Core 4: Niko, White & Brown

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When putting together a 46-man game-day roster, special teams is often a key consideration. A player who shows up on four units -- kickoff return, kickoff coverage, punt return, punt coverage -- can be more valuable than a player who specializes in one thing.

That explains how linebacker Niko Koutouvides could be signed last week and be in the lineup the last two games. He's quickly become a "core four" performer for Scott O'Brien's improving special teams units, tying for the team-high with two special teams tackles against the Chiefs

A look at the players who appeared on multiple units in Monday's 34-3 win over the Chiefs:

Four units

S Sergio Brown

LB Niko Koutouvides

LB Tracy White

Three units

WR Matthew Slater

S Ross Ventrone

RB Shane Vereen

RB Danny Woodhead

Two units

WR Julian Edelman

LB Gary Guyton

CB Antwaun Molden

LB Rob Ninkovich

NOTES: Safety James Ihedigbo's role was trimmed back, presumably because he was counted upon more on defense. ... Rookie RB Shane Vereen's three units is a season high for him. ... The Patriots made an adjustment on the kickoff return after the Chiefs' onside attempt, taking OL Ryan Wendell out of the wedge and bringing Aaron Hernandez on the frontline for an extra set of reliable hands. ... LB Niko Koutouvides, LB Tracy White and CB Antwaun Molden were each credited with two special teams tackles apiece.