FOXBOROUGH — It appears that the Patriots had certainly sought a more veteran presence when they went after James Anderson. But the team also confirmed that they considered him because of his experience on special teams.
The eight-year veteran, who last played for the Chicago Bears, was signed by the Patriots June 4. Along with Jerod Mayo, he is the only linebacker on the roster with more than five years of experience. As a 16-game starter for the Bears, he was an attractive candidate to fill in for the departed Brandon Spikes, with the added assumption that he could improve the team’s coverage on passing downs. But Patriots coach Bill Belichick noted that his experience in the kicking game was just as important.
“He’s had a productive career, defensively and in the kicking game,” Belichick said. “He’s been productive in however many years he’s been in the league. He’s played a lot of football on defense and in the kicking game. He’s got good experience. He has a good level of production and he was available so we’ll see how it goes.”
Anderson has 556 career tackles, 12 sacks, 22 passes defensed and three interceptions.