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Landeta punts conventional wisdom (pats press)

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  • Landeta punts conventional wisdom (pats press)

    Landeta punts conventional wisdom

    FOXBORO -- Sean Landeta doesnít have the qualities you look for in a football player, but there are few who do their jobs better than the Ramsí 42-year-old punter.

    Landeta, who is in his 20th season as a pro, leads the NFC in punting, averaging 43.7 yards per kick. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick worked with Landeta while the two were with the New York Giants in the 1980s, and heís surprised the veteran punter has lasted this long.

    "If you had told me in í85 that Sean would be punting 20 years later, I would have never thought that," he said. "I know punters have longer careers, especially the good ones, but Sean has really had a remarkable career. He has proved to everybody that he can just keep punting the ball and thatís literally all he does. Thatís all he does. He will never hold. He is never going to kick off. He will never do anything but punt, but he can punt."

    Landeta, who is one of only two active NFL players (Doug Flutie the other) to have played in the USFL, has also had a number of his punts returned for touchdowns, which means heís not a great tackler. That doesnít surprise Belichick.

    "Sean is not a good athlete," he said. "When you look at him, you are just not in awe. He is kind of compact. His hands are OK. I donít think they are really anything special. Heís not really quick getting the ball off, but it is OK. Heís not a really good directional kicker, but it is OK.

    "He is not bad at anything and he is average to above average in pretty much everything. He is a good situational punter. He is accurate and he can kick for distance and he can get the ball up there. To do it at his age, itís just remarkable. Sean is as pure of a punter as I have ever been around. You talk about a specialist. He defines the word. He really does."

    Landeta would be the perfect fit on one of Belichickís future coaching staffs, but that might not interest him -- at least not right now, since itís obvious he can still play.

    "I donít think that is really his thing," Belichick said. "He is not really a coach. He is a player. He has the mentality of a player and the moxie of a player and all those things you talk about as a player. The way he is playing, why couldnít he keep playing? Heís leading the league. Itís just remarkable."

    On the mend

    There were no changes to New Englandís injury report on Friday, but Belichick indicated that David Givensí knee injury wonít cause him to miss an extended period of time. He wasnít sure when Givens hurt himself, though it mightíve been on his second touchdown catch last weekend.

    "I think Givens will be all right," Belichick said. "I donít know. I donít go around and ask every player, ĎWhat happened on this play? What happened on that play?í

    "We play the game and try to play through whatever the situations are when the game is over. Then we do what we can to try and help them recover and get ready for next week, so I donít get too concerned with what play something happened or didnít happen on. I donít know. I honestly donít know."

    Giving it all heís got

    Wide receiver Troy Brown might get some playing time on defense this weekend since Ty Law and Tyrone Poole are injured. Belichick started using Brown as a situational defensive back during training camp to build depth.

    Brown has yet to play defense during the regular season, but when Law got hurt last weekend against Pittsburgh, Belichick said the thought crossed his mind.

    "Troy is a good team player, an all-around guy," Belichick said. "He has done whatever we asked him to. He has always done that. He has always been one of the most cooperative and unselfish players I have coached.So, what we have asked him to do, he has done, without getting into his specific responsibilities. I'm sure if we went in there and asked him to play tackle, he would go in there and play it the best he could."

    A roof over their heads

    The Patriots spent the week practicing inside their field house behind Gillette Stadium, partly because it was windy and partly because theyíll be playing indoors this weekend in St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome. "(The wind) was blowing pretty good and I think that affects the timing of the passing game and kicking game, especially when it is not going to affect it on Sunday," Belichick said. "We worked in there also to try to take advantage of the noise situation. It can get a little bit louder in there." ... The Rams are expecting defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy to make his 2004 debut Sunday. He hasnít played this season due to a foot injury. Linebacker Brandon Chillar and defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson are also expected to play. Wide receiver Dane Looker was the only Ram to miss a portion of practice Friday. ... The game matches cousins Trev Faulk, a Rams linebacker, and Kevin Faulk, who will start for the Pats if Corey Dillon does not play.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamDez
    Patriots Notebook: Injuries raising doubts by Frank Tadych (pats press)
    by RamDez
    Patriots Notebook: Injuries raising doubtsby Frank Tadych

    Wide receiver David Givens, one of 11 players on the Patriots injury report, was listed as questionable again on Friday.

    Foxborough, Mass. - The Patriots didn't report any changes to their injury report Friday, which isn't good news. The Patriots again listed 11 players on the report, including wide receiver David Givens, who sustained a knee injury in last week's game against Pittsburgh and listed as questionable for the third straight day.

    Givens was one of nine players who missed a portion of team practice Friday. Givens has been quarterback Tom Brady's primary target this season, leading the Patriots in both receptions (32) and receiving yards (544) while joining David Patten as the only receivers to play in all seven games.

    "I think Givens will be all right," head coach Bill Belichick said, electing not to elaborate any farther.

    Givens joined fellow receivers Troy Brown (shoulder) and Deion Branch (knee) on the injury report this week. Brown, who also missed the season opener due to a knee injury, saw his first action in four weeks against Pittsburgh, finishing with five receptions for 59 yards. Branch, who hasn't played since a knee injury Week 2 against Arizona, made an infrequent visit to the locker room during the media's open session Thursday. Brown, listed as questionable, and Branch, who is doubtful, both missed portions of team practice for the third consecutive day on Friday.

    "I'm straight," Branch told reporters. "You'll see me soon."

    Despite the overall rash of injuries, especially at receiver, Belichick wasn't looking to make excuses heading into Sunday's game in St. Louis. The only other receivers on the Patriots roster are Bethel Johnson and Kevin Kasper, both of whom play mainly on special teams.

    "I think everybody has a job to do and regardless of who the people are, who the 45 active players are, it is their responsibility to be ready to go and do that," Belichick said. "From a player's standpoint, their job is the same every week-get ready to play and play well in the situations that they are called on. When we go to the game we expect everybody to be ready to go and perform at their highest level."

    As for the rest of the injury report, cornerbacks Ty Law (foot) and Tyrone Poole (knee) are out and will not play Sunday. Offensive tackle Tom Ashworth (back), running backs Corey Dillon (thigh) and Patrick Pass (thigh), and linebacker Larry Izzo (knee) are all listed as questionable after missing portions of team practice again Friday. Ashworth, Dillon and Pass did not play last week.

    Quarterbacks Brady (shoulder) and Jim Miller (shoulder) are again listed as probable.

    A player who is listed as doubtful is described as having at least a 75 percent...
    -11-07-2004, 03:04 AM
  • RamDez
    Belichick pumps up the volume (pats press)
    by RamDez
    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...
    -11-07-2004, 03:01 AM
  • RamDez
    He's got it covered Patriots' Samuel ready for Rams
    by RamDez
    He's got it covered

    Patriots' Samuel ready for Rams

    By Joe Burris, Globe Staff | November 6, 2004

    FOXBOROUGH -- To hear Patriots coach Bill Belichick tell it, the St. Louis Rams aren't necessarily prone to subscribe to the adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," when it comes to their offensive game plan. He said as far as play-calling is concerned, New England's opponent tomorrow won't run a particular formation on consecutive downs even if it does succeed.

    "The Rams don't have many tendencies because they make it a point of never running the same play twice," Belichick said yesterday.

    Therefore, regardless of how New England's secondary fared in a play where Torry Holt ran a slant pattern and Isaac Bruce went long, the Patriot defensive backs might as well forget about it as they move on to the next down. Belichick was asked if that meant St. Louis had as many as 70 formations in their playbook.

    "It's more like 300," he said.

    It will present quite a challenge for a Patriots secondary looking to bounce back from last Sunday's debacle in Pittsburgh, where All-Pro cornerback Ty Law suffered a broken bone in his left foot that will sideline him 4-7 weeks. That means the two starting cornerbacks are on the injured list, as Tyrone Poole is out with a knee injury.

    After its troubles with Pittsburgh wideouts Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward, the New England defense must face an offense that ranks sixth in the NFL in total yards (375.4 per game). Led by Bruce (44 catches, 635 yards, 1 touchdown) and Holt (37 catches, 491 yards, 4 TDs), St. Louis ranks fifth in the league in passing offense (264.1 yards per game).

    What's more, running back Marshall Faulk is a perennial pass-catching threat, placing third on the team with 28 receptions for 216 yards. Faulk leads the Rams in rushing with 111 carries for 465 yards and 3 touchdowns, and this season has been bolstered by the exceptional running of rookie Steven Jackson (46 carries, 260 yards, 1 TD).

    Asante Samuel, who has been the Patriots' starting right cornerback since Poole's injury, said the Rams merely offer another challenge.

    "You've got Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, and all those guys are very fast and they run very good routes," said Samuel. "They've got good hands and they play real good ball. This is the NFL, you never know what you're going to get. You can get [particular plays] twice or you may not get them twice.

    "Every game is a different kind of challenge, so you have to just approach it by watching film and figuring out what to do."

    After starting for the first time this season Oct. 10 against Miami, Samuel had 3 tackles, 2 passes defensed, and a forced fumble in the Oct. 24 win over the Jets. He had three tackles and a forced fumble in last Sunday's loss in...
    -11-07-2004, 03:04 AM
  • Nick
    Belichick chases away Steeler trainer trying to help Matt Light
    by Nick
    Belichick went overboard

    Bill Belichick has three Super Bowl rings as head coach of the New England Patriots. What he's done there is remarkable, so it's difficult to second-guess anything he does right now.

    But what he did Sunday in Pittsburgh when he shooed away Steelers trainer John Norwig from injured tackle Matt Light was a troubling glance at the coach's dark side.

    Light clearly had suffered a serious leg injury and was in pain. Norwig, as the home team trainer, offered his assistance -- a common courtesy in these circumstances.

    When Belichick wandered onto the field, I thought it was out of concern for his injured player. Instead, he sneered at Norwig, reportedly saying, "Get away from my [expletive] player."

    Without having any direct knowledge of why Belichick snapped, here is what I am assuming: He is so paranoid about injury information that the Steelers' trainer presented a potential breach in his ability to control that information. In the coach's mind, it is a competitive issue, which would allow an opposing trainer to inform his own sideline about the status of an injured player.

    The competitive aspect of Belichick's actions would have been understandable had it not been so obvious that Light was seriously hurt.

    Steve Antonopoulos, the trainer for the Denver Broncos and the president of the pro football athletic trainers (PFAT), told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he had never heard of anything like Belichick's actions in his 30-plus years in the business.

    "If a player goes down on the field Ö and has a recognizable serious injury, the home trainer will go to that area of the field to offer his assistance," Antonopolous told the paper. "That's a common courtesy. That's something each of us does. It helps the situation as it is on the field to expedite the medical care of the individual -- expedites getting the cart on the field, paramedics if needed, if they need to be transported off the field."

    Typically, Belichick refused early this week to acknowledge what everyone knew: Light has a broken leg.
    -09-30-2005, 10:59 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Burwell: Bill Belichick's Blunder Shows He Doesn't Trust Defense
    by r8rh8rmike
    Bill Belichick's blunder shows he doesn't trust defense

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell

    From Pawtuckett to Worcester, from Hyannis Port to Falmouth and all points in between where he is looked upon as an exalted football patron saint, the good folks of New England do not know what to make of Bill Belichick's Sunday Night Gaffe. How in the world did Coach Hoodie ó he of the numerous Super Bowl rings, cerebral coaching reputation and the reigning title holder of Greatest Living Coach the NFL Ever Did See ó suddenly lose his mind and allow his wonderfully wonderful Geniusness to go all haywire on him?

    Of course, those of us in St. Louis and New York and so many other places where Belichick is looked upon as a shadowy football dark lord, are practically giddy. We're not really sure how in the world bleepin' Coach Belicheat ó he of the clandestine scouting operations, film study habits of an NSA operative and reigning title holder of Most Shameless Cheater-Covert Ops Manipulator the NFL Ever Did See ó suddenly lost his mind, but we are here to revel in the momentous occasion.

    People are still talking about how one of the greatest coaches in NFL history lost his mind (or his defensive nerve?) on Sunday night prime-time television in a stunning 35-34 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. With the Patriots leading 34-28 and 2:08 remaining, Belichick inexplicably decided to go for a first down rather than punt when he faced fourth and 2 from his own 28-yard line!!!!

    At the moment it even appeared that he was thinking about doing this, most of the folks inside Indy's Lucas Oil Stadium and nearly everyone watching the game on NBC figured The Hooded One was going to have Tom Brady line up under center and see if he could draw the Colts defense offsides.

    No one expected that he was actually going to go for it.

    And why did no one expect it?

    Well, because it was a horrible decision.

    Of course it failed.

    Brady threw a 3-yard pass to running back Kevin Faulk, who bobbled the ball and was pushed backward, losing 2 yards before he regained possession of the football.

    That gave the ball to Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game, only 29 yards away from the end zone, and it didn't take long for him to throw the game-winning touchdown. And now everyone is wondering what the heck Belichick was thinking. Why didn't he tell his punter to get out there and kick the ball as far as he could? Why not trust that your defense could make life difficult for Manning, and at the very least force him to drive 65 or 70 yards with roughly 2 minutes left, to get six points the hard way?

    On Monday, Belichick revisited the play before reporters in New England and said he would do it the same way if he had a chance. He also said that he...
    -11-17-2009, 02:57 PM