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Sports

July 29, 2008

Don't sell this Pats' addition short

FOXBORO — Let's be honest. LaMont Jordan might never take a real snap in a New England Patriots uniform.

The eight-year pro joins an already-established bullpen of running backs assembled by Bill Belichick.

There's the lead man in Laurence Maroney; his able stand-in, a sleek and rebuilt Sammy Morris; third-down chain-mover Kevin Faulk and blitz neutralizer/special teams maven Heath Evans.

How can Jones squeeze into this mix? The answer for the former Jets and Raiders situation sub lies in the always-grinding mind of Belichick.

"He's a tough guy to tackle, hard runner, good in the passing game, and good with the ball in his hands," said Belichick, who always spoke glowingly of Jordan when the former Maryland Terrapin spelled Curtis Martin in New York. "He's a big kid. He can run inside, run outside and he can catch the ball. He is a good pass receiver in terms of route running. He's instinctive and he's returned kicks."

As a fifth wheel, Jordan can fill most every need of each of the top four. His willingness to lend his body to the kicking game makes the 5-foot-10, 230-pounder less of a luxury and more of a necessity.

"Any time you have a chance to put on a Patriots uniform, you take it," said Jordan as he attempted to soak in the complex offense.

Jordan is a weapon, yet another one for Tom Brady, and stocking the shelves around his quarterback has been top priority for personnel Scott Pioli and the coach.

Interestingly enough, Jordan's existence here could hinge on, of all people, punt/kick-cover specialist Kelley Washington.

Not that Washington is in a fight for his roster life. Nope, the former Cincinnati Bengal remains a lock. But is he a lock as the No. 4 receiver or the No. 5?

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