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Friday, April 1, 2011
Stroud expects reawakening with Patriots

By Tim Graham

Marcus Stroud's career stalled out with the Buffalo Bills.

They traded for the three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle in 2008 and loved him so much after one season that they signed him to a contract extension -- even though he still had two years left on his contract. Stroud's new deal was worth $29 million through 2012.

Stroud
Stroud
In February, the Bills released him. He was a starting lineman on the NFL's worst run defense. There wasn't much reason to keep paying him when they could play less-expensive prospects instead.

So where does Stroud go after being dumped by a last-place team?

In the often counterintuitive NFL world, Stroud landed with the reigning AFC East champs. Stroud's first comments since signing a two-year deal with the New England Patriots were with Boston Herald reporter Ian R. Rapoport.

"I've seen the trend," Stroud said. "You have guys who are in the same situation I'm in, who some people may deem washed up or on his last legs. And then they end up going to New England and having a lot of success for another two, three, four years. That's what I'm looking at.

"I know how my body feels right now. It's just a matter of getting in shape and being ready. I promise you, I will do that."

In 15 games for the Bills last season, Stroud recorded 29 tackles, six tackles for losses and three sacks.

Stroud wasn't forthcoming about his role in the Patriots' defense, but he didn't seem too concerned with learning his responsibilities.

"With the timing [of the lockout], we talked as much as we could in a day or two," Stroud said. "So I know the scheme. I'm familiar with it. But I guess all that other stuff and exactly where I fit in, where I would be playing and stuff like that, that'll take care of itself.

"At the end of the day, it's still football. You got to be able to get on and off your blocks, tackle the ball."