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Parker earns praise from Belichick

After two preseason games, the team leader in tackles for New England is backup defensive lineman Riddick Parker with seven.


            Parker, who signed with the Patriots in June, is not a flashy player. Like many of the free agents brought in by New England this offseason, he did not arrive with much fanfare, but Head Coach Bill Belichick has noticed his play.  

"Riddick has had a very good camp," Belichick said. "He hasn't missed any time at all. He has been a very consistent player.

"Through the spring camps and in training camp, I think he's a guy who has grown on us a little bit in terms of his dependability. He is an intelligent player who makes very few mistakes."

A year ago, Parker set a career-high with 48 tackles while starting all 16 games for the Seattle Seahawks. The 6-3, 295-pounder is working as an end, but moving him inside to the nose spot has been discussed.

"He came from a scheme that was quite a bit different from what we play, so he's learning some new techniques," Belichick said. "He's shown consistant improvement and he's doing a lot better now than he was earlier. He really understands what we are looking for."

Parker originally signed with the San Diego Chargers as a non-drafted rookie free agent in 1995. He signed with the Seahawks in 1996 and spent the season as a member of the team's practice squad.

In his three seasons on the Seahawks active roster, Parker saw limited playing time. In 1999 he earned his first three starts before becoming a full-time starter in 2000.

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