FOXBORO, Mass. — It was no surprise that the Patriots were interested in signing a player like Adrian Wilson this offseason. Not only does he bring a much-needed imposing presence to the New England secondary, but he’s a natural leader, as well.
Wilson’s teammates have praised the 12-year veteran for his leadership, and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia can already see that Wilson plays the game the right way.
“Obviously great guy, great player, hard worker and any time someone comes in like that it really doesn’t matter who it is,” Patricia said. “But Adrian is a good example of a vet who’s been in the league a long time and comes in and approaches the game the way he approaches it in the classroom and on the field. Anybody is going to look at that with a lot of respect and say this guy obviously has been in the league for a long time. And that’s the right way to do it.”
Wilson has been playing next to Steve Gregory at safety during OTAs while Devin McCourty sits out during his recovery from shoulder surgery. Wilson looks like a linebacker out on the field at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, and he may play a similar role in New England. He is expected to play up in the box while McCourty plays back deep at free safety.
Wilson has had no problem covering tight ends and running backs through his career, and he’s always been known as a strong defender in the run game. Even if Wilson may not be able to play deep like he used to, he’ll still be able to show his young teammates how to play the game the right way, which he’s been doing throughout his long NFL career.