By Rich Thompson/ Patriots Notebook
Saturday, November 6, 2004



FOXBORO - The Patriots practiced all week in their indoor facility, blaring loud music to simulate the noise St. Louis Rams fans will generate inside the Edward Jones Dome tomorrow afternoon.
The entire team agreed to the exercise because dome noise can be a huge distraction to the offense, especially when the quarterback is changing the play at the line of scrimmage. But there was major disagreement on what type of music should cascade down from the loudspeakers.
``We worked inside to take advantage of the noise situation and get it a little bit louder in there,'' said Patriots coach Bill Belichick ``It (music) was one of the more controversial items we had and no matter what you play, not everybody was happy.
``I had a say in it but I wouldn't say I had the final say in it. There was a lot of input on that and if it goes into a certain style for very long, there's input on changing that type music to something else. Everybody is happy for a short period of time. We've got to balance that.''
Good news on Givens
Belichick hinted that injured wide receiver David Givens (knee) could be upgraded from questionable to probable by gametime. Givens leads the team with 32 receptions, 30 of which resulted in first downs.
Troy Brown 's nagging shoulder injury has him listed as questionable. If Brown can't return punts, Belichick said he will continue to use Kevin Faulk but may use a defensive back if needed.
Faulk may get the majority of the carries on offense because Corey Dillon remains questionable with a thigh injury.
Better with age
The Rams' senior citizen isn't slowing down any. St. Louis punter Sean Landeta, 42, is in his 20th NFL season (most of any active player) and he's kicking with the same distance and accuracy he enjoyed as a younger man. Landeta has averaged 43.7 yards on his 29 punts this season, good for first in the NFC and second in the NFL.
In 1985, New York Giants coach Bill Parcells asked Landeta to join him after the punter spent three seasons with Baltimore in the USFL. Belichick was the Giants' defensive coordinator then and is dumbfounded by Landeta's longevity.
``He's not a low-body-fat guy,'' said Belichick. ``His career has been remarkable.'' . . .
The Rams' young and inexperienced defense is rated 28th in the NFL, but they do have a number of quality players. Belichick is impressed with the play of fourth-year strong safety Adam Archuleta, who played linebacker at Arizona State.
Archuleta has maintained the mindset of a linebacker while developing the skills of a safety under former Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, now the head coach of the Chicago Bears.
``He's a safety in the pros that plays a lot of linebacker-type positions,'' said Belichick. ``He's a zone cover player who can close on the ball and has good range on those underneath-type patterns.''