:  QB Matt Gutierrez, CB Mike Richardson, LB Gary Guyton and G/C Russ Hochstein.

PATS - DOLPHINS:  Belichick takes questions about the Dolphins from the local media at Wednesday's press conference.

"I just know he's not a Tom Brady," Porter said. "So if it's not Tom Brady, it shouldn't be that hard."

"You treat [Cassel] like you treat a backup," Porter said. "How do you prepare for a backup? He don't get that many snaps, right? So you throw the kitchen sink at him. That's what we're going to do."

MATT CASSEL MANIA

Can't get enough info on our starting quarterback?  Here's everything you ever wanted to know about Matt Cassel and his talented family but didn't know where to turn.