Ventrone talks about roster yo-yoing

Ventrone talks about roster yo-yoing
November 18, 2011, 7:34 pm
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FOXBORO -- Death, taxes, and Ross Ventrone transactions.

The Patriots' safety has been involved in 21 transactions since signing with the Patriots as a rookie free agent. He's been cut by the team six times since August. Each time has been soon followed up with his activation to the practice squad.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on Friday that he is proud of the way Ventrone has responded each and every time he's cut and then brought right back on board.

"He's handled it great," said Belichick. "We've had other guys along with him that have been on or off the practice squad, or from the practice squad to the roster. But probably none more than him. He might lead the league in transactions. He's got to be right up there.

"But he's handled it great. We have a good line of communication and understanding."

As for how Ventrone feels? Well, he's just happy to always be called back.

"To be bounced around like that, it is pretty unique," said Ventrone on Friday. "But week-to-week, I just look at it as hopefully I'm going to play. I'm going to prepare like I'm going to play."

Ventrone has appeared in five games this season and has recorded one tackle. In order to keep him on his toes, and make sure he's ready to be activated to the 53-man roster when needed, Belichick surprises him sometimes at practice.

"Look, in the end, either you play in a game or don't," said Belichick. "That's what it comes down to. So you get prepared to play every week. If the coaches give you the opportunity to play, you play. If the coaches don't, then as a player, you can take what you learned that week, and get ready for this week. And he's don't a great job of that, outstanding.

"He's been ready when we've called him up a couple times. Sometimes, we had a feeling that we were going to be doing that. But other times, it's really been kind of a last-minute thing. And he's always been well-prepared and ready to go. We throw him in there when he kind of least expects it in practice, and he's prepared."

He's prepared because, regardless of how many times he's been cut and then brought back in, Ventrone prepares just as much as anyone else on the team.

"Every week, whatever my role is that week, I have to plan like I'm going to be playing the whole game," said Ventrone. "One injury away from going in. So I just plan and prepare like I'm going to be playing the whole game. I get into the game plan and everything, and study up just as much as anybody else."

Of course, whenever Ventrone is cut, there's no guarantee that he'll be available to the Patriots. He has to clear waivers first.

It's a risk that Belichick continues to take, knowing full well that someone could claim him. It just hasn't happened yet.

And as the weeks go by, and the transactions continue to include his name, Ventrone continues to become more and more of a Patriot, as evident on Friday in front of his locker, when asked if he ever thinks of what his football career would be like if he was claimed by another team.

"I'm just worried about the Chiefs right now," said Ventrone.