By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
FOXBORO At some point on Sunday, New England Patriots defensive lineman Shaun Ellis will do a little reminiscing.
That's to be expected when you consider the amount of time he spent with the New York Jets - his entire career - and now finds himself facing them for the first time.
And making things even more awkward, his new team (New England) is his old team's biggest rival.
Just imagine Tim Thomas in goal for the Montreal Canadiens, or Rajon Rondo playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ellis shrugs off the idea that he has an axe to grind with the Jets after they did not look to pursue him aggressively during free agency.
But he does acknowledge that Sunday's game will be unlike any NFL game he's ever played in before.
"It's going to be different," he said. "It's going to be different. But I'm a Patriot. I just want to go out and play my best in this game and do the things I know I can do."
He added, "If you make it too personal, you start messing up."
Jets coach Rex Ryan had nothing but praise for the 11-year veteran.
"I think Shaun is an excellent player, there's no question about it," Ryan said. They brought in Andre Carter, They brought in Shaun, they bring in Albert Haynesworth to add to what they have, is obviously an upgrade for what New England has."
One of Ellis' strengths, Ryan believes, is his versatility.
"He's a 3-4 defensive end, he can play in a 4-3 defense so they're doing multiple things," Ryan said. "It was really a good move by Bill Belichick to bring him in. He is a guy that can play in any defense you got."
And he's providing that talent to the New England Patriots, a team that he has spent his entire career trying to beat.
Ellis admits he has been pleasantly surprised at how quickly his new teammates took to him.
"I could say the team really embraced me when I came here," Ellis said. "I was kind of a little fuzzy at first, but they really took me in, showed me how they do things around here. It's been great."