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Five questions with Patriots OL Dan Connolly

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Posted Dec. 09, 2010 @ 12:22 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

This week we asked Patriots OL Dan Connolly five questions about the Patriots' offense leading up to Sunday's game against the Bears. Connolly is currently starting at right guard for the injured Stephen Neal after beginning the season at the OLG spot. The fifth-year veteran out of Southeast Missouri State is also the team's fullback in short-yardage situations.

What has made the offense click during this current win streak?

Connolly: It's a good offense. The play-callers are making the calls and we're doing the right thing. Things are working. Whatever it is, we're going to keep doing what we're doing and hope for the best.

This is your first season getting significant playing time every game (11 starts), how would you evaluate your play this season?

Connolly: I have been pleased with how I've played to this point. There's always room for improvement. I'm my biggest critic — I'm always watching myself on film and seeing where I can improve. I'm always trying to get better.

From what you have seen on film with the Bears' defense, what makes them and DE Julius Peppers so good?

Connolly: They're a very disciplined front. They're very tough and play hard for 60 minutes. It's going to be expected out of us to match their enthusiasm and effort for 60 minutes. (Peppers) is a great athlete. He's been doing it for years. We just need to up to play that effort and that ability and do the best we can.

What's more fun, blowing up a defensive player when you're a fullback in a short-yardage situation, or doing so as a guard pulling on a run play?

Connolly: As long as it involves blowing somebody up, that feels pretty good, and of course positive gains do, too. If we're on the goal line and I hit somebody hard and we don't score, I'm not happy. Same as if I'm pulling as a guard — if the back isn't getting positive yards, I'm not doing my job.

What has it been like blocking for RBs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead?

Connolly: Those two guys are great running backs. They get the job done. We just try to do all we can and let them benefit from our blocking and let them enjoy getting all those yards and helping this team win.

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