Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waters helps keep Patriots offense flowing

There hasn’t been much continuity personnel-wise on the New England Patriots’ offensive line. But with the way the unit has produced so far this season, it’s been hard to tell.

The Patriots brought in guard Brian Waters Sept. 4, just seven days before the team’s season opener in Miami. Waters began rotating at guard with Dan Connolly against the Dolphins but took over the full-time right interior position when Connolly had to move to center to replace an injured Dan Koppen.

Waters has handled the fast start extremely well, as the Patriots offense has yet to miss a beat through two games.

Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, who has amassed close to 1,000 yards passing in just two games, said he was impressed with his new guard’s level of professionalism, but added that it’s no surprise coming from an 11-year veteran. Waters joined the team with no training camp and had to learn enough of New England’s system to be ready to play in a week.

“He's teaching other guys the plays now. He's just that kind of guy,” Brady said during his Wednesday press conference. “… Every time you walk by his locker he's looking at his playbook trying to understand his role in the play, and that's what you get from a guy who has been to a bunch of Pro Bowls - a veteran player who takes his job very seriously and really wants to go out there and win games.”

New England hasn’t been stopped behind the line on any rushes up the middle and has just two negative run plays on the right side. The Patriots have rushed for four first downs between the middle and right side of the offensive line. Brady has been sacked just three times so far and hit seven.

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