By Tom E. CurranFOXBORO - Dane Fletcher isn't indispensable. But life is easier when he's around. Asked Thursday night about Fletcher's roles with the team, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said, "Hes played on all four downs for us. He's played on first and second down, played on third down and played in the kicking game, so he has some versatility. He's had roles on different downs on different times or different game plans. So hes done all of those things to some degree."Because of the torn left ACL he suffered during a first-quarter punt Thursday, this year Fletcher will likely be doing none of those things. Which means the role of coverage linebacker falls to veteran Bobby Carpenter and whichever safety Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia decide can match up on underneath receivers (James Ihedigbo, for instance). Carpenter's been widely praised through camp for his smarts and effort. He's also shown very good pursuit speed. His shortcoming sometimes seems to be simply tackling. Now, with Fletcher down a while, it figures to be Carpenter's gig. So how'd it go Thursday?"It's never as good as what you think it is," he explained. "(The first preseason game) is a good opportunity to see where you are as a player and as a team."Did it seem as if guys were going to the right places, as if the I's were dotted and T's were crossed?"It's tough to tell that stuff on the field when you're playing but hopefully we'll have all our guys in the right places and doing the right things when we watch the tape tomorrow. It can either look good or look bad. Sometimes you see a good play and realize how close it was to being a bad one. The eye in the sky never lies."
Carpenter's work order will get bigger
August 10, 2012, 7:44 pm