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Brady plays little in loss; Moss sits out; TD for Morris.

Byline: Fred Goodall

TAMPA, Fla. - Tom Brady got enough work to break a sweat. Randy Moss didn't play at all.

New England opened the preseason with a 13-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night, however it will be a bit longer before the Patriots get a chance to see their new passing tandem together in a game.

Brady started and was in for 13 plays, while Moss, obtained in a draft day trade with Oakland, sat out as expected with a sore hamstring that has slowed him during training camp. Running back Laurence Maroney also missed the game, as did receiver Dante Stallworth.

"I'm looking forward to getting everybody back. We've had a bunch of guys out," Brady said when asked about Moss.

"We'll see what we're made of when we get out there and see what we can produce," Brady added. "Hopefully, it will turn out better than 0-for-2 drives, like we did tonight."

Jeff Garcia worked two three-and-out series in his debut at quarterback for Tampa Bay, which won on Matt Bryant's 32-yard field goal as time expired.

Luke McCown, who didn't play in 2006 after undergoing knee surgery and spending the first seven weeks of the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, played in a game for the first time since the 2005 preseason and completed all seven of his passes for 68 yards and one touchdown for the Bucs.

The fourth-year pro's 11-yard scoring throw to Paris Warren gave the Bucs a 10-7 lead after McCown's first drive of the night - a 13-play, 62-yard march against New England's starting defense - produced a 36-yard field goal.

Sammy Morris, who had nine first-half carries with Maroney sitting out, scored on a 2-yard run that finished a long drive led by Brady's backup, Matt Cassel.

Cassel completed five passes during the 13-play, 65-yard drive that kept most of Tampa Bay's defensive starters on the field for nearly nine minutes.

Brady played two series, going 5 of 7 for 34 yards and producing three first downs - all on New England's second possession. The good-looking drive stalled at the Tampa Bay 39 when Gaines Adams - the Bucs' No. 1 draft pick - pressured the quarterback and batted down a third-down pass.

Garcia, who played six plays, signed with the Bucs as a free agent in March and finally gives coach Jon Gruden a quarterback he feels is an ideal fit for his version of the West Coast offense.

The 37-year-old, 6-1 as a starter with Philadelphia last season, was 1 of 4 for 4 yards. He overthrew an open receiver on one third-down play, and Joey Galloway dropped a short throw on third-and-2 on Garcia's last play.

"It was just one of those things where the timing wasn't right tonight, and the location of the ball wasn't where it needed to be," Garcia said. "Those are things that will be ironed out, and we will get much better."

Matt Gutierrez played the third and fourth quarters at quarterback for New England, which tied it 10-all on Stephen Gostkowski's 23-yard field goal.

Bruce Gradkowski, who started 10 games for Tampa Bay after Chris Simms suffered a season-ending injury last September, led the Bucs to the winning field goal. He got lots of help from fourth-string rookie running back Kenneth Darby, who finished with 84 yards on 15 carries.

"I thought there were some positive things - a competitive game. It came down to the last series of downs," New England coach Bill Belichick said. "I saw a lot of things we've got to work on, but I think there's some things that we can build from."

Fullback Mike Alstott, out for the season with a neck injury that may end his career, was introduced with Tampa Bay's offensive starters and received a big ovation when he jogged onto the field wearing a baseball cap, blue jeans and his No. 40 jersey.




CUTLINE: New England's Sammy Morris bounces off Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks, left, and Will Allen, right, to score a second-quarter touchdown.
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Aug 11, 2007
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