Pats' Kaczur delivers

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- For most of the first quarter of yesterday's AFC thriller, New England Patriots offensive lineman Nick Kaczur stood on the Heinz Field sidelines, helmet in hand.

For the rest of the game, the rookie from Brantford slugged it out against one of the toughest defensive linemen in the game.

"Of course I was nervous, I didn't want to mess up,," said Kaczur, a third-round draft pick by the Patriots this past spring. "But the way I play, if I don't get nervous, I don't do my job."

As unheralded as the position may be, the play of the offensive line is crucial for the success of a quarterback. And when Kaczur got the call after starter Matt Light suffered a leg injury, he had to hold his own against no less than veteran defensive end Kim von Oelhoffen.

"He's a big strong guy and he really comes at you," Kaczur said. "(Brady) really helped me out a few times when I needed it. When he completes some of those short, quick passes, it's a big help to us guys on the line."

When a veteran like Light goes out, the rest of the line can expect the worst. But centre Dan Koppen said Kaczur, who had seen game action in each of the Patriots' first two games, was cool from the outset.

"Nick handled himself very well in the huddle," Koppen said. "You didn't see him get flustered and everybody else just kind of fed off that.

"When he came in the way he did, he gave us a big boost at left tackle."


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