Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday we looked at No. 54 Dont’a Hightower, and the day before that it was No. 55 Jonathan Freeny. Because today marks 53 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 53, linebacker No. 53 Eric Martin.
Signed to the Patriots’ practice squad on December 29th after playing 13 games for the Cleveland Browns earlier in the regular season, Martin is a member of Paradigm Sports Management.
In two NFL seasons since his Nebraska days, Martin has appeared in 29 games for the Browns, amassing 14 tackles and a forced fumble. He landed on the Patriots’ practice squad right after Christmas, and he hasn’t been in the news since.
Martin will be contending for space on the linebacker depth chart with fellow under-the-radar players Feeny, Fleming and Dekoda Watson. To make the team, Martin will have to display special teams prowess and capability as a backup linebacker.
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As noted by Mike Reiss in December, Martin was claimed off waivers by the Browns in the summer of 2013, meaning has a connection to former Cleveland general manager Michael Lombardi. Lombardi is an assistant to the Patriots’ coaching staff, a constant whisper in the ear of Bill Belichick.
The acquisitions of former Browns Martin and Jabaal Sheard in such quick succession indicate that the Patriots like to draw from the Cleveland pipeline of front seven players.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 58 Darius Fleming, No. 59 Chris White, No. 60 David Andrews, No. 61 Marcus Cannon, No. 62 Ryan Wendell, No. 63 Tre’ Jackson, No. 64 Chris Barker, No. 65 Jordan Devey, No. 66 Bryan Stork, No. 67 Josh Kline, No. 68 Caylin Hauptmann, No. 69 Shaq Mason, No. 71 Cameron Fleming and No. 72 Joe Vellano.