FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- While it took several years for safety Steve Gregory to emerge as a full-time starter in San Diego, it doesn't look like it will take long for the 29-year old to find a significant role in the Patriots defense this season.
Gregory has lined up almost exclusively next to secondary stalwart Patrick Chung during OTAs and minicamps, after coming to New England on a three-year deal in March. In the early going, Gregory has been noticed by his teammates and coaches.
"He's smart. He's a smart dude. He can make plays, he can see things. He's a veteran out there. I'm learning things from him too," Chung said on Wednesday. "He might see things I don't see. He's picking up on the stuff. He's picking it up fast, so it's good."
Safeties coach Brian Flores said, "He's done a good job during these OTAs and minicamp. He's bright. He's a team guy. Wherever we put him, he's done a good job, learning the defense. He's great. What I like about him is that he's a team-first guy. He's willing to learn all positions. He's very versatile, and he's smart."
While Gregory figures to be a major part of the Patriots' defensive backfield this season, it will likely come in a variety of roles. For the Syracuse product, versatility is important.
"I’m a guy that prides myself on versatility," Gregory said Wednesday. "I like to be able to play multiple positions, and you have to be like that. This is the game of football, guys go down, you need guys who can step up and play multiple positions."