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Shaun Ellis knows what he’s in for: ‘I was born into this family’

08.20.11 at 6:23 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Shaun Ellis has been sidelined on the physically unable to perform list since he first arrived in New England earlier this month, but it’€™s not like he doesn’€™t know the challenge that lies ahead. After all, he’€™s become pretty familiar with similar systems over the course of his 11-year career.

‘€œI’€™ve kind of been through it a little bit ‘€” I was born into this family with [Bill] Parcells, being drafted by him, and going through that period my rookie year, and going through it with [Eric] Mangini,’€ he said after practice on Saturday, his first since coming off the PUP list. ‘€œYou [just] have to get back into the swing of things.’€

The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder, who was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 7, was back on the field on Saturday. He spent Saturday’€™s low-intensity walkthrough with a helmet, standing and watching many of his counterparts during the hour-long session. He did take part in the end-of-practice stretching and jogging.

‘€œIt felt good,’€ said the 34-year-old Ellis. ‘€œJust being on the field, around the teammates, moving around a little bit. It felt good.’€

It’€™s been a frustrating stretch for Ellis the last two weeks ‘€” he’€™s been trying to get up-to-speed in other areas while watching his new teammates play a pair of preseason games.

‘€œLifting weights, running ‘€” doing some extra conditioning,’€ said Ellis when asked what he’€™s been doing over the last two-plus weeks. ‘€œ[I'€™m] just trying to get caught up to speed with the rest of the guys. They’€™ve been running a lot, so I’€™ve just been trying to get caught up with them and get ready for the season.’€

While Ellis has been sidelined, he’€™s watched the New England defensive line offer a pair of absolutely dominant performances, silencing Jacksonville and Tampa Bay in preseason action.

‘€œIt’€™s been great,’€ Ellis said of the performance of the Patriots’€™ defensive line over the first two games. ‘€œIt made me want to be a part of it that much more. We have a lot of guys who can stop the run and also get after the quarterback ‘€” a lot of talent. I’€™m just eager to be a part of it and just go out there and contribute the best way I can.’€

Going forward, Ellis said he isn’€™t sure if he’€™ll be good to go for the next preseason game ‘€” set for Saturday in Detroit against the Lions. (‘€œI’€™m going to see this week. What Belichick wants me to do, that’€™s what I’€™m going to do,’€ he said.) But he believes that this New England defensive line could be capable of some ‘€œgreat things.’€

‘€œJust on names alone, it’€™s good. But we have to go out and put the work in in practice and all of us get out there and play together. I think it’€™ll gel,’€ he said. ‘€œWe all have to work hand-in-hand. I think we all have the potential to do great things with this defense, but we have to get some practice in and get down the mental aspects of playing defense.’€

Read More: 2011 training camp, Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Eric Mangini
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