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Matt Light: Keeping Tom Brady ‘upright’ key to beating Giants, winning 4th ring

02.01.12 at 4:26 pm ET
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Matt Light was healthy enough to talk Wednesday and return to practice. (Mike Petraglia, WEEI.com)

INDIANAPOLIS — It may not come under the category of breaking news but Patriots left tackle Matt Light – protector of his quarterback’s blind side – knows keeping Tom Brady upright will go a long way toward determining whether the Patriots win their fourth Super Bowl title on Sunday.

“Every guy upfront has a job to do,” Light said. “We just go out there and play the game that we learned. Keeping [Brady] upright is a big part of that.”

Light was actually asked if he feels like Brady’s guardian angel.

“I’m not sure how he categorizes me, but I’m pretty sure guardian angel is a far cry from that,” Light joked.

“We are going to do what we have done all season. We are going to have a great week of preparation. We are going to go out there and be technically sound at what we do and we’re going to go all out.”

His offensive line coach – Dante Scarnecchia – has watched Light enjoy one of the more productive and protective years of his 11-year NFL career.

“He’s had a nice year,” Scarnecchia said. “He’s been very consistent and he’s worked really hard. And he’s been a good a leader as he’s always been. And between Matt and Logan and Brian, we have three guys there with a wealth of experience. Very tough guys. Very great workers. The young guys, they would do well to try and emulate those guys, their work ethic and the way they play. And they do. As the result of that they make us all better. They make us all better. They make me a better coach, and they make those guys better players.”

Brady, Light and Kevin Faulk are the last three players remaining from New England’s first Super Bowl title in 2001.

“It’s hard to believe that in one career you can go to this thing five times,” Light said. “It never gets old and is always a lot of fun. To have guys that have been with you the whole time is something you never forget.

“Every game could be your last go-around, that’s why you embrace it all. This is an awesome week for everybody. You want to play this one like it is your last.”

Light said he is feeling improved from his bout with a stomach bug that caused him to miss Monday’s full pads practice and Tuesday’s media day.

“I’m feeling better,” Light said. “I was a little under the weather. We are ready to rock-and-roll for Sunday.”

Light also spoke for the first time since Osi Umenyiora claimed that Light did things to block him during games that caused their on-field scuffles in their last three meetings.

“It is what it is,” Light said. “It doesn’t really bother me. I think everything is going to work out fine. We’ll let the game play out. On the field, that’s all I can say. I don’t know the guy, personally. We’re not pen pals. Everything we’ve ever experience is on the field.”

Ironically, Umenyiora skipped out on Wednesday’s mandatory media availability at the Giants’ downtown Indianapolis hotel, and was fined $20,000 by the NFL, according to the NFL Network. He apologized about an hour after the fine was handed down, claiming he “misunderstood the schedule” while promising to attend Thursday’s availability, which also mandatory.

Does he feel he has a rivalry with Umenyiora?

“Can you have an individual rivalry? I thought rivalries were between teams in general,” Light said. “But, I’m ready to go out there and play whatever game I have to play. We’ll have fun doing it. I’m not sure that comes at a personal level.

“I mean we play football against each other. I’m not sure how you categorize that. I wouldn’t say it’s something more than anyone else I have ever faced.”

Light laughed when told that Umenyiora wished him well, calling Light one of his “favorite” players.

“He said that? Wow,” Light said. “I’m feeling better.”

Read More: Dante Scarnecchia, Kevin Faulk, Matt Light, New England Patriots
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