Ventrone making himself hard to cut

We hear coaches say it all the time. For a young player on the fringe of a roster spot, the best way to earn a job is to excel on special teams.

And that is precisely what second year safety Raymond Ventrone has done.

With preseason reps at safety hard to come by, he has carved a niche' for himself as a special teams standout.

Once pegged as a mid-round draft pick while at Villanova, Ventrone suffered a devastating injury his senior season. A broken leg during the team's fourth game ended his collegiate career. Despite the injury, the Patriots were impressed enough with his previous body of work to sign him as a free-agent.

Ventrone went to camp and eventually earned himself a spot on the practice team.

Two seasons, and one stint in Europe, later, Ventrone is reunited with coach Mangini.

"Having him in New England and working with him, he's a high-motor guy." Coach Mangini said during his Monday press-conference. "He's a really good person. You respect and appreciate his intensity and his focus and his effort."

Although his playing time at safety has increased; Ventrone is now seeing action with the second team defense- it's on special teams is where he has excelled, recording three tackles during last week's game versus the Minnesota Vikings.

"Whenever they call my number I am going to go out and do whatever they tell me to do to the best of my ability." Ventrone said. "And the most opportunity I have had, in the preseason, has been on special teams. I guess I have just taken advantage of my opportunities so far."

With two more preseason games left to state his case, Ventrone plans on making the most of his opportunities to seize a spot on Mangini's 53-man roster.

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