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Sports

January 2, 2012

Waters is the unsung MVP for Pats

FOXBORO — In terms of the new additions in 2011, Brian Waters doesn't sack the quarterback or intercept passes.

In other words, you wouldn't know the first-year New England Patriot if you walked into him.

Lost in all of the hype about the recent personnel hits (Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Andre Carter, Stevan Ridley and Nick Solder) and misses (several defensive backs, Shaun Ellis and Chad Ochocinco), Waters might be Belichick's biggest coup.

Last night, amid all of the record-breaking (Gronkowski's 1,327 yards, Wes Welker's 122 receptions, Belichick's fifth 13-win season, etc.) was a quiet team record yesterday broken by Waters.

He was the only Patriot offensive lineman to play in all 16 games.

It shows a few things: One, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is amazing; and two, Waters is amazing, too.

Waters, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1999 before joining the Chiefs in 2000 for 11 seasons, was bordering on over-the-hill when he arrived here eight days before the Monday night opener against the Dolphins. Despite not allowing a sack in the regular season and gaining a Pro Bowl berth last season, he struggled in the last two regular season games and allowed a sack in the Kansas City Chiefs playoff loss to Baltimore.

The other potential issue was the fact that Waters would be moving from his left guard position to right guard with the Patriots.

Belichick eventually signed the 34-year-old five-year Pro Bowl player to a two-year deal for about $5.5 million, guaranteeing a little more than half of that.

Before he actually signed the deal he called a few of his Chiefs' homies who spent lots of time in Foxboro.

"Of course, you have a perception of this place, about Belichick and everything," said Waters. "I talked to (Mike) Vrabel and (Matt Cassel) and asked them about what it was like here. They told me it's different here. They both said I'd love it."

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