Quiet Cannon happy to be activated
November, 16, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A day after being activated to the 53-man roster from the reserve/non-football injury list, Patriots rookie Marcus Cannon wouldn't reveal any hints about his potential role moving forward.
Cannon, the team's fifth-round draft choice out of TCU, who in full remission from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, seemed slightly ill at ease when a big media horde descended upon his locker Wednesday. He was tight-lipped, especially in regards to where he might play if thrust into game action over the final seven weeks of the regular season.
It led to a humorous moment when Cannon was asked where he'd been working during the three weeks of practice before his activation.
"Where have I been working? I've been working with the offensive line," Cannon said matter-of-factly. Pressed on where exactly he might project on the line, he added, "I play whatever Coach [Bill Belichick] tells me to... You gotta ask him."
The 6-foot-6, 348-pound Cannon played tackle in college, but Belichick noted last week that he had potential to offer flexibility throughout the line. The Patriots could have moved Cannon to season-ending injured reserve Tuesday, but his activation suggests the team believes he might be able to help them later in the year.
For his part, Cannon said he never considered not getting back on the field this season. He said his strength never truly left him and he feels good as he joins the active roster.
"I never thought about [not playing this year], I just did what I could," he said.
As for advice from veteran teammates, Cannon said, "I talk to everybody on the team, everybody's helping me out. I'm taking what they tell me and doing the best I can with it."
Asked how the team might integrate Cannon, Belichick said every player has to be ready for different potential roles.
"All of our players who aren’t starting players and even some of the players who are starting players will work at multiple spots," said Belichick. "We only have, I’d say normally you only have maybe 10 or 11 offensive linemen on the field for practice. Again, it varies depending on if a guy practices or not. You’re in that ballpark somewhere, so the guys who are the starting players, they take a lot of their reps on offense and but then when it goes to defense, sometimes they’ll play at their secondary spot and then the guys who, like the practice squad guys or Marcus, players like that, then they’ll get some reps for the defense at maybe what is their primary position they’re responsible for, but they’ll also take reps at other spots based on which other guys are in the game with them, that type of thing.
"I’d say that everybody, maybe with the exception of some of your starting offensive linemen, they’ll get reps at at least one other position over the course of practice somewhere along the line. And the guys who aren’t starting probably get multiple looks at different positions so it’s pretty much the same for everybody."