Patriots Prep for Unfamiliar Foe

Mike Reiss notes that Monday night’s matchup between the Patriots defensive line and the Minnesota offensive line could be a battle for the ages, but a lot hinges on whether Richard Seymour is able to go or not. Glen Farley has Jarvis Green prepping to step in if Seymour is unable to go. Alan Greenberg writes that the Patriots are going to need a monster performance from Green against Minnesota. Rich Garven attempts to update us on Seymour and how Green will try to take his place if needed. Chris Kennedy has more on the battle to watch Monday night. Michael Parente has the Patriots getting ready for the versatile Chester Taylor. Bill Barnwell on the Patriots Game Day page takes a look at some other great Pass Catching backs along with Taylor.

Mark Farinella says that the Patriots will be blazing new ground when they go to face the unfamiliar Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Eric McHugh has more on the new challenge that awaits the Patriots as they try to conquer the Vikings and then the rest of the NFC North. Jeff Howe has the Patriots making preparations for Minnesota’s tough run defense.

Joe McDonald has a look at Laurence Maroney’s contributions to the Patriots this season, including leading all NFL rookies in rushing, and making big plays on special teams. He talks to Maroney’s college offensive coordinator about his special skills. Ian Clark says that the future appears limitless for Maroney, who was named Special Teams Player of the Week for his long kickoff return against the Bills. Tom King has Maroney shrugging off his return to Minnesota this week.

Alan Siegel has Chad Jackson starting to get things together and break through with the Patriots. Christopher Price has the Patriots viewing Monday Night Football as just another night at the office. Albert Breer says that Matt Cassel might want to emulate Brad Johnson, who had a somewhat similar situation to Cassel coming out of college.

John Tomase has several of Drew Bledsoe’s old Patriots teammates talking about his demotion in Dallas. Bill Reynolds says these are not the best of times for Bill Parcells.

Check out the coverage from Minnesota on the pages of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which has articles today on Tom Brady’s career record in domes and a look at Laurence Maroney’s return to the scene of his college success, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which also has an article on Maroney. The Star Tribune also has a Vikings Blog which they update pretty frequently.

Reiss’ notebook looks at the Vikings trend this season of getting off to fast starts in games. Tomase’s notebook says that the Patriots are hoping Seymour can play, but have to prepare as if he will not be able to go. McDonald’s notebook has more on Seymour and the matchup with the Vikings. Farinella’s notebook has Tom Brady weighing in on Bledsoe. Garven’s notebook looks at Maroney going back to play in the Metrodome, where he had his share of success. Parente’s notebook has more on that topic.

Celtics

Bill Doyle has a look at last night’s preseason finale, a 106-102 loss to the unbeaten Toronto Raptors at TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics ended the preseason at 3-5. Doyle also looks at what we’ve learned about this team during the preseason, it’s strengths and weaknesses. Lenny Megliola also takes a look at the Celtics and what we’ve learned about them in the preseason. Shalise Manza Young has the Celtics being cautious, but still making a game of it last night. Mark Murphy has Tony Allen awaiting news that the Celtics have picked up his option for next season. Shira Springer provides an update on Paul Pierce’s infected finger. Murphy’s notebook has Pierce lamenting the Celtics inability to finish out close games last season.

Bill Doyle’s Tuning In column this week looks at Tony Kornheiser’s work thus far on Monday Night Football.

NESN has Bruins/Canadiens at 7:00. FOX has Tigers/Cardinals at 8:00. TNT has Nuggets/Lakers at 10:00.

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