New England Patriots: Andre Neblett

Pats waive DT Andre Neblett

October, 21, 2013
The Patriots waived defensive tackle Andre Neblett on Monday.

It's the second time the team has parted ways with Neblett, who played just five defensive snaps on Sunday.

It could also mean that veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, who has missed two games due to a knee injury, is progressing in his rehab. The Patriots relied on rookies Joe Vellano and Chris Jones as starters in Week 7, with Marcus Forston providing top reserve duties. The timetable for Kelly's return to the lineup remains unknown.

The Patriots now have an open spot on their active roster.

Patriots promote DT Forston, waive Neblett

October, 12, 2013
The Patriots on Saturday promoted defensive tackle Marcus Forston from the practice squad to the active roster and waived defensive tackle Andre Neblett, who was signed earlier this week.

Forston, originally an undrafted free agent for the team in 2012, made the active roster out of training camp last season before spending much of it on the practice squad.

With veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly ruled out for Sunday's contest, Forston is likely to see reps behind rookies Chris Jones and Joe Vellano, who project to play starting roles against the Saints.

Forston played in one game last season, though he did not record any statistics.

Wilfork's presence aids newcomer Neblett

October, 11, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Vince Wilfork's season-ending Achilles injury has left a big void at the heart of the New England Patriots' defense, but Wilfork is still a presence around the club.

In fact, free-agent defensive tackle Andre Neblett said Wilfork has played an important role in easing his transition to the team after he signed a one-year deal with a $630,000 base salary on Wednesday.

[+] EnlargeAndre Neblett
Mike Reiss/ESPNBoston.comAndre Neblett talks to reporters at Gillette Stadium.
“He was here, in a couple of meetings, sitting in there giving us advice,” Neblett said Friday. “I see we have a lot of young guys on the D-line and it was great for him to come in and help us.”

The 6-foot-0, 310-pound Neblett relayed that Wilfork's advice to him was straight-forward: “He said things change around here quick, so stay on top of your game and it will help you stay around. Just come in and work and stay in the playbook.”

Neblett has long admired Wilfork, going back to Wilfork's college days at Miami.

“Miami was the powerhouse at the time and I would look at him and wonder how a guy that big moves so well,” he said. “Now being here, right next to him [in the locker room], trying to fill in for him, those are going to be big shoes to fill. I'm going to do my best.”

Neblett, who has a thick beard that would fit well in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse, has been more of a 4-3, penetrating defensive tackle in his first three years in the NFL -- first with the Carolina Panthers (2010-2012) and then in training camp this year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Patriots' scheme is different, often asking linemen to play two gaps, but Neblett thinks he will be able to make the transition.

“Because I'm a fast guy and at the same time a technician, I can kind of adjust,” he said. “As far as playing the two-gap, I can do that. I use my hands well and I'm able to stay low as a short, stocky guy. So I can get under guys and hopefully get back there and penetrate and also hold some gaps.”

And if all else fails, Neblett -- whose presence takes on added importance with veteran Tommy Kelly (right knee) unlikely to play on Sunday -- figures he doesn't need to overthink it.

“All I know is run to the ball and I'll be all right,” he chuckled.