FOXBORO, Mass. — Guard Brian Waters would have been perfectly content if he walked away from the NFL over the summer, but he returned for the perfect situation.
As it's turned out, the marriage between Waters and the Patriots has been equally beneficial for both sides, with Waters earning his sixth Pro Bowl invitation this week. Waters has been New England's best offensive lineman throughout the season, and he was honored to receive the Pro Bowl nod.
"It's been a good ride so far," he said.
Waters hasn't ever been terribly impressed with the voting process, and he said Wednesday he thinks the system is flawed. But the bottom line is that he was thrilled to get selected by his opponents across the league.
"The fact that you're being recognized by your peers and by the league is good enough for most guys I would think," Waters said.
Waters' situation was unique, too. The 34-year-old didn't sign with the Patriots until a week before the regular-season opener and only needed a handful of practices before starting at right guard. From the first snap, though, he's been a true asset to New England's offensive line, and he has credited the natural transition to the structure in place in the organization.
"Nobody comes here with limited expectations of themselves because I don't think it's going to be allowed here," Waters said. "It's definitely not allowed here."