Pats Add More DL Depth

The New England Patriots finished their minicamp this past week under bright and sunny skies with plenty of new faces at Foxboro. With roughly 70-plus players in attendance, the team felt the need to go out and sign a couple more players after the close of camp. Late Friday, the Patriots announced the signing of a pair of defensive lineman and the release of long snapper Tony Case.

One day after signing free agent wide receiver C.J. Jones, the Patriots added more beef to the roster, this time along the defensive line. Creating competition for roster spots improves the team; according to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. That's one explanation for the Patriots recently signing Rashad Moore and Lenny Smith, both of whom are veteran free agent defensive tackles

Moore, 28, joins the Patriots after spending a year playing for former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini who is now head coach for the New York Jets. After a two-year stint in Seattle (2003-04), Moore played for Mangini in New York in 2006. The 6-foot-3, 325-pound lineman adds the much-coveted girth necessary to play nose tackle in the Patriots 3-4 defensive alignment.

Smith, 29, arrives in Foxboro after spending four seasons with the New Orleans Saints (2001-04) and one with the Oakland Raiders (2005). The 6-foot-4, 303-pound lineman was out of football in 2006, and then picked up by the Buccaneers in March. He lasted a little more than a month with Tampa Bay before he received his release just after the NFL Draft.

The team also announced the release of long snapper Tony Case. Case, a versatile offensive lineman in college, was out of the NFL the past two seasons. He played for an indoor football league in 2005. The Patriots currently have veteran Lonie Paxton as the long snapper.

Case participated in the Patriots veteran minicamp this past week. At one point on Thursday, Case was snapping shotgun-style to Tom Brady in goal line drills as Brady tried to locate Kyle Brady, Wes Welker and Randy Moss in a short yardage passing drill.

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