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Patriots.com News Blitz - 8/21/2007

He may be too old for two-a-days, but Vinny Testaverde still has a young man's desire to play football.

The 43-year-old QB was back in the Patriots locker room Monday after re-signing with the club over the weekend. Standing in front of his locker, Testaverde explained his decision to return to the NFL.

"I feel like a lot of guys who have retired, a year later, their bodies start to feel better and physically they start to feel better and they say, 'Boy, I wish I could make a comeback. But it's too late because they've been out of the game for a year and it's hard to get back in once you do that.

"So I just kind of put my time in conditioning and in the weight room, and if I did that and got through the offseason and didn't want to play, then I'd call it quits," he continued.
"But I still have that hunger, that taste for wanting to go out and do more. That's why I do it."

Meantime, the guys up front that protect Testaverde and the other Pats quarterbacks feel they need to do more to help the team. Center Dan Koppen admitted to reporters that the O-line could have done a better job protecting Tom Brady last Friday against Tennessee.

"The guys up there have got to recognize what's going on, and guys have got to be on the same page and have the right technique in being able to react to what they're doing," Koppen acknowledged in a Boston Herald feature.

"There's got to be verbal talk in letting guys know what's going on. But it all starts with the technique, putting yourself in the right position to be able to handle it."

Elsewhere in Patriot Nation, kicker Stephen Gostkowski has been in a mini-slump of late. As recently as the Titans game, he missed what is normally a chip-shot field goal from 33 yards out.

"I hit them good in warmups, but I was kind of rushing myself and trying to kick too hard," the second-year pro said. "I've got to believe more in my leg strength, especially with a short-fielder like that, and just do the same thing every time. We watched it and tried to correct it, and I've got a whole week of practice to fine tune everything."

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