FOXBORO, Mass. — If Ted Karras starts the 2019 season as the New England Patriots’ starting center, it won’t be anything extraordinarily new for the three-year NFL veteran.
Karras is expected to take over at center following David Andrews’ recent hospitalization. Andrews reportedly was treated for a blood clot in his lungs that could keep him out for the entire 2019 season.
Karras was a Week 1 starter his rookie year when he began the season at right guard, filling in for Shaq Mason. Karras started at center for two weeks in the middle of the 2017 season when Andrews went down for an illness. Karras was back at right guard last season when Mason went down.
“We have tremendous confidence in any guy that steps on that field because we went through situations before, repetition, things like that,” Mason said Tuesday.
Karras is not quite sure if he’ll be the next man up, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll change his approach.
“That’s going to be coaching decisions,” Karras said. “I’m just going to come into work every day, work my hardest and do anything I can to help the team.”
He’s played some guard in preseason this year, but he’s mostly been the team’s second-team center. A center doesn’t have to block defenders 1-on-1 as often as a guard, but there is more responsibility at the position.
“You’ve got to make the calls,” Karras said. “I’ve been doing it. I’ve been around here for a while. Just coming in to work every day. It’s not that much different. You’ve got to snap the ball, though. That’s the biggest thing.”
Karras agreed with a reporter’s assessment that starting quarterback Tom Brady can be particular about the way the ball is snapped. But Karras has been practicing with Brady for four offseasons now. The more reps they get together, the more their chemistry improves.
“Yeah, and personal relationship. Everything,” Karras said. “Being around here for four years, it’s pretty cool. I’ve played with a lot of these guys longer than guys I played with in college, guys that were in my wedding. I’m really grateful to be a part of this team. I’m excited to come in to work every day with the guys that are around here.”
Karras has never been a full-time starter with the Patriots, but he’s still player Patriots teammates can depend on.
“Ted’s a hard worker,” Mason said. “He comes in every day ready to work. Eager to learn more each and every day. He puts his head down and works.”
Karras has been teammates with Mason, starting left guard Joe Thuney and starting right tackle Marcus Cannon for his entire NFL career. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who was drafted last year but missed his rookie season, is the newcomer to the group.
“Communication-wise, I think we’re all on the same page,” Mason said. “I think that comes just from repetition. So, David, Ted, any other center, we all communicate the same. It just comes from those reps.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images