Dolphins prepare for wave of loud Patriots fans

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Dolphins prepare for wave of loud Patriots fans

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Signs your program isn't on the steadiest ground?
Having to prepare for hostile crowd noise before a home game. Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde is appropriately apopleptic about the fact Dolphins coach Tony Sparano is piping in crowd noise during practice as Miami prepares to host the Patriots Monday night. Writes Hyde: "(This) Dolphins offseason evidently has turned off fans in such staggering numbers that tens of thousands of Patriots fans are expected to take up the slack for the home opener. Again: Are you kidding me?"

"No, never before,'' Sparano said when asked if he'd ever practiced with noise before a home game. "One of the reasons we do it here is we are in South Florida and the New England teams and New York teams, there's a a lot of fans out here.

"They have a good fan base themselves. Somehow they make their way into our stadium."As Bill Belichick might say, "Not what you're looking for."Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?


Phil Perry and CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran debate which receiver has been better for the Patriots: Wes Welker or Julian Edelman? It's part of this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.

Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

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Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

The Patriots went into Wednesday with what could have passed as the deepest receiving group in team history, yet by lunchtime they had added another. 

Former Browns and Bengals wideout Andrew Hawkins announced on Twitter (via uSTADIUM) that he had chose to come to terms with New England. He explained that the opportunity to work with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick proved to be enough to convince him that he should pass up more lucrative offers from other clubs.

"After giving it a lot of though, I've decided that I'm going to join the New England Patriots," he said. "Super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender, and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs.

"The program is top-notch, and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history, man, so it's super exciting. It was never really about the money. To be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation . . . but it was all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so."

Hawkins (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) may be a familiar name to Patriots fans as he caught four passes for a season-high 56 yards and one touchdown against New England in Week 5 of last season. He finished the year with 33 catches for 324 yards and three scores. The 31-year-old has recently seen his name in the headlines as he completed his Sports Management degree at Columbia and graduated last week. 

The Patriots have receivers room that's currently pretty loaded with talent. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell figure to make up the top end of the depth chart, while former practice-squad wideouts Devin Street, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White figure to compete for playing time as do undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

"Nothing's for sure. I got my work cut out for me. It's an opportunity," Hawkins said. "That's how I'm approaching it. Going there and seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. I'm jsust excited to get there, get to work, and hopefully I can be part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy."