Patriots DT Vince Wilfork is having another All-Pro season, and he is used to spending his time in the trenches next to DT Kyle Love, but in the past few games, Love has been rotating with DL Brandon Deaderick, who gives the Patriots more of a pass-rushing threat.
The way we hear it, the uptick in playing time for Deaderick is not so much a knock on Love but a testament to Deaderick’s improvement. The third-year pro started in Week 15 and played nine more snaps than Love. Deaderick has 15 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles this season, though he has yet to notch a sack.
Love, an undrafted player who came out of nowhere to be a solid starter, has generally shown consistency at the position, something that had been a question mark for Deaderick, who was suspended at the end of his rookie season for violation of team policy and began the 2011 season on the PUP list. The two are expected to continue rotating based on the opponent as the season goes on.
Deaderick’s improved play, which has allowed him to see more snaps, bolsters a Patriots D-line that has shown stability and depth in 2012, something it lacked at times in the previous two seasons.