Quiet Cannon has opportunity in camp

Quiet Cannon has opportunity in camp
July 31, 2012, 3:49 pm
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FOXBORO -- Marcus Cannon had a crossbow for sale.

So he put it on Craigslist. From there, a special thing happened. Robert Rodriguez, an Iraqi War veteran who suffered head and shoulder injuries from an IED back in 2007, answered the ad and purchased the crossbow.

When Cannon learned Rodriguez' situation, Cannon delivered the crossbow personally and gave Rodriguez the crossbow for free.

Asked about the gesture on Sunday, Cannon said simply, "It was something like that."

The second-year tackle is not going to talk anyone's ear off. But he does have an opportunity in this camp to open some eyes.

With upheaval on the offensive line due to injuries and excused absences, Cannon's working extensively at right tackle in place of Sebastian Vollmer.

It's been a mixed bag. Cannon's a tenacious run-blocker but has had moments of inefficiency in individual drills focused on pass-blocking.

Cannon, who underwent treatement for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last summer and made his NFL debut in November, has changed his body noticeably. He's thinner in the face and seems more sturdily built.

He says he weighs about the same but credits the change to the offseason training program in Foxboro.

With Vollmer still not active, Cannon is likely going to spend a chunk of the preseason working at right tackle. It's a big opportunity for a player who had no preseason in 2010.

"We just do our jobs," said Cannon. "(Offensive line coach Dante) Scarnecchia is a great coach, he's always got everybody on whatever needs to be happening, he tells us what to do and it always works."

Hopes for the season?

"I want to get better every day, do the best I can and somehow help the team," Cannon said.

There's no doubt the former fifth-rounder can help. Whether he can wrest a spot from the oft-dinged Vollmer is the bigger question. So far, the answer is "unlikely."

But it's early and Cannon has shown in a lot of ways he's got a big heart.