Sports

Proving ground

Marcus Benard (above) is battling to land a spot backing up pass-rushing defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich.
Marcus Benard (above) is battling to land a spot backing up pass-rushing defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich.Credit: john tlumacki/globe staff

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FOXBOROUGH — They all want to prove that they belong, that they are worthy of a spot on the Patriots’ 53-man roster.

For the defensive ends jockeying for one of the few spots available at the position, the only chance they have to seize that opportunity and showcase their skills is in the one-on-one battles they have against the offensive linemen, which have become the must-see drill of training camp.

“Definitely, because you’re singled out and it’s your time to shine,’’ said Marcus Benard, a fifth-year veteran free agent out of Jackson State who signed with the Patriots Jan. 24 after being released by the Browns last October. “It’s pretty much man-on-man and who’s going to come out victorious.’’

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