Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

May, 12, 2014
May 12
9:50
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cleaning out the Patriots notebook:

Veteran DE Smith not ready yet. Free-agent signee Will Smith, the longtime New Orleans Saint who inked a one-year deal with New England, is still recovering from a torn ACL sustained last August. "He still has some rehabilitation to do," coach Bill Belichick said over the weekend. "We feel like that’s coming along, going in the right direction. I think he’ll be competitive, but we’ll have to see how he rehabs from the injury but we’re optimistic that he’ll be on the field and be able to compete at some point. He’s not ready right now but I think he will be."

Second-year DB Ryan could get look at safety. As initially reported by the Boston Herald, the Patriots might work second-year defensive back Logan Ryan at safety at times. He played there in some game-plan specific packages in 2013. "Last year [Marquice] Cole sort of did that, played some safety, played some nickel corner, played a little bit on the perimeter. Logan did that [too]. We’ll have to see how it all comes together, but I would imagine in the spring that we probably give [him] some exposure [at safety again]," Belichick said. "I think there’s definitely a place for that too with the different personnel groups and the different types of receivers that we see. Every time it’s three receivers, it isn’t quite three receivers; it depends on who those three guys are and how you want to match up on them and so forth. So some flexibility for us defensively is probably a good thing over a long haul."

Harrison likely staying at WR. With the Patriots not drafting a tight end, one media-based thought was that first-year receiver Mark Harrison might get a look at the position. When Harrison was coming out of Rutgers, one team viewed him more as a "move" tight end based on his size (6-foot-3, 230 pounds), but Belichick said there are no plans to move Harrison to the position. "I’d say we’re probably looking at Harrison as a receiver. He missed almost all of the last year or so. To try to take a guy and move him away from a position before we’ve actually seen the position he actually played -- I’m not saying it won’t happen [but] I don’t think it’s going to happen for a while," Belichick said. "We’ll try to get him ready to play receiver and see how he plays there, how he competes with other players at the position, his primary position."

Siliga switches jersey number. Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga, who contributed down the 2013 homestretch in a run-stuffing role, has switched his jersey number to 96. He wore No. 71 last year.

Traditional photo shoot today. The Patriots are scheduled to hold their traditional photo shoot with their top draft choice this morning at Gillette Stadium (10 a.m. ET). Owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft will be joined by first-round pick Dominique Easley (No. 29 overall).

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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