DALLAS -- It's not often that the Patriots draft a player, work with him in training camp, cut him, and then watch him contribute significantly with a new team.
That's what happened with offensive lineman Ted Larsen.
A 2010 sixth-round draft choice out of N.C. State, Larsen was waived by the Patriots Sept. 4 when rosters had to be trimmed to 53 players. The hope was to have Larsen return on the practice squad, but the Buccaneers swooped in by claiming him on waivers.
The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Larsen went on to start 11 games at left guard for the surprising Buccaneers (10-6), and performed at a level that had general manager Mark Dominik raving. Dominik went as far as to say that Larsen captured what the Buccaneers were all about in 2010.
"The guy that personifies the team, really, in a weird way is Ted Larsen,’’ Dominik said, according to the Tampa Tribune. “No one ever talks about him and that’s kind of how we felt we were in the National Football League. No one really knows who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are, outside of this area.’‘
Larsen's emergence comes at a time when the Patriots have questions at guard and center, making one wonder if they cut ties too quickly with him.
“Nationally, no one knew what was going on in Tampa until we won nine or 10 games. And no one except the people in this building realized Ted Larsen went in there and played great for this organization," Dominik said.