FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran guard Brian Waters admitted Monday that he wasn't certain what kind of shape he will be in having been without a job throughout the preseason. The 11-year veteran, inked Sunday by the New England Patriots to add depth on the interior of the offensive line, chuckled and told reporters to ask him again after his first practice. But Waters stressed one thing: If the Patriots need him to start at right guard on opening night in one week's time against the Miami Dolphins, he'll be ready.
"That’s what I’m preparing for," said Waters, who appeared in all but three games over the past nine seasons, starting every contest he appeared in. "I think that’s what everybody here is preparing for. I don’t know any other way then to prepare for it. If it happens, that’s the coach’s decision, but that’s definitely what I’m preparing for."
Despite spending his entire career with one team, Waters said Monday he's excited for the opportunity in New England. His locker nestled snugly between Logan Mankins and Matt Light, Waters spoke about his familiarity with the Patriots organization, inheriting Tedy Brusch's No. 54 jersey, making the switch to right guard, and inheriting his work ethic from a grandmother that worked the same job as a cafeteria worker for 48 years.
Here are some highlights from Waters' seven-minute chat with the media:
On the switch to right guard: "[Waters has] a little bit [of experience there]. You have to flip everything in your mind, especially when you’ve done something for a long time. I don’t think it’ll take me too long to get it."
On deciding where to sign: "Actually, I had numerous phone calls. It was just about finding the situation that was best for me. This was a great organization, so why not? Their record speaks for itself. This is a football team that’s a contender year in and year out. I had the opportunity to be around the staff and a number of players [during five Pro Bowl appearances] and had the opportunity to spend some time with [owner] Mr. [Robert] Kraft during the offseason [labor negotiations]. It seemed like a perfect fit for me."
On Logan Mankins: "He's a great football player. We just happen to play the same position, so I have a great appreciation for the type of work he does."
On protecting quarterback Tom Brady: "It kinda goes both way. You want to make sure you do the best job no matter who’s back there; You know they’ve got a family to feed and you want to protect them as best as possible. It just so happens this team has a great one back there."
On the history of the No. 54 jersey: "I had the opportunity to meet [Bruschi] a few times, and play with him at the Pro Bowl. I do have a great appreciation for the number."
On his split with Kansas City: "It was just a mutual parting; Two people deciding it was best to go their separate ways without ill intentions or anything negative to say. Just a mutual decision."
On Patriots' offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia: " Oh, I know him. And I'm sure I haven’t seen the best of him yet. But I'm sure I’ll find out soon."