New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel (22) is congratulated by teammate
Rodney Harrison (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Patriots Camp Battles
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Duane Starks vs. Chad Scott
vs. Tyrone Poole vs. Randall Gay for starting CB spot opposite Asante Samuel.
With Gay out nursing an undisclosed injury, Poole has the edge for the starting
job mostly because of his familiarity with the defense. Samuel has played his
way into a starting job and Starks figures to be in the mix even though he played
only sparingly in the preseason opener. Scott has come on of late and is a factor;
although it's possible that one of the veteran corners doesn't make the team.
The competition will be intense throughout the summer especially since rookie
third round pick Ellis Hobbs figures to be on the roster.
FRONTS: James Sanders vs. Guss Scott for backup safety spot. Scott seems better
suited to play free safety and Sanders on the strong side, but Scott has worked
in both spots and has an edge over the rookie, who admitted to being slow making
his reads in the preseason opener. He was slow to react to some of the run plays
against the Bengals, which is a critical part of the game for a strong safety
offering run support.
Tom Ashworth vs. Brandon Gorin for starting job at
right tackle. Neither distinguished himself in the preseason opener, but this
may come down to which player shows the versatility to play left tackle as well
since the Pats need to account for Matt Light's backup. Ashworth struggled at
left tackle when playing with the reserves, but earned the start at right tackle
ahead of Gorin. Both players saw time on both edges. There is a chance Gorin might
draw the start this week.
Cedric Cobbs vs. Kory Chapman for the backup RB
job. With Cobbs back in Foxborough nursing an undisclosed injury, Chapman made
a move to challenge for his roster spot, carrying 13 times for 62 yards against
the Bengals while adding two receptions for 18 yards.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
WR Deion Branch has picked up this summer where he left last season when he won
the Super Bowl MVP award for his 11-catch effort in the Pats championship win.
He has been the most consistent performer in camp, beating defensive backs regularly
on different routes and catching everything thrown in his direction. He sat out
the preseason opener, but his play in camp has been stellar to say the least.
He is emerging as the team's go-to receiver.
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