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Shots Heard 'Round The Web - Links for 9/3/08

What's up with Chris Hanson?  Mike Reiss reported that the Patriots hosted three players on tryouts Monday, two of whom were rookie punters - Adam Crossett, and Waylon Prather.  Today the Patriots hosted Reggie Hodges, a punter who played 8 games with the Rams and Eagles in 2005.  Mere scouting or something more?

In other "Pieces", Ben Watson is raffling off a season's worth of tickets to Patriots home games, with proceeds benefiting his "One More" charity.  Coach Belichick offers his view of the last 4 scrimmages, declaring that the regular season is the only true assessment of a team.

"I don't think you ever know what you have until you get into the regular season," he said. "Practices, preseason games, there is not enough game-planning and your opponents just don't attack you the way you're going to get attacked in the regular season. Sometimes you can get through preseason with no apparent problems in a certain area, but then you get into the regular season and people start putting stress in that area, or on a particular scheme that you're running and it can be a problem."

Belichick elaborated a little further, as reported on

“On the other hand, the guys that did have an opportunity to perform and had the chance to work on them and they can improve as well,” Belichick said. “To me, that’s really what you try to get done in preseason. You like to be successful. You like to go out there and have everything go great, but even in games where we have had that — and we have had that in games around here — that doesn’t really tell you exactly where you are. You won’t know that for sure until opening day, or the first quarter of the season, where you’re really tested by the other teams’ best players and best schemes against you.

“Where are we? I don’t know. How it will turn out, your guess is as good as mine.”

Warm fuzzy?  Not exactly, but still consistently Bill.  Acknowledging that the roster was still in flux and stating that if a move could be made that would benefit the team he would make it, he declined to comment on the possible pick-up of Ty Law.  Sports Ilustrated's Don Banks thinks that Law will end up a Patriot, but it's just my guess Law wants more than the Patriots are willing to pay for what would be limited situational services.  He also insinuates that Brady will probably play hurt on Sunday.  Yeah, him and most of the league.

ProFootballWeekly ranks the Patriots 2nd in their Power Rankings heading into week one, behind the Cowboys and just ahead of the Chargers and Colts.  "O-line might be their Achilles' heel.  Anything that doesn't protect Brady is bad."  I'll stick with Belichick's wait-and-see approach.

The Kansas City Star is reporting that the Chiefs feel good about themselves as they head into opener against the Patriots this Sunday.  Reporter Adam Teicher writes:

While the Chiefs might prefer to begin their season at Arrowhead Stadium or anywhere but against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, a game like this so early in their rebuilding process has one advantage.

They will get to see, for better or for worse, how they measure up against the best.

“It’s probably the best way for us to start,” [Head Coach Herm] Edwards said. “We get a barometer of where you’re at right now. There’s no guessing. When it’s over, you can look at your football team and go, ‘OK, this is where we’re at.’ That’s the good thing about playing a team that’s this good.

“You’re going to get something out of it either way. You’re going to find out a lot about your team and the earlier you know, the better.”

With our first game only FOUR days away, it is indeed time to flip the switch to full throttle regular season mode and see for real how the 2008 New England Patriots measure up against the best -- themselves.