FOXBOROUGH — With six seasons under his belt entering his first with the Patriots, Bobby Carpenter doesn’t really feel like the new guy anymore.
In fact, he might be feeling a little old in a relatively young linebacking corps.
“There’s a couple older guys,” Carpenter said. “You know when you’re getting old when you start counting the guys older than you rather than younger than you, because there’s less of them and more of the younger guys.”
The adjustments have been few and far between for Carpenter, a versatile linebacker who coach Bill Belichick has praised for how “comfortable” he looked doing different things.
“I think anytime you can play multiple positions you’re going to help yourself,” Carpenter said. “They put a premium on that here, they try to work guys around, so hopefully that’s something they think I can still do and hopefully I can still do it. You’ll have to ask them.”
That versatility should serve him well in the special teams, where Carpenter has been seeing reps.
“They put a premium on that here as well,” said Carpenter, noting that the position is nothing new to him. “Everybody is playing something, whether you’re playing 60 snaps on defense or 10, they want to make sure that guys are getting in there and playing special teams. So that’s something I’m excited about as well. [Scott O’Brien] is a great coach, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Of the familiar faces, linebackers coach Pepper Johnson’s son, Dionte, played with Carpenter at Ohio State, and Carpenter himself is a former Buckeye.
“Pepper is a terrific coach, he knows his stuff and he’s a high intensity guy who relates well to players,” Carpenter said. “From playing for 12 or 13 years in the NFL at such a high level, he obviously garners the respect of his players with anything he says. So you’re going to listen to him, he’s been there, he’s been in the fights, he knows what it’s all about and you’ve just got to take advantage of that.”