FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After offiically being removed from the physically unable to perform list Saturday and participating in his first practice, defensive lineman Shaun Ellis commented on his return.
“It felt good, being on the field, around teammates, moving around a little bit,” he said.
The Patriots had a lighter practice Saturday, with players in shorts and jerseys (no pads). The pace was slow. Conditioning was a primary focus, with players running sprints at the end of the session.
Ellis, wearing No. 94, relayed what one would expect – coming from the Rex Ryan-led Jets to the Bill Belichick-led Patriots is “definitely a lot different.” At the same time, he knew what to expect.
“I’ve kind of been through it a little bit. I was born into this family, with [Bill] Parcells, being drafted by him and going through that period my rookie year, and going through it with [Eric] Mangini there,” he said. “I’m glad to get back to the swing of things.”
Ellis fielded several questions about the Patriots’ depth along the line.
“Just on names alone, it’s good, but we have to go out and put the work in at practice, get out there and play together,” he said. “Everybody knows when you start a defense, it starts up front. …
“It makes me want to be a part of it that much more. We have a lot of guys who can stop the run and also get after the quarterback. A lot of talent. I’m just eager to be a part of it and just go out and contribute the best way I can.”
Ellis also mentioned that a rotation of all those linemen could be good for the long-term.
“I think that’s the key to the season; being fresh late in the year, when it gets playoff time,” he said. “Rotating is definitely going to take the pressure off a lot of guys and keep us fresh throughout.”