By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
FOXBORO Shaun Ellis had every reason in the world to believe that this day would never come.
A first-round pick of the New York Jets in 2000, Ellis has spent his entire career in New York, most of which was spent trying to knock Tom Brady and anyone donning a Patriots jersey, on their keister.
Beat the Patriots.
Every year, that was the goal.
Now he's one of them.
Ellis, who signed a one-year deal with New England reportedly worth 4-5million, was among the new faces at practice on Monday who have taken their talents to Foxboro.
With the Jets offering just a fraction of the the Pats were willing to pony up, money was clearly a factor in Ellis' decision.
But when you listen to him speak, it's clear that a fat payday wasn't the only reason he decided to join up with a franchise that for years has been an arch enemy.
"The first thing that comes to mind is winning, you know, championships," Ellis said. "I don't have one and I want to get one before it's all said and done. This is the best opportunity for me to do it and I joined and I'm ready to get in line with the rest of the guys and play my role."
That role has yet to be determined, but make no mistake - the Patriots expect Ellis to be an impact player.
When you look at his size (6-foot-5, 290), his track record (two Pro Bowls and three seasons with double-digit sack totals) and experience, it makes sense that he'll be counted on as a significant contributor in a defensive line that's loaded with talent.
"Shaun's played a lot of good football against us," said Pats coach Bill Belichick. "Very durable player, and very consistent. It seems like every time we play them, he lines up there and we have a hard time with him."
In New York's 28-21 playoff win over New England last season, Ellis was among the Jets players who contributed to New York's upset win.
His ability to sack Brady twice in the game's early moments set a tone defensively for New York.
The Patriots wouldn't mind seeing a similar impact from Ellis this season.
When asked about what kind of impact could he make immediately, Ellis said, "Just come in, my presence, be able to push the pocket as well with Albert (Haynesworth) and Vince (Wolfork) and a couple guys on defense and just see what happens."
Ellis did not practice on Monday, adding that he had yet to take the team's conditioning test.
Once he takes it and passes it, he'll be on the practice field as the Patriots slowly but surely inch closer toward the start of the regular season.
And while Ellis repeatedly talked about him joining the Patriots after so many years with the Jets is "just business," truth be told, he knows it'll be more than "just business" when New England plays his former team on Oct. 9 and at New York on Nov. 13.
"They have a choice of going after the guys they feel like they need or want to surround their team around and I just wasn't in their plan," Ellis said. "Like I said, 'I'm a Patriot now; I'm part of this plan and I'm going to go out there and play my best."
Still, the intensity will be amped up just a little bit more than usual when he sees his former team for the first time.
"The extra motivation comes when you play any team," Ellis said. "Each win is hard to come by, so as many wins as you can rack up, the better. Against the Jets, yeah that puts a little bit of icing on the cake, it does."