Pats from the past

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August 23, 2018 by squish

Written by Ryan Delaney

First, I just want to start off by explaining what these are. My plan is that every week I’ll be publishing a new blog about a former Patriots player. It can be absolutely anybody, they just can’t be on the team anymore.

For anyone that listens to Section 10, it’s similar to what they do each week with the Sox lottery. The only difference is that I’ll just be picking the player instead of a random number.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for players that I should do, feel free to send them in. With that being said, let’s get this kicked off with Alfonzo Dennard.

I’m gonna be honest here right off the bat, this was more of a personal choice rather than random. I had some other guys in mind, but I was a big fan of Dennard during his time here in New England.

After being drafted in the 7th round, pick 224, by the Patriots in the 2012 draft, the Nebraska product was far from a guarantee from making the roster. He was originally projected to be as high as a first round pick, but many experts had him going in the middle rounds.

After a rough outing in the Senior Bowl, an injury that caused him to miss the combine, and an arrest prior to the draft, many were left with questions. This meant, however, that barring any issues, the Patriots were landing a sleeper in the 7th round.

After being the 29th cornerback selected in the 2012 draft, Fonzie entered Patriots camp as the 7th cornerback on the roster, but was able to work up to fifth to start the year.

A hamstring injury caused him to miss the first four games on the season, but he finally made his debut in a 31-21 win over the Broncos, despite being relatively quiet.

Dennard’s first start came against the Jets the next week where he recorded his first career interception and pass break up, not a big deal. This type of play continued for the rest of the season, and finished the year with 8 deflections and three picks, outstanding for a rookie campaign.

Dennard continued to shine in his next two years on the team, earning himself the number two cornerback role to start each season next to Aqib Talib in 2013 and Darrelle Revis in 2014 – pretty solid company.

Unfortunately, despite his solid play, Dennard struggled to stay on the field, missing three games in 2013, and as many as ten games in 2014, his last season with the Patriots.

It’s a real shame to think about where Dennard could be not had it not been for injuries. He was no doubt one of the Patriots best defensive players throughout his three seasons in New England.

Fonzie hasn’t seen NFL action since the 2015 preseason with the Arizona Cardinals, who eventually released him before the beginning of the season. He last played for the Baltimore Brigade on the arena football league, so it’s good to see that he is still playing.

I’ve been optimistic about Bill giving him the call to make his return to the secondary, but it’s a little bit of a long shot at this point. I wouldn’t hate to see him be signed this year if this secondary, that is questionable at best, has some trouble and to add some depth, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

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