June 12, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia (right) talks with head coach Bill Belichick during mini camp at the Gillette Stadium practice facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: Ventrone bounced between the active roster and practice squad enough last season to gain national attention, while becoming a bit of a fan favorite in New England. He twice earned practice player of the week honors last season, and after two seasons in New England, could be ready for a promotion.
After a day spent practicing with New Orleans back in August of 2010, Belichick said, “I thought yesterday’s practice was probably one of the most productive practices I think I’ve been a part of in my career.”
It burdened Patriots [team stats] defensive tackle Kyle Love after his career at Mississippi State. He had a surgically repaired toe injury that never healed correctly during his collegiate days, and it caused him so much pain that he sat out a number of practices during his senior season.
The image of offense after offense marching down the field unimpeded against the New England Patriots defense remains fresh in many minds.
WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: While his contributions on defense would be limited, Williams has the potential to be a top-shelf special teams player. Hampered by a leg injury last preseason, the 2011 seventh-round pick played in every playoff game and will be fighting for a back-end roster spot this summer. His best chance to crack the 53-man roster will come as the fifth cornerback and a “core four” special teams player. There was also talk of Williams’ cross-training as a safety, which would add to his value.