Saturday, November 19, 2011

Guard Waters proves a huge pickup for Pats

The New England Patriots signed veteran guard Brian Waters a week before the 2011 regular season started to help shore up an offensive line in limbo.

With as good as the five-time Pro Bowler has been throughout his career, and as good as he's looks this season, even Patriots coach Bill Belichick was surprised Waters was for the taking that late in offseason/preseason.

"I think if a player like that had been available in March [or] April, I would think he probably would have been on a team," Belichick told the media Friday, citing the late CBA agreement as a culprit of a wacky free agency. "But training camp started, nobody really had any opportunity to talk to anybody. [You're] trying to get your team ready to go to training camp and, yeah, there are some players out there you're working on but there are just a lot of things going on."

Waters has helped the Patriots' offensive line keep quarterback Tom Brady upright, as the unit is giving up only a sack and a half per game. But more importantly, Waters has had an impact in the locker room, as Brady and Belichick praised his work ethic early in the season in getting caught up with no training camp.

"Brian has done a great job for us and he's been a real good addition to our football team in so many ways," Belichick said. "I just couldn't say enough positive things about what he has brought here."

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