Players with special teams value

August, 25, 2012
8/25/12
7:25
PM ET
TAMPA -- When it comes to forming a final 53-man roster, special teams are sometimes a key consideration. With this in mind, here is a look at the Patriots players who showed up on multiple units within the "Big 4" (kickoff return, kickoff coverage, punt return, punt coverage) on Friday night against the Buccaneers:

Four units
None

Three units
RB Brandon Bolden
CB Marquice Cole
S Nate Ebner
S James Ihedigbo
LB Niko Koutouvides
CB Devin McCourty*
WR Matthew Slater
LB Jeff Tarpinian

Two units
CB Kyle Arrington*
LB Bobby Carpenter
DE Trevor Scott
RB Shane Vereen
S Tavon Wilson

(Players charted based on first unit that came on to the field.)

** Because McCourty returned the team's first kickoff, he gets the "3 units" over Kyle Arrington, who later came on to field a kickoff, which could have upped him to "3 units."

EXTRA POINTS: Safety Steve Gregory served as the personal protector on the punt team in place of the injured Patrick Chung. ... No sign of Sergio Brown, which could spell trouble for him. ... When Marquice Cole shows up on three units, and rookie Alfonzo Dennard doesn't show up on any top units, it puts Cole in a leading position if both are fighting for one spot, as some speculate. ... Rookie RB Brandon Bolden's presence on three units looks like a tip-off that he will be on the final roster -- an undrafted free agent bucking the odds. ... Ditto for S Nate Ebner, whose special teams prowess should earn him a roster spot.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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