Slater answers call at safety

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
5:24
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots' revolving door at safety continued to swing on Sunday, with fourth-year special teams captain and wide receiver Matthew Slater receiving the start in New England's 31-24 win over the Colts.

Slater, who has seen time at safety in past preseasons, was approached by coaches earlier this week about the move.

"It's just one of those things when I've known since I've been here: just to be ready to do whatever they ask me to do," said Slater, who finished with a forced fumble and seven tackles. "I know I'm a role player on this team, and whatever role they need me to do, that's what I'm going to do."

Slater is the latest unexpected contributor in the secondary, his increased role coming just weeks after fellow receiver Julian Edelman got the call at cornerback. This week, reporters peppered Slater with questions about Edelman, not knowing Slater was the latest trick up head coach Bill Belichick's sleeve at defensive back.

"I was laughing to myself when you guys were asking about that," Slater joked.

Whether Slater continues see time at safety in coming weeks remains to be seen. But on Sunday afternoon, Slater answered the call and did not disappoint.

"Quite a few plays today I guess, so that's why I'm a little bit sore," Slater said. "That was a lot of football tonight. I'm going to sleep well tonight."

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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