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Boothe prepares for Pats' scheme


When Eli Manning played in the Super Bowl four years ago, the Patriots presented some new things the Giants hadn't seen from them.

Staying in character, the Giants can expect the same in Indianapolis.

"They tend to have a theme of the game and it changes from week to week," Manning said on Thursday. "You go back and watch the last couple of games, each game is a little different, a little different scheme that they're going to play. They're always going to be well prepared. They're always going to have some things that they think are going to slow us down so we have to be prepared for that."

That preparation will all start up front.

Anchored by Vince Wilfork, the stout defensive line can shift between a 3-4 and 4-3.

The 6-foot-2, 325-pound Wilfork, who can move from tackle to defensive end, played one of his best games of the season against Baltimore in the AFC Championship. He notched six tackles, three for losses, and one sack in the 23-20 victory.

"Baltimore had their hands full with him," Kevin Boothe said. "He's a tremendous player. This is what it's all about. They're peaking at the right time, and we are too. So it should be a great matchup."

Boothe, known as Mr. Versatility, went against him at center in their first meeting, which was his second start at a different position. Although hit eight times, Manning was never sacked while the run game produced 11 yards that night.

Two weeks prior to the Nov. 6 game, Boothe played right guard. Then a month later, he started at left guard, went back to center for three games. Now he's back to left guard, where he has played the last five weeks.

Got that?

Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty does, and he's the one who has taught all of the positions to Boothe.

"I've never played center prior to the Giants," Boothe said. "He's helped me a tremendous deal in terms of preparation, what to expect, and different techniques to get me ready to play. For the first few years, I've been a top reserve, basically, coming in when needed even at the beginning of this year. The thing that he always tells us is that we're one play away, and I guess it hasn't been more true than this year."

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