Yes, you can go home, Brian Waters

October, 17, 2011
10/17/11
11:00
AM ET
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesBrian Waters can enjoy the bye week more after a win over the Cowboys.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Every player wants to win going into the bye week. Patriots guard Brian Waters really wanted to win Sunday's game against the Cowboys.

See, Waters grew up in Waxahachie, Texas, about 30 miles south of Dallas and still makes his offseason home in the area. Needless to say, he would have endured a tremendous amount of grief from the locals had the Patriots not rallied for a 20-16 triumph at Gillette Stadium, sending the Patriots into the break with a 5-1 record.

"For everybody else, it's great, but it's really good for me," Waters said with a smile. "I gotta be honest. I get to go home, go back to Dallas. I'll be able to walk out of my house now without worrying about it. I think it's good for everybody, going into the break and getting this win. We can relish it a bit, but we got a lot of work to do. Obviously, today wasn't our best performance. It's obvious we have a lot of work to do and I'm sure the coaches will make sure we do it before we get any kind of rest."

The Patriots will practice Tuesday and Wednesday before enjoying five consecutive days off.

For Waters, that's a nice break after a whirlwind two months. Signed just eight days before the regular season, the 12-year NFL veteran has been a steady and much-needed presence on the offensive line, particularly after center Dan Koppen went on injured reserve after the season-opener (and backup guard Dan Connolly was forced into the starting center role).

Waters rotated at right guard during the first half of that Week 1 win in Miami -- mainly for conditioning reasons -- but has played every snap since. Through six games, he hasn't allowed a quarterback sack, allowing a mere two quarterback hits through the first five weeks of the season, much of its spent with rookie tackle Nate Solder helping him anchor the right side of the line.

Waters will get a chance, finally, to catch his breath during the bye week. And he'll be able to step outside his home -- maybe even still in some of his Patriots apparel -- and not worry about catching any flak.

"My people were pretty supportive [before Sunday's game]," said Waters. "A lot of people were sending me [messages] saying 'Hey, good luck.' I know they were probably torn, but my family and friends pretty supportive. Again, to go home, and have a little one-up, that's pretty good for us."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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