By: Bob George/
December 04, 2002

NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates
Patriots notebook: Patriots hold bonding time at Children’s Hospital
Guregian: Patriots Hall of Famer Matt Light says there’s more to being a successful offensive lineman than the measurables

Gino Cappelletti once proclaimed Adam Vinatieri "the best kicker in Patriot history". It won't be much longer when that moniker will be unchallenged. All Automatic Adam needs is more time. Gino, of course, was one of three players to have played in every game in AFL history. Gino puts a good foot in the ball and kicks one into the Red Sox bullpen for a touchback.

Pats run the table? Just like that? Talk about oversimplification.

We'll leave it to you to decide whether the Bills beating the Dolphins was a good thing.

Ditto for the Raiders over the Jets.

Heal up quick, Tedy Bruschi.

Is Warren Sapp a dirty ball player? This corner of the Nation says no. But a little "I'm sorry" to Mike Sherman might have gone over better with the adoring football public.

Anyone out there think that there was too much ceremony for Tim Brown's 1000th career catch? Especially in front of Jerry Rice?

The Patriots are going to need that extra day to get ready for Tennessee.

Not everyone thinks Denver is the real deal. Let's hope they're right.

Geek of the Week: Julius Peppers, for short-circuiting his rookie season. At least we know he isn't the next Terry Glenn. He dropped his appeals and told the Grim Reaper to bring it on.

Besides, I doubt Peppers cares at all. He plays for a crappy team. And he may still make the Pro Bowl and get a $500,000 bonus. Let's hear it for positive reinforcement.

I can't wait to see the movie Drumline, where the movie-going public who also professes a love for football gets an inside look at an often overlooked and very essential element to football games: the halftime show. If you think football teams have passion, wait until you see how marching bands operate.

Back to school: Now, this is really something. Iowa goes 8-0 in the Big Ten, and will likely go to the Rose Bowl. But Ohio State is 13-0 and will play for the national championship in Tempe. It's not your grandfather's NCAA anymore, folks.

Cheer like crazy for Drew Bledsoe on Sunday…right up until opening kickoff.

You Can Breathe Easier Dept.: Herman Edwards has already guaranteed that the Jets will make the playoffs if they win out, even though that prospect is not mathematically true. Maybe between today and two weeks from Sunday, Coach Edwards will offer up more perspective on Bill Belichick's "ordinary" defense.

The only coach in the NFL that can possibly devise a scheme to stop Michael Vick is Bill Belichick.

We project Pittsburgh to finish at 10-5-1. Let's now hear from the gang who was against the four-division alignment and offer up their take on the strength of the mighty AFC North.

While we're at it, kudos to Tennessee for making the AFC South into something to think more than three seconds over. Not that the Colts aren't still the division faves, mind you.

Hypothetical news item: The Colts win a postseason game. Who would that be bigger for, the team or just Tony Dungy?

Honk if you can spell Kameer Gbaja-Bhamila.

Honk again if you can spell T.J. Houshmandzadeh. We'll be nice and spot you the T and the J.

Somehow, Ray Lewis saying "You feeling me?" doesn't carry as much clout as if he were to say it two years ago.

As the weather gets colder, you can see Antowain Smith putting the finishing touches on his new book, entitled Give Me The Damn Ball.

It's like Keyshawn's, except literate.

Remember him: Senator Jack Kemp played in more than his share of Patriots-Bills matchups. He's to football what Senator Bill Bradley was to basketball.

The Lions should have never fired Wayne Fontes.

Amazing stat of the week: the NFL channel ran a special on the history of the Cleveland Browns recently. From the franchise inception in 1946 up until Doug Dieken's retirement in 1984, the Browns had only three left tackles, Dieken being the last. Then you look at how many third basemen the New York Mets have had and laugh your posterior off.

Remember Pat Riley's Laker mantra of the 1980s: "No rebounds, no rings!"? Belichick can use that phrase to help the Patriots repeat as champs: "No penalties, no problem!"

Whoever said that Sunday is more about Tom Brady versus the Bills defense than Bledsoe versus Belichick cannot be more right on.

Omigosh. Did I read the other day in the newspaper that a baseball trade is contingent upon two players agreeing to have their contracts restructured? Baseball?! There is a God. Won't be long now that five games separate the first place Red Sox and the last place Devil Rays. Baseball needs to be like football, plain and simple.

Food for thought: How come nobody runs the counter-trey anymore, one of the prettiest running plays ever created, something the Redskins used to do a lot in the 1990s?

Sign up Scott Pioli, and fast.

One last appeal to the masses: Please, please give it up for Drew on Sunday.

San Diego is incredibly nice all year long.

In January, it's a fantastic place to be.

Do the Patriots know that?