The Texan trap
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Some questions about the 8-2 Pats going forward:
1. Isn't there anyone in the football world that is available and can punt better than Ken Walter? He is going to seriously hurt the team in the stretch drive.
2. When are the veterans going to tell David Givens to quit celebrating like the rookie he is? His taunting penalty could have hurt the team last night.
3. When is Dan Klecko going to the Pro Bowl? I love that guy - the next Teddy Bruschi!
4. Will the NFL review the specious Andres unnecessary roughness penalty? What a terrible call!
4. Do you think Wilson's hit on Bryant was a "launched spearing'? Sure looked like a shoulder hit to me.
5. Do you think field (turf) conditions contributed to Vinatieri's blocked PAT?
Thanks for a GREAT column, Nick!
-- Paul M. Wood, Hampton, NH
A: 1.Walter is very streaky. If he survives this, I'll be you he goes on a good streak at some point.
2. I think that was Deion Branch who celebrates too much. he should take a page out of Troy Brown and act more like him.
3. I thought the Andruzzi call was terrible too. They may look into it, but nothing will come of it.
4. The Wilson call is more questionable. I've had people say it definitely was launching his body and I've heard no way. I watched it a few times and I understand why the ref made the call he did.
Excellent coaching and well executed defense just couldn't be matched by a solid but inferior Dallas team. There was a play in the 2nd half, which resulted in two Dallas penalties that were initially declined by the Pats until they "changed their mind" as the official announced it. I've never seen such a thing before; under what circumstances is a team allowed to change their initial decision to accept or decline a penalty? I'd also like to invite any readers in Southern California to visit and join our Orange County Patriots fan club at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ocpf/
-- Barry Inciong, Irvine, California
A: I always thought once you made the call on the field, that was it. If you wanted to reverse it, tough. I think the ref gave the Patriots a break there, probably because it was a prime time game.
I'm sure you're getting tons of emails wondering if we can now finally get a new punter, please, but I'll be content to read your replies to those guys and ask a couple of other questions. After Vinatieri's blocked extra point, his ensuing kick-off went only to the 20, much shorter than his usual short kick-offs. He looked good on his field goals, but I wonder if there's something going on with him, or it just the Revolutionized dirt that affected him. Also, I thought the play-calling was atrocious. Against the #1 defense, I thought the plan was supposed to be to wear them down with smash mouth runs. Smith was actually getting a lot of 4- and 5-yard runs on first down. So why open the second half with three straight passes? They should have been playing game-control. A couple of Brady's passes could've/should've been picked off. It didn't seem a smart way to go. Also, Graham was awful again. If he can't be consistent from week to week, I don't think they should call his number.