Waters: New England's 'as good as it gets'

Waters: New England's 'as good as it gets'
September 5, 2011, 4:54 pm
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By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - He didn't have to go to a single training camp practice. Didn't have to play in any meaningless preseason games. He's shown up in New England a week before the opener and is ready to be plugged in at right guard and be paid a couple million. No wonder newly acquired Brian Waters said on Monday, "I think this is as good as it gets."Waters, a five-time Pro Bowler with Kansas City met with media in the Patriots locker room Monday. He said the same things that every newly-signed Patriot says. Great organization. Great coaching. Great opportunity. When a guy shows up and says, "I think I made a mistake coming here" then we'll have a story. More relevant than Waters' happiness is whether or not he is A) in good enough condition to step right in and play guard in the heat of South Florida in one week and B) able to easily transition from the left side of the offensive line where he's always played to the right. Asked about his conditioning, Waters said, "You should probably ask me that question tomorrow (after he's gone through a practice)."Does he believe he'll be ready to play in a week? "That's what I'm preparing for," he answered. "That's what everybody in here has been preparing for."They, of course, have been preparing for it since July 28. Waters, at 34, has been idle. The biggest concern has to be his health. Even though he's missed just three games in his career, will Waters be able to go at the necessary level. The signing of Waters was necessitated by injuries to Dan Connolly and Rich Ohrnberger at right guard. Now Waters is preparing to step in on the side he's not familiar with. To some players, like Patriots' left tackle Matt Light, that kind of switch has been difficult. For others, like rookie tackle Nate Solder and third-year man Sebastian Vollmer, it hasn't been. Waters made it sound like it's not a big deal. "You just have to flip everything in your mind when you've been doing something for a long time, but I don't think it'll take me a long time to get it," said Waters. Which is good. Because he doesn't have a long time. Waters will wear Tedy Bruschi's old number, 54. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.