Patriots Bring Back Pierre Woods

Yesterday, the team announced the release of outside linebacker Shawn Crable.  To replace him, the Patriots are bringing back his former Michigan teammate.  Today, the Patriots announced the re-signing of outside linebacker Pierre Woods.

Woods was with the team from 2006-2009 after being signed as an undrafted free agent.  Although he was with the team this offseason and training camp, Woods was a surprise cut at the roster cut-down in early September.

While Woods never really panned out as an every down outside linebacker, he is a very solid special teams player who can also be a force against the run at outside linebacker.  He has even occasionally played at defensive end in the 3-4.  However, don't expect him to frequently be a pass rusher in sub-packages like Shawn Crable was.

This means the Patriots will be a little bit thin in that area.  Tully Banta-Cain and Jermaine Cunningham now project as the top pass rushers in sub-packages, with Rob Ninkovich also an option.  Other possibilities for outside linebacker include Dane Fletcher, who played defensive end in college as well as Brandon Spikes, who lined up as a pass rushing defensive end on occasion while at Florida.  The Patriots could also use a player such as Gary Guyton on a variety of blitzes from sub-packages.

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