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Monday, January 23, 2012
Special teams: Gostkowski gets it done

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the Patriots players who appeared on multiple special teams units -- kickoff coverage, kickoff return, punt coverage, punt return -- which adds to their value on the 46-man game-day roster:

Four units
Sergio Brown
Niko Koutouvides
Matthew Slater

Three units
Dane Fletcher
Tracy White
Malcolm Williams

Two units
Patrick Chung
Julian Edelman
BenJarvus Green-Ellis
James Ihedigbo
Antwaun Molden
Rob Ninkovich

NOTES: Because of kicker Stephen Gostkowski's strong leg on kickoffs, coverage wasn't a big factor. On six kickoffs, he had five touchbacks. Zoltan Mesko only punted twice, so the Patriots' coverage teams weren't tested much. ... Units charted were the first to take the field. Personnel can sometimes vary based on a situation, such as Vince Wilfork playing on the punt return unit, at the line of scrimmage, perhaps if the team was anticipating a  possible fake.