Svitek increases value with flexibility on line

Svitek increases value with flexibility on line
August 19, 2013, 4:45 pm
Share This Post

FOXBORO -- Perhaps overlooked in the conversation about all the new faces on the New England Patriots' offense is an offensive line that has plenty of experience playing together and protecting Tom Brady.

There is one new face in the group, though. That would be veteran tackle Will Svitek.

Svitek is entering into his ninth NFL season. He signed with the Patriots in March, last playing for the Atlanta Falcons in 2011.

He started the Patriots' first two preseason games at right guard, a position he's never played. But his versatility on the offensive line is something that his teammates believe will ultimately help both him and the Patriots.

"He's asked us for advice," said Logan Mankins after Monday's practice. "This is Will's ninth year, and he's never played guard in his career. So, he kind of got thrown in there. And he's done a good job for us. He's learned pretty fast on the fly. He's only helping himself out by being more flexible."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick feels the same way. Right now, Svitek's versatility is impressing everyone around him.

"He hasn’t had a whole lot of experience at guard prior to this year, this camp, but he’s handled it very well," said Belichick. "Smart guy, adjusts quickly, has a lot of experience playing tackle and understands the whole offensive line system and communication, how everything works together. He’s done a good job. 

"It wasn’t something we were planning on doing, but it worked out that way. He’s certainly increased his value to the team by showing that he can play two positions when we were kind of just looking at it as tackle, both left and right tackle, but he’s also shown that he can play guard. He’s helped himself on that. It’s helped our team."