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Analysis of the release of Shawn Crable

07.28.10 at 4:40 pm ET
Patriots Rookie Camp Football

Shawn Crable was cut loose by the Patriots on Wednesday. (AP)

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.

“When your mind is saying you can do something and your body is not reacting to it, it’s a frustrating deal,” he said. “But 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.

“You doubt yourself then you start getting confident. You take a couple steps forward then you take a couple steps back,” he added. “You’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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