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Is signing a 'dirty' deal?

Giants' Strahan says he's no fan of Brown

FOXBOROUGH -- Michael Strahan now has good reason to circle Oct. 12 -- that's the day his New York Giants play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

Strahan could get to play against one of his least favorite players in the league, guard Wilbert Brown, who was cut by the Redskins twice in the first three weeks of the season and claimed on waivers by the Patriots yesterday.

Strahan was very upset at Brown following a game last season, accusing him of being a dirty player. During a conference last week previewing the Giants-Redskins game, Strahan was asked about Brown.

"Is he there?" Strahan asked.

When told he was, Strahan said, "Really? Is he playing? I didn't think so. That's what I told him the last time we played: `You'll be lucky to be there this year.' It's good to see he's still there. At least he has a job.

"It's just stupid. There's a certain way to play the game and there's a certain way you don't play the game. There's a difference between being aggressive and being out of control. One thing as a player, we all respect each other and we all understand you're out there to compete. I don't think anybody wants to go out there to legitimately try to hurt anybody else and just do something that's flat-out dirty, and that's what I ran into with him last year."

Brown will not be able to respond until he hits Foxborough tomorrow.

The Patriots need players who can provide depth, especially following the news that Mike Compton is out for the season with a fractured foot.

Brown, 26, can play both center and guard. He started nine of the 14 games he appeared in last season, mainly because the Redskins' offensive line was so poor. The 6-foot-2-inch, 320-pounder has also played for Tampa Bay.

He doesn't get it

Bill Belichick was not happy with some of the penalty calls -- and noncalls -- in Sunday's win over the Jets. "I don't want to get into a lot of specifics but I will just say that there were a number of plays that I didn't understand," he said. "Maybe there are a lot of things I don't understand, so maybe that is not all that uncommon. I don't know." One that stood out was an unnecessary roughness call against Larry Izzo on punter Dan Stryzinski. It was actually Chris Akins who blocked the punter. "Larry Izzo never made contact with Stryzinski," said Belichick. "He never touched him." . . . Asked how much peace of mind Adam Vinatieri gives him as a kicker, the coach quipped, "It's better than a sleeping pill. If you have to have a guy to make a kick, that is the guy I want out there. Whether it be a field goal or kickoff, whatever the pressure situation is, whatever the play, I will take him." Asked if Vinatieri was one of the most consistent players he's ever coached, Belichick said, "I think I would have to put him up there. He doesn't have a lot of bad plays. He has got some that are better than others -- I mean, we all have seen that -- but he doesn't have a lot of clunkers." . . . Belichick said he let Ty Law return to the game only after he and defensive backs coach Eric Mangini watched Law run. "There are two decisions when you put a player in the game," explained the coach. "One is a medical decision and one is a football decision. For the most part, they are all football decisions. As long as the player is cleared medically to play, then we decide who plays in what situation or how much they play." . . . Belichick didn't seem overly concerned about Tom Brady's elbow, which was jammed by Sam Cowart during a second-quarter sack. "I looked at it on tape this morning," said the coach, "and I thought that in the second half of the game there were some throws that were good throws, down-the-field throws, not little dumpoffs but good down-the-field throws that were accurate. Some were better than others."

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