Addai switches sides in Patriots-Colts rivalry
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (AP)
New Patriots running back Joseph Addai isn't concerned about switching
sides in one of the NFL's fiercest rivalries.
''I think for the fans it's a rivalry, but at the same time we all know
each other,'' the former Indianapolis Colt said Tuesday after the first
day of New England's mini-camp. ''When you get on the field it's a
business thing, so you've got to go out there and you play hard.''
Addai spent six years with the Colts, rushing for 4,453 yards and 39
touchdowns. While he was in Indianapolis, the Colts and Patriots played
six times in the regular season and in the 2007 AFC championship game,
which Indianapolis won when he scored the game-winning touchdown with 1
But the Colts are rebuilding, allowing Peyton Manning to leave for the
Denver Broncos as a free agent and replacing him with No. 1 overall
draft pick Andrew Luck. Addai signed a one-year deal in New England.
Addai isn't the first one to switch sides in the rivalry: kicker Adam Vinatieri and defensive lineman Dan Klecko played for New England
before signing with the Colts. The Patriots and Indianapolis will meet
this year on Nov. 18; New England plays Denver on Oct. 14.
''You watch them over the years, just playing, and how dedicated they
are, I'm glad to be a part of it,'' he said. ''We play them every year
and you know what they're about. You know how they go about things, and
I got a chance to come in for an interview, and I was excited about
that and they liked what they saw and actually picked me up. So I think
it'll go good.''
Addai said he's thinking of his career as ''a year-to-year thing.''
Right now, he's most concerned about mastering the Patriots' playbook
and helping his new team return to the playoffs.
Addai replaces BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals after four seasons with the Patriots in which he rushed for
more than 1,000 yards once, in 2010. He ran for 24 touchdowns over the
last two seasons and didn't lose a fumble.
''I feel like a rookie ... as far as understanding the plays,'' Addai
said. ''I think I'm at that point and every day is getting better.
Coaches are helping me out, players are helping me out and it's that
Among them is Tom Brady.
''It's good to have Tom in the huddle because he does a lot. He talks
to you about a lot of things. Obviously he's the quarterback and he
knows everything that's going on so he can always help me out. Just
little small talks in the locker room, in the training room, in the
meetings, just kind of talk to him, just trying to see how's he's
thinking so I get on the same page.''
Asked to compare his new quarterback with Manning, Addai said, ''I
would say both winners.''
''I think the difference is I started off over there as a rookie. I'm
in my seventh season, so I handle it a little bit different,'' Addai
said. ''But it's a great opportunity to play with those guys, as well
as other players on the teams.''
Also Tuesday, the Patriots claimed tight end Jake Ballard off waivers
from the New York Giants and placed rookie tight end Brad Herman on
Ballard, 24, spent two seasons with the Giants after being signed as a
rookie free agent from Ohio State in 2010. He was released by the
Giants on Monday after he failed a physical. Ballard tore the anterior
cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Giants' Super Bowl
victory over New England in February.
In his second pro season, Ballard had 38 receptions for 604 yards and
four touchdowns. He had five catches for 43 yards in the postseason
before being injured.
Herman, 22, joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Iowa last
The only player reported as missing from Tuesday's workout was
offensive lineman Brian Waters, who was excused for personal reasons,
coach Bill Belichick said. Waters, an All-Pro last year, his 12th in
the league, is said to be mulling retirement.
''We have a number of players that aren't participating for one reason
or another,'' Belichick said. ''Whoever is out there is getting the
work, they're learning, they're getting the opportunities and the reps.
The guys that aren't there obviously aren't. It's an opportunity for
the guys that are out there.''
Waters, 35, played 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs before
signing with New England for last season.
Having come from Indianapolis, Addai said he thinks he's prepared for a
New England offense that is considered one of the more complicated
playbooks in the league.
''It's the NFL. It's professional ball so everything is going to be
complicated,'' he said. ''It's how you go about it. Am I getting it? I
feel like I'm getting it. But at the same time you will make your
mistakes and you're supposed to learn from that and that's what I'm
Also Tuesday, receiver Wes Welker, who signed a $9.5 million franchise
tender and has until July 16 to work out a long-term deal, said he was
happy for Rob Gronkowski, who signed a six-year, $54 million contract
extension that is the largest ever given to a tight end in NFL history.
''I'm not worried about that at all,'' Welker said. ''Right now I'm
here, I'm happy. I'm just here and try to help our team win in 2012.''
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