Dane Fletcher Not Taking Opportunity on Patriots Defense for Granted


FOXBORO, Mass. — With Jerod Mayo out for at least the next few weeks, second-year linebacker Dane Fletcher figures to be given a more prominent role in Bill Belichick's defense. Fletcher, though, knows he can't take anything for granted with an expanded role.

"When you do your job right, that's what you're getting paid for," he said. "When you're not doing it right, you're not gonna be around. When I'm not being told what to do, I feel pretty good about myself."

So, no news is good news when it comes to hearing from the coaching staff?

"No news is great news," Fletcher said. "You worry every day coming in that door whether you've still got a job or not."

Just because Fletcher isn't assuming his job is ever safe doesn't mean he's lacking confidence on the field.

"I feel confident," he said, "and that's the best thing that I've done from last year to this year. I've become more comfortable with my surroundings out there and being able to adjust to what's going on."

Fletcher made three solo tackles and assisted on another Sunday against Oakland. In 13 games last year, he recorded 23 tackles, two sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He will, in all likelihood, be a part of a three-man rotation with Brandon Spikes and Gary Guyton to fill in during Mayo's absence.

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