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New England Patriots Links 9/01/11 - Giants Vs. Patriots in Final Preseason Audition

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The New England Patriots will recognize 10-year anniversary of 9/11 at tonight's game.

As part of the remembrance, the Patriots will host former guard Joe Andruzzi, his three New York City firefighter brothers and his father, a former New York City police officer. It was an iconic moment in franchise history, when the four Andruzzi boys and their father were recognized on the field at Foxboro Stadium on September 23, 2001, just 12 days after the events of 9/11 as the NFL returned to play and the country began its long healing process. The Andruzzi family will serve as honorary game captains and participate in the coin toss.

Greg A. Bedard gives us five things to watch tonight.

2. With Dan Connolly injuring his right foot against the Lions, right guard has become an even bigger question mark. Can Rich Ohrnberger show he can start multiple games if the need arises? Will 6-foot-8-inch rookie Nate Solder get some reps there? Or will the team move longtime left tackle Matt Light to right guard and make way for Solder at left tackle?

Ian Rapoport tells us five things to watch with the Patriots in tonight's game.

1. Who will take James Sanders’ place at safety? Sanders, a veteran and long-time starter, was the most shocking of the Patriots’ releases. Making $2.8 million was simply too much for a third safety. But who will take his spot? Sergio Brown, the undrafted Notre Dame product, ex-Jet James Ihedigbo and ex-Broncos special teamer Josh Barrett will all throw their helmets in the ring. If Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung sit out tonight, Belichick’s eyes will no doubt turn to safety, as he continues to measure whether to be comfortable with what he has or acquire more talent.

TEAM TALK

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  • Shalise Manza Young thinks the starters could play tonight, as the Giants are another aggressive pass-rushing team.
  • Ian Rapoport thinks only a few Pats starters are likely to play tonight, despite the ugly loss in Detroit last week.
  • Chris Forsberg notes that for Matt Light, the more reps he gets the better he'll play.
  • Ian Rapoport focuses on the position battle among special teams players, especially in light of the new kickoff rules.
  • Christopher Price reports Brian Baldinger says it's unfair to lay all the blame from Detroit on the O-Line.
  • Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak project their dueling final 53-man rosters (version 4.0).
  • Mike Reiss reports the Patriots claimed CB Antwaun Molden on waivers form the Texans yesterday.
  • Mike Reiss serves up a few leftovers from yesterday's ESPN conference call with the Monday Night Football crew.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Foxborough selectmen voted 5-0 in favor of allowing the Pats-Giants game to continue as planned tonight; Robert Kraft did not receive special treatment from the National Grid, as Gillette is tied to two different substations for their power; new WR Tiquan Underwood will be remembered for his hairstyle, whether he sticks with the team or not; Patriots will commemorate 9/11 at tonight's game since they will be on the road for opening weekend.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Matt Light is beginning to get re-acclimated and up to game-speed; Kevin Faulk is impressed with both rookie RBs and feels honored to help them out; Marcus Cannon has been placed on the NFI list, and can't return until Week 7; Zoltan Mesko and Stephen Gostkowski are getting used to new LS James Dearth; Logan Mankins and Albert Haynesworth have continued their epic battles at practice.

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