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Patriots center reminisces about 71-yard return vs. Packers

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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INDIANAPOLIS - Patriots centers Dan Connolly and Nick McDonald shared a table at the Patriots media session Wednesday morning at the University Place Conference Center &  Hotel. It was a little over a year ago when the two were in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. for one of the oddest moments of the 2010 NFL season. Connolly was on the kickoff return team when the Packers knocked a squib kick right at him. McDonald was standing on the sideline, inactive as a Packers backup. The 6-foot-4, 313-pounder caught the ball and took off. “It was just a pretty standard squib kick,” Connolly said. “I picked up a couple of those before and got a few yards. “That’s all I was planning on doing. Somehow it opened up and I was able to get a lot more.” A lot more being 71 yards down the left sideline. Connolly straight-armed safety Charlie Peprah and cut back across kicker Mason Crosby and safety Atari Bigby. He was finally run down at the four-yard line. McDonald said he was watching and laughing from the sideline. “I cracked up every time I watched it,” Connolly said. “For like a couple weeks I cracked up watching it. “It shouldn’t happen. There shouldn’t be a guy that size running like that.” Connolly said all of his friends and family called, emailed and texted for quite some time afterwards. He called it one of his career highlights, but hopes to have a few more this weekend – probably not with the ball in his hands. “I haven’t watched it in a while,” Connolly said. “My father-in-law, I think he still watches it once a week.” The Packers lost 31-27 to the Patriots that week. That was the last Green Bay loss until the Week 15 19-14 upset in Kansas City.

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