Mike Wrightwas a popular player among the media Tuesday … and not just because so few of his teammates made themselves available to talk.
With today's breaking news that starting DL Jarvis Greenwill be on the shelf for the next month or so after undergoing knee surgery last week, Wright will likely take his place in the lineup on the right side of the defensive line.
"As always, I'm a utility guy, so, wherever they want to put me, I'll be prepared," Wright told reporters.
"I've been playing there a little bit more this year since[Richard] Seymour'sgone and Jarvis is over there. I'm kind of backing up Jarvis a little bit more. It's been good. I've been getting a lot of reps there in games. It's been helping me out a lot, so, I'm a lot more comfortable."
According to multiple media reports, Green underwent a procedure to repair a meniscus injury, which could require a 2-4 week absence from the football field. Green was seen walking briefly – and relatively normally – through the Patriots locker room Tuesday. However, he politely declined to speak with the media.
In the meantime, Wright and the rest of the Patriots defense are preoccupied with stopping a Dolphins team that has become known for its college-style offense – the Wildcat – in which the running backs often take the direct snap and have the option of running with the ball or passing it.
"I think it gives the running back a little more time to read the defense, since he's getting the ball right off the bat. I think that gives him an edge," Wright observed, when asked what makes the Wildcat so tough to defend.
"When they're in that Wildcat, it pretty much means run. They do have the ability to pass, which throws people off, but run is the main concern. With me, personally, I'm going to try to stay patient and play a little bit slower. It's the same offense, the same kind of plays, it's just the running back taking the ball."
Wright called the Miami offense "well balanced," which it is. The Fins are getting nearly identical net yards in both their passing and running games. In fact, against the Jets this past Sunday, the Miami offense had exactly 52 net yards passing and 52 net yards rushing. Wright said he paid particular attention during the bye week to Miami's game against New York.
"They're not going to be the same team they always are," Wright added. "They will be, but they won't, you know? They're going to have something in their game plan that's going to throw us off a little, like they always do. So, we've got to be ready."
From an individual standpoint, Wright's expected increase in workload could augment his already impressive stats. He currently leads the Patriots in sacks with four.
"I try to take what I do in practice into games," he remarked when that fact was pointed out to him. "Comfort level, experience, that all goes into my production. I'm just thankful it's happening."
Going to the Taylor
Citing Miami's 3-0 division record, RB Kevin Faulksupported Wright's contention that the Pats need to expect the unexpected against the Dolphins this Sunday.
"They beat us last year one time here," he said. "You just want to be prepared for them because you know they're going to be ready to play … They're still running the same type of defense. Little wrinkles here and there, but they're putting guys in position to make plays."
One of those guys is old friend Jason Taylor.The DE/OLB has 5.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles to go along with his 20 tackles in his return to the Dolphins after a season with Washington.
"He's still doing the same things," Faulk noted. "He's playing on a different side, but he's still Jason Taylor, still being disruptive."
Tuesday locker room/practice notes
One player who was hunted down by reporters was the newest New England Patriot – practice squad tight end Rob Myers. The rookie from Utah State takes the place of Robbie Agnone, another rookie TE who has been placed on the practice squad/injured list with a shoulder problem. The 6-4, 240-pound Myers has had stints with the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles over the past six months.
Due to having had this past weekend off, the Patriots altered their typical workweek by practicing on Tuesday, the NFL's traditional day off.
LT Matt Light, who's been out of action since injuring his knee against Denver, was seen walking through the locker room without any noticeable limp.
The team donned full pads for their outdoor practice on their training camp fields behind Gillette Stadium this afternoon. Green, Light, and five other players were not in attendance, however: rookie WR Julian Edelman, RBs Fred Taylorand Sammy Morris, CB Jonathan Wilhite, and LB Adalius Thomas.