<
>

Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few picked-up pieces from the Patriots' locker room Thursday:

1. Veteran running back Sammy Morris has seen his role on offense reduced in recent weeks, which is a surprise of sorts when considering he was viewed as a likely replacement for Kevin Faulk. Morris didn't play an offensive snap against the Vikings, but his impact was recognized with coach Bill Belichick awarding him a game ball. Morris received the game-ball for his contributions on special teams as he was a member of the "Big 4" -- kickoff coverage, punt coverage, kickoff return and punt return. He had a solo tackle on punt coverage while also playing well on the kickoff coverage team. Morris said Thursday that he hasn't played this much special teams since 2006 with the Dolphins.

2. Second-year defensive lineman Myron Pryor was asked if he had received a Fed-Ex package from the NFL for his fourth-quarter hit on Brett Favre that knocked Favre out of the game. When players are fined, they often receive word via Fed-Ex. Pryor, whose strong rush on the play came against highly regarded left guard Steve Hutchinson, said he had not received a Fed-Ex, which means he's probably in the clear at this point of the week.

3. Practice squad safety Ross Ventrone is playing an interesting role this week on the scout team -- that of his brother. Ray Ventrone is a top special teams player for the Browns and that has led to some good-natured ribbing at practice from teammates and coaches, he said.

4. Veteran linebacker Tracy White leads the Patriots with eight special teams tackles (as credited by the team's coaches), although he agreed that the Patriots special teams units were outplayed by the Vikings last Sunday. Minnesota took it to the Patriots special teams units from a physical perspective and White expects the Browns to try the same thing.

5. Second-year cornerback Kyle Arrington has reason to feel good about himself. He was awarded a game-ball for his effort against the Vikings last week, as he played a significant role in helping limit Randy Moss to one catch for 8 yards.