Patriots will likely substitute one Warren for another
|08.13.10 at 4:54 pm ET|
The loss of defensive lineman Ty Warren (labral tear) will force the Patriots to turn to a cast of relative newcomers to the New England defensive scheme. One NFL veteran in his first year with the Patriots should benefit the most when it comes to an increase in playing time, but there are a variety of youngsters who will move up the depth chart.
Ty Warren and has been a pretty reliable presence since the Patriots took him the first round of the 2003 draft out of Texas A&M — he’s started 92 of a possible 105 games in that stretch, and has accounted for 496 tackles, 20.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.
“[It was a] tough break for Ty but we have to move on. He’s missed quite a bit of time the last couple of years, so we’ve had to deal with that anyway,” Bill Belichick said Friday. “It’s unfortunate, but unfortunately that’s part of the game, so we’ll just move ahead.”
The question on many minds is who the team will “just move ahead” with at left end. With Warren now out for the year, the Patriots will likely depend on veteran Gerard “Big Money” Warren as the starter, at least at the start. A 32-year-old who is entering his 10th season in the NFL, Warren has played for Cleveland (2001-04), Denver (2005-06) and Oakland (2007-09), but is in his first year with the Patriots. He enjoyed his best season as a rookie with the Browns, when the Florida product had a career-high 48 tackles and five sacks.
In Thursday’s preseason opener against the Saints, Gerard drew the start at left defensive end and spent the majority of the first quarter and a half on the field with New England’s starting defense and finished with three tackles.
“Gerard’s worked very hard. He’s shown a lot of improvement. And he was a good player to begin with,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on a Friday afternoon conference call.
“It went well. That was one of the things we were focusing on; just go out there and communicate,” he said of his first experience with the Patriots. “You take this and go home and watch film tomorrow to try and learn on what corrections to make and keeping pushing forward.”
As for possible position depth, New England will also turn to second-year player Myron Pryor, who played in 13 games in his rookie season, making 23 tackles (13 solo). A sixth-round pick in the 2009 draft, he has yet to start at game in the NFL. In addition, veteran Damione Lewis, second-year man Darryl Richard and rookie Brandon Deaderick will also provide support at the position. And, as he has done several times over the last few seasons, the versatile Mike Wright can fill in in a pinch as well.
According to a report from Monique Walker of the Boston Globe, Ty Warren will undergo surgery on Monday, a procedure that will be done by Dr. Mark Philippon in Vail, Colo. Comcast Sportsnet is reporting the surgery will take between four and six months to recover from.
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