Light says leg is improving

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Light says leg is improving

FOXBORO - Matt Light shed little light on the reason he was unable to go Saturday against the Dolphins but did say his injured leg is improving. "We're getting there buddy," Light said Tuesday afternoon in the Patriots locker room when asked how his leg was doing. "Just wasn't able to go the other day. Unfortunately. And it's a rough deal, you know. Gameday. Making that decision. We'll work this week and get back out there but it's feeling better."The nature of the injury and when Light sustained it is still unclear.He had praise, however, for the players shuffled to make up for his absence. "I think those guys all fought hard," Light said. "To come back in the second half that way and battle back, and get a win, that was a heck of an effort. We have a lot of things we have to correct, and there's always a lot of things we have to do better. But those guys did a great job out there. Of course, guys stepping up and playing positions they hadn't practiced, and going through plays they haven't run -- maybe at all in some cases -- it's not an easy task." It was especially hard for the subs for both Light and left guard Logan Mankins given the short week they were working on and the lack of practice reps backups get during the week. "It was a short week anyway, relatively, and there are only so many things you can rep out there in practice," Light explained. "You want your guys that are going to be playing in the game to take most of those. A lot of times these guys that are in the backup position, that come in and out of the game, they're not going to get those reps. So it comes down to the film room and understanding the plays, and the concepts and what we do, and doing it mentally for the most part." As for Mankins, Light said he spent hours in meetings with him on Tuesday.
"He's a tough guy," Light said."He's a guy that's never missed a practice or a game...but I'm sure the cowboy will ride again. His Fu Manchu still looks pretty good."Light also spoke about the presentation the team made to owner Robert Kraft after Saturday's game. "You realize off the field how much it means to the Kraft family to represent yourself in a certain way and live your life in acertain way and keep family at the top of the list," said Light."I think a lot of times you forget about it in the day-to-day hustle and bustle and I think to each guy in this locker room we wanted to tellMr. Kraftand his family we understand this has been a tough year. We wanted to commemorate something that was one of a kind that was special that (symbolized) what we dedicated the season to."

Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

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Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

We're into the Top 10 now.

These are the plays of the Bill Belichick Era you best never forget. And probably can't. They're the ones that led directly to championships -- most for New England, a couple for the other guys. Or they're plays that signified a sea change in the way the New England Patriots under Belichick would be behaving from there on out.

I did my best to stack them in order of importance. You got a problem with that? Good. Let us know what's too high, too low or just plain wrong. And thanks for keeping up!

PLAY NUMBER: 4

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Feb. 3, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 20, Rams 17

THE PLAY: Vinatieri 48-yarder in Superdome delivers SB36 win

WHY IT’S HERE: When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was viewed nationally and locally as a cathartic moment for a long-suffering region. Deliverance for a fanbase that resolutely suffered through 90 years of star-crossed heartbreak with a mix of stoicism and fatalism. “Long-suffering Red Sox fan” was a badge of honor, an identity. And New Englanders – baseball fans or not - would self-identify with the hideous notion of Red Sox Nation. There was no “Patriots Nation.” To drag out the forced metaphor, Patriots fans were living in tents and cabins in the wilderness, recluses. Reluctant to be seen in town where they’d be mocked. And suddenly, they cobbled together one of the most improbable, magical seasons in American professional sports, a year which gave birth to a dynasty which was first celebrated, now reviled but always respected. And while so many games and plays led to this 48-yarder – ones we’ve mentioned 12 times on this list – Adam Vinatieri kicking a 48-yarder right down the f****** middle to win the Super Bowl was an orgasmic moment for the recluses and pariahs that had been Patriots fans when nobody would admit to such a thing.
 

PLAY NUMBER: 3

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Jan. 19, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 16, Raiders 13

THE PLAY: Vinatieri from 45 through a blizzard to tie Snow Bowl

WHY IT’S HERE: Two thoughts traveling on parallel tracks were running through the mind while Adam Vinatieri trotted onto the field and lined up his 45-yarder to tie Oakland in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game, the final one at Foxboro Stadium. “There’s no way he can make this kick in this weather,” was the first. “The way this season’s gone, I bet he makes this kick. It can’t end here. It can’t end now.” From where I was sitting in the press box I couldn’t see the ball clearly, probably because I was looking for it on a higher trajectory than Vinatieri used. So I remember Vinatieri going through the ball, my being unable to locate it in the air and then looking for the refs under the goalposts to see their signal. And when I located them, I saw the ball scuttle past. Then I saw the officials’ arms rise. Twenty-five years earlier, the first team I ever followed passionately – the ’76 Patriots – left me in tears when they lost to the Raiders in the playoffs. Now, at 33, I was covering that team and it had gotten a measure of retribution for the 8-year-old me.