Anderson's usage up in Buffalo

As the Patriots begin preparations for Sunday's game against the Bills, it's a chance to revisit the decision of former New England defensive end Mark Anderson to sign with Buffalo this offseason. The Bills signed Anderson to a four-year contract with a maximum value of $27 million, which was out of the Patriots' range.

Looking back, one of the big questions with Anderson was how much to extend for someone who was viewed more as a part-time player than a full-timer (he played 47.6 percent of the snaps in 2011).

The Bills viewed him differently and paid him accordingly. Through three games, Anderson is starting at right defensive end and comes off at times in place of Chris Kelsay.

at Jets: 32 of 65 snaps

vs. Chiefs: 59 of 73 snaps

at Browns: 48 of 63 snaps

So he's at a 69 percent clip, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked Tuesday what he's seen from Anderson (6-4, 255) so far in Buffalo.

"Mark is what we saw here last year -- long, athletic, runs well, does a good job of pressuring the edge and has good length," he said. "He's a hard guy to throw around and his length and his speed are a tough matchup for the tackles."

Patriots left tackle Nate Solder draws Anderson on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Patriots look like they've found themselves a worthy replacement at defensive end, and then some, with first-round draft choice Chandler Jones.