2010 Patriots defensive snap count

January, 4, 2011
1/04/11
4:00
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A look at the snaps played by Patriots defenders throughout the 2010 season (includes some penalties), while analyzing the totals and what they might mean for the future (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

LB Jerod Mayo -- 1,066 of 1,101 (96.8 percent)
CB Devin McCourty -- 1,050 of 1,101 (95.4 percent)
S Brandon Meriweather -- 881 of 1,101 (80.0 percent)
CB Kyle Arrington -- 849 of 1,101 (77.1 percent)
S Patrick Chung -- 796 of 1,101 (72.3 percent)
S James Sanders -- 779 of 1,101 (70.8 percent)
DL Vince Wilfork -- 769 of 1,101 (69.8 percent)
OLB/DE Tully Banta-Cain -- 734 of 1,101 (66.7 percent)
LB Gary Guyton - 628 of 1,101 (57.0 percent)
OLB/DE Jermaine Cunningham -- 560 of 1,101 (50.9 percent)
OLB/DE Rob Ninkovich -- 518 of 1,101 (47.0 percent)
DL Gerard Warren -- 505 of 1,101 (45.9 percent)
CB Darius Butler -- 381 of 1,101 (34.6 percent)
ILB Brandon Spikes -- 349 of 1,101 (31.7 percent)
DL Mike Wright -- 316 of 1,101 (28.7 percent)
DL Ron Brace -- 283 of 1,101 (25.7 perecent)
DL Myron Pryor -- 237 of 1,101 (21.5 percent)
DL Brandon Deaderick -- 220 of 1,101 (20.0 percent)
CB Jonathan Wilhite-- 204 of 1,101 (18.5 percent)
S Jarrad Page -- 186 of 1,101 (16.9 percent)
OLB/DE Eric Moore -- 183 of 1,101 (16.6 percent)
LB Dane Fletcher -- 153 of 1,101 (13.9 percent)
DL Kyle Love -- 151 of 1,101 (13.7 percent)
OLB/DE Shawn Crable -- 124 of 1,101 (11.3 percent)
S Sergio Brown -- 86 of 1,101 (7.8 percent)
DL Landon Cohen -- 69 of 1,101 (6.3 percent)
CB Tony Carter -- 12 of 1,101 (1.1 percent)
LB/DE Pierre Woods -- 11 of 1,101 (1.0 percent)
OLB/DE Marques Murrell -- 7 of 1,101 (.6 percent)
S Aaron Hernandez -- 2 of 1,101 (.2 percent)
LB Tracy White -- 2 of 1,101 (.2 percent)
S Randy Moss -- 1 of 1,101 (.1 percent)

* One additional snap which accounts for a 12-men-on-the-field penalty against San Diego.

ANALYSIS: The 1,101 snaps is a very high total. It is tied to the team's 32nd ranking on third down, as offenses had a lot of extended drives which kept the defense on the field. As a comparison, the defense was on for 974 snaps (including some penalties) in 2009. ... Jerod Mayo is part of every package and as the signal-caller seldom comes off the field; he looked like a different player with his return to health in 2010 after spraining his MCL in '09. ... If Devin McCourty hit the rookie wall, it never showed. To have 95.4 percent playtime in a productive rookie season, while playing the left side, is off the charts -- not to mention his contributions on fourth down as well. ... Although he had a few fluctuations with his playing time over the course of the year, Brandon Meriweather finished as the top safety in terms of playing time. If he was ever in Bill Belichick's doghouse, it wasn't for long. ... Vince Wilfork finished with 69.8 percent of the snaps played, which reflected his role as more than just a two-down nose tackle. Wilfork played 51.8 percent of the snaps last season; he missed the last 3 games of '09 with injury and would have been around 63 percent had he played in those. ... Outside linebacker/defensive end Tully Banta-Cain finished with 5 sacks (2nd on team) and 13 quarterback hits (team-high) in 734 snaps, production that could be looked at closely by management from a cost/value perspective in the offseason. ... With three safeties in the top six in terms of playing time, it reflects how that position was viewed by the coaching staff as one of good depth, with the third safety often deemed more valuable than the third corner in sub packages. ... It didn't take long for Eric Moore, formerly of the United Football League, to surpass the production of Shawn Crable. In basically the same role, Moore, signed on Dec. 3, has been a late-season revelation.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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