FOXBORO -- This is Trevor Scott's fifth year in the NFL. After spending four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, the defensive end is having a somewhat different experience this season with the Patriots.
"I mean, other than the fact that it's the first time I'm making the playoffs, it's pretty different," said Scott on Monday, a day after the Patriots beat the Dolphins 28-0 to clinch a first-round bye. "I'm definitely excited to be here, and definitely ready to take a run at this thing."
If the Patriots are going to take a serious run, then they're going to need Scott's presence on the defensive line. He recorded one of New England's seven sacks on Sunday, and may be used even more if Rob Ninkovich's hip injury limits his playing time. (Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran reported Monday that the Patriots are cautiously optimistic that Ninkovich may return for the playoffs.)
"I just go in and perform every time I'm asked to," said Scott, who saw action in place of Ninkovich against the Dolphins after the Ninkovich left the game. "I mean, that's all I can really control. So, every time my number's called, I just make sure I go in and do my job.
"We have a lot of depth here, on defense," added Scott. "That's one thing, when someone goes down, we have the next guy that's going to step in and fill his role. It's definitely huge to have the depth that we have, so no matter what happens, we just have to keep moving forward."
Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said in a conference call Monday that he was pleased with Scott's progress.
"Trevor has certainly progressed and become more familiar with the system and communication and the different things that were trying to do," Patricia said. "Obviously we have a situation like we had yesterday and guys just have to step in and go and thats what we prepare for every week."
The Patriots move forward with a first-round bye. Players showed up for meetings on Monday. They'll have Tuesday off, and will practice on Wednesday and Thursday before having Friday through Sunday off.
"We're not taking the week off, that's for sure," said Scott on Monday. "We're still going to be back in here working hard, getting ready for whoever we face next.
"It's definitely good for us, just for the fact that you get to be mentally sharp and physically sharp again. The bye week is definitely big."