Sunday, September 4, 2011

Patriots sign offensive guard Brian Waters

The New England Patriots shored up the interior of their offensive line Sunday with the signing of veteran guard Brian Waters, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs.
(Photo: Jeffrey Beall)

Waters, who was named to five Pro Bowls in 11 seasons with the Chiefs, fills a big void on New England’s front trench unit with Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell and Rich Ohrnberger injured.

Waters helped the Chiefs’ offensive line interior to a 73 percent success rate on short-yardage situations on third or fourth down, as well as -and-goal situations, which was tied for seventh-best in the league. The Patriots were also successful on short-yardage, must have runs 73 percent of the time.

At 34 years old, Waters will probably have an immediate chance to prove he’s still got it, as he looks to be the Patriots’ best option at guard opposite Logan Mankins. With Mankins at left guard, Waters will need to play on the right side.

With the signing, New England released long-time New York Jet James Dearth and Steve Maneri.