FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots' offensive line has been in flux early this season, but newcomer Brian Waters has handled his role about as well as it could have been expected.
Waters was signed at the start of Week 1 after sitting at home throughout training camp. Seven days before the Patriots' regular-season opener, Waters said he wasn't sure how his body would respond after his first practice of the season, but things have clearly worked out well.
Waters started at right guard against the Dolphins and was used in a rotation with Dan Connolly. When Connolly had to move to center to replace Dan Koppen, though, Waters was pressed into full-time duty amid the Miami humidity for the duration of the second half.
The 34-year-old said "it was surprising" to get that many reps in the opener, but he took it all in stride.
"It's football, and when you've been playing a long time, you kind of get used to that part," Waters said. "Now, if you told me to go out there and run a couple miles, I probably wouldn't have been able to do that. But when it's football, it's different. And when you've been playing for a while, you get yourself geared up for it play after play, and you don't think about it. You just kind of do it."
Waters started at right guard again against the Chargers and continued to play well. It's not surprising after the Patriots spent so much time talking him up and comparing him to Logan Mankins, but it has definitely been eye-opening to see him progress so quickly with his conditioning.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Waters said. "Practices here get you ready for games. That to me is a plus, that the tempo is very fast, and you get a lot of reps. That in itself can get you in shape."