Patriots Linebacker Matt Judon Ready To Flex Versatility In New England

Matt Judon could be more than an edge defender with the Patriots


June 15, 2021

New England Patriots free-agent addition Matt Judon doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as an edge defender.

Judon is primarily known as a defensive end and outside linebacker, but over 10 percent of his NFL snaps have come off the line of scrimmage, per PFF.

All of the Patriots’ linebackers meet in one room under inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo and outside linebackers coach Steve Belichick, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Judon continues to flash his versatility in New England.

“I?ve played everything,” Judon said Tuesday. “I was on the edge. I was inside. Sometimes, I was lined up at corner. It just depended on what the call is. I feel like I’ll do the same here and hopefully I have as much or more success here, just being in a room with inside linebackers, being in a room with a Super Bowl champion coaching us and Super Bowl champions also in the room. Wherever they need me, that’s where I’ll be on that play and I’ll do the job to the best of my ability.”

So, Judon would be willing to play off the ball?

“Man, I’ll be open to playing safety if coach asks,” Judon said Tuesday.

It’s been widely assumed Judon and Kyle Van Noy would be the Patriots’ starting edge defenders, and Dont’a Hightower would man one inside linebacker spot. There seems to be a competition for the other off-ball linebacker spot next to Hightower between Josh Uche, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Raekwon McMillan and others. But Judon and Van Noy could certainly handle some of those snaps, as well, since both players have experience off of the line of scrimmage.

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