Sitting Down with Patriots LB Dane Fletcher

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins feels the pressure of Dane Fletcher #52 of the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS -- During media access this morning at the Univserity Place Conference Center in downtown Indianapolis, I had the chance to sit down and talk to Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher about his 2011 campaign and other topics.

On the up-and-down season ending in a Super Bowl XLVI appearance:

You know, it's been ups and downs, peaks and valleys this year, for sure. My thumb injury - broke it a couple of times - and now I'm here at the Super Bowl and I'm trying to play at the top of my level. So it's a great experience.

Thoughts on Fletcher's new "wrinkle" defensively, lining up at defensive tackle on third downs in sub-packages:

It's cool, man. Any way they want to utilize me on defense, I'll take it. I played a little d-line in college and linebacker here so they're trying to use me as a hybrid guy.

Whether he feels more comfortable in the 3-4 base or the 4-3 base:

Either one - I like playing linebacker a little bit more than d-line, generally I feel more comfortable there. I like dropping back but I also like hitting blitzes, I like getting in there and making plays either way.

What Brandon Spikes' return has meant to the Patriots defense and how he feels he compliments Spikes and Jerod Mayo:

Spikes brings a lot to our defense and he comes in and he's a hard hitter and I just bring a little versatility I feel like - whatever they ask me to do I'll do.

We'll have more from Fletcher and other Patriots players throughout the day.

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