He's been a valuable addition to the offensive line, and his smooth transition has helped the team cope in the wake of Dan Koppen's season-ending injury. Waters, 34, is a five-time Pro Bowler who added a Logan Mankins-level of grit to the right side of the line.
This is the first edition of a new feature called "Four Downs" that we'll run throughout the Patriots' 2011 season. The idea, hopefully, is to give you a little more insight of a player's life outside of the spotlight.
NESN: What is your pregame routine?
Brian Waters: My pregame routine is pretty much the same. I like to go out and run around on the field, get a feel for what the temperature is, get a feel for what the surface is, especially inside the hashes where we do a lot of work and really just warm up pretty good before we actually get going.
NESN: What's in your iPod before a game?
Waters: I listen to more old-school stuff, more old-school soul stuff, the O'Jays, Donny Hathaway, things of that manner, Curtis Mayfield, stuff like that. More cool, laidback stuff. Not so much hard stuff.
NESN: Why the laidback stuff over the upbeat stuff?
Waters: Just to kind of mellow out, keep my mind focused, not really get too ramped up and basically want to make sure I go into the game really focused and consistent. When I was younger, I wanted to be all ramped up, and normally that would lead to me screwing up the first couple of plays before I got into the rhythm of the game.
NESN: What's your favorite movie of all-time?
Waters: My favorite one of all-time is Shawshank Redemption. I can watch that one any day of the week.
NESN: What about recently?
Waters: Recently, probably The Fighter. That's probably the last time I can remember seeing a movie for adults. I've seen a lot of kids' movies, but that's a good movie.
NESN: If you could have any meal right now, home-cooked or at a restaurant 3,000 miles away, what would it be?
Waters: Chicken-fried steak, macaroni and cheese, fried okra and a good buttery biscuit. That would be my favorite meal.
NESN: Does anyone in particular have to cook it?
Waters: There's a couple of people, but if it's good, it's good.