FOXBOROUGH – Spencer Larsen, one of the many free agents the Patriots have signed this offseason, said on Thursday that he is focused on fullback for now – though with his history, that could change.
During his days with Denver, where he was a sixth-round draft pick in 2008, Larsen played fullback and also linebacker. In a November game against the Falcons his rookie season, he started on both offense and defense, and played special teams.
“It was a fun time in my career; we got into some injury trouble at linebacker, I’d been playing fullback for a few weeks and we ran into some injury problems and I needed to play linebacker that day against Atlanta,” Larsen said.
“It was just one of those exciting days — I didn’t play a whole lot on offense that day, as a fullback you come in and out, so it wasn’t 100 percent taxing, but it was a good day’s work.”
Given that last year alone Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman both saw snaps on offense and defense, it may not be long until Larsen finds himself carrying two playbooks around the team facility.
For now, though, he is content to compete at fullback with Tony Fiammetta, and contribute to the Patriots any way he can. The return of his former head coach Josh McDaniels to New England likely played a role in his being signed here, and Larsen knows McDaniels does still use players in that position.
“I think just being with Josh in the past, he just likes to have options. Coach McDaniels, being with him in Denver, he just likes to have different things that he can do week to week, so who knows,” he said. “I don’t think any of us knows what’s going to happen at that position, you just need to work and get better and let that thing happen naturally.”
Larsen is excited to be with the Patriots, particularly since he revealed that he hasn’t been part of a winning football team since his junior year of high school in his home state of Arizona. That unfortunate streak will likely end this year.
In addition to his history with McDaniels, Larsen also knows two of his new teammates fairly well: he was a senior at the University of Arizona when Rob Gronkowski was a freshman, and he played with Brandon Lloyd with the Broncos.
Even at that young age, Larsen could tell Gronkowski had potential.
“Just incredible — you’ve never seen a guy like that. Big, strong — I swear he looked like he does right now as a freshman coming out of high school. I couldn’t imagine what he did in high school. But he was a good player,” Larsen said. “He’s one of those guys that come around and you feel like, ‘man, he’s going to be special.’ And so far he’s proved that.”
As for Lloyd, Larsen called him an “incredible athlete” but will have to prove himself with the Patriots just like everyone else.