Though he was only a seventh-round draft choice, it seemed plausible that Brandon Deaderickcould find his way onto the Patriots 53-man roster given where he went to college. Deaderick's Alabama squad, coached by Bill Belichick'sfriend and kindred coaching spirit, Nick Saban, employed a similar defensive scheme.
However, the rookie defensive lineman doesn't feel like that was much of a factor in his development thus far.
"Whatever they put in the game plan, that's what I'm going to focus on doing," he stated.
What has helped more, according to Deaderick, is the amount of film he now studies compared to his days in Tuscaloosa.
"When I first got here, I knew it was going to be an adjustment from college. From the first day, all the rookie d-linemen, we just really tried to focus on stepping a part of our game up. I'm constantly breaking down film, understanding what the offense is trying to do. Right now, I'm doing the same things I did back then, only I'm on the field."
For the past two contests, Deaderick was been on the field quite a bit. Starting, in fact, at left defensive end. He's managed to register a sack and a pair of solo tackles each time. A great start, especially for a rookie, but Deaderick remains low-key about his accomplishments thus far.
"The way I look at it, it's what I'm supposed to do. They put me on the field because they feel I can help out the team. So, when you're presented with plays, you've got to make them. Personally, I'm just trying to go out there and contribute, making sure I didn't compromise the defense, making sure I was good on all my responsibilities – playing aggressive, hard, and fast. You do those things and focus on the [opponent] in front of you, you're going to have success.
"Preparation is the same," Deaderick added, "regardless if it's practice squad, starting, whatever. Everybody has a role on the team. Everybody's role is important. Everybody contributes in their own specific way. I just want to contribute to the team. I come in every week and focus on the opponent. Last week's gone, next week's not here yet. I just try to get a little bit better every day."
Moss on their minds
Couldn't go a day this week without mentioning the return of Randy Mossto Gillette Stadium. The wide receiver and his new Vikings teammates will invade Foxborough Sunday at 4:15, just a month after the Patriots traded Moss back to his original club, Minnesota.
"Randy is a great player. I'm glad I don't have to defend him," said QB Tom Brady.
But one player who almost certainly will at one point or another is CB Kyle Arrington, who has faced Moss in practice the past two years. Might that give Arrington even a slight advantage in covering the future Hall of Famer?
Arrington wasn't taking the bait.
"I mean, Randy, he's a heck of deep threat, if not one of the best in the game or ever to do it," he replied. `"So we're aware of that and we're going to let the front seven do their job and as a secondary we're going to do our job ... So whatever the call is, whatever the play is, I'm just going to do my job."
Moss always appeared to be one of the more popular players in New England's locker room, and Arrington said that will manifest itself when Moss comes back this weekend for pre-game warm-ups.
"I'm sure a lot of us will [say hello], but in between those 60 minutes, it's all business.
"We all love Randy to death," Arrington added. "A lot of us wish he were still here, but we also understand the business side of it and, you know, it was his decision to make, so this week he's our opponent."
Wed 10/27 Practice Notebook
For news and notes from Wednesday's practice, please visit the PFW Blog.