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Analysis of the release of Shawn Crable

07.28.10 at 4:40 pm ET
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The release of outside linebacker Shawn Crable brings to an end one of the least eventful careers in Patriots’€™ history.

The Michigan product was taken in the third round of the 2008 draft, and was thought to be a perfect fit as an outside linebacker in New England’€™s system ‘€” at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he was in the mold of the Willie McGinest-style pass-rusher. The numbers certainly made it look like the Patriots were getting someone who could get after the quarterback ‘€” as a collegian, Crable had 16 sacks and finished seventh in school history with 43 stops for losses of 163 yards.

But the lanky Crable was hobbled by a series of injuries in his two years in New England that prevented him from taking a single meaningful snap. Shin and groin injuries landed him on season-ending injured reserve in both 2008 and 2009. (As a rookie, he was inactive for the first eight games before being placed on injured reserve in 2008, and last season, he was placed on injured reserve in 2009.)

This spring, he was a full participant in practices, and expressed frustration he was unable to get on the field.

‘€œWhen your mind is saying you can do something and your body is not reacting to it, it’€™s a frustrating deal,’€ he said. ‘€œBut I got in the training room this year, worked with Mike [Woicik] and them, focused on my body, keeping me healthy so I can get out there and perform this year.

‘€œYou doubt yourself then you start getting confident. You take a couple steps forward then you take a couple steps back,’€ he added. ‘€œYou’€™ve just got to start with the end in mind, keep progressing. I had a lot of people talking to me telling me it’€™ll be all right if we just keep working at it. I feel like we’€™re getting there.’€

In that same session with reporters, Crable expressed optimism that he could make a difference, saying he was “glad to be out there working with the guys and stuff like that instead of watching.’€ But when word of his assignment to the PUP list earlier this week was revealed, it signaled the death knell for Crable’€™s career with the Patriots.

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