It doesn't hold the prestige of a quarterback competition, nor will it garner the national attention, but it looks like a Patriots rookie is challenging a proven veteran for his job.
Since Matt Light, a nine-year veteran who's been on all three Super Bowl champion teams, suffered a knee injury, Sebastian Vollmer has filled in nicely at the left tackle spot. He's been so good, in fact, that head coach Bill Belichick was non-committal when discussing Light's job security.
"We'll deal with the situation when he comes back," Belichick told Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald on Monday. "I don't know when that's going to be. In all honestly, too many good players, not a problem. Not enough, that?s the problem. Both guys have showed they can play that position very competitively, and we'll deal with it when it's an option. The last couple weeks, it hasn?t been an option."
That's certainly an intriguing statement from the coach, as Light earns more than $4 million per season. Vollmer, a 6-foot-8, 315-pounder from Germany, makes a little over $300,000.
Vollmer replaced Light in the Patriots' Week 5 loss to the Broncos. Vollmer provided some key blocks in the Patriots' 59-0 thrashing of the Titans, but he was flagged for a pair of holding calls against the Buccaneers the following week in London.
Last Sunday, he helped keep Joey Porter off the stat sheet in the Patriots' 27-17 victory over the Dolphins.
Regardless of what happens this season, Vollmer's play certainly bodes well for the future of the Pats' offensive line.