Core 4: Koutouvides and Co.

November, 14, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Stories like Niko Koutouvides' is part of what makes the NFL so unpredictable.

On Wednesday, the eight-year veteran linebacker was back in the Patriots' locker room, joining the team at the midpoint of the season. He explained that over his career with the Seahawks (2004-2007), Broncos (2008) and Buccaneers (2009-2010), he had never been a midseason pickup forced to learn on the fly.

Koutouvides, who spent time with the Patriots in training camp this year, proved to be a quick study last week. He was part of the "core four" special teams units in Sunday's win over the Jets, and recovered a third-quarter fumble while covering a punt. His contributions on special teams reflect why the Patriots were interested in signing him.

With Koutouvides' contributions as a springboard, a look at the players who appeared on multiple special teams units Sunday:

Four units
S Sergio Brown
LB Niko Koutouvides
LB Jeff Tarpinian
LB Tracy White

Three units
S James Ihedigbo
WR Matthew Slater
RB Danny Woodhead

Two units
CB Phillip Adams
KR/PR Julian Edelman
CB Antwaun Molden
LB Rob Ninkovich
S Ross Ventrone

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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