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Anderson, Mills excited to jump into Belichick's versatile defense

Two new Patriots free agent additions look like excellent fits for Bill Belichick's versatile defense.

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The Patriots made plenty of moves at the start of free agency and while it might've been surprising to see them so aggressive, it wasn't surprising to see them go after versatile defenders like Henry Anderson and Jalen Mills.

Speaking with the media for the first time since signing in New England, both Anderson and Mills expressed excitement to play for Bill Belichick and his staff, in a defense known for putting players in their best position to succeed.

Mills explained three things that drew him to the Patriots.

"One, you have to start with this organization, what they stand by and what they represent," said the defensive back. "And then two, of course, being coached by coach Belichick. I don't even really have to speak too much about that. And three, how they run their defense.

"They've got guys who are very versatile, who are playing multiple positions and I think that's where this league is going to now, guys playing multiple positions. It's all about confusing quarterbacks and being able to make plays."

After spending three seasons with the Colts and three seasons with the Jets, Anderson was well-familiar with the Patriots defense.

"It's always a fun defense to watch, they do a lot of different things on film," said Anderson. "A lot of smart guys that are able to handle a lot of different roles and do what they're asked to do."

Mills and Anderson hope that they can be those same kinds of players. For Mills, it will be in the secondary, where he played all over the Eagles secondary and will now try to emulate the just-retired Patrick Chung, who Mills had a great appreciation for.

"[Chung]'s a guy who's been doing it for a long time and when you talk about playing multiple positions, that guy is one of the definitions of it," said Mills. "I have a lot of respect for his game and what he's done in this organization."

For Anderson, it's upfront along a new-look defensive line where he'll hope to contribute in multiple ways, alongside fellow free agency signing Davon Godchaux.

"Over the years I've played pretty much every position on the line of scrimmage and feel comfortable everywhere," said Anderson. "Whatever I'm asked to do I'm going to continue to try to improve and help this defense.

"It was pretty cool to be in that building for the first time and get to meet some of the coaching staff that I've heard a lot of good things about. I've had some teammates over the years play for the Patriots, they've had a lot of good things to say, so pretty cool experience being in there, I've admired that defense for a while."

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