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Shots Heard 'Round The Web - Links for 9/2/08

After a sunny send-off to Summer at Narragansett Beach yesterday, it's time to start the REAL season this week.  Football Season.  As Sports Illustrated's cover headlined so illustriously, "Bring It!"

Some writers just don't know when to let the pre-season go.  Ron Borges (The Patriots' anti-cheerleader now writing for WEEI) can't get over the exhibition games where he saw an offense that was slapped around and a milquetoast defense that showed no pride in themselves. 

In another Top Story, Borges argues that the Patriots should have kept Assante Samuel.  Law is no fix, Hobbs is no Samuel, other guys are too inexperienced.  Gee glad to have you back rooting for the local team, Ron.

Michael Felger, aka "Chicken Little", grades the Pats on their pre-season play.  Take a guess...yep, all D's and F's, except for the Linebackers (B-) and Coaching (C).

On a lighter note, the Patriots Official website reports on Tom Brady and Matt Light being on track to play Sunday, the status of Wes Welker (limbo) and the various releases (Jackson, Lynch, Spach) and additions (O'Neal, Pociask, & LeVoir to the roster; Jacob Bender & Tyson Devree to the practice squad) of the past few days.

Shalise Manza Young of the Providence Journal talks with LaMont Jordan about his excitement at starting the season and playing for a winning team where he feels wanted.

Ellis Hobbs tells Karen Guregian he isn't worried about the cornerback situation, and has this to say to all the naysayers (are you listening Borges, Felger?)

“We hate talking about last year, or the years previous to that. But we always end up in the upper echelon as far as pass defense or whatever. Those are nothing but predictions. They’re (predictions) from people who don’t know what they’re talking about, or just assuming things.

“As a player, you have to remain even-keeled. You can’t let your emotions flow. If they say something about you, so what. I think if you’re not getting talked about, something’s wrong. So we just take it for what it is, and keep moving. We know we have a great group back there, a great veteran group back there, and we’re just going to continue to do what we do.”

Tedy Bruschi talks about his excitement for the new season, his 35th birthday, Jerod Mayo and having youth at linebacker in a Herald fluff piece.

Brady answers readiness questions about being up to speed despite not playing in the pre-season (Hint:  He's ready)

And finally, to keep us all humble, Nick Matthews of the Daily Press picks the New England Hatriots (isn't he so clever?!) to win it all, while our friends at the New York Times rehash SPYGATE, Belichick's robotic, non-cuddly, monotonous press conferences, and talk about how the Patriots don't want to talk about last year's Super Bowl.  Riveting.