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Vinatieri named All-Pro

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            The recognition continued for Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri over the weekend as he was named to his first Associated Press All-Pro Team. The honor comes in the same season as Vinatieri's first selection to the Pro Bowl and after being voted by the fans as the team's Shaw's 12th Player Award winner.  

Vinatieri was one of 13 first-time choices to the All-Pro team that included 15 players from the AFC and 11 from the NFC. He was the only Patriot named to the team and is the first since safety Lawyer Milloy received the impressive honor in 1999.

Vinatieri had his most memorable year as a pro in 2002, starting with his game-winning kick to defeat the Rams as time ran out in Super Bowl XXXVI last February. The consistent kicker is coming off yet another stellar season in New England that saw him score 117 points on 27-of-30 field goal attempts and a perfect 36-for-36 on PATs. He not only led the NFL in field goal percentage at 90-percent, but also became just the second player in league history to reach the 100-point plateau in each of his first seven seasons.

The 30-year old kicker out of South Dakota State had numerous other memorable moments in 2002 that included the NFL's longest kick of the season, a 57-yarder at Chicago on Nov. 10, passing Gino Cappelletti on the Patriots all-time field goal list and ending the season on a personal high note with the 14th game-winning kick of his career, a 35 yarder in overtime to beat the Dolphins on what turned out to be the final play of the season.

Pro Bowl Starters

Vinatieri is also one of four Patriots players that will start in the Pro Bowl on February 3 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Defensive end Richard Seymour, safety Lawyer Milloy and special teamer Larry Izzo will all join Vinatieri as starters in the game. Patriots cornerback Ty Law is a reserve for the game and will back up the starting corners in the game, Aaron Glenn of the Texans and Patrick Surtain of the Dolphins

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