by Scott Benson

Mike Reiss has the six players that the Patriots named to their practice squad yesterday. All were victims of the team’s final roster cutdown on Saturday. Two spots remain open.

The Pats will be allowed to continue developing draft pick Stevenson, which means there’s still hope for the team’s 6th round selection from 06. Mays and Thomas, two free agents who had their moments this August, remain in the fold as well. Spann, the NFLE corner that nearly made the team, is back, along with 05 fringe lineman Yates and receiver Knight, who got bumped when the Pats traded for Doug Gabriel.

As you know by now, the Pats also cut Bam Childress yesterday and replaced him with return man Jonathan Smith, who had been waived by the Bills. It was a surprise to those – like me – that thought the tiny Buckeye had earned his spot on the team – at a decidedly-shallow position – with a productive pre-season. Smith is purported to be a return threat (he once ran a punt back against the Pats), which Childress is not, but he is probably not a strong enough receiver to make any kind of dent in the rotation. Childress may have been a better bet there, based on his August stats. But clearly, the last-minute acquisition of Gabriel has changed the playing field at receiver for the Patriots, and while it may be too much to ask, the weekend shakeup may also indicate that Chad Jackson is getting closer to action.

The hope is that Childress will grab one of the two open spots on the PS. I just assumed all along that Corey Bramlet would take the other spot; but its been two days since he was cut, and still no Corey. Will the Pats actually go without a QB percolating on the PS? Seems unlikely. Do they have their eye on someone else?

Despite our pleas, safety and special teams ace Hanik Milligan, who had been cut by the Chargers, will not be coming to New England. He signed with the Cardinals over the weekend. A couple of Pats cuts, Dan Klecko and Guss Scott, hooked on with Colts and Texans respectively.

I was all excited about the Steelers losing Ben Roethlisberger to an emergency appendectomy, then I remembered who his opponent on opening night is. Let’s be clear with each other – I want the goddam Dolphins to lose 16 games. If they beat the world champs in their first game, it will be insufferable. Think of the fuss made over the time they narrowly beat Matt Cassel and Bam Childress. We’re still hearing about that. Oh, well, this will make it a better story if they lose to Charlie Batch. That’s mock-worthy.

I’ll just wait until I’m sure the Patriots will beat the Bills. Just to be safe.

Lastly, I’ve gotten a couple of nice e-mails that indicate a few people have actually been reading GDRV, including over the last few days. I know, I didn’t expect it either. Anyway, on behalf of Greg, Bruce and Bill, we appreciate it, and we hope you’ll continue. We’re going back to a regular schedule now after a busy weekend, but if anything happens in the Branch matter, we’ll of course be logging on to the Internet immediately to register our disgust.