Danny Shelton didn’t need very long to start toeing the New England Patriots’ company line.
Less than a week after New England acquired Shelton in a trade with the Cleveland Browns, the defensive lineman is already singing coach Bill Belichick’s praises and taking notice of the team’s culture of success.
“Part of the formula to winning is doing your job, and I see that everywhere at the facility with everyone just staying focused and having that same goal leading towards success, and that’s what I want to be a part of,” Shelton said on a conference call Monday.
After spending his first three NFL seasons with a Browns team that won only four games total and went 0-16 last season, the 24-year-old Shelton is willing to adapt to whatever role Belichick sees fit for him.
“Honestly, I’m just going to go with whatever coach wants me to do,” Shelton said. “My best (skill) is stopping the run, so if he wants me to play a defensive position I’ll do it and I’ll make sure I do my job to achieve success.”
Shelton had 128 tackles and 1½ sacks over 46 games with Cleveland after being drafted by the Browns with the No. 12 overall pick out of Washington in 2015.
In 2016, Shelton started all 16 games and had a career-high 59 tackles.
Shelton hopes to wear the No. 55 with the Patriots after doing so with the Browns and in college in honor of the late Junior Seau, who wore the number throughout his career and in his last four seasons in New England.
“Any opportunity I get to wear the number I would take in a heartbeat,” Shelton said. “It’s just amazing to have this opportunity to play for a great organization and knowing that one of my role models, one of the guys that I looked up to played here.”
Shelton said he is also fond of former Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, whom he drew comparisons to before he was drafted.
“Just knowing that I’ll be able to play for a team that’s had such great talent here, I just want to add to the team success,” Shelton said.