NFL

Patriots interested in bringing back Dane Fletcher next season

1/27/13 in NFL   |   Mia781   |   953 respect

For long, the New England Patriots saw Dane Fletcher as a safety net for their often wavering defense. After all, the versatile linebacker seems just as home playing the inside or outside positions, giving the New England Patriots plenty of opportunity in some capacity to try out different defensive lineups. However, the New England Patriots hit a stroke of bad luck with Dane Fletcher missing the entire season on the injured reserve due to knee issues.
 
The New England Patriots’ defensive struggles amplified during Dane Fletcher’s absence. New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spike had to step up with increased minutes on the field during passing downs, although the plays weren’t a particular strength of his.
"It was just a frustrating year for me. I just found motivation for what I could for next year, tried to support my team as much as I could, be around,” Dane Fletcher said of his game-plan during the prolonged absence this season, “help the younger guys for whatever that is worth and then get better on my own end and watch film.”
 
But Dane Fletcher has been steadily rehabbing his knee during the season, to a point where things are again appearing promising for when he hits the field next season. Mapping his progress and importance to the defense, the New England Patriots are hoping to bring back the former undrafted free agent for next season and Dane Fletcher himself shares strong interest in returning to Foxboro this offseason.
 
"I’m going to fully take care of this thing," said Dane Fletcher, who remained at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium during the course of his recovery from knee injury. "I’ll get a full offseason in and training camp, at least in my own mind."
 
"I’m happy with how far I’ve come this year, even though it’s not on the field,” continued the 26-year-old Dane Fletcher. “Hopefully that pertains to next year, whether it’s here or wherever it may be."
 
But despite his exponential progress form knee injury much of top-level Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff remaining intact for next season, Dane Fletcher knows all he can backup for retaining his job is a strong on-field performance, the rest comes down to in-house decision-making.
 
"I love this team and coach (Bill) Belichick is a great coach. It’s a great opportunity. We’ll see where the cards lay out,” Dane Fletcher said of the probability of his return next season. “But you never know how that will unfold.”
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