Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

September, 29, 2011
9/29/11
10:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cleaning out the Patriots notebook. ...

1. Reporters covering the Raiders were impressed with quarterback Tom Brady on the weekly opponent conference call. They passed along this answer from Brady when it came to potentially being sacked by Richard Seymour: "I saw him this offseason. He promised me that if he got close to me, he wouldn't take me down too hard. I'll see if he lives up to that."

2. As noted by Brian McIntyre of "Mac's Football blog", the Patriots are paying practice squad tight end Garrett Mills significantly more than the minimum salary. Mills is earning $239,000, according to NFLPA records, which reflects how the Patriots value him highly. If not for a run of injuries across the roster, Mills probably would have been promoted to the roster last week. Maybe it happens this week.

3. Richard Seymour said he was treating this game against the Patriots like any other, which is true to an extent. He's not going to change the way he prepares. But even Raiders head coach Hue Jackson acknowledged the obvious to Bay Area reporters, "Emotionally, to say that he wouldn't [approach it differently], I would be kidding myself."

4. Brady to Bay Area reporters when asked about the "Snow Bowl" game, and if the "Tuck rule" call was a fumble: "You'll never get the answer out of me that you're looking for so ... that's the way it goes."

5. On his conference call with Raiders reporters, Patriots coach Bill Belichick referred to Raiders owner Al Davis as "Coach Davis." Love that.

6. Raiders left cornerback Stanford Routt touched on the importance of getting hands on Patriots receivers, so pass-catchers should be ready for a physical approach from Oakland's secondary. Routt reflected on the only time he faced the Patriots, in the 2005 season opener, and how he was matched up against Deion Branch in the slot. "I'd say that was my awakening moment on how quick things were happening in the slot," Routt told Bay Area reporters. Fast-forward to 2011 and now it's a Brady-to-Welker connection in the slot.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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