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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Meriweather returns to top spot

By Mike Reiss

A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s Week 4 win over the Dolphins (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

CB Devin McCourty – 70 of 70
ILB Jerod Mayo – 68 of 70
S Patrick Chung – 63 of 70
S James Sanders – 58 of 70
CB Kyle Arrington – 56 of 70
OLB/DE Jermaine Cunningham – 53 of 70
OLB/DE Tully Banta-Cain – 52 of 70
DL Mike Wright – 49 of 70
DL Vince Wilfork – 45 of 70
LB Gary Guyton – 36 of 70
OLB/DE Rob Ninkovich – 36 of 70
DL Myron Pryor – 29 of 70
ILB Brandon Spikes – 29 of 70
S Brandon Meriweather – 28 of 70
DL Gerard Warren – 24 of 70
S Jarrad Page – 23 of 70
DL Brandon Deaderick – 20 of 70
CB Darius Butler – 14 of 70
Cb Jonathan Wilhite – 14 of 70
ILB Dane Fletcher – 2 of 70
DL Ron Brace – 1 of 70

(Offensive pass interference, offensive holding and defensive pass interference penalties included.)

ANALYSIS: One area to watch going forward is safety Brandon Meriweather taking on more of a full-time role. He played every snap in the first half before being knocked out of the second half with a knee injury. That could be an indication that Meriweather, who was back at practice on Thursday and Friday in a sign that the knee injury isn’t too serious, has reclaimed the top spot at the position. … First-round draft choice Devin McCourty has played every defensive snap this season. … Second-round draft choice Jermaine Cunningham saw his most extensive playing time of the season, lining up at outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment and moving to end in sub packages. ... At right cornerback, Kyle Arrington played the bulk of the snaps for the second week in a row. Darius Butler came on for two series late in the second half.